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Department, and another provision saying the Secretary shall attempt to simplify operations and place administration of farm programs close to State and local levels.

The new provisions are inserted as supposed "guides" to the Secretary, apparently intended to meet objections made to the plan in 1950, when it was submitted by President Truman, which were raised by Mr. Romeo Short. Mr. Short, now with the Department testified in 1950 for the American Farm Bureau Federation. He then told the committee:

Reorganization Plan No. A submitted by the President on March 13, constitutes a general grant of authority to the Secretary of Agriculture without direction or guidance to him to carry out any phase of the reorganization recommended either by the Hoover Commission or its task force on Agriculture. Since it is without guide or direction, we regard the plan as an unwise grant of general authority and power.

Reorganization Plan No. 4 is really not a plan. A plan should have recommendations, framework, and structure. Plan 4 does not have these. It is therefore not a plan.

Re-emphasizing his opposition later (see pp. 50–51 of the Hearings before the Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments on S. Res. 263, 81st Cong., 2d sess.), Mr. Short said:

Therefore, we want again to say that by reason of the fact that plan No. 4 is not really a plan-just a grant of authority without congressional checkfeel it should be rejected.

I have restated this testimony, which went to a vital point in the debate in 1950, because I feel that it applies with equal force today. The "guides" or limitations written into the proposed plan No. 2 of 1953, do not alter the situation in the least. They are without force, effect or real value.

First, the proposed hearings do not in any way limit the Secretary's discretion. Secondly, the injunction to place administration of farm programs close to state and local levels can be given various interpretations, depending on the views of the Secretary.

I strongly urge this committee to study the discussion of reorganization of the Department of Agriculture which occurred before the Subcommittee on Agricultural Appropriations of the House Appropriations Committee on Thursday, March 26, of this year. It is contained in part 3 of the subcommittee's printed hearings.

At page 867, while Congressman Andersen of Minnesota was questioning Mr. John H. Davis, president of Commodity Credit Corporation and one of those in line to become an Assistant Secretary of Agriculture, Mr. Andersen inquired as follows:

Question. I do not presume you have anything in mind which will take away from the township and county committees elected by the farmers any of their present authority?

Answer. That is right. We have not made any changes in that at all,

Question. You say you made no changes. Have you any change in mind for the future?

Answer. No.

Only a little later the same morning (p. 888) Congressman Fred Marshall placed in the Record “Notice General-101” which bad been previously issued to State PMA committees without public announcements. It frankly stated that it "will require realinement of duties and responsibilities” in the Production and Marketing Administration. One paragraph said:

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Hereafter, the State committee, in carrying out its responsibilities, will determine program and administrative policy, but the execution of such policies will be carried out by its employees under the direction of a State executive officer responsible to the State committee.

Another paragraph substituted county managers for county committeemen in administrative work at that level.

(The complete text of Notice General—101 appears as appendix B, p. 211.)

Of what use is it to put an injunction in Reorganization Plan No. 2 that there shall be hearings on any major reorganization schemes if the Secretary of Agriculture and his staff do not regard such a sweeping change in the operations of local PMA committees as a change worth mentioning to Congress?

Another illuminating passage in regard to the PMA committee change is at page 890, where Secretary Benson said:

I believe it will result in a saving of funds and in more efficient administration.

Congressman Marshall inquired:

How much do you expect to save by making these county committees operate this way?

Secretary Benson replied:

I could not say. I do not know that we have developed any figures, but there certainly will be some change, because in some State committees there have been 2 or 3 people on full time. We think one executive officer receiving about the salary which the chairman has been getting can carry out the wishes of that committee and it should result in some savings

In other words, this removal of functions from the county and State committeemen was ordered without any real study.

Had the new Secretary referred to House Agriculture Committee hearings last March, when the reorganization subject came up, he would have found estimates by the Department that full-time, professional county managers would be considerably more expensive than the part-time county committeemen.

The Department of Agriculture figures submitted to the House committee showed the average annual per diem paid 3 county and 27 community committeemen for the previous year was $2,393 per county, slightly more than half of the average salary of a county agent of $4,563. The report showed that county committeemen that year averaged 45.9 days of work at $8.10 per day, for a total of $1,114 in salaries.

In view of the record I have just cited, it seems to me especially desirable at this time for Congress to maintain closer scrutiny, not less, over reorganization moves in the Department of Agriculture.

A second witness at the 1950 hearings was Mr. John H. Davis, now president of the Commodity Credit Corporation and another who is to become an Assistant Secretary of Agriculture. Mr. Davis said the Council of Farmer Cooperatives opposed plan No. 4 of 1950, which is virtually the same as the present planbecause it turns over the whole job of reorganizing and determining the center of emphasis within the Department to the Secretary: If I were Secretary I certainly would prefer to have Congress outline the organization structure, rather than to do it myself.

Mr. Davis testified further:

At the present time our basic agricultural policy is in more or less a state of flux. The farm plan that will be the basic structure for the next several years is not definitely crystallized. There are various plans that are up for discussion, and it seems to us that it is very difficult and unwise to try to reorganize the Department until we know what kind of a farm plan the Department is to carry out.

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We feel further that Congress should assume the responsibility for the laying out of the general outline of organization at the time Congress lays out the general outline of the basic farm policy.

Just as in 1950, we again have a situation in which future farm policy is uncertain. We have extended 90 percent of parity supports for the basic commodities, including wheat, through 1954. There must be reconsideration of the price-support problem this year or next.

It is well known that the present Secretary of Agriculture is hostile to 90 percent supports. On the other hand, some of us believe that the support level should be raised to 100 percent of parity. There are several bills before the Congress to increase supports.

The new Secretary and his aides have revealed that several methods of support are being studied: so-called sliding scale supports, a twoprice system, price insurance, and others. Since policy will affect the organization needed, Mr. Davis' testimony is as applicable today as in 1950.

Additionally, Madam Chairman, because power to reorganize carries with it power to materially alter emphasis and the direction of the agricultural programs themselves, I believe this committee should examine the Administration's attitude toward disadvantaged and underproductive farmers.

On April 23 the United Press carried a dispatch, reporting a meeting of farm editors at the Department of Agriculture, which read:

WASHINGTON-Agricultural officials indicated today the marginal farmers may come in for some scrutiny within the near future and said farming can no longer be considered a haven for those with “less than average ability.”

John H. Davis, president of the Commodity Credit Corporation, said, "it might be better" to have one type of farm program for the commercial farmers and another type for those who are either "weekend" farmers or who do not have the ability to operate a farm efficiently.

He made the comment after Under Secretary of Agriculture True D. Morse said one of the results of the price support program has been to keep inefficient farmers in business and “to fix patterns of production.”

The statements were made during news conferences with newspaper farm editors meeting at Agriculture for 2 days.

Morse said under “the pressure of price supports” there is no "normal, healthy adjustment” which should take place in agriculture. He said the cost-price squeeze currently pinching farmers either might force out inefficient farmers or cause them to farm the life out of their farms to pay for the place. A better solution, he suggested, would be to let inefficient farmers get out of farming and let the land grow grass, trees or other land-saving crops.”

I believe that the viewpoint of the two high agricultural officials expressed in that story, which has gone uncontradicted, is repugnant to a majority of Members of Congress.

Congress has created and annually makes available to the Farmers Home Administration considerable funds to provide credit and technical assistance to disadvantaged farmers, sometimes called "inefficient” farmers. The established congressional policy is to help such citizens, not let them be wiped out, and the Farmers' Home Administration has brought hundreds of thousands into efficient operation.

Mr. Davis testified further:

At the present time our basic agricultural policy is in more or less a state of flux. The farm plan that will be the basic structure for the next several years is not definitely crystallized. There are various plans that are up for discussion, and it seems to us that it is very difficult and unwise to try to reorganize the Departinent until we know what kind of a farm plan the Department is to carry out.

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We feel further that Congress should assume the responsibility for the laying out of the general outline of organization at the time Congress lays out the general outline of the basic farm policy.

Just as in 1950, we again have a situation in which future farm policy is uncertain. We have extended 90 percent of parity supports for the basic commodities, including wheat, through 1954. There must be reconsideration of the price-support problem this year or next.

It is well known that the present Secretary of Agriculture is hostile to 90 percent supports. On the other hand, some of us believe that the support level should be raised to 100 percent of parity. There are several bills before the Congress to increase supports.

The new Secretary and his aides have revealed that several methods of support are being studied: so-called sliding scale supports, a twoprice system, price insurance, and others. Since policy will affect the organization needed, Mr. Davis' testimony is as applicable today as in 1950.

Additionally, Madam Chairman, because power to reorganize carries with it power to materially alter emphasis and the direction of the agricultural programs themselves, I believe this committee should examine the Administration's attitude toward disadvantaged and underproductive farmers.

On April 23 the United Press carried a dispatch, reporting a meeting of farm editors at the Department of Agriculture, which read:

WASHINGTON-Agricultural officials indicated today the marginal farmers may come in for some scrutiny within the near future and said farming can no longer be considered a haven for those with "less than average ability.”

John H. Davis, president of the Commodity Credit Corporation, said, “it might be better” to have one type of farm program for the commercial farmers and another type for those who are either "weekend" farmers or who do not have the ability to operate a farm efficiently.

He made the comment after Under Secretary of Agriculture True D. Morse said one of the results of the price support program has been to keep inefficient farmers in business and “to fix patterns of production.”

The statements were made during news conferences with newspaper farm editors meeting at Agriculture for 2 days.

Morse said under "the pressure of price supports" there is no "normal, healthy adjustment” which should take place in agriculture. He said the cost-price squeeze currently pinching farmers either might force out inefficient farmers or cause them to farm the life out of their farms to pay for the place. A better solution, he suggested, would be to let inefficient farmers get out of farming and let the land grow grass, trees or other land-saving crops.

I believe that the viewpoint of the two high agricultural officials expressed in that story, which has gone uncontradicted, is repugnant to a majority of Members of Congress.

Congress has created and annually makes available to the Farmers Home Administration considerable funds to provide credit and technical assistance to disadvantaged farmers, sometimes called "inefficient” farmers. The established congressional policy is to help such citizens, not let them be wiped out, and the Farmers' Home Administration has brought hundreds of thousands into efficient operation.

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