DOWN TO EARTH ON
Nine-Point Farm Plan
from 75 to 90 per cent of parity on com, wheat, cotton,
rice and peanuts. However, the Act has not had a chance
to be effective; it is over-burdened with surpluses already
Government granaries are bulging, and these stockpiles
cannot be kept forever. There are only two disposition
routes open — discounting the fact that they could be
destroyed, which would, most agree, be an asinine thing
to do — these stockpiles of food must be used either in
this country or disposed of abroad. If used in this country,
these surpluses would compete with crops which farmers
are currently selling. Moreover, if the surpluses were
moved abroad in large amounts, they would, in the words
of Mr. Eisenhower, ". . . shatter world prices and trade,
injure our friends and undermine domestic prices as well."
It is possible, of course, to dispose of some of the surplus, both abroad and at home. However, these available
outlets would be of such a minute nature as to absorb
little of the mountainous surplus. Surpluses, whether the
taxpayer knows it or not, are costing us one million dollars
daily in storage charges. And, when the government starts
tapping John Q. Taxpayer on the hip. it hits J. Q. T. in
the vital area where he lives.
It is claimed that under Eisenhower's plan there would
be no need for large appropriations of money to finance
the agricultural program, because it would pay its own
way. And, as a matter of record, both Eisenhower and
Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson want the plan
to be on a voluntary basis. Indeed. Mr. Benson, in a speech
before the Vegetable Growers Association, December 8,
1955. Sheraton Park Hotel, Washington, D. C, made the
There are now a lew people in this country who apparently think it is smart politics to capitalize on agriculture's
troubles. These are the same people who previously shackled
fanners with price controls and regimentation — and who
tried to ram down the throat of agriculture a Brannan Plan
that would have made farmers' income depend on government checks. They are now popping up all over the place
with quack remedies and discarded nostrums.
. . . We cannot accept economic aspirin tablets that do
not get at the roots of our agricultural ills. We must build
soundly — with programs that assist fanners to meet the
problems of today and also to face the future with confidence.
Secretary Benson, in the same speech, made reference
to the six-point farm program which he and President
Eisenhower had announced in Denver a few weeks earlier.
This program had as its goal the helping of farmers to
gain a fairer share of the nation's prosperity. The six points
mentioned were as follows:
1. A stepped-up program of surplus disposal and expansion
•2. A vigorous purchase program to remove market gluts,
wherever they occur, and to assist fanners to adjust to
3. An enlarged program of soil conservation and incentive
payments to divert cropland into grass and trees, particularly in drought areas.
I. Expansion of the Rural Development Program for low-
income farm families.
5. \ stepped-up program of research, emphasizing lower
costs of production, new uses for farm products, new
crops, and expansion of markets.
6. A speed-up of the Great Plains Program in cooperation
with the ten states involved. This is a program directed
toward better land use and better farming practices in tlie
dry-land of the West where drought and soil-blowing are
a constant threat.
The above-mentioned six points were explained more
fully and augmented with three more points by Eisenhower in his message to Congress. Briefly, in outline form,
Eisenhower's Nine-Point Program is as follows:
1. The Soil Hank
A. Acreage-Reserve Program
B. Conservation-Reserve Program
2. Surplus Disposal
3. Strengthening Commodity Programs
4. Dollar limit on price supports
5. Rural development program
6. The Great-Plains Program
9. Gasoline Tax.
As point No. 1, the Soil Bank plan lias as its purpose
the working-oil of surpluses in order to gear production
to possible markets. According to Eisenhower, an intelligent attack is needed as follows:
first, future production of crops in greatest surplus must
be adjusted both to the accumulated stocks and to the potential markets.
Second, producers of other crops and of livestock must
be relieved of excessive production from acreage diverted
from surplus crops.
Third, lands poorly suited to tillage, now producing un-
needed crops and subject to excessive wind and water erosion,
must be retired from cultivation,
(Continued on Page 6)
-Should Secretary o
n of Senator '"j
. .l- _l .ten
. .. was the reaction
M. Dirksen (R-lll.) to the above q"e£
on a recent Facts Forum radio p'°9
A a OKDrNG to Senator Dirksen. it seems to be the fa
L political sport these days to pan Ezra Benson, '''j
It is not surp^
made the following statement
that there are some who shout for Benson's blood
what I can see and make out of this whole ease, tb»J
reason I know they can assign for wanting to get
Secretary Benson is that he has resolutely refused "' j,
sue a course which he believes to be unsound, ° y
refused to follow a program that he deems to be "
for the country as a whole.
". . . It takes consummate moral courage of * i
like Ezra Benson to wrestle with the farm prol>l<'"'\
1 _..! -• ;J » 11 . . 1 ■ 1. 1. .1-1 ...,t e
we have now.
and which tin:
mil incidentally, which he did il"1
administration inherited. And it takcsj(
moral courage to wrestle with them and not keep ;l
constantly on the ballot box. . ."
Since Benson became Secretary of Agriculture
traveled over a quarter of a million miles to atti'i"'.
ings and to confer with people everywhere. DirkseH]
eluding remark was as follows, ". . . America and |
can agriculture will look a long time before
another Ezra Benson. That's win I say we'd bettef
on to him while we've got him."
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I \i is i'oia xi \i w s. April