the farm problem
i the I
tanners which cannot be found elsewhere. This would be
'fue particularly for young farmers, or for those who have
started farming recently. In the words of Eisenhower,
the Administration is determined to see to it that an
''"equate supply of credit remains readily available to our
•armers at all times."
It is a matter of record that the poor lot of many
■"Tilers has forced them off farms and into cities. Birth
|*'es balanced against death rates in cities have never
een high enough to justify the phenomenal growth in
Ver-all population during the past lew years. Such growth
"as come largely from farms.
Some of the older fanners who made money during the
Postwar '40's have been able to ride out the stormy recent
^ears. The young fanners who started from scratch and
no are without reserves, have been harder hit. Harder hit
The Soil Bank Plan
j^0 are the middle-size farmers who have too much farm
ttuuce it possible for them to work part-time in town, as
ariy others have done and tire doing, and yet are without
''Ugh hind to allow them big-operation efficiencies. The
i^u result of all this is that, even though the total niiin-
.r °f farms has decreased, the decrease is in the middle-
farms. Large farms and small ones are actually taking in numbers.
e Gasoline Tax, as point No. 9, would make farmers
i '"l>t from paving federal lax on gasoline which is to
(1 in farm equipment and machinery. Approximately
ol the gasoline used by them is utilized on the
Administration feels that the farmer
me relief in this respect.
• and the
""""tl to so,,,, ,.
Us arnieis are tt kind of buffer group, standing between
'"al higher living costs. It seems, then, to be the con-
lr) . "s ol till the John Q. Taxpayers that it is time to stop
' °8 the farmer often a bridesmaid but never a bride
F*** Specifically, that it is time to help the farmer gain a
equitable share of the nation's prosperity.
'cq, e is no EASY way to unload the government's
|)r() '"illations of farm products and bring about a greater
sign | 't>' for the farmer. The nine-point plan was de-
to |° bring production in line with consumption, anil
by, '"to practical operation the philosophy expressed
' : "■ Eisenhower that:
th. fnr0Der role ol gover cut ... is that of partner with
Jill 'ir'"<,r ~ never his master. By every possible means we
develop and promote that partnership — to the end that
for tu ii'nv- continue to he a sound, enduring foundation
H 8 should talk with those with whom we disafirve
s ' ' *here*& always a chance, rather remote, that
/,,,." sl><irks might come tit light « candle which would
t* us an, — sir Anthony Eden
*u t°vernntent for the people must depend /or its
"'it'l' * "" ''"' "''''"'A'''"''''- ''"' morality* the justice,
"*e interest of the people themselves.
— Groveb Cleveland
tt,, "taction of free thought and free speech is the
4lt yangrrous of all subversions. It is the one mii-
r"nn act that could most easily defeat us,
"~ Supreme Coi rt JUSTICE William O. Douglas
'-""m News, April, 1956
ELEMENTS OF SIMILARITY
He pointed out the present soil bank proposal and the
1933 plan are similar in that fanners would be paid for
taking land out of production in surplus crops, and the
government would make soil conservation payments for
Another point of similarity is that the new plan, like
the old one, would provide the option of the farmer taking
surplus crops from the government in lieu of cash payments.
"Farmers taking surplus cotton for payment was tried
in the early 1930's," said Dr. Benedict. "The record shows
that some tanners made money by a rise in price after
thev took payment in crops. Presumably the architects of
the new legislation would provide suitable curbs for speculative use ol surplus crops."
The economist pointed out three areas of dissimilarity,
saving: "The new proposal is unlike the old program in
that it provides for agreements between the government
and the growers for periods of five to ten years, whereas
the earlier <le.il mostly was on a year-to-year contractual
"Also under the new proposal lands diverted from sin-
plus crops could not be used in the production of other
crops which would create new surpluses elsewhere.
"Another change is that under the system of the
thirties the money for benefit payments to growers was
derived from a processing tax whereas the new plan
would make the payments directly out of the federal
Dr. Benedict termed the soil bank plan of the thirties
as not entirely successful although being of some help in
reducing acreage anil surpluses in wheat, corn, tobacco
The greatest factor in leveling off the situation was
the droughts of 1933 and 1934 which wiped out the formidable wheat and cotton surpluses of the 1931-32 period,
and had the United States on a wheat importing basis
by the end of 1934.
The legal late of the 1933 soil bank plan poses a question in the consideration of a revival of the idea.
"After operating for three years," points out Dr.
Benedict, "the Supreme Court in 1936 declared the crop
adjustment plan unconstitutional on the grounds the
government could not tax the processors and could not
enter into contracts with individual farmers in connection
with the land rental feature.
"The present soil bank proposal has individual contractual provisions similar to the contracts ruled unconstitutional in 1936. Possibly, however, the trainers of the
new legislation can keep it within the bounds of the 1936
decision, or hope for a more favorable interpretation in
tin light of present-day conditions." end