1951, came aboul while we had supports
eil 90 percenl of parity. Flexible price
supports el" mil even become effective
until 1955 crops move to market.
Rigid price supports have been employed ;i- ;i sort "I political smokescreen
to hide one indisputable facl the facl
thai ii was not the on percenl floor belovi
but rather price- ceilings at the top which
controlled farm prices during eiml inime
dialelv loll,,wing World War II. Inflation and the insatiable demands e,l war
would have' carried farm prices I" much
higher levels had there been neither
price supports nor price' controls. \n<! I
would remind Mr. Reuther's newly-
Found farm Friends that he weis oi
ihe' mosl energetic and vocal advocates
of continued price- controls long after
the emergenc) had passed.
\- all of vmi know, there is nothing
new in rev iiliili.ineirv about flexible price'
supports. \\ c heul them for the basic com
•nudities before World War II ranging between 52 and 75 percenl of parity
.nul usually al lhe lower end of that
scale. For example, wheal was supported
at .">2 percenl of parity in 1938, 56 per
cenl in 1939 and 57 percenl in 1940.
Stranger) enough, some "I the verv people who will settle for no less than 'JO or
even 100 percent of parit) price supports
'low were eirdenl defenders ol lhe' eehl
Everyone agreed when supports al 00
percent were inaugurated during World
War II that this was strictly em emer
gem v program, to end when we returned
i" more nearl) normal markets eunl conditions. The platforms ,,l both major parties in 19 Hi endorsed a return In flexible
price supports as did the then Presidenl
of the I nited States and his Secretarv
of Agriculture. . . The Agricultural Acl
"I 1948 provided for flexible price sup
ports ranging between (>() and 90 per-
1''nl of parity for the basic commodities, with a minimum level of 72 percenl
when average allotments or marketing
quotas were in effect.
I he' Following year, the principle "I
"exibilit) llii- time between 75 and
'" percenl "1 parit) wee- restated in
Ae Agricultural Acl of 1949, the so-
called Anderson Act. W ith the outbreak
"t the Korean War the following year.
t-ongress eigeiin postponed the effective
''"le For flexible price supports but left
"'is ki\ provision for a Long-range
Peacetime program in the law. Essential-
K- the Agricultural Acl of 1954 cleared
""/ waj im the Acl of 1949 to become
effective eis scheduled bul limited the
'*wge of flexibility between 82]/2 and 90
Percenl of parit) for 1955, with the full
"''\ibililv of the law in eepplv in subse-
the measure recentl) approved bv the
'ouse would extend For another three
Pears a program burn of wartime emer-
—Wide World Photo
Bound for overseas shipment, grain pours
into the hold of a ship at New Orleans, La.
Surplus grain from the midwestern plains is
sent down the Mississippi River for shipment
overseas to famine-threatened countries all
over the world.
lilical parties, eill of the farm organizations and, in fact, eilmost everybody,
agreed should come to an end when the
emergency was over. Further extension
of this program now would represent a
retreal from reality a definite backward step.
Experience clearh demonstrates thai
rigid price supports are self-defeating.
Thev freeze agricultural production in
unbalanced and uneconomic patterns.
Thev discourage efficient utilization of
Farm resources. And. finally, when the
surpluses which itieviteiblv follow rigid
supports make il uecessar) to appl) 'emir, ,1s. the Farmer who has been growing
qualit) products For the market finds
himself in the same' production strait-
jackel as the man whn has been using
the government loan program for ,■■
The long-term interests of agriculture
demand ee safer, surer and more workable- approach to our problems.
The rigid price support system has
Failed lei Function effectively despite the
unprecedented efforts and expenditures
we have- directed toward making ii work.
First, we undertook iln- greatest expansion of commercial and on-the-farni
storage in history to make the loeui on
wheal and other commodities available
to nn,re Farmers than ever before. We
recognized that the loan meant little
to the fanner who eeuilil not obtain suitable storage space and that such space
bail not always been provided in the past.
Altogether, L59 million bushels of
commercial warehouse capacity have
been built iii tlie last two years under
CCC's use-guarantee program. We pro-
viiled 70 million bushels of space for
wheat through use- of the muthball fleet
of the Maritime Administration. During
the last two years, CCC has added some
300 million bushels of bin storage capacity to ils facilities, bringing the total
to 847 million bushels. We have underwritten construction of some 85 million
bushels eel Farm storage space under the
Facilit) loan pmgram. The 83rd Congress
additionally provided a rapid lax write
off mi I;tnn ste.rage' construction. We
have made emergency loans nn wheat on
ihe ground emd in temporary storage to
insure that no farmer would be' excluded
frnm lhe program.
We have sought and obtained from
Congress increases in CCC's borrowing
authority lirsi from *(>•'', billion In
■So1 j billion, and then In $10 billion, as
surpluses continued In pile up in governmenl ownership and under loan programs.
W )■ have energetically innveel surplus
accumulations into channels of consump-
.i program w hich lhe major pi
-\V\de World Photc
The U. S. provided 70 million bushels of space for surplus wheat through use of the moth-
ball fleet of the Maritime Administration, part of which is shown above as it lies at anchoe-
age in the James River at Norfolk, Va.
ACTS FORUM NEWS, September, 1955