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one or both of the old parties; 1944 will mark an epoch. Will we develop or fail to develop a party to carry the banner of "Americanism" and "national patriotism”?
If this country continues to drift into unlimited internationalism as it is now headed it will mark an epoch in world history. It will be as tragic as the carrying away of the children of Israel into Babylon 2,500 years ago.
In 1935, as Commissioner of Agriculture of Georgia, I made several trips to Washington to see the then Secretary of Agriculture, Henry A. Wallace. I pleaded with Mr. Wallace at that time that the course of restricted production and payments to farmers not to produce would soon result in the loss of our world markets for cotton. I pointed out that if the Government would place our stocks of cotton in European mills at world market prices and take part of the farmer's loss for 2 or 3 years, we could keep foreign spindles using American cotton until the depression had run its course and natural economic recovery could come about. Instead of this, Mr. Wallace persisted in reducing production.
At that time there was not nearly enough cotton outside the United States to supply world demand and a wild scramble resulted between nations to buy cotton on a scarce world market right at the time when American cotton was being hoarded. I remember very clearly that at that time Germany was in the market for five or seven million bales of our cotton. The matter was discussed in a national farm meeting and I recall that Mr. Chester Davis had a good deal to say about it. At that time Mr. Davis stated that we could not sell this cotton to Germany because Germany wanted to pay for it with manufactured goods. A few months later this cotton was sold, according to newspaper account, to British interests who in turn sold it in Germany, presumably at a profit.
The people who now urge trade treaties to import agricultural and raw products were very much opposed to importing industrial products in exchange for American cotton.
This plan to flood the United States with cheap foreign agricultural and raw products is not new. It does not have its inception in war conditions or war policies. It is true that we have been told recently that these trade treaties are intended to cement world peace, but all this is merely a matter of time serving.
This plan to flood the United States with foreign agricultural and raw products was initiated in 1933 by the passage of the Agricultural Adjustment Act and the Special Trade Agreements Act. This plan has been persistently followed at every phase. The determination of the administration to hold down the prices of agricultural products is simply a part of this nefarious plan and purpose.
When Congress passed the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 they provided for parity in two ways. The act provided for a parity of price and also for a parity of income. The act provides that the net per capita income of those on the farm shall be maintained at the same ratio with net per capita income of those not on the farm.
Let's see what the Secretary of Agriculture has done about this. If you will refer to any of the statements of the Department of Agriculture giving details of farm income for the last few years, you will see that the gross return of the farmers is treated as their net income. The Department of Agriculture takes the gross sales of farm products and adds to the gross sales all Government benefits; this gives actually the total gross receipts of farmers, but the Secretary of Agriculture says this is the farmer's net income.
Now, Mr. Wickard is bound to know better than this, but he does it in accordance with the plan to hold down prices on and production of American farm products. Mr. Wickard does this in direct defiance of the act passed by Congress.
Mr. Wickard has also unlawfully held down the parity price of farm products as required by Congress in the Agricultural Adjustment Act. The act requires that the farm product must have the same purchasing power in terms of things which the farmer buys that it had in the base period.
The main thing that many farmers buy is labor. Without labor there could be no farm commodity. When Mr. Wickard refuses to include labor in his calculation he is simply refusing to carry out the plain common-sense mandate of Congress in the insane determination to hold down the prices of agricultural products as nearly in line with prices in foreign countries as possible.
It should be remembered that all Government money set aside for Government payments to farmers is counted as a part of the farmer's net income. A very large percent of this money never reaches a farmer at all. A large proportion of this money goes to pay salaries of an army of Federal employees, for overhead, and for other expenses.
It should also be remembered that of that portion of triple A funds that do reach the farmer, almost 100 percent of it goes into soil conservation and the loss of a portion of his annual crop through reduced acreage. This money is in no way comparable to the net per capita income of persons not on the farm.
It should be remembered that out of the farmer's gross sales he must pay for supplies, repairs, fertilizer, labor, and a thousand and one other items, which leaves him only a fraction of his gross receipts as a net income, comparable to the net per capita income of persons not on the farm.
It should be remembered that under the rule of the A. A. A. the farmer has been compelled to spend a large portion of his time at the county A. A. A. office, which has seriously interfered with production of crops in this country.
The reduction of production on American farms, the low prices forced on American farmers by the administration, and the regimentation and aggravation involved in A. A. A.-controlled farming have driven millions of persons from the farm to the city. This condition will be more aggravated by each and every trade agreement entered into by Secretary of State Hull. Indeed, it is the announced policy of the New Deal to continue the movement of the people from the farm to the city.
It is the practice of the Secretary of Agriculture to threaten to dump Government stocks of farm products on the market every time the market starts to go up. With these trade agreements, the Secretary of Agriculture and Secretary of State can threaten our domestic market not only with Government stocks of agricultural commodities in this country, but they can dump farm crops from all over the world onto our domestic markets.
It has been the policy of the Secretary of Agriculture to greatly exaggerate the stocks of farm products on hand. The surpluses we heard so much about were largely fictitious. We do not now have enough cotton of the grade and staple needed to operate our mills until the new crop comes in.
According to press dispatches, Mr. Chester Davis announced a raise of 5 cents per bushel in the ceiling price of corn a few days ago in order to insure plenty of cheap meat. Think of anyone believing the public gullible enough to swallow that! We will get cheap meat by raising the price of corn and this at the same time that the A. A. A. has an army employed to hold down corn production.
The United States Department of Agriculture has called a meeting in Atlanta, Ga., next Monday and Tuesday to consider lowering the protein content in all mixed feeds. Corn crops have been reduced; cottonseed crops have been reduced; beet-pulp production has been reduced; sugarcane and its byproducts production have been reduced; and now, naturally, the protein and sugar content of feed must be reduced.
This reduction in protein and vitamins in feed is sure to be followed with epidemics of disease in cattle, hogs, poultry, sheep, and other animals. Our meat supply and our milk and dairy products supply will be still further curtailed.
Back of all these ills and back of all this grave threat to our country in this hour of national peril stand the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1934 and the Special Trade Agreement Act of 1933.
The Apostle John, on the Isle of Patmos, was permitted to see back through the centuries that had preceded him and down through the centuries that were to follow him. The Apostle John was shown a beast with seven heads, representing seven great world empires, empires in which paganism and believers combined to control temporal government.
As we come on down through the centuries we find seven heads in consecutive order: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Assyria, Macedonia, Greece, Rome, and Great Britain. In each of these great world empires the chosen people of God played a prominent part. The words "the chosen people of God” were not used to refer in a limited sense to the Jews only, but they refer to the children of Abraham, from Abraham to the Crucifixion; and since the Crucifixion they refer to the church. Each of these seven great world empires has for time dominated what in its day was considered the important part of the world.
After this beast with the seven heads, which came up out of the sea, John saw another beast coming up out of the earth-or the whole earth-with two horns like a lamb and speaking as a dragon. It is possible that today we see the rising up of this beast out of the whole earth. Our present-day conception of globular war and globular contacts and globular empire may indicate this.
Is internationalism to prevail? If so, it is clear that the peoples of all countries must be placed on an equal basis. The proposed international army will simply become an army of oppression maintained by great powers for the suppression of peoples of small nations.
If the peoples of all countries are placed on an equality so that the Mexican farmer will be on an equality with the American farmer, the Chinese farmer, the Russian farmer, the farmer in Brazil and Cuba, the farmer of Haiti and the Philippines, then it is clear that in spite of any sugar-coating by the administration that the American farm population will be reduced in their standard of living to the standard made possible in all these other nations.
It is easy to say that we believe in equality. Some individuals do honestly believe in equality but these are comparatively few. Do the industrialist, the newspaper editor, who are urging extension of trade agreements, really seek equality for themselves with the people of other countries? No. The last thing they want is the equality about which they talk so glibly.
If the industrialist really seeks equality, let him ask Congress, first, to repeal the tariff laws and put industry on an equality with agriculture here at home. If the newspaper editor and columnist really seeks equality, let him add his voice to that of the industrialist in seeking repeal of the tariff laws and their discrimination against the farmer, the white collar worker, the business and professional man.
Do the labor leaders who now urge reenactment of trade agreements really seek equality? If so, let them disband their unions; let their union members quit paying initiation and union dues; let them surrender union hours and go out on equal terms with all unorganized labor on the farms and elsewhere.
The industrialist does not actually want equality and every thinking person knows it. The newspaper editor and columnist do not want equality and no one knows it better than they. The labor leader does not want equality—the very purpose of labor organization is to escape the competition of equality in the labor world.
If the industrialist, the newspaper man, and the labor man do not want equality here at home, why, then, do they ask that trade agreements be extended and say that these various nations must be on an equality with the United States? The answer is not far to seek:
The industrialist sees in Latin and South America and the islands of the sea vast sources of cheap raw materials and agricultural crops and he wants the American farmer and producer of raw material equalized with other countries that produce agricultural products and raw materials.
The labor leader, already enjoying the great benefits of organization against the unorganized farmer, sees vast sources of cheap food in other lands and would like the American farmer to produce on equal terms with countries of rich land and cheap labor.
The newspaper editor and columnist, whose very existence is bound up with big business and organized minorities, are simply parrot-like in repeating the hollow call for equality of nations.
If you gentlemen of Congress will prepare a bill that actually provides for equality for all people and nations, the din of protest from the White House to the Department of Labor will drown out all other noise. You provide for free imports of manufactured goods and you will be forced to stop your ears to protect your eardrums.
You provide for the Federal Treasury to finance the building and developing of manufacturing plants and mills in other countries with free entry into the United States of the products of these plants and mills, and the cry of protest from these advocates of trade treaties will make the welkin ring in Washington as it has never done since the first Battle of Bull Run.
You provide for free importation into the United States of 20, 30, and 40 cents a day labor from Central and South American and provide that there shall be no labor union unless the farmers are equally well organized, and these labor leaders who advocate these trade treaties will call every union to strike in protest before the sun goes down.
You propose a law of this kind and Mr. Secretary of State Cordell Hull will come back over here and tell you gentlemen that the future safety of the world does not depend on equality of commerce between nations. You propose this kind of a law and the White House will reconsider the Bankhead bill and will raise no objection to the Pace bill.
You initiate this kind of law and the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Treasury will come with their hats in their hands to plead against equality and ask you to forget trade treaties. You pass this kind of a law and Messrs. Morgenthau and Baruch will beg you not to permit any international currency or any so-called bankos or any financing by this country of any international currency stabilization.
No, Members of this Ways and Means Committee, these gentlemen do not want and do not intend to have equality for themselves or for their business; they only want equality for the American farmer and for the raw materials producer with the farmer and the raw materials producer of other lands.
National, State, and other debts, made under inflation, must be paid under inflation.
According to the act of Congress a short while ago, the national debt limit had been raised to more than 200 billion dollars. It will probably be 400 or 500 billion dollars at the end of this World War.
When we add to the national debt the debts of States, counties, municipalities, school districts, as well as private debts, it is conceivable that at the end of this World War the people of the United States will owe 1 trillion dollars. This is a sum so vast that the normal national income of this country would amount to only 742 percent of this total debt.
If we assume that the national income was restored to 75 billion dollars, and that it was possible for the people of this country to live on 50 percent of their income, we would only have left a sum equivalent to 3% percent of the debt, that could be collected in taxes. If we assume that the average interest rate on this debt was 3 percent, we would only have left enough taxes to pay 7500 of 1 percent on the payment of the principal. At this rate it would require 133 years for this country to pay the debt, public and private, that will be outstanding at the end of this great world conflict.
With these facts in mind it does not require any Solomon or any seer to understand that after this war is over it will be necessary to maintain very high prices on labor and commodities to prevent a complete collapse of our entire economic system.
.Special trade agreements, if permitted in the post-war era, will cau collapse of this country as well as the balance of the world.
Not long ago I made a trip into Mexico. I went for the sole purpose of getting first-hand experience in just how trade agreements work. On crossing into Mexico I was required to change what money I had with me either into $2 American bills or into Mexican money. I found that $1 of American money would exchange for 5 Mexican dollars called pesos. In other words, a Mexican dollar or peso is worth 20 cents in American money.