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in this regard. These officials vehemently denied any such intention. That is a matter of record. However, the ink had hardly dried upon the resolution extending this authority to the present time, until notice was given of a hearing upon a proposed trade agreement with Argentina along the exact lines of the one proposed in 1939 and refused. The same farmers' organizations, and many of the same Members of Congress joined by many others, appeared before the Committee for Reciprocity Information and as bitterly assailed the proposed agreement.
However, secure in their entrenchment in having this authority extended for another 3 years or to the present time, this same group of bureaucrats who had refused the Argentine trade agreement when their authority was in danger in 1939, in 1940 after the extension proceeded to entirely disregard the supplications and appeals of American farmers and Members of Congress and consummated the Argentine agreement on practically the same terms which they had refused in 1939. It evidently makes a difference to this trade agreement group when they want their authority extended, and when it is extended they do as they please.
It must be evident to this Ways and Means Committee that American farmers, stockmen, business interests in an overwhelming number, are opposed to this present trade agreement administration. Many of them have given no thought to a proper trade agreement policy properly administered. They have never had this experience to compare with the other.
We now find our Nation in mortal combat in a global war. Young men are making the supreme sacrifice on foreign battlefields in order that we as Americans might be free to live under the provisions of our American Constitution.
We cannot win wars with wisecracks. We cannot produce the food and materials absolutely required to win wars with slogans, or “do gooder" ideologies.
We must produce vast quantities of all kinds of foods here in America so our combat forces abroad and our forces and citizens at home can be properly fed. Our farmers must have farm labor, machinery, and a fair price to keep up the maximum effort in food production. If the Congress permits a group of self-designated expert bureaucrats to toy and play with food growing and production in the United States, by these appointed alleged experts who have been using the American farmer as a guinea pig to test out all sorts of unsound, fantastic, and highly destructive cockeyed ideologies, which ranged from killing the little pigs, plowing under growing crops, and letting farms lie idle, down to the laughable decision to have all human beings all over the word, including the Hottentots, drink a quart of milk a day. Then you will witness to a greater and ever increasing degree the shut-down of American farming and the dependence on foreign countries for the food we Americans eat.
Cockeyed, inefficient handling of the Federal wheat storage by these alleged experts are causing wheat to rot in the storage bins in Western States, while soldiers and citizens are in need of bread.
I sound a solemn warning—the American farmer is mad. He is dissatisfied with the pushing around he has been getting from these inefficient bureaucrats. He does not understand why the Congress has ignored his appeals, backed up by evidence in affidavit form.
The American farmer now has his eyes open. The American farmer now finds he must pay twentyfold for the beneficial sops he enjoyed which were tossed to him by the bureaucrats. He now finds the false socialistic ideologies for American farm betterment that looked so warm and rosy a few years ago, have now turned into a searing bureaucratic flame which will destroy American farming and make the American people go hungry.
The American farmers are fighters. Their sons are now on all battle fronts. When their appeal to the Congress to provide an honest administration of the Reciprocal Trade Treaty Act went unheeded by the Congress, the farmers of America went to the polls on November 3, 1942, for relief. They got some such relief and that is just the beginning.
Now at this time, millions of American women who prepare the food in the kitchens of our American homes, find they cannot get the vegetables required every day for the well being of their families.
These fine American women are finding out that many vegetable growing hothouses were torn down, because Cuban politicians and American Wall Street financial speculators got together and with American money and Cuban political influence, vegetables are raised in Cuba by low, substandard-of-living labor and brought into the United States at low rates of tariff. The Wall Street financial speculator and his political boss Cuban promoter are making enormous sums of money while the American hothouse vegetable grower was forced to tear down his vegetable-producing plants, and the American housewife is forced against her will to feed her family vegetables "produced as a product of Cuba" at a high price.
So the housewife and homemaker became curious about her vegetables—she now knows the truth about the importation of foreigngrown tomatoes. Killing the American vegetable growing industry in the United States.
Now the American vegetable growers and farmers are joined in this fight by the American homemaker who knows her vegetables. She resents the bungling of the bureaucrats which results in food shortages to her. American women are vote conscious. American women know that politics is the science of civil government. American women are now casting 50 percent of the vote in every municipal, State, and Federal election. American women influence the distribution of over 75 percent of the family budget.
American women won't temporize with any bungling of the economy of American food production and I am sure they will also protect their interests by going to the polls in November 1944.
The thing that they are certain of is that they do not want any more of the present trade agreement policy. The fact that farmers and farm organizations, as well as other business interests, have protested against practically every proposed trade agreement is evidence that they do not approve its present administration. It is not so much a question of commercial statistics, and figures dealing with imports and exports, as it is convincing the agricultural public and the consumer that this present trade agreement authority is of any value to them.
It would seem to us that in administering this act that those in charge of its activities would feel that it was necessary to satisfy the public which would be affected by the proposed trade agreements. Even though we may grant for the sake of argument, that the agricultural public is mistaken in its appraisal of the effect of the various trade agreements, certainly it is one of the requirements of representative government to convince those affected by any proposed governmental action, that such action is proper. We cannot maintain a pure democracy and constantly override the will of the people. It does not mattter that they may happend to be mistaken about their own welfare; it does not matter that some economic expert may have figured the answer out on paper cr learned it from a technical book; if we are to maintain representative government which finally must rest on the will of the people, we must accede to their desires even though they may be wrong for the time being. It has been by experience that the common people are right more often than the technical experts and bookwise bureaucrats.
Then it would seem to me that the question largely for this Ways and Means Committee to decide is not the technical value of this trade agreement authority but whether you are going to disregard the will of the American people. You have had 10 years to sell this reciprocal trade agreement authority to the American public, and you have made a miserable failure of it up to now. Why should we expect that another 3 years would convince them?
Much has been said about the need for this authority following the present war emergency. We will probably need many things that we do not now envision before we arrive at a safe and satisfying peace. It is the position of the group that I represent that we should continue a good neighbor policy which weighs the good of both neighbors. We should encourage our neighbors to manufacture, raise, process, and create those articles of commerce which we do not produce ourselves and which we can purchase from them or exchange them for the articles which we produce in excess.
We must also decide here and now whether we believe in the American standard of living, and whether we want to continue that American standard of living. We will probably have to determine whether we wish to abandon that American standard of living or some part of it, in order to contribute to the well-being of the rest of the world and drag ourselves down to their level. We will have to decide whether such a sacrifice is necessary, desirable, or practicable.
As long as we believe in the American way of life, as the best way of life, this old war-tossed and strife-torn world has to offer to humanity, then we must so shape our legislative, judicial, and executive policy as to protect it. This American way of life cannot protect itself against low standard production costs in foreign countries. Not having any jurisdiction over those same foreign countries, there is nothing we can do to raise their standard of living but pray for them and send them missionaries. We cannot pass a single piece of legislation that will help them a particle; we cannot adjust a single condition in foreign countries that will contribute to their standard of living. It is their right, as we claim it to be ours, to choose their own conditions in life.
If their low substandard of living gives them an advantage over our citizens, then we must as a nation protect our citizens against that advantage. If they can produce goods for less than we can, because of the substandard of living which they endure, then it is our duty
to protect our citizens in our own American market against the consequences of that substandard of living.
The legislative, executive, and judicial jurisdiction of the United States is coextensive with its boundaries, and no law, regulation, or edict which we promulgate can reach beyond such confines. The best that we can do is to negotiate with our neighbors on a basis which will contribute to the good of both of us. No two parties enter into a contract that does not provide mutual benefit, unless one of them is a fool. Yet we as a nation have been bartering away the welfare of the American farmer for a mess of pottage for 10 years, and trying to make the farmer believe that he is eating the cream. He has been fooled for 10 years, but he has wakened up to the fact that his supposed ice cream was bitter gall. The evidence of that awakening is to be found in the history of last November 3, 1942.
The farmer interests of the United States now come to you, the House of Representatives of the United States Congress, and say to you that the servants to whom you have delegated this trade agreement authority have been unfaithful servants. Not that we charge them with bad faith, but they have not listened to their master's voice. You members of this Ways and Means Committee have remonstrated with them against many of these trade agreements, but your pleadings have been ignored. Many of you protested against the Cuban agreement, the Argentine agreement, and the Mexican agreement, but only on one occasion was your protest noticed, and that was when your unfaithful servants desired to have another 3 years of uncontrolled delegated authority.
There is a proper place for a trade agreement policy in the economy of this Nation, but it is not in the uncontrolled hands of the executive department. We could not have said this in 1934, because we did not have the history of 10 years that we now have to prove our assertion. We now know that the alleged technical experts and book logicians do not know all the answers.
We favor a trade agreement policy which will negotiate with our neighbor governments to secure from them in exchange for our products, the things we cannot and do not produce. We are not in favor of cutting and slashing tariff protection on products which the American farmer produces in large quantities. We believe that there should be protection for the American farmer, industrialist, and businessman sufficient to compensate him for the difference in cost of duction in favor of the foreign producer who uses low substandard-ofliving labor in producing the articles he seeks to dispose of in our market.
We believe that the administration of contract making with other nations, such as trade agreements, is safest in the hands of the elected representatives of the people. If the job is poorly done, the people can call to account those who have made errors or sinned willfully: Under present conditions not even the members of this Ways and Means Committee know who are responsible for decisions on trade agreements. We, the people, now ask you to recall that authority and lodge it where the Constitution placed it, with the advice and consent of the United States Senate.
We shall not be satisfied to have you extend this authority as it is now. That is not keeping faith with the American people who spoke to you in no uncertain terms on November 3, 1942. This law must be amended if it is to be continued, and if you do not want to amend it, we ask you to let it die a natural death without benefit of clergy. It can perform a useful service in the reshaping of events following this present emergency, but the responsibility rests upon Congress, and we do no: desire its further delegation. Congress has been admonished in no uncertain terms in the recent election to reclaim some of its delegated authority, and this is one of the most important of them all. This law should be amended so as to require these trade agreements to be submitted to the United States Senate for concurrence, or to both Houses of Congress for approval. This amendment should be so drafted as to prevent such trade agreements from becoming effective until so approved.
In addition to this, you should submit every existing trade agreement to the scrutiny of Congress for their approval, and should Congress determine that any existing trade agreement is not fair and just in its terms, or is inimical to the best interests of the American people, it should be abrogated.
In conclusion, let me say that we are coming to you as the elected Representatives of the American people, the agency to which we have the right to look for redress of grievances, and ask that you now reclaim your delegated authority which has been so badly misused.
We hold you responsible for the injury done to American agricultural interests by present existing trade agreements, and should you so far forget your duty to the American people as to continue this authority under its present terms we will hold you responsible for all future injury.
It is now time, under the mandate of the American people, for Congress to assume its equal station in the governmental scheme of things as outlined by the Federal Constitution. So we ask you to so amend the act, if it is to be continued, as to make you, our elected Representatives, a party to any future trade agreements.
I represent the vegetable-growing industry. You can differentiate between the different industries that are represented by reference to the brief, but it covers practically the entire vegetable-growing industry of the United States. Mr. REED. Are you for the extension ? Mr. CONNAUGHTON. I am against it. Mr. COOPER. That is the way you have been all the time!
Mr. CONNAUGHTON. I have been that way all the time. I haven't changed any yet. I think I can say that the farmer industry in general has been against it all the time and is still against it. I think that goes not only for the Grange, but for the Federation, for the Stockmen, and as evidence of that I will cite you the various hearings that have been had before the Committee on Reciprocity Information. Every treaty which has been up for consideration that has had any reference to farm production has had the opposition, I think I can say without exception or with very little exception, of all the farmer organizations of the United States. Whether or not we are correct in it I think that we have formed the conclusion that, so far as we are concerned, the past administration of the reciprocal trade-agreement authority has been contrary to our interests and has been detrimental to our interests. I think that with very little exception we may say