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Mr. ALBERT. Yes, that is in the record.
Mr. SMITH. Yes.
Mr. BAKER. So that point is clear.
Mr. ALBERT. If you start this thing, we are going to have to go back and compensate every person in the tobacco program who has ever been fined, and there have been thousands of them.
Mr. HILL. You are not going to use all of that.
Mr. ALBERT. We have to.
Mr. HILL. We are just talking about use on the farm. There is the point. I am not sure that the Supreme Court ruled on the thing that I am talking about. I am not talking about the Agricultural Department regulations, but I am talking about the point that a man grew a crop and wanted to feed it to livestock on his own farm.
Mr. BAKER. The Department testified twice, that is on that point that you just mentioned, that it has been considered by the Supreme Court, and has been held to be constitutional. That was my understanding of what the gentleman said.
Mr. ALBERT. Here is what was said, I will read it to you:
Under the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, as amended, wheat producers subjected to marketing quotas who harvest wheat in excess of their acreage allotment, are subject to a marketing penalty on their farm marketing excess (unless they avoid or postpone the penalty by delivering to the Secretary) whether they sell their wheat on the market or whether they feed it on their farms. The law is clear on this point, and its constitutionality was upheld in Wickard v. Filburn (317 U. S. 111).
That is the law.
Without objection, the committee will stand in recess until tomorrow at 10 o'clck, at which time we will hear other farm organizations and others who might desire to be heard.
(Whereupon, at 12:05 p. m. the above hearing was adjourned, to reconvene at 10 a. m., June 20, 1957.)
WHEAT FED OR USED FOR SEED OR FOOD
THURSDAY, JUNE 20, 1957
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMODITY SUBCOMMITTEE ON WHEAT OF THE
COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE,
Washington, D. C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10 a. m., in room 1310, New House Office Building, Hon. Carl Albert (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Present: Representatives Albert, Jones, Watts, Bass, Jennings, Hill, Belcher, and Smith.
Also present: John Heimburger, counsel.
Mr. ALBERT. The committee will come to order.
The Chair will be pleased to have you present your constituents, Mr. McGregor.
STATEMENT OF HON. J. HARRY MCGREGOR, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE 17TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT OF THE STATE OF OHIO
Mr. McGREGOR. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am most happy to have two of my constituents here this morning, and I can vouch for their honesty as farmers of that area, and I present them to the committee for them to give their statement.
First, Mr. Woods.
Mr. ALBERT. Mr. Woods, will you come forward, please, and occupy the witness chair.
Mr. MCGREGOR. If I may interrupt, I also would like to introduce after Mr. Woods, Mr. Tidswell. I will appreciate it very much. Mr. ALBERT. Is he from the Associated Farmers, Richland County, of North Fairfield, Ohio?
Mr. MCGREGOR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. ALBERT. We will be pleased to hear from you now, Mr. Woods.
STATEMENT OF JOHN G. WOODS, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT FARM ORGANIZATIONS, MANSFIELD, OHIO
Mr. WOODS. I would like to preface my remarks by pointing out my statement to your committee is based on bills H. R. 6784, 2846, and 334, simply because they were the only bills we happened to have available at the time the statement was prepared.
We of the National Federation of Independent Farm Organizaappreciate very much your invitation affording us this oppor
tunity to express, in behalf of our membership, our viewpoint concerning these bills pending which would amend the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, as amended, to permit producers of wheat for feed and seed to be exempt from certain restrictions of the act, provided such producers comply with various prescribed conditions and/or unknown regulations of the Secretary of Agriculture.
Whereas these bills would appear, at first glance, to be highly commendable for their stated objective which would relieve at least a limited number of farmers growing wheat from the oppressive unAmerican regimentation of the Agricultural Adjustment Act—which act, as per formal resolution attached hereto, we maintain should be repealed in toto for a return to the once great American system of free enterprise and the fundamental law of supply and demandnevertheless, upon careful examination, it also appears these proposed bills contain as now written certain very dangerous provisions which, if left unchanged, would nullify the worthwhile objectives of the bills. For all practical purposes these bills seem identical in that respect. .
We cite line 6 in bills H. R. 6784, H. R. 2846, and H. R. 334, for example, which state as a premise for amending the act:
(f) The Secretary, upon application made pursuant to regulations prescribed by him, shall exemptand so forth. Obviously this is a very vague yet comprehensive delegation of congressional authority which, as has occurred up to this time, would result in the issuance of a great number of confusing restrictive regulations. Such regulations would tend to nullify both the apparent grant of freedom to certain farmers of America, and also any possible savings to the Department of Agriculture in the policing and prosecution of these farmers. Furthermore, most of our members, who have signed pledges not to accept socialistic subsidies and controls, would never make such application for permission of the Secretary to procure a right to operate their own farms on their own responsibility heretofore guaranteed or protected by the United States Constitution. To correct this blanket grant of perilous powers, we, therefore, urge you to delete certain words from line 6 of these bills to make the sentence read as follows: “(f) The Secretary shall exempt," and so forth.
On the top of page 2, following line 2 of these bills, certain limiting "conditions" for exemption are set forth which should also be corrected or deleted in our opinion being dangerously restrictive and unnecessary for the simpler and more effective accomplishment of their purpose. For example, in H. R. 6784, lines 3–7 (p. 2) should be deleted, for if the purpose of the bill is justifiable on private farms planting less than 30 acres, it is likewise justifiable in application to farms of 40 or 50 acres or more whether public or private, for the principle remains the same. Condition (2) of this bill (lines 8–10, p. 2) is much better than condition (1) (lines 3-4, p. 2) of the other two bílls, since most small farms do not have the necessary grinding and costly feed mixing equipment and are obliged to haul their various grains to local mills for that purpose. For similar reasons we consider condition (3) (lines 11-14, p. 2) of H. R. 6784 much superior to condition (2) (lines 5-8, p. 2) of the other 2 bills since it permits a farmer to use the wheat on his farm for human consumption which is not mentioned in the other 2 bills, which wheat, of course, must be proc
essed for flour at a nearby mill (as permitted to be transported for processing in condition (2) of this bill).
Note that condition (4) of H. R. 6784 and the 4 lines following (lines 15-22, p. 2) seem identical with condition (3) and subsequent 4 lines of both H. R. 334 and H. R. 2846. This condition and the following 4 lines again delegate to the Secretary and his many agency staffs unnecessary and unreasonable blanket grants of congressional power, and we have found by bitter experience in the courts such regulations granted in this manner to the Secretary are very loosely construed as law even though often discriminatory, unjust, and unconstitutional. We wish to point out and emphasize such authority and control is wholly unnecessary in the case of farmers producing wheat for food, feed, and seed, since the ASC offices already have authority to withhold wheat marketing cards from producers who overplant their wheat acreage allotments, and it is virtually impossible for such producers to sell their wheat as both the seller and buyer are subject to heavy fines under existing laws when a marketing card is not presented. If it is your opinion the existing laws should be clarified in defining this exemption, then of course a brief condition should be added specifying that wheat marketing cards shall be withheld from any such exempted producer of wheat who plants in excess of his allotment.
In the event of the death or change of farming program of such an exempt farmer, a provision should be inserted in this legislation which will permit the reclassified farm or farmer to hold the wheat in storage without penalty to be used only for future feed, seed, or home consumption.
We presume it has been emphasized by the Department of Agriculture that, among the desirable objectives of this legislation, is the factor these bills would tend to promote the increased feeding of wheat in poultry and livestock rations, as more and more farmers would desire to become exempted from the present severe wheat quota allotment system-and as a consequence, more wheat would be kept on farms out of commercial markets, thus decreasing surpluses.
It should be further noted we believe that if the purpose of these bills is good in principle today-and we do consider it so then it is also a sound principle to apply to the past, hence it would be manifestly unjust if an additional provision were not inserted in such a bill to be passed by Congress requiring the Department of Agriculture to refund all penalties paid heretofore by farmers of this exempt classification. This could easily be done by only requiring such farmers to present an affidavit or copy of the court records showing the disposition of the penalty crop.
Here in the purpose of these bills, if they are corrected as we have suggested, you are given the great opportunity to afford some relief from oppressive regimentation to at least some farmers, and thus restore their constitutional rights in some degree. In the court's loose interpretation of the constitutional provision for control of interstate commerce affecting control of those producers who do not even sell or ship wheat, we see Marxian-type class legislation and grave peril to our constitutional form of Government.
It is class legislation in that it takes property from one class, for example for the raisers of poultry who produce their own wheat for