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Mr. McLEAISH. Yes, it gives us enough flexibility to make these loans for another 2 years and to make them to people who are then indebted to us to up to July 14, 1959.

When that time comes, I think we should come back before the Congress to discuss future loans.



Mr. BRYAN. Mr. Poage, may I submit a statement?
Mr. Poage. We will make this statement a part of the record.

Let the record show that Congressman Colmer, of Mississippi, proposed the same amendment.

The proposed amendment will be placed with the statement. (The documents referred to follow :)



Mr. Chairman and my distinguished colleagues, I wish to say a word on behalf of an amendment which I am offering to S. 1372, 84th Congress. As we know, disaster loans are now made available to "farmers and ranchers" under Public Law 38. The Farmers' Home Administration, a subdivision of the Department of Agriculture, has been designated as the administrative agent for the making of the loans. Under this law and its administration, a serious problem now faces the tung producers of the country because of the Department's definition of the terms “farmers and ranchers.” A farmer, by the Department of Agriculture definition, is one who devotes the major portion of his time to farmingand only those are eligible for the loan. Under this definition approximately one-half the tung growers—who produce approximately three-fourths of the total crop_are not "farmers” and thus not eligible for emergency assistance. Among these are men and women who have spent their life savings, each to develop his share of the tung industry, and other men who are still working at their accustomer jobs to pay for their tung farms. They own, conduct, and manage their farms; but since they do not spend the major portion of their time doing so, they are not farmers and are not eligible for loans, according to the Department.

Earlier this year, I went with a group of other Congressmen and Senators from the tung States to see officials of the Department of Agriculture and urge relaxation of their loan restrictions. We believe that the Department has placed an unreasonable construction on the law and that the present disaster loan regulations of the FHA violate the intent of Congress in the enactment of the Farm Emergency Loan Act. I regret to say that the Department officials declined to agree with us and refused to broaden their definition of the term "farmer.” It therefore becomes necessary for us to seek a change in the law so as to spell out what we believe to be the true intent of the Congress in this regard.

For the information of this distinguished committee, I should like to point out that a recent freeze virtually wiped out about 90 percent of the 1955 tung crops. Aggravating the seriousness of the situation is the fact that this is the second successive year of destruction from bad weather. Our growers stretched their own financing last year. Now, with another unproductive year, time is running out. Our tung orchards must have care, fertilizer, and cultivation so that we can try to produce a good crop next year.

It is estimated that growers producing 75 to 80 percent of the tung grown in this country will not be eligible for loans under present regulations which say that farming must be the principal occupation of the loan recipient. If assistance is not forthcoming this year, the tung industry is going to be sick and crippled. Many growers will not be able to plant crops for next year, or to harvest and market those planted. This is likely to create unemployment among hundreds of persons who are working as employees of tung production, as well as cause the financial ruin of their employers, the tung farmers.

The recent freeze paid no attention to the percentage of time landowners devoted to their farms, but wrought destruction on all alike. The pressing need for emergency financing confronts all growers, regardless of how much time they actually spend on their farms. We believe that the yardstick to be used in determining eligibility of a disaster-loan applicant should be whether he can obtain the financing from other sources, and whether or not he is a good credit risk-not the percentage of time he spends on his farm. In writing the Farm Emergency Loan Act, it was the intent of Congress that loans be made available on the basis of need and of inability to obtain necessary operating funds through regular channels. Persons who are farmers, but who also engage in other activity, should not be eliminated if their farming operations are substantial and if they are able to otherwise qualify for a loan.

My congressional district, the Eighth of Florida, has a sizable portion of the tung industry. Many of my tung farmers do not live on their farms, because they do not raise livestock or other crops which require their constant presence. Nevertheless, even though they do not live on the farm and may have some other activity besides tung farming, they are genuine farmers and have been dealt a serious blow by the terrible weather of two seasons running. They desperately need assistance, or the industry will be in jeopardy.

The same considerations that are used in making loans for cattle raising or cotton production do not necessarily apply to tung, because here an entire industry is involved. There are large areas almost totally dependent on the tung economy. Certainly the Agriculture Department could fix rules and regulations in this instance that would not and could not apply in other cases.

I believe sincerely that the amendment being offered is needed and will give some substantial assistance to an industry that has always done its best to solve its own problems and take care of itself. Now something has to be done, and I believe this amendment will open the way for solution of the greatest immediate problem of the tung industry. I respectfully urge favorable consideration by this subcommittee. Thank you very much.


To amend the act of April 6, 1949, to extend the period for emergency assistance to

farmers and stockmen

Viz, at the end of the bill add the following new sections:

“SEC. 2. The first section of the Act entitled 'An Act to provide emergency credit,' approved August 31, 1954 (68 Stat. 999), is amended by inserting after 'to farmers and stockmen’ a comma and the following: 'including tung nut producers whether or not living on farms,'.

“SEC. 3. The amendment made by section 2 shall be effective only with respect to the crop year 1955."

Amend the title so as to read: “An Act to amend the Act of April 6, 1949, to ex. tend the period for emergency assistance to farmers and stockmen, and the Act of August 31, 1954, to authorize emergency loans to be made to tung nut producers whether or not such producers live on their farms."

Mr. Poage. If that covers everything on the livestock bill, the committee will stand in recess.

(Whereupon, at 2:30 p. m., the hearing was recessed.)


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