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(The statement referred to is as follows:) STATEMENT OF Hon. OMAR BURLESON, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE
17th DISTRICT OF THE STATE OF TEXAS Three major objectives will be accomplished by this bill, all of which are highly desirable and should be encouraged by Congress. These objectives are:
1. Permit peanut growers to put the price-support program on a self-help basis and remove the burden of the program from the taxpayers. The costs of carrying out the price-support program would be financed by deductions from the price received by growers.
2. Provide for an expanded market for peanuts through a promotion program financed out of deductions from the price received by growers.
3. Correct certain defects that have developed since the last revision of peanut legislation in the early 1950's.
I strongly believe that Congress should give peanut growers an opportunity for self-help program in financing the costs of the peanut price-support program and in promoting peanuts.
Congress should provide for the correction of certain grave disadvantages under which the Southwestern peanut industry is now forced to labor as a result of present legislation and the administration of this legislation.
At the present time the support price on a ton of southeast runner peanuts is between $5 and $6 below the support price on a ton of southwest Spanish peanuts of the identical grade. As a result of this great disparity in support prices and as a result of the very high quality of southeast runner peanuts, the southeast runner peanuts have been displacing southwest Spanish peanuts in the edible market.
The evidence is overwhelming that the southeast runner peanut is an extremely high-quality peanut. This is freely admitted by the growers and shellers of southeast peanuts. For example, at a meeting held by the Department of Agriculture on March 14, 1958, in Washington, D. C., the representative of all the growers and shellers in the Southeast area testified that all types of peanuts are completely interchangeable and substitutable. He stated that:
"I was instructed to state at this meeting that the peanut growers of the Southeast and the peanut shellers of the Southeast are opposed to any allocation of peanuts on the basis of types. All type peanuts are good peanuts. They are completely interchangeable and substitutable * * *"
Similar statements have been repeatedly made by other representatives of the Southeast area.
The manner in which runner peanuts have been displacing Spanish peanuts is dramatically shown in the use of these peanuts in the making of peanut butter. In the 1946–47 marketing year, only 92 million pounds of shelled runner peanuts were used in making peanut butter. By 1956–57, the last complete marketing year, the use of runner peanuts in making peanut butter had increased to 177 million pounds. In sharp contrast, the use of Spanish peanuts in peanut butter decreased from 175 million pounds to 105 million pounds during the same period. The fine quality plus the low prices of runners have caused peanut butter manufacturers to favor runner peanuts to the serious detriment of Spanish peanuts.
The following table shows by years and in millions of pounds the quantities of shelled runner and shelled Spanish peanuts used in peanut butter:
This bill would provide for equality in support and would help check the shift away from Spanish peanuts to runner peanuts.
This bill provides for the growers in each area financing the costs of diverting the surplus in their area. It would be most unfair for growers in areas not producing surpluses or producing only small surpluses to bear the cost of sur
pluses in other areas. For example, during the last 6 years (1952 through 1957) there have been losses in the Southwest area in 2 of these years. There were losses in 1953 and 1955. During the same 6-year period there were substantial losses in the Southeast area in 5 out of the 6 years. The total losses during this 6-year period in the Southwest area were approximately $7 million, compared to approximately $43 million in the Southeast area during the same period. Furthermore, it would be an impossible undertaking to persuade growers in the Southwest area to accept a uniform deduction program.
There is an urgent need to take action now to protect the peanut marketing quota, acreage allotment, and price support programs. The opponents of the peanut price support program will not remain idle in the future in response to inaction on our part. Twice during the last few years the peanut price support program has come close to being voted out as a basic agricultural commodity. When such an attack is launched on the program it is too late then to make constructive reforms. The peanut industry today faces a golden opportunity to set its house in order so that it can effectively withstand attacks.
This bill should have the support of all who want to put the peanut price support program on a sound basis so that it can effectively withstand the attacks upon it.
Mr. Poage. That is, of course, exactly what I was trying to ask the witnesses if they favored. I wonder if we could ask if there is anybody in the room that objects to either one of those things, other than representatives of the Department and the salters and roasters-of course they object. Is there anybody, though, that represents any peanut producer that objects to either one of those proposals?
Mr. Grant. This is rather a limited audience to take a poll on. Mr. MATTHEWS. As I said before, I certainly cannot see any.
Mr. McMILLAN. If no one else cares to be heard, the committee will go into executive session.
(Whereupon, at 4:10 p. m., the committee went into executive session.)
COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE
W. R. POAGE, Texas, Vice Chairman
CHARLES B. HOEVEN, Iowa E. C. GATHINGS, Arkansas
SID SIMPSON, Illinois JOHN L. MCMILLAN, South Carolina
PAUL B. DAGUE, Pennsylvania THOMAS G. ABERNETHY, Mississippi RALPH HARVEY, Indiana CARL ALBERT, Oklahoma
PAGE BELCHER, Oklahoma WATKINS M, ABBITT, Virginia
CLIFFORD G. MCINTIRE, Maine JAMES G. POLK, Ohio
WILLIAM R. WILLIAMS, New York CLARK W. THOMPSON, Texas
ROBERT D. HARRISON, Nebraska PAUL C. JONES, Missouri
HENRY ALDOUS DIXON, Utah JOHN C. WATTS, Kentucky
WINT SMITH, Kansas HARLAN HAGEN, California
OTTO KRUEGER, North Dakota LESTER R. JOHNSON, Wisconsin
CHARLES M. TEAGUE, California VICTOR L. ANFUSO, New York
DONALD E. TEWES, Wisconsin ROSS BASS, Tennessee
ALBERT H. QUIE, Minnesota
E. L. BARTLETT, Alaska
A. FERNÓS-ISERN, Puerto Rico