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Has it done the same thing as to sheep?
The second is the promotion program to promote lamb and so forth. You do not build up these programs in just 2 or 3 years, partioularly when you hit drought years.
Mr. SIMPSON. I understood you, or someone here, to say this morning that what had caused the program not to increase the population of sheep in this country was the drought.
Now speaking on the cattle side of it, the drought that caused the price of cattle to go up, has it done the same thing for sheep?
Mr. BERRY. You mean the cattle numbers?
Mr. BERRY. Our problem is not a domestic problem in wool. Our problem is the pulling of wool in here through our imports. If we had a tariff, we would not have any of this
Mr. SIMPSON. I am not trying to press the problem, but I have not received an answer to my inquiry. The very thing that made cattle go up is the fact that the people in the West are holding the cows and the heifers, keeping them off the market, which is their privilege, to raise more cattle. Now, that has caused cattle to go up due to a scarcity in the market.
The same thing happened in hogs. I would like to know if a similar population has come about in the case of sheep. Has it made the price in the market of sheep go up?
Mr. BERRY. I think the price of mutton
Mr. PoAGE. To give you an answer, the number of cattle was substantially reduced as a result of the drought. There was a much larger reduction in the number of cattle than there was in the number of sheep percentagewise. In fact, these figures show that your sheep population at least remained approximately static—while it did not increase, as you pointed out, it did not decrease.
The drought normally would have reduced the sheep numbers very materially, but we did have a program that was working, as I analyze it, and the program was successful enough that it prevented a reduction in the number of sheep.
There was no such program for cattle, and the cattle population did reduce materially.
Now, then, when we come back to restocking the range, there is a much greater incentive to buy cattle, which are in short supply than to buy sheep, which at least retained their own numbers during the drought.
And I think, as the witness says, largely due to this program, the sheep population, while it did not increase absolutely, it increased relatively because all other livestock operations in that area decrease, and the sheep population remained at least static during the drought as the result of this program.
Mr. SIMPSON. That brings me to another question, Mr. Chairman. I do not know exactly how long this sheep program has been in effect.
Mr. POAGE. Four years.
Mr. SIMPSON. But the question is at least you have about 50 million sheep population. Then due to importations they got out
of the sheep business, they could not get herders, ther had to send the wool to New England to be cleaned, and it was a lot of trouble. And the supposition was that if this legislation were poszed, it would increase the sheep population, thereby making more wool arailable in this country.
I would like to know whether that has actually been brought abont.
Mr. PoAGE. I would be glad to suggest that while it has not actually increased the total amount of wool by any substantial figure, it has at least maintained our wool supply during a period when all other livestock was actually decreasing. And the fact that wool remained static indicates that some kind of a program was operating. And this was the program that was in effect. It seems to me it indicates clearly it was working.
Had you had a period in which all livestock was running along normally, then you could have properly demanded that wool show an increase. But, when you have a period when everything else is declining and wool remains static, it seems to me that you have proren that the program must have increased production.
Mr. SIMPSON. Has it shown more wool produced in this country in 4 years?
Mr. Hill. Yes. Let me read the figures to you. We were as low as 269 million pounds of wool-that is, domestic production -nd then we come back to over 300 million in 1955 and 1956 and 1957. It is almost 300 million right through those years,
Mr. SIMPSON. Then the same number of sheep produce more mool? Mr. Hill. No; it gives the sheep practically the same 2 million.
Mr. SIMPSON. We have more pounds of wool with the same number of sheep; so the sheep must have produced more wool if it is domestie.
Mr. Hill. It is domestic that I am reading.
Mr. BERRY. Mr. Chairman, according to the Department of Agriculture, there has been a 3 percent increase in the wrol and 16 percent increase in the ewe lambs.
Mr. Simpson. Do the people in the wool-producing area and the sheep-growing area feel that the program is right, and do they want it continued?
Mr. BERRY. They do.
We have Congressman Burdick of North Dakota who will submit a statement.
(The document referred to is as follows:)
STATEMENT OF Hon. USHER L. BURDICK, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS
FROM THE State of North DAKOTA Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, my name is Usher L. Burdick. I reside at Williston, N. Dak., and am senior Congressman from that State, which is a large producer of wool.
We all know that wool is a strategic element of our economy and an important segment of our national wealth. The Congress has recognized the fact that 300 million pounds of shorn wool annually are necessary to the Nation's security and welfare.
From testimony which has been brought to my attention, it is apparent that this goal cannot possibly be reached in less than 8 years from the time the Wool Act took effect on April 1, 1954. As you all know, at that time the wool indus
try was in a sad and depressed situation, and it is clear that its revitalization and recovery of the production lost prior to that time will take approximately 15 years.
In addition, other special problems facing our woolgrowers will take that much time, or more. The provisions of the original Wool Act of 1954 were limited to 4 years so that Congress could see what progress was being made. From all over the country in regions where wool is being produced we have letters showing the phenomenal success which has been attained.
We have no stockpiles of wool. It is not being stored in warehouses with resultant high cost to the Government. On the contrary, every pound produced is being marketed and moved into channels of consumption. Flocks are no longer being liquidated, but wool is still in deficient supply and needs different treatment than do commodities which are in surplus supply.
The wool now being produced is less than one-third of our normal peacetime requirements, and all imported wool must be shipped 6,000 to 12,000 miles, with the hazards inherent in bringing it such long distances. There is also to be considered the lower cost of producing wool in other countries, which works a definite hardship on our own sheepmen and have forced many of them out of business in the past.
It therefore appears to me highly desirable that the Wool Act should be indefinitely extended. Any limitation placed upon its extension at this time would seem to me to work against the interests of the woolgrowers and of the Nation at large.
I therefore respectfully request the committee to give favorable consideration to my bill, H. R. 11953, and to other identical bills now before you.
Mr. PoAGE. Mrs. Gracie Pfost wishes to have announced that she was unable to appear in person because of her own subcommittee meeting this morning, but that she would submit a statement.
(The document referred to is as follows:) STATEMENT OF Hon. GRACIE PFOST, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE
STATE OF IDAHO Mr. Chairman, My name is Gracie Pfost, and I am a Member of Congress from Idaho. I appreciate this opportunity of stating my views because I am a sponsor of one of the bills you are considering to extend the National Wool Act (H. R. 9973).
The sheep industry of Idaho presently brings into the State a cash income of approximately $25 million annually. This provides a livelihood for a number of our citizens, as well as tax revenues for our schools, roads and the other needs of our State. I am convinced that extension of the National Wool Act is essential for the survival of this important industry.
My State of Idaho is fortunate in having some of the finest natural grasses in the United States, and the harvesting of this natural resource through the raising of sheep has long been an important factor in our agricultural economy. Fifteen years ago, at the beginning of World War II, Idaho's sheep population totaled 1,858,000. A number of economic factors plaguing the sheep industry in the years that followed reduced the number of sheep that roamed Idaho's hills, valleys, and deserts by 46 percent. The same story was repeated in most of the other important sheep raising States, and the sheep industry became an unprofitable enterprise.
The National Wool Act of 1954 has reversed that downward trend. In fact, Idaho's stock sheep population on January 1 of this year was 5 percent higher than it was a year ago. The number of ewe lambs has also increased, and is almost 6 percent over what it was a year ago. Ewe lambs are the future breeding stock of the sheep industry, and I am convinced they will be producing lambs in Idaho 2 years from now if the National Wool Act is extended.
The sheep producers of Idaho are especially interested in the self-help promotion program which has been established under the National Wool Act. Under this program growers contribute a portion of their incentive payments to nationwide advertising of both lamb and wool. Since the sale of wool accounts for only 20 to 25 percent of the cash income Idaho Sheep producers receive, and the sale of lambs accounts for from 75 to 80 percent, you can see why these producers are interested in a program which promotes both lamb and wool. Incidentally, while Idaho is noted all over the Nation fo: her wonderful potatoes, let me mention right here that some of the finest and most appetizing lamb gracing the dining tables of the Nation is raised on the wonderful natural grasses of Idaho.
The present promotion program on lamb has two primary objectives:
1. The first is to widen the outlet for lamb. Three-fourths or more of our total lamb production is consumed in two areas on the east and west coasts. If demand for lamb can be widened in areas where consumption is low, it will greatly strengthen our markets.
2. The second objective is to increase the popularity of the less expensive cuts of lamb. Leg of lamb and lamb chops move readily, but if the less expensive cuts can be popularized, packers and retailers can reap higher profits from the entire lamb carcass.
Idaho sheep producers are also most interested in the wool promotion program. They feel this program is also vital, especially at the present time, when synthetic fiber manufacturers are financing huge advertising programs, and the consuming public must be kept thoroughly conscious of the virtues and unique quantities of the wool fiber.
Mr. Chairman, and members of this subcommittee, the renewal of the National Wool Act of 1954 is necessary if the woolgrowing industry of the United States is to be continued on a healthy, expanding basis. The fact that so many of my colleagues have introduced the bill to extend the National Wool Act indicates they realize the importance of this act to the sheep industry all over the Nation. I hope this subcommittee will take favorable action on the measure.
Many thanks for your courtesy in giving me this time to testify.
Mr. Poage. Mr. Krueger, a member of our own committee, notified us that he would be here to present his statement this morning.
(The document referred to is as follows:)
STATEMENT OF Hon. Otto KRUEGER, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM
THE STATE OF NORTH DAKOTA Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee, since I introduced H. R. 9675, to extend the National Wool Act of 1954, at the request of North Dakota woolgrowers, there have been some changes in this legislation which have won the wholehearted support of woolgrowers throughout my State. I appreciate the opportunity to appear in behalf of two amendments, which I understand are being proposed formally by Congressman Fisher.
The first of these amendments is to eliminate the 4-year time period which the extension would grant, thus allowing the 300-million-pound shorn wool goal to be the limiting factor, rather than a given date.
The second proposal, with which I also concur, would permit the Department of Agriculture to use moneys up to a limit of 70 percent of ad valorem duties on wool as well as the 70 percent of specific duties now provided in the act. There is a danger that the original limit might be insufficient to accomplish the purposes of the act. This is particularly true in view of less revenues from raw wool tariffs and the increasing imports of wool fabrics.
I believe both of the amendments are sound, Mr. Chairman, and wish to express my support of them.
Mr. Poage. Mr. Porter, of Oregon, has written a letter explaining that he could not be here today, but that he was in sympathy wi h this bill, and asked that his letter be made a part of the record. (The letter referred to is as follows:)
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D. C., May 19, 1958. Hon. W. R. POAGE, Chairman, Subcommittee on Livestock and Feed Grains,
Committee on Agriculture, House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: I understand that legislation proposing the extension of the National Wool Act for 4 years will be considered Tuesday, May 20, by your subcommittee. I regret that I will be unable to appear before you in person and respectfully request that this letter be considered as a part of the official hearing record.
The legislation proposed is of prime concern to the Governor of my State, the Honorable Robert D. Holmes, and to the State director of agriculture, Robert J. Steward. Both of them believe there is desirability for extending the National Wool Act for another 4-year period, as proposed by Representative Aspinall (H. R. 9539) and others.
They have sent to me information which indicates that Oregon's sheep industry has shown definite and measurable signs of stabilization and strength since passage of the original act in March of 1954.
I agree with them that it is important to preserve and strengthen industries and sources of new wealth. They see for the Oregon sheep industry a much brighter future. As Governor Holmes wrote me on January 23, 1958:
"The trend in recent years has seen a shift of production from Eastern Oregon range lands to Western Oregon farms and ranches. This can mean a stronger wool and lamb industry throughout the entire State because of the added diversification it brings to smaller farm units.”
This can mean a great deal to my State and the Fourth Congressional District of Oregon. I hope the committee will give the proposed legislation every possible consideration. Sincerely,
CHARLES 0. PORTER, Member of Congress. Mr. PoAGE. Congressman Miller, of Nebraska, asked permission to include a telegram from the manager of the Nebraska Wool Growers Association, which telegram will be included, (The letter and telegram referred to are as follows:)
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D. C., May 19, 1958. Hon. HAROLD D. COOLEY, Chairman, House Agriculture Committee,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. COOLEY: I trust the Agriculture Committee will see fit to report the wool bill which has been of considerable benefit to the ind stry.
If some improvements can be made, well and good. Otherwise I believe they are satisfied with the present arrangements.
I ask permission to include a telegram from the manager of the Nebraska Wool Growers Association in which they urge early, favorable action by your committee. Sincerely yours,
A. L. MILLER, Member of Congress, Fourth District, Nebraska.
Representative A. L. MILLER,
House Office Building, Washington, D. C.: Wool Act hearings reopen in Ho'ise Agriculture Committee 10 a. m. Tuesday. Wool Growers Association urges early action by committee. We greatly appreciate your efforts in our behalf and earnestly hope you can contact committee members expressing your interest.
CARL NadasEY, General Manager, N ska Wool Growers Association. Mr. Poage. The letters and the statements will be included without objection in the record, and the committee will note the interest of these members.
We have with us Congressman Fisher, who probably represents more sheep than anyone else in the United States. He has been before our committee before.
We are always glad to have you, and we will be glad to hear from you.
STATEMENT OF HON. 0. C. FISHER, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE 21ST DISTRICT OF THE STATE OF TEXAS
Mr. FISHER. Mr. Chairman, I will not take the time of the committee. I testified before when you had the other hearing.
Since you refer to the number of sheep in my district, I might point out, as a good example, what the gentleman from Illinois referred to in regard to the difficulty in raising the number, in developing his