« ПретходнаНастави »
program? Would we find your people for that? Would that interest your people?
Mr. CROWDER. I think they would not be too hard to find, Mr. Poage. Of course, we are in the position that we cannot judge what other industries need. We can speak only for wool.
Mr. PoAGE. That has been so much of the attitude of so many of others in the past. There has been somewhat of a feeling among some people that after all, if we give some of these groups just what they want, we will never hear from them again when anybody else has some trouble. I am afraid that you are now giving us an indication that is exactly what we will hear from you because you are very careful to point out that you are not going to settle anybody else's problem.
Mr. CROWDER. We do not feel that we are qualified to discuss any other problem.
Mr. Poage. We know all of the reasons for evading doing anything about anything else. We understand that you can talk around it and say that you are not concerned. But if we had the same type of bill for direct payments to cotton producers, would you be for that? You may hope that you can avoid everybody else's trouble, but I think that the basic trouble with the wool industry is the same as has been the trouble with the cotton industry. We can each cut down production, but the same chemists that make products to take the place of cotton can make them to replace wool. They can make the same machinery, and they can make the same kind of substitutes.
So I think it might not be as you have hastened to assume, that you have not any interest in any body else's program. I am interested in both programs. This is not the end of our concern here.
I wish that you people felt a little more definitely that you are a part of agriculture, that you are a part of the producers of the United States and that you have got something common with them. That is all I amy trying to say.
We are glad to have your views.
Mr. JOHNSON. I wish to say that I agree very much with you. We notice it right in the dairy industry. The milk people get the Federal orders, and they are not too much interested in manufactured milk.
Mr. POAGE. It proves itself in that way.
Mr. Hill. I would like to extend this discussion a little further. For the cotton people, I voted to support their program, except when I thought they were clear out of line. But they have not come up with an unanimous agreement on cotton.
I do not know a thing about cotton. As you have said you are not qualified to make a statement on that. I am not, either. All I am qualified to say that whenever cotton—I am speaking for myself, not for the committee, comes here with the manufacturers of cotton goods, the processors, and they will agree with my friend Poage's cotton growers, I will be the first one to say, “Let us try compensatory payments on cotton.” But they do not agree like you this morning, and my own idea was when I read who was coming in, I supposed you were going to fight the program from start to finish until I looked at your testimony. I didn't believe it.
Let me say to my colleague that I love, whenever the cotton people can show me that we can work a cotton industry program by compen. satory payments, I think the wool people, because I think the broadminded and they are reasonable, and hard working
talking about the producer now, not the processor-would all line up to assist the cotton industry.
I think Mr. Poage is 100 percent correct, there is no way of solving the agricultural difficulties that we are in, in the United States today without the cooperation of the overall group. And we haven't got it even in the farm organizations. So you cannot blame this committee for having difficulty when the farm organizations that have been in existence for years, cannot sit down and help us as a group to work out the program. So I think you are on solid ground when you say your organization has not the information to tell Mr. Poage this morning-I mean you are not in position to say that you would support what he is talking about until you have more information. That is my position, too.
Maybe we will come to compensatory payments. There is a revolution in the thinking on how to solve these problems. I would just like to take time, if I had it this morning, to tell you what has come to my desk since this session began. You would not believe itrevolutionary ideas. Maybe we will come to them.
Let is not say you are not on solid ground. I think I am on sound ground.
We worked out a good program for sugar beets. That is our job. We have to tailor the program to fit cotton.
I think that your testimony is good.
I am more than happy that you support the wool producers 100 percent and say that you think this program should continue.
Mr. CROWDER. We are 100 percent of that opinion.
Mr. Dixon. Yesterday we talked about synthetic fibers and we didn't have time to clear up some little confusion that we had.
When you speak of advertising competitive fibers, like you did in your fine testimony here, did you include cotton?
Mr. CROWDER. No, indeed. Might I ask Mr. Anderson to elaborate on that?
Mr. ANDERSON. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, we in the wool industry do not look upon cotton with either fear or disfavor.
Cotton and wool are the two great natural fibers that are produced and used in this country. Each has its place. And we would not attempt in my opinion in the wool industry, any part of it, to engage in any advertising campaign intended to displace cotton from the place that it has in our domestic economy.
The great problem in the wool industry today is the great increase in the production of manmade fibers which are directly competitive with both wool and cotton. And those fibers are being widely advertised. And the very merit that wool possesses, in my opinion, justifies the use of advertising and promotion to tell the consuming public of this country something about the merits of wool fiber. That is why I believe so strongly that we should continue the advertising program so that wool will take and keep the place in which it belongs in our consumer demand.
Mr. Dixon. If we do not include cotton as a competitive fiber what do you include as competitive fibers?
Mr. ANDERSON. Principally, the manmade fibers, synthetics. They have made tremendous inroads into the use of wool and have
resulted in a great deal of confusion in marketing the products of wool because the claims that are made for the merit of this synthetic fiber or that one confuses manufacturers, confuses clothing retailers, and confuses the buying public. So they don't know what to buy. And when they don't know what to buy, unfortunately, they wind up buying little or nothing.
Mr. Dixon. That is a very fine statement.
Now, Mr. Crowder, you raise this point as to 708, and so forth. What has been your experience there, in not having it entirely voluntary? What has been your experience, as to what has been done elsewhere?
Mr. CROWDER. Well, sir, if I may again defer to Mr. Anderson, he has been in the wool business actively for over 50 years. I think he is familiar with the history of this problem, and would you care to comment on that?
Mr. ANDERSON. I would be very happy to. Somebody has said, “Why should the wool producer spend his money to advertise his product? Why isn't that advertised and done further along in the industry, retailer, the manufacturer?”
I don't think I can give you the answer as to why he should, but I do know that for many, many years the wool producers in this country, the organized groups, the National Wool Growers Association, and other grower associations, have been actively interested in at tempting to carry on a program of advertising that would reach the consuming public.
Mr. Dixon. In other words, the public needs to be unconfused, is that it?
Mr. ANDERSON. That is right. That is right. That is what advertising does. It is a matter of common knowledge that the things that are well advertised are half sold. That is what the people go for, provided they are convinced that the product being advertised has merit and we in the wool industry do not have to worry about the merit of the product that we produce in this country, distribute and manufacture. With proper advertising I believe that wool will maintain its proper place in consumer demands.
There is nothing new about that. I myself for more than 25 years have worked with woolgrower organizations in attempts to develop some method of getting contributions from sheep men on what is termed a voluntary basis. Well you know, there isn't any kind of a contribution, or almost no kind of contribution that is wholly voluntary. Somebody has got to do something about it.
Mr. Dixon. This measure would permit the sheep men to vote their approval, would it not? Do any of you gentlemen know of any experience on checkoff in other parts of the world on wool?
Mr. ANDERSON. I am told that in the great wool producing country of Australia, some money is withheld from every wool producer by law. The Government of Australia was sufficiently interested in the production of wool in that country, so that the Government down there passed a law requiring that every woolgrower do that.
Mr. Dixon. Is it by the woolgrower?
Mr. ANDERSON. I think it is a special deduction diverted to a special use. I cannot answer that definitely. I have never seen the language of the law and I do not know how it is phrased.
In our country, fortunately, our Government has recognized the value of the wool industry. And the Wool Act of 1954, provided a means for the wool grower to make a contribution to this advertising effort only as was quite proper here in this country we did it in the the democratic way, and authorized the growers by referendum to make his own decision. But the voluntary method, so-called, obtaining contributions for wool advertising has not worked in my opinion because there are too many wool growers, they are too scattered. Somebody would have to go to each one of them and say, "We want a little money for this and that.” It is too big a job. By this process you have got a concentrated effort.
With the backing of the Congress, with the assistance of one of the great Government departments, the Department of Agriculture, and they can focus the attention of all wool growers at one time on this particular feature. And in the case of the Wool Act of 1954 it did the job.
Mr. Dixon. If I might ask you another question. Are the woolen mills laying off men?
Mr. ANDERSON. Beg pardon?
Mr. Dixon. Are the woolen mills having to reduce their forces in this present financial difficulty?
Mr. ANDERSON. Oh, yes, I think there has been some reduction in staff, in help. Being somewhat of an optimist, I guess I would not be in the wool business if I were not, I think there are signs of a little recovery in a good many of our wool manufacturing plants.
Mr. Dixon. The extension of this act would have a direct effect upon aiding that recovery, would it not?
Mr. ANDERSON. No. I do not think that the passing of this act or the extension of course, the present Wool Act is still in effect.
Mr. Dixon. I mean the extension.
Mr. ANDERSON. Yes. It might have a long term effect on the prosperity of our wool manufacturing industry.
Mr. Dixon. And unemployment as well?
Mr. PoAGE. If there are no other questions we are very much obliged to you and to your associates for coming here.
Mr. CROWDER. Thank you, sir. Thank you very much.
Mr. Poage. I see Mr. O'Dunne is now with us. He represents the National Association of Wool Manufacturers.
STATEMENT OF EUGENE O'DUNNE, REPRESENTING NATIONAL
ASSOCIATION OF WOOL MANUFACTURERS, WASHINGTON, D. C.
Mr. O'DUNNE. I am pinch-hitting here today, and I would like to apologize for not having copies of the statement for the chairman.
Mr. Wilkinson of the association had intended to be here. When it was ascertained he was unable to be here he promised to send 50 copies down, but our mails have not come through.
My name is Eugene O'Dunne; I am a lawyer in Washington. I am counsel for the National Association of Wool Manufacturers, and I am reading on behalf of Mr. Edwin Wilkinson, the executive vice president of the National Association of Wool Manufacturers, his statement.
Mr. Wilkinson regrets that his plans to come here today had been changed at the very last moment. I will now read his statement. It is very brief.
The National Association of Wool Manufacturers favors the extension of the Wool Act of 1954. In 1954 we endorsed the President's proposal to provide direct incentive payments in such a manner as to permit the free flow of domestic wool to market through normal channels at market prices. We still believe this to be the most effective system yet devised to achieve the expressed purpose of the Congress in the national interest.
Exports of wool of the sheep are negligible. Thus it will be seen that American processors of wool are virtually the only customers of the domestic producers.
During the time of the operation of this present act substantially all the wool of the sheep produced in the United States has been moving into channels of consumption rather than into a Government warehouse for storage. Further, practically all of the wool that accumulated in Government storage under prior programs has moved out into the industry for use.
We believe the incentive payment portion of the present act has worked well by bringing a new sense of confidence to the American wool producers. This new confidence must be maintained if the expressed purpose of the Congress is to be achieved.
However, while I realize it is not the subject of this hearing I cannot resist warning the Congress that unless immediate and improved means of equalizing the foreign textile producers' low-wage advantage over the American mills, the wool growers customer, is forthcoming and sufficient to halt or reverse the trend to liquidation we may all be whipping a dead horse.
Mounting imports of wool textiles from these low-wage sources are discouraging to manufacturer and grower alike. Our mills are losing position in our home markets to producers who, were their plants in the United States, would not be allowed by law to ship a yard of goods or a pound of yarn from one State to another because of their wage levels.
Returning to this instant measure, we do believe, however, that the position we took 4 years ago when this committee first considered the act was sound and that time has proven the need for Congress to change one portion of the measure.
At that time, we questioned the necessity or desirability of limiting the total payments under the act to an amount within 70 percent of gross receipts from specific duties collected under schedule 11. Our point is that a program such as this should not be subject to an arbitrary limit which can defeat the very purpose of the law.
We, therefore, would recommend that the committee closely question those we have been in charge of administering the act, and if this limiting factor has played a part in restricting assistance to the growers or is likely to be a determining factor in future administration of the program that this portion of the act be changed to provide sufficient funds for its proper operation.
Within the scope of proper operation I would place wool promotion and advertising. Many new fibers have become available to textile manufacturers in important volume since World War II. Many of these new and proprietary products are suitable for use and are being used in increasing quantities on the woolen and worsted systems of manufacture. Being proprietary products with privately owned names and subject to relatively rigid production and distribution control they are being lavishly promoted to the trade and to the consumer.
There is nothing wrong with this, provided claims as to their virtues are kept within reasonable bounds, but it does present new problems with many facets to the producers of natural fibers such as wool. When one takes into consideration the number of people engaged in wool production and the multitudinous grades, types, and styles of wool produced by them for a wide variety of uses in combination with the methods by which wool is competitively marketed, it seems apparent that only through cooperative effort is there any real hope of offsetting synthetic fiber promotion.
On the basis of personal observation of prior efforts to organize the necessary degree of cooperation among growers, I have no hesitancy to assert that the plan for cooperative wool and lamb promotion incorporated in this act has by far the higher probability of realization.
Thus, in subscription to the stated purpose of the act and for the above reasons, we urge continuation of the incentive payments program.