Secretary Butz, distinguished Members of the Congress:
Let me welcome you all here today for the signing of H.R. 6346, which extends the authority for certain rural development and research and development activities through fiscal year 1979. Most importantly, however, another section of this bill exempts custom combine operators, hay harvesters, and sheepshearers from the Farm Labor Contractor Registration Act.
I am only sorry that my good friend Bob Dole is not able to participate in this ceremony. I know he would like to have been here with the other Members of Congress since he, along with others, led the effort to clarify the Farm Labor Contractors Registration Act. I understand that failure to change this act could lead to very severe hardship for the custom combine operators, as well as others.
Since the Farm Labor Act was intended to protect unskilled migrant farm laborers, not the more skilled workers exempted today by the legislation that I am signing, I think this one exemption makes a great deal of sense.
I am committed, as I think all of the Members of Congress know, to reducing and resisting regulation in areas such as this where it is not needed or, certainly, is not appropriate. So, it is a privilege and a pleasure for me to sign this legislation and to provide this exemption, which I think is badly needed in the field of agriculture.