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Letter to Chairmen, Senate and House Agriculture Committees, on the Farm Bills in Conference.

August 12, 1954


This letter is prompted by my conviction that decisions to be reached in respect to several items in conference on the farm bill will very seriously affect the well-being of our farming population. I hope my views can receive your colleagues' earnest attention in conference.

I refer, first, to the support level on dairy products. To me, it is inescapable that an increase in this level would be injurious, not helpful, to the dairy industry, for it would diminish the consumption of dairy products, increase the accumulation of surplus stocks, and add needlessly and therefore wastefully to the cost of this program to the public. This would also result in excessive windfall profits to the handlers of dairy products. Any objective analysis of the facts relating to this matter makes it clear, I believe, that the sound course is to continue in the Secretary of Agriculture the authority to keep the support level at seventy-five to ninety per cent.

The two-price plan for wheat is another item occasioning apprehension. I strongly suspect that the House plan would not achieve the desired result. Following preliminary studies on three different occasions, the National Agricultural Advisory Commission recommended against the adoption of the two-price plan. It is obvious that the matter needs further study. I do hope, therefore, that the two-price provision will be eliminated in conference, although retaining direction to the Secretary to study the plan for wheat and possibly rice and to report his findings to the Congress early next year.

Another item of concern is the bill, introduced at my request, relating to management of forest lands used for grazing purposes. The Senate provision is fair to all users of the national forests and a forward step in the management of forest lands. Because its approval would complete the several conservation measures recommended by this Administration to the Congress, I am especially hopeful that it can receive the approbation of your colleagues.

You are aware, of course, of my interest in legislation to promote the production of wool. The House provision would limit the duration of this Act to two years and require the Secretary to maintain about the same level of support for mohair as for shorn wool. Because both of these provisions are clearly at variance with the objectives being sought, I hope they can be withdrawn in your conference deliberations.

By restricting the Secretary's authority to limit the number of terms which a county committeeman may serve, a provision in the Senate bill would undo progress toward broader farmer participation in committee activities. You may recall that the recommendation for improvement of the work of the committees was made following a thorough study in which State ASC committees and the CCC Advisory Board participated. I very much hope, therefore, that this provision in the Senate bill may be eliminated in conference.

I am sending a similar letter to the Chairman of the House (Senate) Committee on Agriculture.

With warm regard,



Note: This letter was sent to George D. Aiken, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, and to Clifford R. Hope, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.

The President referred to H.R. 9680 and S. 3052. For the President's statement on signing the Agricultural Act of 1954, see Item 221.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Letter to Chairmen, Senate and House Agriculture Committees, on the Farm Bills in Conference. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/232495

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