Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Remarks at the LBJ Ranch Upon Signing Bill Providing for Acreage-Poundage Tobacco Marketing Quotas

April 17, 1965

Tobacco is one of our basic commodities and one of the oldest. Historians tell us that tobacco was the first commercial export from the New World and this trade in tobacco is credited with saving the colony at Jamestown.

Tobacco is still an important commodity in our overall economy. Tobacco returns approximately $1.3 billion annually to some 700,000 farm families.

Exports of unmanufactured tobacco during the 1964 fiscal year were valued at $420 million. These exports contribute significantly to our efforts to balance trade.

Taxes collected by Federal, State, and local governments on tobacco products during the 1964 fiscal year totaled some $3.3 billion.

Our tobacco programs have worked well over the years. Supplies have been maintained reasonably well in balance with demand. Prices received by growers have been favorable. Cost to the Government for price supports have been held to a minimum.

However, excessive supplies have accumulated in recent years due to substantial increases in per acre yields. Tobacco growers, who have demonstrated their willingness to maintain a sound program, recognize the need for some modification in the program. Congress has now provided them with an important improvement. This law will permit tobacco growers to operate a program with real quantitative limits on marketings. When adopted by the growers in a special referendum, tobacco farmers will once again be taking the leadership among commodity groups in adopting a program which will enable them to:

1. Hold supplies more effectively in balance with demand.

2. Increase farm income through improvement in quality and increased exports.

3. Reduce Government price support costs.

The acreage-poundage program for tobacco authorized by this legislation is important to tobacco producers and the maintenance of a sound program in the years ahead.

The producers of each kind of tobacco will decide for themselves in the referendums when and whether the acreage-poundage program will apply to the kind of tobacco they produce. For the 1965 crops of flue-cured tobacco, such a referendum will be held within a few weeks. For other kinds of tobacco, the new program is authorized, subject to the farmer referendums, for the 1966 and future crops.

This legislation is a substantial and constructive improvement in the tobacco program.

Note: The President spoke at the LBJ Ranch at Johnson City, Tex. The bill (H.R. 5721), providing for tobacco acreage-poundage marketing quotas, was approved by the President on April 16, 1965 (Public Law 89-12, 79 Stat. 66).

Lyndon B. Johnson, Remarks at the LBJ Ranch Upon Signing Bill Providing for Acreage-Poundage Tobacco Marketing Quotas Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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