Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Statement by the President Upon Signing Bills Concerning the School Milk Program, the Eradication of Brucellosis, and the Tax on Gasoline Used on Farms.

April 02, 1956

I HAVE TODAY approved H. R. 8320 and H. R. 8780.

H. R. 8320 authorizes an expansion and extension of the Special School Milk Program and a continuation of the Federal-State cooperative program to eradicate bovine brucellosis.

In the year and a half that the Special School Milk Program has been in operation, we have seen a remarkable increase in milk drinking by school children. This forward-looking program greatly benefits the health of our children and helps build a sturdier generation of young Americans. By increasing the consumption of dairy products, it also helps build markets for our farmers. This program is an excellent example of how we can make constructive use of our nation's abundance by developing expanded outlets. H.R. 8320 furthers this vital effort by providing an addition of $10 million to the $50 million previously authorized for the Special School Milk Program during this fiscal year. It looks to the future by extending the program for two more years, and authorizes use of funds up to $75 million a year to expand the program to more schools and more children.

H. R. 8320 also sustains the efforts to eradicate bovine brucellosis. It authorizes the use of an additional $2 million of Federal funds for this fiscal year and $20 million a year for the next 2 years to continue the Federal-State cooperative program in this field. Not only does this disease cost cattle producers an estimated $50 million every year in losses of meat and milk, but it remains a threat to human health in the form of undulant fever. Considerable progress has already been made since the stepped-up eradication program authorized by the Congress for the years 1955 and 1956 was inaugurated. Three States--Maine, New Hampshire, and North Carolina--are modified certified brucellosis-free and many other States are expected to reach that status within the next two years. With continued emphasis on speeding up the cooperative effort, we can hope to move forward county by county and State by State until this disease is brought completely under control throughout the nation.

H. R. 8780 relieves farmers of the Federal tax on gasoline used on the farm.

Agriculture requires billions of gallons of gasoline annually in producing food and fiber. One of the prime needs of our farmers, faced with a severe cost-price squeeze, is lower production costs per unit of output. This is important to agriculture and all our people. Relieving the farmer of the Federal tax on purchases of gasoline used on the farm will lower production costs and help alleviate the cost-price squeeze.

These two bills are parts of the 9-point program I sent to the Congress on January 9 of this year. They constitute an important step forward in our agricultural program.

The next step is to get a good farm bill and to get it promptly.

Note: As enacted, H. R. 8320 is Public Law 465, 84th Congress (70 Stat. 86); H. R. 8780 is Public Law 466 (70 Stat. 87). For the 9-point program, see Item 6.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Statement by the President Upon Signing Bills Concerning the School Milk Program, the Eradication of Brucellosis, and the Tax on Gasoline Used on Farms. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/233067

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