Franklin D. Roosevelt

Veto of a Bill Relating to Wheat Marketing Quotas.

August 25, 1941

To the House of Representatives:

I AM RETURNING herewith, without my approval, a bill (H. R.5300) entitled "An Act relating to wheat marketing quotas under the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, as amended, to provide for withholding from the normal channels of trade and commerce Government-owned cotton and wheat of the 1940 and previous crops, and to provide 85 per centum of parity with respect to peanuts of the 1941 crop."

It is my conviction that approval of the measure would seriously and adversely affect the Agricultural Adjustment Program and the attendant policies which have been so beneficial to our farmers during the past few years.

One provision of this act would permit the farmers to dispose of, as feed, without penalty, an indefinite amount of wheat produced in excess of their farm acreage allotments for 1941. This provision would place a premium on non-compliance with the wheat program, constitute a breach of faith with the large majority of farmers who complied with the program, and so relax the control features of the farm program as to adversely affect 'future participation therein.

Even more objectionable is the provision which would direct the Commodity Credit Corporation to acquire title to all cotton and wheat of the 1940 and previous crops in which it has an interest, and to hold these commodities for an indefinite period. The 'goal of the Administration's agricultural policy has been parity prices for the farmers and this has been accepted by the producers, the consumers, and the Congress as fair and reasonable. I do not feel that farmers would wish this acceptance destroyed by action designed to force prices above parity through the arbitrary withholding of Government-owned stocks from the normal channels of trade and commerce.

Recently, I approved legislation enacted by the Congress authorizing the Commodity Credit Corporation to make loans at a rate of 85 percent of the parity prices of the five basic agricultural commodities, which, in addition to agricultural conservation payments and authorized parity payments, will enable the growers of these crops to realize parity for their 1941 production. Parity, however, is only one of two elements of income. The other is volume sold. The ultimate effect of this bill would be to restrict the volume of the products sold and thus shrink the use of and the market for these commodities. Moreover, in times such as these no one can foresee how soon these Government owned stocks may be needed.

The Commodity Credit Corporation should be free to dispose of the commodities acquired under the loan programs in an orderly manner. Otherwise, it will be impossible to maintain an "Ever-Normal Granary" to protect farmers against surpluses and consumers against scarcity. Restriction of this authority of the Corporation would greatly increase its losses, nullify the effectiveness of existing programs, and, by breaking faith with consumers, be inconsistent with our present price control efforts.

In my judgment, this bill is contrary to sound governmental policy and the long-time best interests of both farmers and consumers.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Veto of a Bill Relating to Wheat Marketing Quotas. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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