The Orlando Sentinel FL 2 Sept. 1933

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The Orlando Sentinel FL 2 Sept. 1933 - THE OKLANDO MORNING SENTINEL, ORLANDO, Citrus...
THE OKLANDO MORNING SENTINEL, ORLANDO, Citrus Growers Hear New COREY DETAILS MARKET ACCORD Art i c u 1 1 u r a 1 Hailed Act LAKELAND. Sept. 1 Complete text of the address by Merton L. Corey before the Florida citrus growers growers and shippers here today, fot- fot- lo!: I have corre to Florida in fulfillment fulfillment of my promise to the administrators administrators of the agricultural adjustment adjustment act that I would submit to groners and shippers of Florida re-suit:, re-suit:, re-suit:, of our many weeks of work in preparing a marketing agreement agreement under the terms of the agri-cultural' agri-cultural' agri-cultural' aflmstment act. approved Mav 12. 1933 This occasion brings to my mind a message I received from a democratic democratic Irndrr of national prominence prominence upon the news that Woodrow Wilson had been elected president. The nies'-Hte nies'-Hte nies'-Hte read. "This is the day we long have sought and mourned because we had it not." STUDIED CITRUS PROBLEMS I have known something of the Florida citrus problem since I entered entered ofticial life in Washington In 1923 in a system for the making of farm loans. Let me say that I am delighted with amendments to the farm loan act which permit the making of loans upon citrus groves. Florida heretofore has operated under under an unnecessarily harsh rule which, fortunately, is now corrected. I trust there will be sympathetic and helpful cooperation on the part of the federal authorities In establishing establishing the system in Florida under the new rules. Liberality of federal agencies in making these rules must depend in part upon the success attending our efforts to organize the industry, lor, after all, loan value is best measured by the capacity capacity of the property to produce an annual net return. MARKETING ORGANIZATION In 1928, after several years of disastrous disastrous marketing, all Florida became became aroused to necessity for three major organization functions: First, control of distribution to avoid mar-kwtgluts mar-kwtgluts mar-kwtgluts and famines; second, to adopt a standard grade and pack; and triird, to increase consumer demand demand by advertising citrus fruits. Such a program, even more essential essential now than then, must depend for its success upon cooperation of all those engaged In production and handling of citrus fruits. Heretofore we have been forced to rely upon voluntary action. Broad-visioned, Broad-visioned, Broad-visioned, unselfish growers and shippers, though they - constitute constitute the great majority of all interests interests in Florida, cannot make a success of a distribution program when, on the outside, are interests which selfishly seize upon reduced market movement as an opportunity opportunity to increase their shipments. THE NEW DEAL Fortunately for the well-being well-being well-being of the citrus growers of the entire nation, nation, the new deal has provided a plan which is based upon principle principle that no man lives unto himself himself alone, that he has a distinct social and economic obligation to his neighbor and that he cannot be permitted to pursue an individual policy which will be destructive of the best interests of society as a whole. VALIDITY OF 'ACT SUSTAINED This was recognized in the first test of the agricultural adjustment act, which was decided by a judge In the District of Columbia Supreme Court Tuesday, Aug. 29. in a suit for an injunction brought by milk dealers in the Chicago district against the administrator of the act, seeking to enjoin him from revoking revoking the license of certain milk dealers who refused to comply with the first marketing agreement which the department had approved. The court in announcing his decision said, "The day has passed when absolute vested rights in contract or property are to be regarded as sacrosanct or above the law. Neither the necessities of life nor commodities commodities affected with a public interest can any longer be left to ruthless competition or selfish greed for their production or distribution. The court finds that the agricultural agricultural adjustment act is constitutional constitutional and the regulations and licenses licenses promulgated and issued thereunder thereunder are reasonable ad valid." ROOSEVELT. LEADERSHIP The new administration has been confronted from the very beginning With stupendous problems. I am sure (hat at this time of crisis in Aurica no man will think that I spe&k in a partisan spirit in commending commending the bribed vision and masterly masterly statesmanship of Pres. Roosevelt. Roosevelt. He took rems of government when disaster threatened and despair despair darkened homes and business houses of most American " people. In a short time he has revived new hope; business is getting better and will continue to improve and we all, without regard to party affiliations, will applaud the underlying purposes purposes of the new deal. Chief among problems which the new administration faced have been those of returning the 12.000,000 unemployed unemployed to work, and the even greater problem of providing not only a living income for farmers and fruit growers but a fair return upon their invested capital that they might keep alive the purchasing purchasing power of the millions of people people who today share in one form or another ownership of securities representing twelve billion dollars of farmer indebtedness. Congress provided in the industrial industrial recovery act a plan for increasing increasing the purchasing power of industrial labor and the spread oil Shows the Way ft. - ' 4 1 V,vf ft Merton L. Corey, Florida citrus expert, pointed the way to prosperity prosperity for citrus growers in an address at Lakeland yesterday. the hours of employment so that men out of work because of the perhaps perhaps too rapid development of machine machine production might be reemployed. reemployed. AGRICULTURAL ACT It is with the companion legislation legislation known as the agricultural adjustment adjustment act that you as Florida growers and shippers are called upon upon to deal. Our aim under this act is to accomplish its purposes as expressed expressed in Title 1 under the headings headings Declaration of Emergency and Declaration of Policy, which I quote as follows: DECLARATION OF EMERGENCY "That the present acute economic economic emergency being in part the consequence of a severe and increasing increasing disparity between the prices of agricultural and other commodities, which disparity has largely destroyed the purchasing power of farmers for industrial products, has broken down the orderly exchange of commodities, and has seriously impaired the agricultural assets supporting the national credit structure, it is hereby declared that these conditions conditions in the basic industry of agriculture agriculture have affected transactions in agricultural commodities with a national public interest, have burdened and obstructed the normal normal currents of commerce in such commodities, and render imperative imperative the immediate enactment of title 1 of this act." DECLARATION OF POLICY "Sec. 2. It is hereby declared to be the policy of Congress "(1) To establish and maintain such balance between the production production and consumption of agricultural agricultural commodities, and such marketing marketing conditions therefor, as will reestablish prices to farmers at a level that will give agricultural commodities a purchasing power with respect to articles that farmers farmers buy, equivalent to the purchasing purchasing power of agricultural commodities commodities in the base period. The base period in the case of all-agricultural all-agricultural all-agricultural commodities except tobacco shall be the prewar period, August 1909-July 1909-July 1909-July 1914. In the case of tobacco, the base period shall be the post-war post-war post-war period, August, 1919 1929." REDUCE OVERPRODUCTION Under this legislation, growers of certain basic commodities, to wit: wheat, cotton, field corn, hogs, rice, tobacco and milk and its products are given the power to reduce pro duction for better control of markets, markets, and through a processing tax levied upon consumers or a definite definite price fixing plan, the machinery is provided for lifting the net re turn to farmers on these classes of products. In this respect growers of perish able fruits and vegetables and the special crops not defined as basic are less fortunate. If they reduce production no compensation is paid for such commodities as are kept out of the current of Interstate commerce. Producers of perishables, particularly, can neither definitely control the supply nor exactly ad Just the marketing to consumer de mand, but it can be approximated It was the belief of congress, as I am sure it is the expectation of every student of this legislation that with 100 per cent control of cit rus fruits moving in interstate commerce, commerce, the purpose of this legislation, legislation, to restore to farmers the prewar prewar parity of all agricultural commodities, commodities, will be accomplished. FARMER BUYING POWER Pretty generally, we still have a long way to go to restore agriculture agriculture to its prewar basis. I clipped from a Florida paper Tuesday morning morning a statement of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics at Washington, Washington, reporting that purchasing power of farmers as of Aug. 15 was 64 per cent of the average for the prewar period 1909 to 1914. This represents a drop from 71 per cent on July 15. which drop was caused caused by two conditions; the selling price of the products of the fanner and an increase in the cost of materials materials and labor engaged in production. production. Materials on Aug. 15 aver-8ged aver-8ged aver-8ged 12 per cent over prewar prices. This tells the story with agricultural agricultural products 36 per cent below normal and the materials the farmer must buy 12 per cent above normal. We must bridge that gap. It can be accomplished only through, first, the most efficient operation of the farm or grove unit possible at such labor and material costs as will not seriously impair the improved price level we are fighting for; and, second, second, such a complete organization of the citrus moving into interstate ROOSEVELT GETS MOST 0FPRA!SE Business Quickens Under His Touch commerce as shall assure a fair return return because of the reasonable adjustment adjustment of available supply to consumer consumer demand. While it is not included included in the marketing agreement for reasons which I shall explain later. I think there Is a third desirable desirable step in this program, the advertising of citrus fruits to increase increase consihner demand. CONTRACTS WITH SHIPPERS; GROWERS BENEFICIARIES I believe it is fitting to explain why this is an agreement between shippers and the secretary of agriculture agriculture rather than between growers and the secretary. Manifestly the purpose of the legislation is to improve improve the condition of the growers, growers, but the federal government cannot cannot write contracts with growers, only with those who handle fruit in interstate commerce. Agreements must, therefore, be written between shippers and the secretary of agriculture. agriculture. It has been made clear to shippers shippers and their representatives in Washington that the marketing agreements muit have regard first of all for the interests of the growers. For seven weeks, through a course of many, many dralu of the agreement and examination and reexamination of every provision, the experts of the department, a well as your representatives, have considered with particular care every clause in the agreement to make certain that it would contribute contribute to the paramount purpose ol the act to restore prewar parity for the citrus fruits of Florida. THREE GROUPS REPRESENTED While I nominally represent the three shipping groups of Florida, the Florida Citrus Exchange, the clearing house and a group of independent independent shippers, constituting a volume control of Florida fruits in excess of 75 per cent, I made it clear to them at . the beginning that 1 would endeavor insolar as my limited limited ability permitted to help to write an agreement and build an organization of the character I have wished for Florida for the past five years, and such an organization, organization, in my original and continuing conception of this problem, must have as its foundation the broad benefits to all the growers of Florida. Florida. To me this has been a very happy experience in one respect, that I have witnessed a degree of fair ness and consideration for the in terests of the grower by all the shippers of Florida surpassing my fondest hopes. I have taken occa sion sometimes in the past, as I felt moves were being made destructive to the best interests of the growers of Florida, to condemn shippers and shipping groups. I am far happier that I can take this occasion to commend instead of condemn, for I can truthfully say that all the shippers in the Washington conference conference and by correspondence have been fair, broadminded and unselfish. unselfish. We must continue this spirit in the new organization. NEW SOCIAL OBLIGATIONS It has taken us a long time to learn in America that there must be a degree of modification of our individualistic and capitalistic notions notions about business and government. government. I am not thinking in terms of the division of wealth or of the state control of the business and social social activities of our people. I have no patience with the depressing doctrine of Soviet Russia that takes from youth its initiative for high endeavor; but I do recognize that the over mechanization of America, the fearfully long ranks of the unemployed, unemployed, the devastating breath of destruction which has swept through the groves and farms of America have forced upon us the recognition of social obligations requiring requiring some modification of our old individualistic and capitalistic doctrines. Wise business men now have come to realize, as I think the Florida Florida shippers now understand, after after weeks of debate and analysis of this law and the agreement we have written in fulfillment thereof, that we are indeed "in the same boat together," that the best way for the shipper to assure his own business business success is to cooperate in making making certain that the producers of citrus fruits shall secure a fair price return that they may pay then-debts, then-debts, then-debts, improve their groves and enjoy enjoy the benefits of a regulated instead instead of suffer from a completely disorganized industry. QUOTATIONS FROM THE ACT I quote from the agricultural adjustment adjustment act paragraphs two and three of Section 8, because these two sections include most of the provisions provisions of the act upon which we relied relied in writing the marketing agreement. agreement. "(2) To enter Into marketing agreements with processors, associations associations of producers, and others engaged in the handling, in the current of interstate or foreign commerce of any agricultural commodity commodity or product thereof, after due notice and opportunity for hearing to interested parties. The making of any such agreement shall not be held to be in violation of any of the anti-trust anti-trust anti-trust laws of the United States, and any such agreement shall be deemed to be lawful: Provided, That no such agreement shall remain in force after the termination of this act. For the purpose of carrying out any such agreement the parties thereto shall be eligible for loans from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation art. Such loans shall not be In excess of such amounts as may be authorised by the Agreements. Agreements. "131 To Issue licenses permitting permitting processors, associations of produrers, and oinrrs to engage In the handling, in the current of interstate or foreign commerce, of any agricultural commodity or product thereof, or any competing commodity or product theril. Such licenses shall be subject to such terms and conditions, not In conflict with existing acts of congress congress or regulations pursuant thereto, as may be necessary to eliminate unfair practices or charges that prevent or tend to prevent the effectuation of the declared declared policy and the restoration or normal economic conditions in the marketing of such commodities commodities or products and the financing 'thereof. The secretary of agriculture agriculture may suspend or revoke any such license, after due notice and opportunity for hearing, for violations violations of the terms or conditions thereof. Any order of the secretary suspending or revoking any such license shall be final If in accordance accordance with law. Any such person engaged in such handling without a license as required by the secretary secretary under this section shall be subject to a fine of not more than $1,000 for each day during which I the violation continues." I TITTH PI T IV Y'T Paragraph 2 requires that the agreements must be made with the shippers. Paragraph 3 has teeth in it in that it will force every shipper shipper who ships a box of fruit m the current of interstate or foreign commerce commerce to have a license. We are now working upon a draft of that license. It will be in substance a practical copy of the agreement itself, itself, which will require, therefore, that every shipper whether or not he signs this marketing agreement will be forced to operate under a license requiring compliance with the terms of the marketing agreement. agreement. A failure to comply with its terms will subject such shipper to a fine of $1,000 for each day such offense continues. SPIRIT OF AGREEMENT The marketing agreement has been read. I wish, therefore, briefly briefly to discuss the more important points in this agreement. Upon concluding concluding I shall welcome whatever questions you may choose to ask. I hope there is something more than personal pride behind my declaration declaration that I think this is a good agreement, that it does give etfect to the purposes of the act, that it is fair to the growers as well as to shippers, and that it does assure to citrus Florida the type of organization organization which, in common with other men who have wished well for so many years for the industry, I have considered indispensable to make the growing of citrus fruits profitable profitable in this state. I am confident that this agreement, agreement, as written in cooperation with the agricultural adjustment administration, administration, will be approved in the hearing in Washington practically as it stands. Doubtless in some respects respects it might be Improved, but I remind you that we had to work out an agreement that harmonizes with those of the other states, fit it into the national plan, and make it conform to certain definite requirements requirements of the department of agriculture. I think we should approach a consideration of the agreement with no thought of carping and useless criticism. I do not fear such an approach in considering a work which has been done so conscientiously conscientiously for the good of the growers growers of Florida. Nevertheless, I want you to be as unsparing in your criticism as your Judgment dictates you should, and I request further that now that we have laid this, our completed work before you, that arrangements be made before this meeting adjourns that a committee representative of the growers be selected to attend this hearing in Washington on Sept, 7th. Personally, Personally, I shall be extremely glad to have the benefit of their counsel In the new and troublesome questions which may arise at that hearing. I am sure such a committee, truly representative of the growers of Florida, will cooperate as helpfully as the shippers have in the preliminary preliminary work upon this matter. ANALYSIS OF AGREEMENT Now for a brief resume of the agreement. The first page Is devoted devoted to the whereases, reciting of course conditions in this industry making necessary the writing of an agreement under the agricultural adjustment act. Article 1 defines the terms used in the agreement. Article Article II provides for the Florida Control Control committee which shall be composed composed of 12 members, three to be selected selected by the clearing house, three by the exchange and three by the shippers not affiliated with the clearing house or the exchange, such members to be shippers as well as growers. The other three are growers growers only who have no direct or indirect indirect connection with any shipping organization unless it be a cooperative. cooperative. They are chosen one by the committee of fifty of the clearing house, one by the association of presidents connected with the Florida Florida Citrus Exchange and one by those shippers not connected with either the clearing house or the echange. The manifest purpose of this agreement to protect the interests of the growers is apparent in Section Section 2 cr Article II. Appeal. "Section 2. Appeal. Any grower grower or shipper shall have the right to appeal to the secretary from any decision, determination or order order of the Florida control committee. committee. The decision of the seen- seen-

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  1. The Orlando Sentinel,
  2. 02 Sep 1933, Sat,
  3. Page 9

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  • The Orlando Sentinel FL 2 Sept. 1933

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