Mike Mansfield Papers, Series 21, Box 50, Folder 6, Mansfield Libary, University of Montana
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD- SENATE s 1060)
TRANSACTION OF ROUTINE
Mr. ROBERT C. BYRD. Mr President.
I ask unanimous consent that there now
be a resumption of the period for the
transaction of routine morning busmess.
with statements therein limited to 5
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without
objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. ROBERT C. BYRD. M1·. President,
I suggest the absence of a quorum.
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. BARTLETT).
The clerk will call the roll.
The assistant legislative clerk proceeded
to call the roll.
Mr. MANSFIELD. Mr. President, I ask
unanimous consent that the order for the
quorum call be rescinded.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without
veloped. On the basis of the unanimous
agreement of those present--and it was
a bipartisan group of Senators--it was
decided that a letter would be dispatched
to the President of the United States in
which certain requests would be made
having to do with legislation to provide
emergency assistance to the cattle industry
under the Department of Agriculture
This proposal was acceded to because
of the great need and the tremendous
losses which the feedlot operators are
undergoing at the present time.
Then an agreement was made-again
unanimously-that the administration
look into the possibility of expanding
military food programs through the Department
of Defense, and school lunch
programs, through the better use of beef,
pork, chickens and eggs; and, most important,
it was the unanimous feeling of
the bipartisan group of Senators in attendance
that the President should exercise
his authority in reimposing strict
import quotas on beef and livestock products
which compete with those in this
Mr. President. let me say that, in addition,
the Chairman of the Committee on
Agriculture and Forestry, the distinguished
Senator from Georgia (Mr. TALMADGE),
announced that the subcommittee,
under the chairmanship of the distinguished
Senator from South Dakota
, (Mr. McGovERN), would hold hearings on
the question of legislation to provide
emergency assistance to the cattle industry
under the Department of Agricultme
loa:ll program beginning on Monday next.
It was also announced that representatives
o! various groups connected either
directly or Indirectly with the beef segment
of the economy had been invited to
a meeting at the White House on Monday
next for the purpose of considering
the di·astic situation which confronts the
beef, Lhe cattle, and other segments of
the agricultural economy.
Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent
to have printed in the RECORD the letler
I wrote to the President of the United
States on June 7, 1974.
There being no objection, the letter
was ordered to be printed in the RECORD,
o~ion. It is so ordered. ""'
~IF'_F!CULTIES CONl''RONTING THE
Washington. D.C .. June 7, 1971
The White House.
AMERICAN BEEF INDUSTRY
Mr MANSFIELD. Mr. President, a
group of between 35 and 40 Senators
from the cattle-producing States met
this morning for the purpose of considering
the difficulties which confront the
beef industry of this country today.
Not only is cattle production in a precarious
condition at the present time due
to the decline in prices and the increase
in costs, but the same applies in a similar
degree to chickens, eggs, and the pork
segments of the economy.
At that time, the group met for the
purpose of coru!ldering ways and means
to cope with the situation which has de-
DEA& MR. PRESIDENT: In recent days. pre.;entat!
ons have beeu made to the White House
staff In behalf of a seriously depressed Jt•·e stock
Industry. I wi5h ~o join with my colleagues
In asking that you give this situation
your personal attention We cannot permit
such a vital element ot our economy to flounder
as It Is now. Action must be taken to
close the gap between prices receh·ed by the
llveslock producers and the prices charged
by the packers and retailers.
The reasons tor this predicament are
,·arled The main point is that something has
to be done now to protect the ranchem of
our Nation. I am joining with several of my
western colleagues In the Introduction of
legislation to provide emergency assistance
to the cattle Industry under the Department
o! Agriculture's loan program. These loans
are vital to feed lot operators. I also concur
In the recommendations that the Fed 'ral
Government introduce n hcf'r purcha r- p1 •
gram for military and llChool lunch<'s. Mn••
Importantly. I ask that you exercise yow
authority In relmpo•lnr.: ~lrlr• trnpc.rL quot11o,
on beef and l!vestocl< produrts whtch corn·
pete with thO"lELO
Mr. MANSFIELD. Mr President. Ireceived
a reply to that letter this rooming
from Torn C. Korologos. Deputy Assistant
to the President, which reacts n.s
J[INE 10 1974
DEAR SENATOR: I would like to acknowled!!P
and thank you for your June 7 letter to the
President expressing concet·n about the proh ·
!ems lacing the cattle Industry.
I haye noted that you plan to join several
of your colleagues in the introducLiou ot
legislation to provide emergency assistan-::e to
to Industry under the Department of Agrlc•tlture
·s loan program. I have also made note
or your request that action be taken to reImpose
quotas on meat Imports, and I will
be pleased to pass along your letter to the
President upon his return from the Mldctlc:East.
This matter .Ls receiving most careful
uttentlon by his agricultural and econonuc
advisors at this time, and you may be a~sured
that your views will haYC a part ill the
With warm regard,
TOM C. KOROLOGOS,
Deputy Assistant to the President
Mr. President, I also made an openin::\
statement to the bipartisan group of Sen·
ntors which met this morning which
reads, in part, as follows:
The Wl1lte House yesterday announced •
conference or cattlemen, meat packers, grocery-
chain executives and a gricultural lend
ers next. Monday to see what can be done to
reverse the falling price of llve cattle and prevent
the threat of widespread bankruptctes
among the cattle feedexs
Cat lie feeders h(lve been complalnlug that
although tile price o! beef on the hoof 11a..
droppL·d m ore th'm 25 perc<'n t slue!' the beginning
o! the year.
The cattle !eeders claim ther are l opposed to bills
In Congress to provide up to $~ billion ill
the cattle-raising business may also anticipate
not having a profitable operation.
Whllt.! the price of live cattle has been
dropping, the costs of raising cattle have
continued to go up. The price of labor is
higher. The price of practically everything
that the farmer and rancher uses
is higher. The price of baling wire has
gone up, I am told by some of my constituents,
as much as 4 times what it was
a year ago, for those who can even find
One of the things has been speculated
about by a number of people is, Why ls
it that despite the very dramatic and
significant drop in the price of live cattle,
we find no significant paralleling drop at
the retail level?
Economists oftentimes discuss this
facet of the economy-that is, that when
prices are rising, the &pread between
what live cattle sell for and what the
price of beef is at the retail le,·el i~
I suppose what happens invanubly is
that with prices of live cattle rising,
there is a built-in resistance to rising
prices in the supermarket. As a consequence,
the margin, the difference between
the price of meat at the marketplace
a:1d the price of beef on the hoof,
ter.ds to be narrower than it otherwise
would be. Conversely, when the price of
live cattle is dropping, as is now the case,
it is easier for retailers to sustain prices
at the high level than to lower them,
then ro.ise them back up again when live
I think there is thi.s Jes:;on to be
learned from thls fact that is constant!:;
demonstrated in the marketplace: that
is, that we ca:J-expect, in a market which
is characterized by declining live cattle
prices, that the spread will be greater
Many stock men are anxious to find out
the reasons for the depressed prke of
what they have to sell. which prlmaril~·
is beef on the hoof.
We look around for scapegoat.~ \\'t•
look around for people to blame.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's
5 minutes have expired.
Mr. GRIFFIN. lVIr. President. wiJ, the
Chair recognize the junior Senator from
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator
from Michlgan is recognized.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I yield to the Senator
Mr. HANSEN. I thank the dist.inguished
Senator, the minority whip. ami
express my appreciation to him.
Mr. President, there probably is plent:,.
of blame to go around everywhere. Certainly,
there is no doubt that the price
of beef in the supermarket could be
lowered, and there would still be 11 n ice
margin of profit. I hope that the reta il
markets in America will take this step
very shortly, because in so doing the''
could increase the consumption of beef·
they could make it more accessible to ?. Jl
the people, and in greater quantilles
than tefore, by the simple tactic of
lowering price, and at 'the same time
could bring a measure of relief tho t is
sorely needed now to +h~ livesto k
If the financially disrupti ve exper iences
of the cow business continue it ct>rtalnly
follows that therE> will be lesr-: bet !
down the road for all Americans. I ~n ..
that because no one want.s to stay in :>
business that L~ losing money and that 1'
precisely what has been happening to
the cow business for a number of month<.
I think the President of the UniL<'Ll
States should exercise the authority h t
has under the impo1t quota law p:Js!l
purposes, to the United States of Amr-r ica.
This compounds the problem of Llll
livestock men and results in the fact. thnt
at the end of this year, 1974. in all probability,
7 percent of the beef that is consumed
in America will be imported heel
On top of the very serious oversuppl_,
situation that we now have, this will lw
too much and It will mean there will bt
further bankruptcies throughout Cattlr
La.nd, U.S.A., and we ran expert t.o fin<1
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