October , ~_., r1970 CONGRESSIONAL RECORD-SENATE 818085
THE FARM BILL
Mr. DOLE. Mr. President, I take this
time to ask a questlon about the conference
report on the farm bill. As Senators
know, there was some discussion late yesterday
about action on the conference
report. The Senator from Kansas is still
hopeful-not very hopeful, but still hopeful-
that there may be some action yet
today on it, but I take this opportunity
to ask a question, of the distinguished
majority leader because I have read with
great interest a statement attributed to
the majority leader that it will be the
first matter of business on November 16,
and also here was some assurance from
the majority leader that, without a
doubt, the Senate would approve the conference
I ask the question now, not in any
partisan way, of the Senator from Montana,
who comes from a winter wheat
producing State, because to his State and
to my State of Kansas, which is a winter
wheat producing State, this matter is
highly important. In fact, I have stated
my hope to the Secretary of Agriculture
that perhaps, on the basiS of assurances
o.n the Senate floor, at least some provisional
regulations and recommendations
might be made to American winter wheat
Therefore, I would be most grateful if
the Senator from Montana would comment
on that at this time.
Mr. MANSFIELD. Mr. President I
would be most happy to respond to the
distinguished Senator from Kansas who
comes from one of the great wheat~producing
States in the Nation, and may I
say that Montana is quite a wheat producer,
Because of the situation which has
developed, I find myself, as the majority
leader, in a somewhat embarrassing position.
The bill itself is not all that I
desired. I thought that the Senate bill
was very superior to the House-passed
bill. The conference report did not do
everything that those of us from the
wheat-producing States desired. But all
things considered, it is a good bill, ~d
With a $1.25 base for wheat, with the rest
to be made up through certification, with
what has been done to take care of the
woolgrowers, the stockmen the situation
relative to Public Law 4SO, and other
factors, it is the kind of bill I will vote
Furthermore, I think it should be
brought out that both Houses unanimously
have passed an extension of the
wheat referendum from the 12th of October,
last Monday, when it should have
taken place, to 30 days after the Congress
adjourns sine die, which takes it into
January of next year, 1971.
There have been rumors to the effect
ihat certain Senators have approached
me with the request that I take no action
on the conference report. I wish to state
without equivocation, that no Senato;
has &pproe.ched me, on the basis of the
report.s which have become current asking
me to hold back, to retard, or to delay
this conference report; and I want
that stated specifically because I have
noticed on the ticker that the names of
Senators SYliUNGTON and BURDICH: have
I have had no contact with them whatsoever
with re~pect to action on this
conference report. They have made no
request of me. And, as far as I know, they
have been ready, able, and willing to be
on the floor at any time when the conference
report on the farm bill was to
be taken up.
There is a situation within the committee
~tself, and it relates to the highest
source m that committee, which I think
has to be brought out and understood
as to the situation in which the majority
leader, and for that matter the Senate
finds itself at the present time. '
It appears as of now that we will not
get to the conference report on the farm
bill today; and, speaking personally, I
must express my own disappointment.
But if such is the case, I wish to assure
the distinguished Senator from Kansas
and the Senate that one of the first
orders of business when we return on
November 16 will be the conference repart
on the farm bill. And I think I can
say with full assurance that the Senate
will agree to that conference report.
There may be a little debate on it; I
would not expect too much. By that time,
the ripples wlll have dissolved, and it is
my firm belief that the farmers affected
by this bill can go ahead on all fronts
with the assurance that the conference
report will be considered as soon as possible
on or about November 16, the day
that we return, and passed as soon as
May I say that I have no hesitation
whatever in making this statement. I
have no doubt but that the Senate will
overwhelmingly approve the conference
report. I have been assured by the distinguished
Senator from Kansas that the
Presldent will sign the extension resolution
having to do with the wheat referendum,
very likely today.
So, with that statement, I give to the
Senator from Kansas an answer long
drawn out, but I hope explicit enough
and definite enough to show where the
Senator from Montana stands, the position
he finds himself in, and what he proposes
to do as a result of it.
Mr. DOLE. I appreciate the response
of the Senator from Montana, and feel
that the assurances given with reference
to the action when we return will be
helpful, not only to those of us in the
Senate and to the Secretary of Agriculture,
but most importantly to the farmer.
Mr. MANSFIELD. Yes.
Mr. DOLE. Because even though in
many cases--and I assume in Montana-
he has planted 80 to 90 percent of
Mr. MANSFIELD. Yes, indeed.
Mr. DOLE. There is a set-aside provision
in the farm bill, a new provision.
and some adjustments may need to be
made. But in any event, I also feel that
the conference report will be agreed to.
It will be adopted, I would suggest, by a
very large margin, because I detect no
fiat, outright opposition to the report.
Many farmers, regardless of the views
of some farm leaders, understand that
Mike Mansfield Papers, Series 21, Box 46 , Folder 73, Mansfield Library, University of Montana.
818086 CONGRESSIONAL RECORD- SENATE
this may be the last farm bill we will
have, because of the question of farm
payments and payment llmitatlons. But
in any event, there is still some hope; the
Senate is still in session, and may be in
session for some time yet this afternoon.
It is my understanding that at ·the hour
of 2 o'clock, the distinguished minority
leader will read a letter from the President
of the United States with reference
to possible action on the conference report.
So the Senator from Kansas hopes
that the matter may yet be resolved; but
notwithstanding that, I appreciate very
much the statement of the distinguished
majority leader, the Senator from Montana,
with reference to early action in
the event action is not taken today. This
assurance, I would hope and would think,
would set minds at ease across America,
particularly of those farmers who are
still waiting to plant. So I appreciate the
response very much.
Mr. MANSFIELD. I thank the Senator
for his courtesy. I appreciate his comments.
I yield to the distinguished Senator
Mr. ALLEN. Mr. President, I thank the
distinguished majority leader for yielding
to me. He is to be commended for
the very fine, frank, and statesmanlike
report that he has given with respect to
' the conference report on the farm bill.
My primary interest in the farm bill
!s in how it affects cotton. I was well
pleased with the Senate bill, and had
hoped that the conferees would agree on
the Senate bill.
I do not approve of many of the provisions
in the conference report with respect
to cotton. I do not like the 28 percent
set-aside. I do not like the reduction,
in effect, in the support price. I do
not like the reduction in the number of
acres that are to be planted with support
Yet I feel that the conference report,
as inferior as it is to the Senate version
of the bill, is a vast improvement over
the 1958 act, with its two-price system
for cotton, with its bulging warehouses
full of cotton on which loans had been
made, and with the building up of tremendous
surpluses of cotton. So I would
much prefer the conference report to
getting no farm bill at all, and certainly
I shall support the conference report
when it 1s before the Senate for consideration.
The very frank and candid statement
of the majority leader with respect to
the inevitable eventual passage of the
conference committee report would certainly
make a tempest in a teapot of the
statements that were made of this floor
from the other side of the aisle with respect
to the dire results of a delay in consideration
at this time of the farm bill
conference report. I ~ certainly
pleased to hear the distihlfUished majority
leader say that he had not been
asked by any Senator to delay consideration
of the conference report. because
intimations of that sort were made on
the Senate floor yesterday.
So it would certainly seem to me that
we are going to get a farm bill, and that
any farmer who wishes to plant cotton.
wheat, or feed grains can do so with full
assurance that his crop will have the
support of the Federal Government, according
to the formula provided by the
conference committee report.
It seems to me that on November 16
or 17, we will, insofar as Congress can
act, he.ve a farm bill, and one which is a
vast improvement over the 1958 act,
through it does not come up to the level
of the Senate bill passed recently.
Some days ago, the distinguished majority
leader urged the Senate conferees
to stick by the Senate bill, and I took the
floor and made the same request. Though
our pleas We!'e unsuccessful, we do have
a farm bill that 1.3 on the very threshold
of being enacted. It will not be enacted
today, but in all likelihood on the 16th
or 17th of November it will be enacted.
So the country can feel sure that action
will be taken by the Senate; and certainly
it would be the wish of the junior
Senator from Alabama that at that time
we have speedy action on the conference
I thank the distinguished majority
leader for yielding to me.
Mr. MANSFIELD. !.thank t~ distinguished
Senator from Alabama, ·and I
assure him that this conference report
will)lave.soeedv action. __ ____ _
October 14, 1970
Mike Mansfield Papers, Series 21, Box 46 , Folder 73, Mansfield Library, University of Montana.
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