s .U06 CONGRESSIONAL RECORD-SENATE March 19, 1975
OUR AGRICULTURAL ECONOMY
Mr MANS.FIELD Mr. President. the
agriculturnl economy or the United
States as. m most nations. Is one or the
basic element.l;. and lt.c; general welfare
1s usually a good Indication or overall
economic rondltlonll. I am extremely
concerned about the general condition or
agriculture today. and as we have said
on numerous occasions, I! the farmers
and ranchers are finding It difficult to
make ends meet. it will not be too long
before this general concUtion spreads
throughout the Nation. Both the livestock
operators. and the grain growers
have experienced ups and downs In their
economy, and, recently, Inflation has extended
the depressed conditions to serious
Fanners, In recent years, have operated
under a .fluctuating program of controls
and supports. In the last few years.
these programs have not provided the
farmer with the kind of security he
needs. Both Committees on Agriculture
in the House and Senate are actively discussing
legislation which would extend
and Increase supports for basic agriculture.
I hope that we will soon be able to
send the President a workable farm bill
which would elevate Federal supports to
a level commensurate with economic
concUUons. It Is essential that we give
the grain growers some semblance of
stablllty with which to face the future.
Agriculture produce Is becoming an Increasingly
important item in the world
market. and our industry should certainly
be given an opportunity to play Its
proper role. I think the enactment or a
bill like the McGcvem proposal, which
many or us have cosponsored, would be a
step m the right direction.
The livestock industry has been hit
even harder m recent years, and somethmg
Is going to have to be done In order
to avoid economic chaos among our llveetock
producers. I wish to compllment the
Senate Corruruttee on Agriculture and
Forestry for expeditious action In reporting
legislation th.ls week which 9-:ould
expand and extend the Emergency Live-
.stock Credit Act. This Is an Interim
measure, but It is e!';Sentlal to otrer tlnan('
11\l a.ld to those who have been extremc)J
luu'd hit by hlf\atlon
I have co~P<>nsore.
would Implement this proposal.
This measure has my support.
The one sub}ect \\hlch concerns me the
most Is the unwillingness of the administration
to take Immediate action in reimposing
stringent Import quotas on cattle
and beef Imports. I believe the quota
system worked when Implemented, and
has brought about some agreeable negotiations
with other cattle exporting nations
such as Austrnlla. I am, however,
concerned about recurrtna rumors that
the Department o! State Is recommending
that Impart Quotas be released again
to benefit unspecified nations. I wish to
recommend extreme caution In this regard
This type o! foreign policy can only
be damaging to the livestock Industry
Foreign trade Is a two-way street. and
I see no reason why Lhe cattlemen ol this
country should sutrer In the process. The
Import Quota system Is discretionary but,
U current conditions do not Improve here
In the United States, perhaps they will
have to be made mandatory.
In conclusion, Mr. President, 1! deprell.
c;ed conditions continue to plague the
cattlemen and farmers of this courrtry, I
fear far more serious consequences than
we now lace.
Mike Mansfield Papers, Series 21, Box 50, Folder 48, Mansfield Library, University of Montana
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