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small enough number. I do not know whether these men will be able to keep up with all of the work which they must do.
Mr. WiggLESWORTH. What is that work? You are not going with 500 committees on an experimental basis. What do these men have to do that requires so much time?
Mr. PERKINS. There is the matter of giving the initial instruction as to procedure. There is the follow-up job of answering questions with regard to following that procedure. Then there will be cases of title clearances, and various other matters that will have to be attended to in county-seat towns, where there will be a good deal of work.
Mr. LUDLOW. Is there any travel pay in this item?
Mr. PERKINS. The travel pay under this item is $49,000. Unless these people can travel, they are valueless.
Mr. WIGGLESWORTH. In the last analysis, it is simply the making of 500 loans: is it not?
Mr. PERKINS. No; it is not just that. In connection with this question of making a loan there is the matter of judgment as to the farm plan. Also we want to check up to see the sort of tenants recommended by the county committees. If the Government is going to lend $10,000,000 we ought to have at least 20 people to look at some of the farms selected.
Mr. TABER. You can get the representatives of the farm-loan outfit to give you their judgment on that without any trouble at all. They have a very small fee; it would be about 10 percent of the expense that it would cost to have a set-up such as you are proposing.
Mr. WIGGLESWORTH. It seems to me you have a very heavy set-up here. You have a personnel of over 900 for title 1 and title 3, with a very high average rate of salary.
Mr. TABER. The set-up is designed, is it not, to provide jobs for everybody who had a job under the Resettlement Administration?
Mr. PERKINS. I would like to say that that is not true. There are hundreds and hundreds of employees of the Resettlement Administration whose services have been terminated in the last month or two. Title 1 involves 99 people, counting the clerks. There is one tenancy supervisor at $4,600 and one assistant at $2,900; there are 48 States in which we are required to operate. On the average, a field man has two States in which he has to keep in touch with the county committees. There has to be somebody there with responsibility to see that the provisions of the law are carried out. If it were not for the fact that the Secretary is authorized to utilize personal services of other bureaus, I do not believe the job coud possibly be done within the 5 percent allowed for administrative expenses.
DEVELOPMENT, MAINTENANCE, AND OPERATION OF LANDS
Mr. WOODRUM. Can you give us some statement in reference to the amount under title 3 of $1,326,783 for the development, maintenance, and operation of lands?
Can you elaborate a little more on that?
Mr. WOODRUM. Yes; for the development, maintenance, and operation of lands.
Dr. Gray. One million of that is for material and hired labor, that is, labor for manual work and development of the land, and equipment, and so on, required for doing the job of improving the land.
Mr. WOODRUM. What kind of improvement will that be; planting?
Dr. Gray. If a project were in the forest area it might be planting. Or it might be building some stock water tanks or reservoirs, or some fencing, or different kinds of improvements necessary to make the land serviceable for that type of use to which it will be devoted.
Mr. WIGGLESWORTH. Why do you want a general area manager and 10 assistant managers?
Dr. Gray. We use the word area in terms of a project. If we have this year's program in 10 projects, in each of the projects we would be buying approximately 200,000 acres of land during the year. We would be making plans for developing that land, actually carrying out the development work on the land. You have an area man in charge of the whole job, locally in charge of that job. It is well to have an assistant because he cannot attend to all of those details himself, and if anything happens to him then you have somebody who can step in and carry on for a few weeks, at any rate.
Mr. Ludlow. Does the development of the land contemplate general improvements and buildings?
Dr. Gray. Not buildings in any extensive sense. Sometimes it may be desirable to put up a ranger cabin. There will be comparatively little construction of buildings.
Mr. Ludlow. It contemplates also the rehabilitation of the soil itself?
Dr. Gray. That is right. I might say further on this development that it does not necessarily follow that all of the development work would be done by the particular agency that buys the land. If we were buying the land in a conservation district where the Soil Conservation Service have a force of people available for contouring, for building dams and lakes and stock water tanks, the Secretary, I expect, would be inclined to have the Soil Conservation Service do that development work.
Mr. WIGGLESWORTH. Looking ahead, do you anticipate that you will have to keep a force of 170 people just for planning your program?
Dr. GRAY. You refer to the first section?
Mr. WIGGLESWORTH. Yes; section 1. You have provision for 30 departmental employees and 140 in the field under the program of acquisition and utilization.
Dr. Gray. Well, this is a big country to get over, and you have to really plan the utilization of the land from the standpoint of the public welfare and public advantage, and that is a pretty big order. I feel confident that this is a very modest force for that kind of a job.
Mr. WIGGLESWORTH. From a long-range point of view, you expect to have to keep a section of that character, do you? You cannot work out your program and abide by it? It has to be developed from year to year?
Dr. Gray. You cannot hope to work out a program for the whole country at once. I do not think we can hope to work out a detailed program for the whole country in 3 years. We can make substantial progress along that line. But, comparatively speaking, I think it is a small amount, considering the magnitude of the job.
DISPOSITION OF LANDS TAKEN OVER UNDER PROGRAM
Mr. Ludlow. Is it contemplated that all of these lands to be taken over will be held in perpetuity by the Government, or will you rehabilitate and dispose of some of it?
Dr. GRAY. That is a policy which the Secretary will have to settle. The policy under the former program was to either turn the land over to some established Federal agency to look after, or to transfer it to the State under a long-term lease, or a conditional lease under which they are required to see that the objectives of the project are fulfilled and that the lands are used in a conservational way.
Mr. LUDLOW. It is not a part of the plan that any of these lands shall be rehabilitated and sold into private holdings?
Dr. GRAY. There is no such authorization.
Mr. Taber. If you are going to turn the land over to some established agency, or to the States, why do you need this $1,300,000 for operation?
Dr. Gray. We need that because of the making of plans for the improvement and development of this land to carry out that development, getting the land in shape to turn over.
Mr. Ludlow. Have you any idea as to what proportion of the land may be turned over to these established agencies?
Dr. GRAY. Practically all of it; all of it will be turned over to some public agency.
Mr. LUDLOW. To the States?
Dr. GRAY. We have no authority to turn it over to private individuals.
Mr. Ludlow. You do not know what proportion will be turned over to the States?
Dr. Gray. I cannot say in advance because that depends on where the projects are located, and on the negotiations with the State authorities which have not yet been made.
We put in the record, as far as former projects are concerned, that have been carried on under the old land program, just what the destination of those projects is, from the standpoint of administration. But we cannot do that so far as the new projects are concerned because it is too early.
LOANS TO FARMERS FOR PURCHASE OF FARMS
Mr. CANNON. You have an estimate of 9% million dollars for loans to farmers to purchase land, and I believe it is generally agreed that you are going to buy fertile land.
Dr. GRAY. Yes.
Mr. Cannon. You do not propose to put these people on submarginal land, do you?
Mr. PERKINS. Very definitely no.
Mr. CANNON. Now, you have made an estimate of what you expect to pay; and what size farms do you expect to buy with that money? Do you expect to buy a 40-acre farm, or a 160-acre farm? That will vary, of course, with the locality and the character of the farming that the man does. But, speaking generally, what size farm do you expect the man to have?
Mr. PERKINS. The law requires, Mr. Cannon, that the Secretary set up certain standards in the area in which he is operating, for determining what constitutes an economic-size unit. No loan may
be made unless it is on a farm that is an economic-size unit and from which there is a reasonable hope for the Government to get its money back.
Mr. CANNON. To what extent may the size of the economic units vary?
Mr. PERKINS. They will vary considerably. For instance, in the South, there are a good many 40- or 50-acre farms, which are economie sized units in the sense that climatic conditions are such that a man can raise feedstuffs on that farm and food for his family, and some cotton, or tobacco, and make a living.
Mr. CANNON. Some of these farms, then, will be as small as 40 acres?
Mr. PERKINS. Some will probably be as small as 40 acres.
Mr. CANNON. Do you think any of them would be less than 40 or 50 acres?
Mr. PERKINS. I would say not, Mr. Cannon.
Mr. PERKINS. I suppose there will be parts of the country, where an economic sized farm will run as high as 160 acres.
Mr. CANNON. In case you got a schedule from the Secretary which would indicate that the economic size of the farm in this particular locality is 160 acres, and then you came to buy a particular farm that you liked and that was agreed upon by your committee, but found that it had only 140 acres in it. How would you get the other 20 acres?
Mr. PERKINS. Oh, if it happened to be in an especially fertile territory and an especially fertile piece of land, and the county committee knew that over a number of years the farmer who had lived there had made a good living, we would not say, and we are not going to say, “Do not buy a farm unless it is exactly 160 acres." We are going to take the judgment of the local farmers on what constitutes a good, economic unit in any given locality, within the broad instructions to be issued by the Secretary.
Mr. CANNON. Then you would not adhere to rigid specifications, such as indicated?
Mr. PERKINS. No. We would have to make them flexible so that the county committees could exercise some common-sense judgment in the matter.
Mr. CANNON. You have no specific idea of the actual acreage, then, that you would purchase with this nine and a half million dollars?
Mr. PERKINS. No.
Now, how many farms do you expect to purchase with this nine and a half million dollars?
Mr. PERKINS. I think 2,500 farms probably, the country overbetween that and 3,000 would be a pretty good guess.
Mr. CANNON. How much would you expect to pay per acre? That would naturally vary, too. But, speaking generally, what would be the minimum and the maximum?
Mr. PERKINS. We could set a minimum and a maximum only in & given county, I am inclined to think; or at least, in a definite area. Otherwise it would be meaningless, if applied to the whole country. But in any given area we can find out from the Federal land-bank people about what land is worth in that area, and we might say that no farm should be considered which cost less than this per acre or more
than that. We do not want to get it too low, because we do not want to get into submarginal lands. And we do not want to go too high. But that is a matter for subsequent determination.
Mr. WOODRUM. How did you reach the figure of nine and a half million dollars? You must have had some basis of acreage in figuring
Mr. PERKINS. No, Judge Woodrum; we have not gone at it that way. When Congress indicated that we might get nine and a half million dollars, we thought in terms of counties in which we could operate.
Mr. WOODRUM. You just cut out the administrative expenses and put the balance to the land?
Mr. PERKINS. That is what we did, and we know that it will buy somewhere between 2,500 and 3,000 farms.
Mr. CANNON. What improvements would you require on this land that you bought?
Mr. PERKINS. In general, I think the county committees will attempt to select farms, from the enormous number of applications, where a minimum number of improvements will be required.
Mr. CANNON. Would you prefer, in making this selection, a farm on which there were already improvements, or would you prefer to select a farm and erect your own buildings?
Mr. PERKINS. The first year, in most cases, we will select farms on which there are buildings. I feel sure that is what the county committees would do.
Mr. CANNON. You would provide not only the money, then, to purchase the land, but you would also provide the money to rehabilitate the buildings, I suppose?
Mr. PERKINS. Oh, yes. On any given farm, since the Government had a mortgage on the farm, it might be desirable to spend four or five hundred dollars to fix up the house or the barn.
Mr. CANNON. A man who had bought his farm from the Government and had 40 years to pay for it, and the Government had a lien on it, might find himself in need of machinery or mules or other equipment. Now, do you take into consideration the fact that you will expect him to have a line of credit with local merchants, or do you expect him to depend solely on the Government?
Mr. PERKINS. We would not, of course, expect him to depend solely on the Government.
Mr. CANNON. As a matter of practice, do you think he would be in a position to command local credit, in addition to that supplied by the Government?
Mr. PERKINS. That would vary; but, of course, under title II of the act, he could get a rehabilitation loan for those purposes.
Mr. CANNON. Then you contemplate not only to lend him money for the farm, but you propose to provide him money for improvements?
Mr. PERKINS. Some of the tenants will need rehabilitation loans. The law requires that we try to select tenants who own their livestock and who are in as good a position to farm as possible. Some tenants may have a pretty good line of credit locally.
Mr. Cannon. Å man, then, who did not have his own livestock need not apply?