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"rancher" is applied to larger acreages than 5 acres, though I do live on one of my own that is only 5 acres in extent. However, that is devoted to citrus.
This activity, as I say, is national in scope, and I believe merits the consideration of your committee in view of the expenditure that is now asked. There are three stations, I am advised, that have to do with the fur research. There are two in the east, and this one in the West in my own district.
Mr. SANDLIN. Do you have any idea of the volume of the fur business from the rabbit industry?
Mr. Collins. I have not that information, Mr. Chairman, and I take it that your committee will be advised of that by the Biological Survey.
The main purpose of my appearance here, in addition to advising you generally as to the extent of this business, is to call the attention of this committee to the fact that at the time this experiment station was established the people in that district themselves contributed about $50,000 for the construction of this experiment station. The land was donated, and at that time a contract was entered into with the Government concerning the maintenance of this station; and my plea is going to be addressed to this committee particularly for the maintenance or the continuance of an established contract as a moral obligation.
As far as the Budget estimates are concerned, I am advised that this matter has been entirely eliminated. In that case the $100,000 which has been invested out there will be abandoned. The buildings are of no value except for this particular purpose. Of course the land value still remains, and in that $100,000 the land value is figured. But there is about $50,000 invested by these people in addition to the land value. If this $15,000 appropriation is cut out-and that is all that is required for the maintenance of this station--the entire amount of money which has been invested will be wasted, excepting, of course, the amount of the land value.
In addition to that, just this last year there has been expended $7,900 of P.W.A. money in this station, which is over half of the annual maintenance of the station, in reconstruction of certain hutches and other improvements therein.
In view of the benefit to be gained and the information that is to be disseminated to the thousands of individuals engaged in this pursuit, it seems that it would be false economy to eliminate from this budget the $15,000, considering the expenditure of money which has been made there.
I would like to call briefly to your attention the remarks of Mr. R. H. Taylor, who is the executive secretary of the Agricultural Council of California. He says:
This is an illustration of items that cannot be found by an examination of the Budget as printed. With reference to the Fontana rabbit station the situation is as follows:
A few years ago the farmers and taxpayers of San Bernardino County by voluntary subscription and supervisorial appropriation invested $50,000 in the purchase of land and construction of buildings for this rabbit station, on the understanding that the Government would maintain the station.
And that is evidenced by contract.
The Federal Government has to date spent $15,000 a year on its part of the work, and just recently the P.W.A. has spent $7,500 more on this station.
I understand that is $7,900 instead of $7,500, but it does not matter.
On learning that support for this station comes from the appropriation for fur-bearing animals, we gathered that the station was to be eliminated, as the entire appropriation for fur-bearing animal production is cut off the Budget. It seems to us that when the farmers and taxpayers, not for their own benefit alone, but for the benefit of the rabbit producers of the Southwest (and their number is legion), have put up so much money of their own to have this work carried on, it would be most unwise to stop it now, just when it is well started and when their entire investment will be practically lost so far as they are concerned. The buildings, of course, are no good for anything except the purpose for which constructed. It should also be borne in mind that thousands of farmers have been kept from going on the Government's relief rolls through their ability, assisted by this station, to provide a sufficient income for themselves by the sale of poultry and rabbits on small tracts of land.
I have also letters from the people at Fontana and the man who donated the farm, together with articles that appeared in the Los Angeles Times concerning the merit of that station. I do not believe it will be necessary for me to take your time, and I doubt very much if you want me to take your time, to tell you anything of the merit of the information that is disseminated. I have telegrams from the boards of supervisors there, all of them urging the merits of it, not because of the locality of the station, but by reason of the information that is disseminated to all the people of that district on the care and maintenance of these rabbits.
I have here a statement from the United States Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Biological Survey, which I would like to leave with you, and which in brief sets forth some of the work that is being carried on and the benefits to be derived from it.
Mr. SANDLIN. I imagine we have that in the record. They have been here.
Mr. COLLINS. I was not aware of that. I understood they were to be here. In that case, of course, I will not duplicate the information.
Mr. Hart. Mr. Collins, let me ask you one question: The breeding of these rabbits and the stimulation of the industry by Government departments will bring them into direct competition with other agricultural pursuits, for instance the producing of beef and hogs; and in view of the fact that we are going into a campaign to reduce the meat supply of the Nation, do you think we ought to stimulate another angle of it?
Mr. COLLINS. Mr. Hart, we are not stimulating:
Mr. Collins. My understanding of the activity in this particular instance is that it is not stimulation, but rather dissemination of information to those who are already engaged in the pursuit.
Mr. Hart. But rabbits come in direct competition with beef and hogs.
Mr. Collins. That is true. If poultry is considered to be in direct competition, of course rabbits are to be considered as in direct competition.
The gist of my argument is for the maintenance of this station for the purpose of disseminating the information to those who are already engaged in this activity on the small farms. Where there is one man engaged in raising beef, there are a dozen engaged in raising rabbits.
Not on a large scale; there are no large rabbit breeders, as far as I know, who are placing tons of meat on the market. Rather it is a small industry where very few rabbits are marketed weekly.
Mr. SINCLAIR. Does any of this rabbit meat get out of the localitz in which it is raised?
Mr. COLLINS. In this particular district it reaches the metropolitan area in the State of California, but it never goes from there.
Mr. Hart. It does in some other localities?
Mr. COLLINS. Oh, surely. The rabbits raised in Maryland reach the metropolitan areas here.
Mr. Hart. The rabbits raised in Michigan reach the metropolitan areas in Michigan and also in Chicago.
Mr. COLLINS. But the beef that you raise reaches California, and the beef that I raise reaches Chicago, too, as far as that goes.
Mr. SINCLAIR. The rabbit meat is not shipped all over the country in the same way that beef or pork is?
Mr. Collins. Not at all; no.
Mr. Sandlin. We are very glad to have your statement, Mr. Collins.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 1934.
RESTORATION OF APPROPRIATION FOR RESEARCH STUDIES OF FOOD
HABITS OF BIRDS AND ANIMALS
STATEMENT OF G. H. COLLINGOOD, REPRESENTING THE AMERI
CAN FORESTRY ASSOCIATION, 1713 K STREET NORTHWEST, WASHINGTON, D.C.
Mr. CollinGOOD. I wish to place before your attention the very real interest of the American Forestry Association in restoring these items of the Biological Survey and thereby restoring its very real usefulness to the people of the country. We were so concerned over it that as soon as we learned of the recommendations of the Bureau of the Budget, our president wrote to the President of the United States a letter, which I should like to place in the record. (The letter referred to is as follows:) THE AMERICAN FORESTRY ASSOCIATION,
Washington, D.C. Hon. FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT,
President of the United States, Washington, D.C. MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: Knowing as you do my long-standing interest in the conservation of wild life, I hope you will pardon this intrusion upon your busy moments. It is prompted by deep concern over the dismemberment of the Biological Survey, Department of Agriculture, which must surely result if the Federal Budget for the coming fiscal year is carried through as recommended to Congress.
Analysis of the Budget as it relates to the work of the Biological Survey in perpetuating American wild life, including song and insectivorous birds, shows that appropriations for the Bureau will be subject to a cut of 43 percent below the funds available this current year. This reduction following upon the cut imposed upon the Bureau by the last Congress will reduce the working resources of the Government's wild-life agency approximately 74 percent in 3 years.
I am informed that reduction of appropriations this and last year compelled the Biological Survey to release some 800 employees, and that the contemplated cut in next year's funds will force the release of some 600 additional workers, making a total dismemberment of over 1,400 workers. I am further advised that it will call for the complete elimination of many activities of the Bureau, including much of its research work deemed basic to the conservation of the country's bird and animal life.
The beneficial effects of song birds spiritually upon our people and their economic value in aiding man to control crop-destroying insects are all too well known to you. It is an accepted fact today among leaders of wild-life conservation that perpetuation of our birds and wild animals will finally be accomplished not through game laws but through knowledge of their life cycles, natural environments, food, habits, etc. In this field our knowledge is very limited and forced abandonment of much of the Biological Survey's research work would seem to strike at the very heart of the Government's conservation responsibility in the wild-life field.
The Biological Survey is looked to by the entire world for authoritative information on American birds. It is my understanding that if the contemplated reduction is insisted upon the Survey will have to operate without a recognized birdman.
Farmers who frequently call upon the Survey for aid and information in respect to birds and crop insects, lawmakers who would draft legislation to keep a fair balance of nature, and even school children who would more intimately know the birds, will, I understand, be deprived of service which the Biological Survey has so long given.
With millions of dollars being spent for emergency work and to provide employment, may I, therefore, appeal for a reconsideration of this contemplated reduction in the Survey's resources? The American Forestry Association is interested not only in maintaining the bird and animal life of forest and field but now even more than at other times it is interested in the welfare of scientific workers who have given their lives to the public service for which the Biological Survey stands, and who, no doubt, now find themselves threatened with dismissal and unemployment.
Assuring you of my high esteem, and hoping that our plea will have your sympathetic consideration, I am Very sincerely yours,
GEORGE D. Pratt, President. Mr. SANDLIN. Have you the President's answer to it?
Mr. COLLINGOOD. His answer came in today; it is merely an acknowledgment and a statement that he was passing it on to the Secretary of Agriculture. We are particularly concerned, Mr. Chairman, with the possibility of taking out that entire appropriation on the food habits of birds and animals.
Mr. Sandlin. The item of $71,000?
Mr. CollinGOOD. Yes; the item of $71,000. We feel, sir, that the Biological Survey has, through these years, contributed information of untold value on birds of all sorts, and, really, when you think of the Biological Survey without a corps of bird men, of ornithologists, it is almost unbelievable.
We also feel that with this new land-purchasing program which Mr. Gordon spoke of, on which, I understand, $12,000,000 has been allocated for the purchase of land for migratory bird refuges and breeding grounds, that it is particularly important that the Biological Survey have this corps of active researchers in order that the money may be adequately expended.
A few days ago, Representative Polk, on the floor of the House, spoke of this matter and compared it to a big building program which the Government might undertake, and at the same time discharge all of its architects and engineers. The two are comparable and just as ridiculous.
Without taking any more of your time, I hope that you may find it possible to restore the items and keep this survey going in the way it should.
Mr. SANDLIN. Do you know whether or not any one interested in having the items restored has ever taken the matter up direct with the Bureau of the Budget?
Mr. COLLINGOOD. I, personally, tried to take it up with the Bureau of the Budget 10 days ago and was informed that the matter had left their hands and was in the hands of this subcommittee.
Mr. SANDLIN. Additional estimates on other items have come here after this Budget estimate came over.
Mr. COLLINGOOD. So I understand. I learned that more recently. On my attempt, the door was closed.
Mr. GORDON. People in the Biological Survey, those who would be eliminated, are so much up in the air that they are not able to do any planning ahead. They are just like a bird with a broken wing; they flutter around and do not get anywhere. If this item should be written into the bill right promptly and let the world know they are back, it would do a lot to stabilize that work and get them off again. It is similar to the people in the experiment stations in the West, where those in the experiment stations do not know whether they are going to be there after July 1 or not. It seems so pennywise and pound foolish, to cut off the basic research staff for the sake of $25,000 or $30,000.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 1934.
DRY LAND EXPERIMENTAL FARM AT NEWELL, S.DAK.
STATEMENT OF HON. THEO. B. WERNER, A REPRESENTATIVE
IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA
Mr. WERNER. Mr. Chairman, I would like to present the following letters and resolutions from South Dakota urging the retention of the United States experimental farm at Newell, S.Dak.:
Letter from Hon. C. A. Russell, Secretary of Agriculture of South Dakota, urging the continuation of the farm on account of its splendid work and its value to the people it serves.
Resolution by the board of city commissioners of the city of Newell, S.Dak., registering their high regard for the successful leadership of the farm in all agricultural activities of western South Dakota, and petitioning for its continued operation.
Letter from the South Dakota Farm Bureau Federation, by L. E. Cummirs, executive secretary, stating that the experiments at the farm for many years have been of great benefit to the sheepmen throughout western South Dakota, Wyoming, and eastern Montana, and requesting its continuance.
Resolution by the Associated Commercial Clubs of the Black Hills of South Dakota, outlining the various activities of the farm which have aided in the improvement of farming and livestock raising, and urging its continuance.
Resolution by the Western South Dakota Lamb Feeders' Association, by its officers and directors, urging an appropriation for the