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Mr. LARSEN. What is the approximate price of the land?
Mr. LARSEN. What would be the probable price for one homestead?
Mr. ROOSEVELT. It would probably go to $50 or $60 an acre plus, above the carrying charges.
Mr. LARSEN. A homestead would probably consist of 30 acres? Mr. ROOSEVELT. Two and one-half to twenty acres.
Mr. LARSEN. Would 272 acres of land of that character be sufficient to maintain a family?
Mr. ROOSEVELT. Yes, and I have seen the families living on the 22 acres, and they are able to maintain themselves and feed themselves all right under 27, but that has to be very rich land.
Mr. LARSEN. I think the small farm contains seven acres or something like that.
Mr. ROOSEVELT. Something like that, yes. That would be the average there, you see. Our average small farm would be 7 to 10 acres. Two and one-half would be exceptionally small.
Mr. LARSEN. Are the farms as a rule large or small?
Mr. LARSEN. I was wondering whether a small acreage would be sufficient to take care of it.
Mr. ROOSEVELT. Yes; it will. We have several things in our favor that Denmark has not got. In the first place, we have 12 months-in-the-year climate. In the second place, we do not have any expense of fuel and houses to keep out cold and things of that sort. So that renders our cost of living lower in that fashion than Denmark would be; and, of course, the clothing comes in there too.
Mr. LARSEN. The thing that I can not understand is, with all the natural advantages mentioned, how so many people have come to a point of absolute starvation?
Mr. ROOSEVELT. That was due to the conditions in which the situation found itself. Now, here is one trouble we have had originally, and the thing that we are fighting now: You are a small country farmer. You have never seen any money to speak of in your life at all. Somebody comes and offers you $1,500 or $2,000 for your farm. That represents to you what $200,000,000 would represent to Rockefeller, and you take that and he has bought your farm; and then you go to the city and at the end of the year you have spent that money. You have no farm and no means of livelihood.
Mr. LARSEN. My understanding has been that under former governments they were really taxed almost out of existence. I would like to know something about the taxation system, the character of property upon which the tax is levied, whether or not it is an income tax or a property tax.
Mr. ROOSEVELT. One of the features of taxation down there is our fiscal system. That is not good at the present moment. It is our hope in this coming year we will reorganize it. We are working on a possible graduated tax based on the size of holdings.
Mr. LARSEN. You will necessarily have to adopt some system of taxation which will not be a great burden upon agriculture.
Mr. ROOSEVELT. That is what we are trying to do. I was telling you about the increase in the gasoline tax.
Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman, I would suggest that the time is running short if we are to hear from the governor's assistant.
Mr. ROOSEVELT. Better have Doctor Chardon testify right now. The CHAIRMAN. Governor, have you finished your statement? Mr. ROOSEVELT. I have entirely finished.
Mr. BRIGHAM. I wanted to ask one question. I understand there is only one experimental station that is maintained by the Government of the United States?
Mr. ROOSEVELT. Yes.
Mr. BRIGHAM. It is not quite clear to me just what you propose to do by increasing the work of the experiment station. As we know the experimental station in this country, it is an investigating institution to investigate problems relative to agriculture so that these investigations form the basis for educational work. As I have followed your testimony, it is your desire to teach these people along the lines of educational institutions in this country. Now, would the experimental station at Porto Rico do the same work the experimental station does here?
Mr. ROOSEVELT. I will just say one word and then I will get Doctor Chardon to explain in detail
. I was referring to the station work when I was talking there. Now, I think it would probably be better if Doctor Chardon answered the entire question.
STATEMENT OF CARLOS E. CHARDON, COMMISSIONER OF AGRI
CULTURE AND LABOR, PORTO RICO Mr. CHARDON. Mr. Chairman and Congressmen, as a son of Porto Rico and as commissioner of agriculture and labor, I am very much interested to appear before this committee to explain not only some of the details of this bill, but also I would like to bring to your attention certain matters of an international character which I can see very clearly will be the result of this action of Congress. In other words, we want to show Congress that we are worthy of this aid.
Let me for a moment outline one of the projects which we have been carrying on in the island in our experimental station, which has resulted in a great asset in one of our crops. In the case of sugar cane, which constitutes our main product of export, the average production of sugar of Porto Rico for a 10-year period covering the years 1915 to 1924, was 440,000 tons up to 1924. That ran in trouble with the appearance of a very destructive disease of sugar cane which is called the mosaic disease, and for a number of years our industry was practically threatened by a complete ruin due to the ravages of this disease. As a result of a very thorough research study undertaken by the insular authorities and by the Federal authorities, and as the result of importation of sugar cane varieties from all over the world, the situation now is this: The normal production of the island, as I told you before, was 440,000 tons of sugar per year. The crop for this year, without increasing a single acreage, will be 850,000 tons of sugar for the island, which means an increase of 90 per cent over what we used to consider a normal crop of Porto Rico. Now, reducing this
to dollars and cents, this means that this single item of research which we have undertaken with such a great success has meant to the island a gross income of $30,000,000 annually, while the combined expense of both the insular and the Federal station for the period of 10 years, which it has taken to carry on this project, has not been over a million dollars.
Now, as a result of that outstanding project which we have been able to carry on so successfully, now technical men, mostly Porto Ricans, are now spreading to all those neighboring countries, especially to Cuba. Some of them are in Peru, many of them are in Santo Domingo. A few are in Colombia. Just recently two of them have gone to the Republic of Ecuador.
As you know very well, the consuming public of the United States is depending more and more on many of the commodities from the tropics. The commerce now with Latin America is three times as much as it was preceding the period of the war. That is, every year the consuming public here depends more and more on the tropical products like sugar, coffee, rubber, cacao, and many other crops. The National Research Council, which, as you know, is a cooperative organization of scientific men of America, have had in mind, in order to help out in this project, of the opening up of the American tropics. They have had in mind as a very necessary step in the opening of the American tropics a school for tropical experts in agriculture, which no institution now in the continent of the United States is prepared to undertake. So they have had in the last eight years the project of establishing somewhere in the American tropics a school, a graduate school of tropical agriculture. That is very important and that is very, very vital. It is of vital importance to the United States as a very necessary step to the opening of the American tropics. The National Research Council has a committee, the Committee on Biology and Agriculture, which has been studying where to localize this school, and as a result of a visit which they paid to Porto Rico they have rendered a report in which they have come to the conclusion, after a thorough study of the situation, and in view of the progress which Porto Rico has already made in agricultural research, that Porto Rico is the logical place to have this graduate school of agriculture.
Some of the paragraphs of this very important document in our judgment read as follows:
The States are dependent upon tropical America for tropical fruits, sugar, coffee, cacao, and numerous other products, while tropical America needs many products from the States. The development of commerce of Porto Rico during the last two decades indicates the potential development of the tropical American countries if a mutual understanding can be arrived at and the mutual needs served. It is of vital interest to the States to have agricultural production in tropical America on an efficient basis, and quite as important to cultivate intellectual, cultural, and scientific intercourse which will make for the best international relations. Proper developments in these lines may lead to Pan-American amity on a scale we apparently could not have hoped for through the too frequent blunders and distruct of diplomacists.
After considering the conditions of Porto Rico, one of the outstanding paragraphs of the report reads as follows:
In short, Porto Rico is in a position to assume leadership in most lines of advancement in tropical America. She has very limited resources, however, and is in great need of assistance in her efforts.
Now, these efforts for which we are striving in agriculture are not the only line of development which we are approaching. We already have a school, a graduate school of tropical medicine which has been run in cooperation with Columbia University for the special study of the problems of tropical sanitation. In the project of a school of agriculture, we are now in connection and correspondence with Cornell University, and Cornell University has finally committed itself to cooperating with Porto Rico, and they are endeavoring now to get an appropriation of a million dollars as an endowment for the establishment of this school.
Now, the two fundamental problems of the Tropics, gentlemen, are problems of health and their problems of agriculture. If Porto Rico is of use and becomes significant in the study of problems of tropical health and becomes significant in the problems of the study of tropical agriculture, then we are fundamentally attacking the two most important problems of the Tropics.
I would like to read as an appendix of my statement this report of the Committee on Biology and Agriculture of the National Research Council.
The CHAIRMAN. You ask to have that inserted in the record with your remarks?
Mr. CHARDON. Yes, sir.
LOCATION FOR GRADUATE SCHOOL OF TROPICAL
Report of an investigation made by William Crocker, chairman of the Division of Biology and Agriculture, National Research Council.
1. INTRODUCTION For some years the Division of Biology and Agriculture of the National Research Council has been considering the question of biological and agricultural research in the tropics. A committee of this division on tropical research has done much to further the development of the Barro Colorado Island Biological Station in the Canal Zone and the Tropical Plant Research Foundation. The former furnished facilities for the study of wild life in tropical America and the latter is handling the scientific problems connected with cane production in Cuba as well as some scientific problems connected with other tropical crops in Latin America. Both of these are now going research institutions of importance. This committee has long been considering the matter of a graduate school of tropical agriculture. Many locations for such a school have been under consideration. Of all the locations considered Porto Rico has seemed the most logical because of Porto Rico's interest in such a school and because of many other advantages. Porto Rico has recently further manifested her interest in such a school by inviting a committee of the Division of Biology and Agriculture to visit the island and carefully study the feasibility of Porto Rico as the location for such a graduate school. The division appointed L. J. Cole, previous chairman of the division and animal production specialist, and William Crocker, the present chairman of the division and a plant-production specialist, as a committee to make this investigation. The former visited the island in late June of this year and the latter in August. This report gives the findings of the latter. The findings of the former are given in a separate report.
II. INTERDEPENDENCE OF TROPICAL AMERICA AND THE UNITED STATES
The States are dependent upon tropical America for tropical fruits, sugar, coffee, cacao, and numerous other products, while tropical America needs many products of the States. The development of commerce with Porto Rico during the last two decades indicates the potential development with tropical American countries if a mutual understanding can be arrived at and mutual need served. It is of vital interest to the States to have agricultural production in tropical America on an efficient basis and quite as important to cultivate intellectual, cultural, and scientific intercourse which will make for best international relations. Proper developments in these lines may lead to Pan-American amity that we apparently could not have hoped for through the too-frequent blunders and distrust of diplomacists. III. REASONS WHY PORTO RICO IS A LOGICAL LOCATION FOR A TROPICAL SCHOOL OF
AGRICULTURE 1. Porto Rico has an excellent health department and is maintaining good sanitary and health conditions considering the funds available. This department is cooperating fully with the Graduate School of Tropical Medicine, which makes Porto Rico preeminent amongst Latin American countries in matters of health and sanitation.
2. With the present Graduate School of Tropical Medicine jointly supported and operated by Columbia University and the University of Porto Rico, and a school of commerce, which is practically assured and which is to be jointly handled by a university in the States and by the University of Porto Rico, such a Graduate School of Agriculture, operated similarly, will form an excellent nucleus for a Pan-American University.
3. The Porto Rican Government has a strong department of agriculture under the able leadership of Commissioner Carlos E. Chardon. This maintains an experiment station that is doing excellent scientific work and meeting unusually well the practical problems of the planters of the island. Through the introduction, breeding, and selection of better varieties of canes and the control of the mosaic and gomosis diseases of canes they will double the acreage yield on the better centrals. The work of this department on cane alone is worth millions of dollars a year to the island. Excellent work is also being done on tobacco, the second most valuable crop. The department is now turning its attention to coffee. Great improvements are in promise in coffee yields, due to the selection of better varieties, better propagation, spacing and pruning methods, and the adoption of the proper use of commercial fertilizers. The Insular Department of Agriculture is located at San Juan. Its experiment station is at Rio Piedras near San Juan, while the demonstration farms are located throughout the island in such a way as to demonstrate to the planters the best methods known for handling the several main crops.
4. There is an excellent Federal agricultural experiment station located at Mayaguez at the west end of the island. This station is doing excellent scientific work on many agricultural problems of the island. Some of its most striking work is the improvement of varieties of coffee and the fertilizer practice and cultural methods for coffee; the introduction, breeding, and selection of desirable fruits for the island; and the improvement of cultural methods of fruits, including disease and pest control.
The insular and Federal agricultural experiment stations are working well together and will both welcome and cooperate fully with a graduate school of agriculture. Both of these institutions will do much to put such a school in close touch with the material and problems of tropical agriculture. The three institutions together should make Porto Rico the American center for tropical agricultural study and assume leadership in this field of applied science.
5. Already Porto Rico is furnishing a number of trained agriculturists to other Latin American countries. She is also looked to for advice in this field. A gradtuae school of agriculture would strengthen and render very effective this leadership. What is true of Porto Rico in regard to agricultural advance is true in other fields such as elementary, secondary, and higher education; development of medicine and sanitation; the operation of reform and penal institutions and institutions for the insane. The building, organization, and operation of the last three sorts of institutions is as good as the best in the States. In short, Porto Rico is in a position to assume leadership in most lines of advancement in tropical America. She has very limited resources, however, and is in great need of assistance in her efforts.
6. Perhaps the most important single point to be considered in the formation of such a school is the quality of young men to be educated. On this, one can feel the greatest assurance. In the present vigorous campaign of development of public institutions and public works in Porto Rico/a development that has characterized Governor Towner's excellent administration-young well-trained Porto Ricans are largely heading the several phases of activity and they are