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Full text of "Migrant and seasonal farmworker powerlessness. Hearings, Ninety-first Congress, first and second sessions .."

AMHERST COllEGE 



O'i^ 



310212 3111 4574 5 SEASONAL FARMWORKER 
POWERLESSNESS 



HEARINGS 



BEFORE THE 



AMHjlRST 
COLLEGE 

APR 29 1971 
LIBRARY 



SUBCOMMITTEE ON MIGEATOEY LABOE 

OF THE 

COMMITTEE ON 

LABOR AND PUBLIC WELFARE 

UNITED STATES SENATE 

NINETY-FIEST CONGRESS 

FIRST AND SECOND SESSIONS 
ON 

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE? 



JULY 24, 1970 



PART 8-C 



Printed for the use of the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare 




MIGRANT AND SEASONAL FARMWORKER 
POWERLESSNESS 



HEARINGS 

BEFORE THE 

SUBCOMMIHEE ON MIGEATOEY LABOR 

OF THE 

COMMITTEE ON 

LABOR AND PUBLIC WELFARE 

UNITED STATES SENATE 

NINETY-FIRST CONGEESS 

FIRST AND SECOND SESSIONS 
ON 

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE? 



JULY 24, 1970 



PART 8-C 



Printed for the use of the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare 




U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
WASHINGTON : 1971 



COMMITTEE ON LABOR AND PUBLIC WELFARE 

RALPH YARBOROUGH, Texas, Chairman 

JENNINGS RANDOLPH, West Virginia JACOB K. JAVITS, New York 
HARRISON A. WILLIAMS, Jr., New Jersej' WINSTON L. PROUTY, Vermont 

CLAIBORNE PELL, Rhode Island PETER H. DOMINICK, Colorado 

EDWARD M. KENNEDY, Massachusetts GEORGE MURPHY, California 

GAYLORD NELSON, Wisconsin RICHARD S. SCHWEIKER, Pennsylvania 

WALTER F. MONDALE, Minnesota WILLIAM B. SAXBE, Ohio 

THOMAS F. EAGLETON, Missouri HENRY BELLMON, Oklahoma 
ALAN CRANSTON, California 
HAROLD E. HUGHES, Iowa 

Robert O. Harris, Staff Director 

John S. Forsythe, General Counsel 

Roy H. Millenson, Minority Staff Director 

Eugene Mittelman, Minority Counsel 



Subcommittee on Migbatoby Labor 
WALTER F. MONDALE, Minnesota, Chairman 
HARRISON A. WILLIAMS. JR., New Jersey WILLIAM B. SAXBE, Ohio 
EDWARD M. KENNEDY, Massachusetts GEORGE MURPHY, California 

ALAN CRANSTON, California RICHARD S. SCHWEIKER, Pennsylvania 

HAROLD E. HUGHES, Iowa HENRY BELLMON, Oklahoma 

BoREN Chertkov, Counscl 

Herbert N. Jasper, Professional Staff Member 

Eugene Mittelman, Minority Counsel 

(U) 



Format of Hearings on Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker 
powerlessness 

The Subcommittee on Migratory Labor conducted public hearings 
in Washington, D.C., during the 91st Congress on "Migrant and 
Seasonal Farmworker Powerlessness." These hearings are contained 
in the following parts : 

Subject matter Hearing dates 

Part 1 : Who are the Migrants? June 9 and 10, 1969. 

Part 2 : The Migrant Subculture July 28, 1969. 

Part 3-A : Efforts To Organize July 15, 1969. 

Part 3-B : Efforts To Organize July 16 and 17, 1969. 

Part 4-A : Farmworker Legal Problems Aug. 7, 1969. 

Part 4^B : Farmworker Legal Problems Aug. 8, 1969. 

Part 5-A : Border Commuter Labor Problem May 21, 1969 

Part 5-B : Border Commuter Labor Problem May 22, 1969 

Part 6-A : Pesticides and the Farmworker Aug. 1, 1969 

Part 6-B : Pesticides and the Farmworker Sept. 29, 1969 

Part 6-C : Pesticides and the Farmworker Sept. 30, 1969 

Part 7-A : Manpower and Economic Problems April 14, 1970 

Part 7-B : Manpower and Economic Problems April 15, 1970 

Part 8-A : Who Is Responsible? July 20, 1970 

Part 8-B : Who Is Responsible? July 21, 1970 

Part 8-C : ^\Tio Is Responsible? July 24, 1970 



CONTENTS 



CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF WITNESSES 
Friday, July 24, 1970 

Austin, J. Paul, president, Coca-Cola Co.; accompanied by J. Lucian PaK« 
Smith, president, Coca-Cola Co., Food Division 5875 

Holland, Hon. Spessard L., a U.S. Senator from the State of Florida 5915 

Wedgworth, George, president, Sugarcane Growers Cooperative of Florida; 
accompanied by George F. Sorn, manager. Labor Division, Florida 
Fruit & Vegetable Association 5917 

Carr, Martin, producer. National Broadcasting Co., producer of the docu- 
mentary "Migrants— An NBC White Paper," NBC, New York 5970 

Chidsey, Harland W., farmer, Harland W. Chidse}^ Farms, Penn Yan, 

N.Y 5997 

Pierce, James M., executive director, National Sharecroppers Fund, 

New York 6010 

STATEMENTS 

Austin, J. Paul, president, Coca-Cola Co.; accompanied by J. Lucian 

Smith, president, Coca-Cola Co., Food Division 5875 

Prepared statement 5898 

Carr, Martin, producer. National Broadcasting Co., producer of the 

documentary "Migrants— An NBC White Paper," NBC, New York.. 5970 

Chidsey, Harland W., farmer, Harland W. Chidsey Farms, Penn Yan, 

N.Y 5997 

Prepared statement 6006 

Holland, Hon. Spessard L., a U.S. Senator from the State of Florida 5915 

Pierce, James M., executive director, National Sharecroppers Fund, New 

York 6010 

Taylor, Paul S., Berkeley, Calif., prepared statement 6252 

Wedgworth, George, president, Sugarcane Growers Cooperative of Florida; 
accompanied by George F. Sorn, manager. Labor Division, Florida 

Fruit & Vegetable Association 5917 

Prepared statement 5937 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION 

Articles, publications, etc.: 

"A Fitting Farewell," by Lawrence Laurent, from the Washington 

Post, July 12, 1970 5851 

"ABC Affiliate To Broadcast NBC's Documentary on Migrants," 

from the Baltimore Sun, August 14, 1970 5873 

"An Agnewvian View of Migrants," from the Washington Star, July 

27, 1970 5874 

"Balto Affil Subs Oater for 'Migrant'; See Political Motive," from 

Variety, July 22, 1970 5870 

"Chet Huntley: A Commentary on the Migrants," by Kent Pollock, 

from the Palm Beach Post, May 1, 1970 5963 

"Coca-Cola Denies Link to Farm Ills," from the New York Times, 

July 16, 1970 5856 

"Coke's NBC Buys," from Variety, July 22, 1970 5870 

"Condition of Florida Migrants Unchanged, Reports NBC Crew," 

by Jim Meyer, from the Miami Herald, July 15, 1970 5851 

"Confessions and Denials of Migrant Oppression," from the Wash- 
ington Post, July 29, 1970 5873 

(V) 



VI 

Articles, publications, etc. — Continued 

"Documentaries — And the Poor Stay Poor," from the Bergen Rec- Page 
ord, Hackensack, N.J., July 17, 1970 5858 

"Editorial Broadcast," by Ed Hinshaw, July 16, 1970 5872 

"Filming Migrant Camp a Headache," from the News American, 

Baltimore, Md., July 15, 1970 5852 

"Finances, Education: Florida Migrants Put in Spotlight," from the 

Lubbock Avalanche Journal, July 12, 1970 5854 

"Florida Growers Want Equal Time for NBC 'Migrant,' " from Va- 
riety, July 22, 1970 5870 

"Growers Hassle NBC News Crew," from the Houston Chronicle, 

July 12-18, 1970 5853 

"Kirk Breaks Promise on TV Migrant Show," from the Miami News, 

July 16, 1970 5855 

"Kirk Says Migrant TV Show Biased," from the Miami News, 

July 17, 1970 5864 

"Legal Services Office Use By Film Crew Is Criticized," by Mike 
Abrams, Post staff writer, from the Palm Beach Post, April 16, 
1970 5843 

"Mexican Labor Situation," report by L. T. Mott to the Commission 

of Immigration and Housing of the State of California, 1917 6311 

"Migrant— An NBC White Paper," NBC white paper with NBC 

News Correspondent Chet Huntley 5848,5971 

" 'Migrant— An NBC White Paper' Offers Analysis of the Plight of 
the Florida Migrant," from Press Department, National Broadcast- 
ing Co., New York, N.Y., July 1, 1970 . 5848 

" 'Migrant' Draws Response, Interest," by Bob Tweedell, from the 

Denver Post, June 26, 1970 5847 

"Migrant," from Women's Wear Daily, July 17, 1970 5853 

" 'Migrant' — Still Powerful as 'Rerun,' " from the Louisville Courier 

Journal, July 17, 1970 5862 

"Migratory Labor in American Agriculture," report of the President's 
Commission on Migratorv Labor, Maurice T. Van Hecke, Chair- 
man I 6054 

"NBC-TV's 'Migrant' Migraine," from Variety, July 22, 1970 5867 

"NBC Alters Documentary," from the Washington Star, Julv 17, 

1970 5863 

"NBC News Special on Migrant Workers Scheduled for Tuesday, 
July 16," from Press Department, National Broadcasting Co., New 
York, N.Y., May 26, 1970 5847 

"NBC News Special To Show Migrant Workers' Plight Unchanged 
in Decade; Chet Huntley Will Be the Reporter, Martin Carr the 
Producer-Director," from Press Department, National Broadcast- 
ing Co., New York, N.Y., March 26, 1970 5841 

"NBC To Show Plight of Migrant Labor," from the Atlanta Journal, 

April 25, 1970 5962 

"NBC's 'Migrant' Defectors," «rom Variety, July 22, 1970 5869 

"NBC's 'Migrant' Scores as a Powerful Document," from the New 

York Daily News, July 17, 1970 5858 

"News Release from the Office of Senator Edward J. Gurney," 

July 17, 1970 5865 

"Officials Denounce Documentary on Migrants," from the Washington 

Post, July 18, 1970 5865 

"On the Air," from the New York Post, July 17, 1970 5860 

"Origins of Migratory Labor in the Wheat Belts of the Middle West 
and Cahfomia: Second Half of Nineteenth Century," by Paul S. 
Taylor, Department of Economics, University of California, 
Berkeley, Calif 6258 

"Peonage in the Fields," from the New York Times, July 24, 1970 5884 

"Pre-Empt for Good of PubHc?" from the News American, Baltimore, 

Md., July 17, 1970 5859 

"Program on Migrants Angers State," from the Miami Herald, 

July 16, 1970 5856 

"RLS To Probe Office Use," by Iznachman, Times bureau chief, 
from the Palm Beach Times, West Palm Beach, Fla., April 15, 
1970... _. 5842 



VII 

Articles, publications, etc. — Continued 

"Reform Drive May Shift to Agri-Business," from the Evening Star, Pa8« 

Washington, D.C., July 15, 1970 5854 

"Rogers To Seek Office Use Probe," from Palm Beach Times, April 16, 

1970 5843 

"Senate Panel To Explore Migrant Labor System," from the Washing- 
ton Post, Julv 19, 1970 5866 

"Senator Vows To Expose the Guilty In Migrant Probe" 5871 

"Shame Is Still The Harvest," by Martin Carr, producer, NBC News, 

from the New York Times, July 12, 1970 5849 

"Still Reaping 'Harvest of Shame'," by the Associated Press, July 17, 

1970 5862 

"TV: Plight of the Migrant Worker," from the New York Times, 

July 17, 1970 5861 

"Television in Review — Migrants Will Be Featured," by Rick 
Dubrow, from South Dade News-Leader, Homestead, Fla., March 

31, 1970 5962 

"The Miserv of the Migrant Worker," from the Washington Post, 

Julv 17, 1970. 5860 

"The USA Needs To Correct the Underlying Causes, Not Just Apply 
Bandaids, to the Problems of Mexican-American Migrant Farm 
Workers," by Wm. Noble Clark, associate director emeritus. Agri- 
cultural Experiment Station, University of Wisconsin, May 1970, 
in a statement submitted to Senate Subcommittee on Migratory 

Labor 6247 

"Water Grants for Education and Planned Open Space — New Uses 
for Reclamation," by Paul S. Taylor, Dept. of Economics, Univer- 
sity of California 6304 

Communications to: 

Burch, Hon. Dean, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission, 
Washington, D.C., from L. Alton Denslow, attorney at law, Wash- 
ington, D.C., June 22, 1970 5927 

Cohen, Melvin, Baltimore, Md., from Brent O. Gunts, Baltimore, 

Md., July 20, 1970 5872 

Felsing, Urban S., chairman. Migrant Committee of Belle Glade, 
Chamber of Commerce, Belle Glade, Fla., from Hon. Spessard L. 
Holland, a U.S. Senator from the State of Florida, Committee on 

Appropriations, February 14, 1961, with enclosures 5964 

General manager, WPT^^ Palm Beach, Fla., from George F. Sorn, 
manager, Labor Division, Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, 

Orlando, Fla., July 1 1970 5926 

Goodman, Julian, president, National Broadcasting Co., New York, 
N.Y., from: 

Denslow, L. Alton, attorney at law, Washington, D.C., June 22, 

1970 5926 

Smith, J. Lucian, president, the Coca Cola Co. Foods Division, 

New York, N.Y., July 17, 1970 5893 

Huntley, Chet, NBC, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, N.Y., from: 
Phaup, J. D., instructor, Florida Atlantic University, Boca 

Raton, Fla., July 3, 1970 5844 

Sorn, George F., manager. Labor Division, Florida Fruit and 

Vegetable Association, Orlando, Fla., May 27, 1970 5960 

Mondale, Hon. Walter F., a U.S. Senator from the State of Minne- 
sota, from: 

Eraser, Joan India, Roanoke, Va., July 22, 1970, with attachment- 5871 
Wedgworth, George H., president. Sugar Cane Growers Coopera- 
tive of Florida, Belle Glade, Fla., August 7, 1970 5969 

Smith, J. Lucian, president, the Coca Cola Co. Foods Division, New 
York, N.Y., from Julian Goodman, president. National Broad- 
casting Co., New York, N.Y., July 22, 1970 5895 

Taylor, Dr. Paul S., Department of Economics, University of Califor- 
nia, Berkeley, Calif., from L. T. Mott, the Asbury, Los Angeles, 

Calif., August 15, 1970, with enclosure 6311 

Wedgworth, George, Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida, 
Belle Glade, Fla., from: 

Mondale, Hon. Walter F., a U.S. Senator from the State of 
Minnesota: 

Telegram ..- 5925 

September 22, 1970 5970 



vm 

House Report 76-3113 — Interstate Migration, January 2, 1941, (prelim- Page 
inary report, pursuant to H. Res. 63, 76th Congress, 3d Sess.) 6017 

Selected Miscellaneous Forms: 

Applications for migrant labor registration certificate, State of New 

York, Department of Labor 6001 

Senate Report 77-1150, part 3, 77th Congress, second session "(report "of 
the Committee on Education and Labor pursuant to S. Res. 266 (74th 
Cong.), a resolution to investigate violation of the right of free speech 
and assembly and interference with the right to organize 6299 



MIGRANT AND SEASONAL FARMWORKER 
POWERLESSNESS 

(Who Is Responsible?) 



FRIDAY, JULY 24, 1970 

U.S. Senate, 
Subcommittee on Migratory Labor 
OF the Committee on Labor & Public Welfare, 

'Washington., D.C. 
The subcommittee met at 9 :30 a.m., pursuant to recess, in room 318 
(Caucus Room), Old Senate Office Building, Senator Walter F. Mon- 
dale (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding. 

Present: Senators Mondale (presiding), Saxbe and Schweiker. 
Staff member present : Boren Chertkov, counsel to the subcommittee. 
Senator Mondale. The committee will come to order. 
Before proceeding further, I would like to place in the record a series 
of newspaper accounts and statements that preceded the calling of 
today's hearing. 

(The information referred to follows :) 

[From Press Department, National Broadcasting Co., New York, N.Y., Mar. 26, 1970] 

NBC News Special To Show Migrant Workers' Plight Unchanged in Decade ; 
Chet Huntley Will Be the Reporter, Martin Carr the Producer-Directob 

Ten years ago CBS News presented "Harvest of Shame," an award-winning 
special television program examining the conditions of poverty, disease and servi- 
tude under which migrant workers were forced to live in the United States. This 
program, reported by the late Edward R. Murrow, was one of the finest docu- 
mentaries ever produced for television, according to Reuven Frank, Pj-esident of 
NBC News. It won many awards ; it stimulated many calls for action. 

NBC News will show^ in a one-hour television special that the plight of migrant 
workers remains virtually the same today. Although obvious remedies for im- 
proving living and working conditions and raising health standards were evident 
a decade ago, few of these remedies have been carried out. 

The NBC News special will be colorcast on the NBC Television Network in 
late June of this year. NBC News correspondent Chet Huntley will be the 
reporter. The program will be produced and directed by Martin Carr, winner of 
numerous awards for his television documentaries. 

Migrant workers are still living in substandard housing and are being treated 
in many places not as well as many slaves were treated in the 19th century, 
according to Mr. Carr. 

Mr. Carr's "Hunger in America," which was broadcast on the CBS-TV Network 
on May 21, 1968, and repeated a few weeks later, won an Ehnmy Award, a George 
Foster Peabody Award, Critics' Consensus honors, and a Writers Guild of 
America Award. His "Gaugin in Tahiti" the previous year received two Emmy 
Awards. 

(5841) 



5842 

CEEMTS FOE 'MIGRANT — ^AN NBC WHITE PAPER,' AN NBC NEWS COLOR SPECIAL 

Time: NBC Television Network colorcast, Thursday, July 16 (7:30-8:30 p.m. 

NYT, preempting "Daniel Boone"). 
Description : A one-hour NBC News special documentary concentrating on living 

and working conditions of the migrant workers in Florida. The colorcast will 

also present the views of landowners and local oflScials. 
Producer-director : Martin Carr. 
Correspondent : Chet Huntley. 
Associate producer : Marilyn Nissenson. 
Writers : Martin Carr, Marilyn Nissenson. 
Production coordinator : Peter Freedberger. 
Film editors : Darold Murray, Mary Ann Martin. 
Cameraman : Jim Norling. 
Sound : Al Hoagland. 
Unit manager : Paul Shinefeld. 
NBC Press representative : Hazel Hardy (New York). 



[From the Palm Beach Times, West Palm Beach, Fla., Apr. 15, 1970] 
RLS To Pbobe Office Use 

UTILIZED BY XBC CREW 

(By Iznachman, Times bureau chief) 

Belle Glade — Why a National Broadcasting Company television camera crew 
was utilizing the offices of the Florida Rural Legal Services, Inc., 132 SW Ave. B., 
as a headquarters here Tuesday will be investigated by the board of directors of 
that federally-funded organization. 

George H. Wedgi\'orth, president of the Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of 
Florida and head of Wedgworth's, Inc., a member of the board of directors of the 
legal organi^tion, will request the probe. 

Wedgworth said he was driving by the headquarters about 7 :30 p.m., Tuesday, 
when he observed a nvmiber of people in the office and stopped to inquire about 
activities there. 

The legal services board director said he did not find any officer assigned to the 
office in the building. 

At the time he walked in, Wedgworth said he met Martin Carr, who identified 
himself as a producer from NBC, who said he had been given permission to use 
the office for filming "rather than a crw\'ded motel room." 

Thomas C. Carey, an attorney in charge of the local office that is funded by the 
Office of Economic Opportunity, said he had not received a complaint from Wedg- 
worth early this morning. He knew the television crew was using the office, he 
said. 

Wedgworth was told by Carr that the broadcasting company was in the Lake 
Okeechobee area filming a "story about migrants." 

When the board member entered the offices, an interview with a young Mexican 
youth was being completed. 

The interview was on the use of pesticides, Wedgworth was told. When he 
inquired if the worker was an authority on the subject, he was told only that the 
worker was familiar with the sprays being used in the fields. 

Only one of the occupants of the building identified himself as being an em- 
ploye of the legal organization, the board member explained. He was not 
identified. 

Wedgworth said he would point out the privacy entitled the client-attorney 
relationship in his report, as there were a number of files in the office that could 
readily be searched. 

Carr told Wedgeworth the broadcasting company would be in the area for about 
two weeks. There are plans to bring Chet Huntley here to narrate a portion of the 
planned broadcast, he stated. 

Wedgworth said there has been no attempt made at this time to interview any 
growers of produce or sugar cane to his knowledge. 

Several weeks ago, it was learned, another NBC employee visited the area and 
apparently made the contacts for the present filming. 

Wedgworth said the next meeting of the board of directors of the Legal 
Services has been set for April 29. 



5843 

[From Palm Beach Post, Apr. 16, 1970] 

Legal Sebvices Office Use By Film Cbew Is Cbiticized 
(By Mike Abrams, Post staff writer) 

Belle Glade — A National Broadcasting Company (NBC) film crew used a 
Florida Rural Legal Services oflSce here "in accordance with Office of Economic 
Opportunity policy." Legal Services Executive Director Alan Kuker said 
yesterday. 

His comment came as a member of the Legal Services' board of directors, 
farmer George Wedgworth. said he wanted an investigation of the situation. 

"Part of our job is to provide a grievance mechanism for our clients," said 
Kuker from his Homestead headquarters. 

"Our job is to make sure our clients have the ability to express their grievances 
in a lawful manner," he said, "not in a way violent or disruptive to law and order." 

Wedgworth said he would request a probe into legal services activities after he 
observed the NBC crew in the branch offices Tuesday. 

"Wedgworth said he did not find any rural legal services officer in the building 
at the time. 

Office manager Tom Carey, an attorney, said his investigator, Ernesto Urbina, 
was present during tlie filming in which Urbina and a Mexican-American client 
of Carey's were questioned. 

NBC director Martin Carr denied the legal services offices were being used as a 
headquarters for the film crew. 

"We were there for one hour doing an interview with an investigator for the 
legal services," said Carr. Carr said the Mexican-American did not speak English 
and claimed to have a rash caused by work in the fields. 

"I made it perfectly clear to Mr. Wedg\\-orth yesterday that I was also talking 
with Farmers in the area," said Carr. 

"I told him I was delighted to have the opportunity to talk to him and we 
talked for a full half -hour yesterday. 

"If there is a grievance that a member of the board wishes to take up," said 
Carey, ''There is a well-established method for it. Headlines in newspapers are 
not the way to air grievances. 

Executive director Kuker said he would cooperate with NBC. 

"When NBC or a welfare agency or anybody wants to investigate the poverty 
plight, we cooperate with them," he said. 

Office manager Carey said his offices are open to any citizen who wished to use 
them. 

Carr said he has encoimtered suspicion from some local persons because of a 
documentary "Harvest of Shame" .shown on another network about 11 years ago, 
depicting the plight of the migrant. 

"Most of the people I meet in the street here are extremely cooperative, but 
some are undvily suspicious. Because of their suspicion they are afraid to talk, but 
at the same time say we only came here to get one side of the story," Carr said. 

His research and filming will go into a special one-hour documentary narrated 
by Chet Himtley, Carr said. Huntley will be coming to south Florida to narrate 
the film, Carr said. 



[From Palm Beach Times, Apr. 16, 1970] 
RoGEBS To Seek Office Use Pbobe 

Belle Glade — U.S. Rep. Paul G. Rogers (D-West Palm Beach) will request an 
investigation into the use of an office of a federally-funded legal service here 
Tuesday by a National Broadcasting Co. television crew. 

Rogers said he was informed of the incident Wednesday, after the television 
crew was found conducting an after-hours interview in the office of the Florida 
Rural I^egal Services. Inc.. 132 SW Ave. B. 

George H. Wedgworth, a member of the board of directors of the organization 
that is funded through the Office of Economic Opportunity, walked into the office 
and learned that none of the attorneys in charge was present 

The sugar cane and produce company official was told the offices were being used 
as they offered more working space than a crowded motel room. 

Thomas C. Carey, attorney in charge of the local office, said he knew the inter- 
views of migrant farm workers were being carried on in the office. 



5844 

Wedgworth criticized the use of the federal office by private industry and also 
said legal files in the office could have be«n picked up and the privacy of a client- 
attorney relationship violated. 

Rogers said he would contact local officials and request the OBO headquarters 
in Washington to conduct an investigation into the alleged use of the federal 
facility. 

The NBC crew is here filming activities in the Lake Okeechobee area, called the 
winter vegetable capital of the world, with emphasis on the migrant worker, 
Wedgworth was told by Martin Carr, the producer of the XBC crew. 



Flobida Atlantic Univeesitt, 
Boca Raton, Fla., July 3, 1970. 
Chet Huntley, 
NBC, 

SO Rockefeller Plaza, 
New York, N.Y. 

Dear Me. Huntley : I am writing with reference to the program you plan con- 
cerning the plight of Florida's agricultural migrant workers. I have been studying 
the operation of Florida Rural Legal Services (FRLS) in South Florida for 
almost a year now. Recently, while attending a meeting of the board of directors 
of FRLS, I learned that the agricultural interests in this area would try either 
to influence the content of your program or, if unsuccessful, to discredit it. At the 
last board meeting of Florida Rural Legal Services, Mr. Greorge Sorn was present 
as a representative of the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association (FFVA). Mr. 
Sorn, who is the manager of the Labor Division of the FFVA, was filling-in for 
Mr. George Wedgeworth. Mr. Wedgeworth (president of the Sugar Cane Growers 
Cooperative of Florida and a past president of the FFVA) is the Association's 
regular on the board of directors of FRLS. At the June 24, 1970 meeting of the 
Board, Mr. Sorn charged that NBC news was planning "another biased docu- 
mentary, like Harvest of Shame." Mr. Sorn took issue with a statement attributed 
to you charging that no "real meaningful changes" had taken place in the area 
with respect to the situation of migrant workers. In order to dispute this conten- 
tion, Mr. Sorn indicated that he had sent you a large amount of material con- 
cerning Florida's efforts to help migrant agricultural workers. My own impression 
of the situation here is nearer to your own. While, perhaps, it is a slight exag- 
geration to say that no progress has been made here, your statement to that 
effect is essentially accurate — especially when viewed in light of what is needed. 

The agricultural interests and public officials in South Florida like to maintain 
the illusion that they are concerned about the migrant laborers who play a key role 
in the agricultural economy of the area. For this reason, they react with an irra- 
tional emotionalism to the slightest criticism of their Ijehavior with respect to 
the migrant population. Each time an effort has been made to publicize the 
deplorable situation of the migrants here, there has been a public outcry wholly 
disproportionate to the nature of the criticism. Harvest of Shame is as vividly 
remembered by some of these people as if it had been filmed yesterday. The uproar 
over the "hunger hearings," held by the United States Senate Select Committee on 
Nutrition and Human Needs in Immokalee and Fort Myers, Florida last spring, 
was tremendous and the committee was widely attacked in the rural press, by 
growers, and by public officials. The reaction of these interests to the appearance 
of your film crews in the area is true to form. The mere fact that you plan a pro- 
gram on this topic to be filmed in their locality is enough to convince them that 
your report will be "biased." To them anything is "biased" which fails to conform 
to their own preconceived notions about "reality." Nothing else can explain their 
highly emotional attacks on a committee of the United States Senate for reach- 
ing the incontestable conclusion that hunger and malnutrition exist in the areas 
visited by the Committee. With due respect to the "good guy" image the large 
growers in this area would like to convey, any progress which has been made here 
has been made without their active cooperation and usually by overcoming their 
determined opposition. 

To support this, that the large growers and their politician friends have 
opposed almost all efforts to offer meaningful help to the migrants, I will draw 
upon the experience of Florida Rural Legal Services. This program came into 
being in 1967. Originally, it was called South Florida Migrant Legal Services 
(SFMLS). The program' was funded, at that time, for two years under a grant 



5845 

from the Office of Economic Opportunity. Its purpose, put quite simply, was to 
provide a full range of legal services for indigent migrant workers. This was to 
include, under GEO directives, suits against government agencies and other 
"establisliuient" institutions, where legal action was called for. The idea of hav- 
ing a federally-funded legal program come into "their" area to challenge their 
formerly unque-stioned, arbitrary control over "their" migrants was never ac- 
cepted very well by those in control of Florida's huge agri-business industry and 
by public officials beholden to those interests for their public offices. Because of 
this, a vicious and continuous attack was focused upon the new legal services 
program by these interests. Three suits, in particular, antagonized these forces 
of the status quo. 

Early in 1968, only about three months after SFMLS began full operations, a 
labor dispute broke out in one of the labor camps of the Sugar Cane Gtrowers 
Cooperative of Florida in Palm Beach County. As a result of this dispute, a large 
number of Jamaican sugar cane cutters were taken, under police escort, to Miami, 
for shipment back to Jamaica. This was done without any hearing or charges 
being filed. Approximately fiftyjtwo additional cane cutters were arrested. The 
scene at the so-called riot was bizarre. Although there was no evidence of violence 
on the part of the Jamaican cane cutters, about .seventy law enforcement offi- 
cials were called to the scene. The officers arrived in full riot regalia, armed with 
carbines and accompanied by police dogs. An investigator for the U.S. Civil 
Rights Commission reported that his staff, based specifically on statements made 
to them by Sheriff Heidtman (of Palm Beach County), believed that Sheriff 
Heidtman "welcomed any opportunity to smash labor agitation." This investi- 
gator concluded that "the arrests . . . appear to be directly related to a desire to 
repress protests over working conditions. The summary expulsions from the 
country seem highly irregular and appear to have been more a punishment than 
a procedure authorized by law or agreement." As a result of this incident, 
SFMLS filed a suit on behalf of the cane cutters, in March of 1968, in the Federal 
Court of Miami, against Sheriff Heidtman, the FFVA, the Sugar Cane Growers 
Cooperative of Florida, and others. This suit charged the defendants with violat- 
ing the civil rights of the cane cutters, depriving them of their right to assemble 
peaceably and to petition for the redress of grievances. The suit asked $750,000 
in damages. Since SFMLS was prohibited from accepting "fee-generating cases," 
private counsel was retained to handle the damages aspect of the case. A Miami 
attorney was retained as co-counsel since no Palm Beach County attorney ex- 
pressed an interest in becoming involved Avith this highly controversial case. 
The other two controversial cases mentioned previously also involved large 
growers as defendants. The growers in these two cases were charged with hold- 
ing their workers in peonage by refusing to allow them to leave the premises 
before they had paid certain debts to the employer. Also at question was the right 
of access to labor camps. Attorneys for the plaintiffs (i.e., iSFMLS staff attorneys) 
w'ere refused admittance to the camps involved in order to consult with their 
clients (Puerto Rican farm workers). 

Largely as a result of these three cases, SFMLS was subjected to sustained 
attacks, primarily from three quarters : the conservative local bar associations 
outside of Dade County ; the farmers and their associations ; and public officials 
including Governor Claude Kirk and U.S. Representative Paul Rogers. 

In May of 1969, a highly qualified team of evaluators reported to OEO that ; "A 
basic conclusion here must be that the abuse this program [SFMLS] has taken 
publicly is remarkably disproportionate to the actual evidence of wrongdoing 
which can be produced against it." The evaluators also concluded that the attacks 
on SFMLS "created a great danger for the continued independence, integrity, and 
dedication of legal aid lawyers." In spite of this report, and of the unanimous 
recommendation of the evaluators that SFMLS be refunded, the program con- 
tinued to be the object of politically motivated attacks — including attempts to 
discredit the evaluators of the program. The evaluation team, it should be noted, 
included an outstanding law professor from a leading law school and a 
representative of the American Bar Association's Legal Aid Committee. 

The attacks on the legal services program have been extremely detrimental as 
far as the migrant workers are concerned. As a result of the continuous assaults 
on SFMLS, the program has had to spend much of its time defending itself 
instead of advocating the legal causes of migrants. Also, the uncertain situation 
with respect to refunding, due to these attacks, resulted in the loss of a large 
number of staff members towards the end of the original funding period. Recruit- 
ing difficulties also were attributable to the uncertainties created by the political 



5846 

attacks on SFMLS. As a result of these two factors, the program was chronically 
understaflCed. 

One of the first acts of the new Director of the Legal Services Program, in 
Washington, under President Nixon, was to come to Florida and strike a bargain 
with Governor Kirk and other program critics. The new Director, Terry Lenzner, 
could not, under the circumstances, accede to Kirk's demands to fund an entirely 
new group. SFMLS had too many supporters nationally, both in Congress and 
among other legal services projects around the country. Any move by the new 
Director to eliminate SFMLS would have completely demoralized legal service 
lawyers throughout the country. Lenzner did the next best thing, however. To 
appease Kirk, and prevent a confrontation between the new administration and a 
Republican governor, Lenzner forced SFMLS to change its name (to Florida 
Rural Legal Services) and to restructure its board of directors as a prerequisite 
to refunding. The latter step was a serious blow to those who had supported a 
full range of legal services for migrants. The new board would have nine members 
representing growers' organizations, the Governors's office, and the conservative 
Florida Bar Association. While they did not constitute a majority of the board, 
these opposition representatives did comprise fully one-half of the eighteen mem- 
ber board. Since their main purpose would not be affirmative, but would be to 
prevent "undesirable" actions, this amount of representation has been sufficient. 

Although OEiO requires that all Board members support the national legal 
services program, thi.s requirement has been conveniently ignored. One of the 
new directors, George Wedgeworth, is President of one of the defendant corpora- 
tions in the Jamaican cane cutter suit (Cole v. Heidtman). Others include some 
of those previously most critical of the program. Several of these people clearly 
reject the goals of the national program and have shown little concern for 
migrants, either in the past or since being appointed to the board of FRLS. 
Mr. Wedgeworth, for example, contended, in one board meeting (April 29, 1970), 
that the staff should avoid cases which "polarize" the community — "irrespective 
of OEO guidelines." As Mr. Wedgeworth explained the term, a "polarizing" case 
is any case that "stirs controversy." I suppose he means by this any case directed 
against growers, public officials, and other elements in the established power 
structure. 

These new directors have used their positions on the board to mount a series of 
petty attacks upon those staff members who continue to vigorously advocate the 
causes of their clients. Although no one has been officially reprimanded or dis- 
missed yet, it appears to be only a matter of time until this occurs. Unless, of 
course, these tactics of intimidation work and the program staff restricts itself 
to domestic cases and other cases involving only migrants. As I mentioned earlier, 
the grower representatives also have attempted to turn FRLS board meetings 
into a forum for attacking efforts, like your program, to publicize the problems 
of migrants. 

The action of the new board in the Jamaican case provides an indication of 
the direction the program now appears to be taking. Without even taking a vote 
(because it might "split" the board) the new board concluded, at its last meeting, 
that this case would be dropped. The new president of FRLS, a former critic of 
the program, even persuaded the judge to assess court costs in the case, formerly 
charged to FRLS, to the plaintiffs (i.e., to the indigent Jamaican farm workers). 
There has been some talk to the effect that OEO or Miami's legal services pro- 
gram might take up the case. OEO, which originally ordered FRLS to continue 
as counsel in this case, has given in once again to the demands of those opposed 
to the migrants having full legal representation and agreed to let the program off 
the hook in this case. Cole v. Heidtman is one of the most significant cases this 
program ever initiated. The abandonment of this case has served to reinforce the 
growing feeling among migrant groups that FRLS's new board is out either ito kill 
the program or to turn it into another service-oriented welfare program. 

The purpose of this letter has been to refute the contentions of the farm inter- 
ests in South Florida and in Palm Beach County that they have taken a positive 
intere.st in helping migrant workers. Their record of obstructionism with regard 
to efforts to provide legal services for migrants is not unique. The farmers now 
are taking considerable credit for "supporting" health services for migrants. The 
fact is that the growers did not initiate efforts in this field — nor were they quick 
to jump on the bandwagon. However, once it became evident the migrant health 
project did not intend to challenge their control over the migrants, many growers 
did accept this service. Some growers even came to support the health program. 
There are essentially three reasons for this support: (1) the health program 



5847 

saves them money because it spreads the responsibility for migrant health to the 
taxpayers in general, thus relieving their burden; (2) they have come to realize 
that healthy workers are more efficient; and (3) because this program provides 
them with something to ix>int to with pride to show what they are doing for the 
migrants (note : without federal money, they would be doing absolutely nothing). 
It should be noted that, in spite of widespread violations of sanitation codes, 
local migrant health projects have taken hardly any growers to court for viola- 
tions. Were a real attempt made to enforce these codes, it is doubtful that the 
Migrant Health I>rogram would remain popular for long. I do not mean to down- 
grade the efforts being made in the area of health. Though progress has been 
very limited, it might have been impo.ssible had a serious effort been made to 
close down uiLsanitarj- labor camps. Given the experiences of SFMLS when it 
tried to challenge the dominion of Florida's agribusiness over the migrants, it 
seems likely that the health officials have operated in the only way they could 
without having their program destroyed. 

If the migrant workers in this area are ever to improve themselves, the depress- 
ing and often repressive conditions in this area must be so thoroughly exposed 
that public indignation will demand that something be done to halt the abuses of 
the agri-business-industry. These interests have the money to hire publicists and 
lawyers to see that their image is presented in the best light possible. The 
migrants can neither express themselves in these ways nor rely on paid agents to 
present their side of the story. I am sure NBC has done a thorough investigative 
job and will not be misled by the farmers and their spokesmen. I felt, however, 
that the role of these large grower associations and their political allies in 
attempting to prevent the migrants from sharing in our system of "equal justice 
for all" should be told. 



Sincerely, 



J. D. Phattp, 

Instructor. 



[From Press Department, National Broadcasting Co., New York, N.Y., May 26, 1970] 
NBC News Special on Miqeant Wobkebs Scheduled fob Thxibsday, July 16 

A documentary on migrant workers will be colorcast on the NBC Television 
Network Thursday, July 16 (7:30-8:30 p.m. NYT). Donald Meaney, Vice Presi- 
dent. NBC News, announced, the air date today. 

Producer Martin Carr and narrator Chet Huntley concluded location filming in 
central Florida the last week in April. The program will include interviews with 
state officials and landowners, but will focus primarily on the living conditions 
of the workers. 

Mr. Carr joined NBC News as produeer-director-writer in September. He was 
with CBS for the previous 10 years, where he won four awards for "Hunger in 
America" and two awards for "Gaugin in Tahiti." 

(The special will preempt "Daniel Boone.") 



[From the Denver Post, June 26, 1970] 

'Migrant' Deaws Response, Interest 
On the Air By Bob Tweedell 

Advance information about a documentary which the NBC-TV network has 
scheduled for July 16 indicates it will be of more than ordinary interest to 
viewers. 

The program, "Migrant— An NBC White Paper," is an updated report on the 
itinerant farm labor situation which was explored 10 years ago by the late 
Edward R. Murrow on "Harvest of Shame," an "expose" that is still causing 
repercussions. 

Some items about "Migrant" : 

It will be the last "special" for NBC reporter Chet Huntley, who is leaving the 
network at then end of July. 

It is being reproduced hy Martin Carr, who also produced the controversial, 
award-winning CBS documentary, "Hunger in America." 



5848 

It has drawn the attention of the American Farm Bureau Federation, which 
in 1961 published a special brochure rebutting "Harvest of Shame." Among other 
things, the AFBF charged that the program was "highly colored propaganda . . . 
a rigged documentary" and accused the CBS network of "a major failure to 
exercise its responsibility for honest factual reporting." 

The Farm Bureau, taking note of the upcoming NBC program, has sent a letter 
to "broadcasters and reviewers" confessing "suspicion" about the approach and 
content of "Migrant." 

Quoting a Broadcasting magazine article which said the NBC program "report- 
edly will show that migrant workers are living amid the same 'poverty, disease 
and servitude' of 10 years ago," The Farm Bureau letter established firm ground 
for dissent. 

"Without in any way mitigating the need for continuing improvement in the 
migrant problem, this premise is unreasonable and false," the letter said. 

"Since most people are under the impression that nearly all farm labor is 
migrant it is particularly harmful. Less than one in 10 farm workers is migra- 
tory — a very crucial distinction we hope the sequel to 'Han-est of Shame' makes. 

"To be sure there are rural poor — as there are urban poor. It is true that rural 
poor may work for farmers— when they work at all. But these are problems of 
rural poverty and not farmer avarice — a point which 'Harvest of Shame' did 
not make. Perhaps its sequel will. ... 

"Okay, we're suspicious, and we may be proven wrong. Moreover, we have 
no objection to a fact-finding documentary into any phase of our agricultural 
operations. What we are suspicious about — in the announced context of what 
has gone before — is the nondocumentary which presents a preconceived point 
of view directed to the persuasion of audiences to the partisan position of 
producers." 

The difficulties producer Carr may have with the Farm Bureau after his 
program is televised have been preceded by problems in filming "Migrant." 

An NBC press release reports that Carr and his crew were ejected from a 
migrant worker camp at Pahokee, Fla., by the owner, who was armed with a 
shotgun. 

NBC said Carr "was filming conditions in the already condemned housing the 
owner had transferred to his property to rent to migrants." 

Carr was quoted as saying that following the incident, "we got courteous 
intimidation from local police who followed us wherever we went." He said the 
police sometimes interrupted filming by walking in front of the camera, making 
noise or intimidating the local residents. 



[From Press Department, National Broadcasting Co., New York, N.Y., July 1, 1970] 

"Migrant — Ax N^C White Paper" Offers Analysis of the Plight of the 
Florida Migrant 

(Chet Huntley is the Interviewer on July 16 Special) 

"The migrant people have become so used to easy living they don't want to 
work any more." 

This is the feeling of one of the growers appearing on "Migrant — An NBC 
White Paper" on the NBC Television Network Thursday, July 16, (7:30-8:30 
p.m. NYT) . NBC News correspondent Chet Huntley conducts the interviews. 

In contra.st is 15-year-old Jackson Bowers' description of himself as a "bum" 
who dropped out of school in the eighth grade because, as a migrant child, he 
does not have the clothes, shoes or lunch money that other children have. 

The average annual wage figure for migrants — $891, according to U.S. Depart- 
ment of Labor statistics cited in the program — also seems to belie the "easy 
living" theory. 

"Migrant" examines the Florida migrant's economic situation in depth — what 
he gets paid, what he must spend for rent, the availability of jobs, and the state's 
failure to pass a compulsory workmen's compensation law. 

The program also discusses, with the workers, camp owners and state officials, 
the housing situation and the bleak outlook for remedies. Condemned housing is 
still open, according to James W. Vann, Executive Secretary of the Pahokee 
Housing Authority, because of the stringency of other accommodations. Mr. Vann 



5649 

not€8, however, that even new public ui^ts cannot be held for the migrant workers 
if permanent residents want them. 

Exploration of the migrants' education turns up such state statistics as "50% 
of the migrant children don't get to junior high school" and 80% don't get to high 
school." The program probes the reasons behind migrant drop out, including the 
parents' need for help in the fields and social discrimination. 

But perhaps the most startling statistic turns up in an examination of the 
health situation — the life expectancy of a migrant worker is 49 years. 

"Migrant" also reveals a woman's tale of being threatened with eviction because 
she had talked about her housing conditions. 

"Migrant" is producer Martin Carr's first special for NBC News. He was with 
CBS until September, 1969, where he won awards for "Hunger in America," 
"Gaugin in Tahiti," "Search for Ulysses" and many others. 

This is Chet Huntley's last documentary before leaving NBC Aug. 1. He 
conducts some of the interviews on location and narrates the film. 

NBC-TV Program Highlight July 16 

Migrant — An NBC White Paper — An analysis of the Florida 
migrant's situation, showing his severe economic straits, housing 
conditions and educational problems. NBC News correspondent Chet 
Huntley talks with workers, growers and government oflScials in his 
final documentary before leaving NBC. Award-winning producer 
Martin Carr is in charge of "Migrant." 



[From the New York Times, July 12, 1970] 

iShame Is Still the Harvest 

(By Martin Carr, producer, NBC News) 

These are difficult times for newsmen. Journalism, especially television jour- 
nalism, is imder attack for presenting a one-sided view of the news. But, as I 
found during a six-week visit to central Florida for the filming of "Migrant — An 
NBC White Pai^er," a show investigating the living conditions of migrant work- 
ers, some of television's severest critics are the very people who make it diflScult 
for journalists to present a balanced story. 

I had the experience of finding that my work in Florida was looked upon with 
suspicion almost everywhere I went, and in some cases I met with open and 
frightening hostility. 

You never know what you're going to do when a gun is pointed at you. The 
stranger pointing the gun at me was the owner of a camp for migrants, a rundown 
collection of houses just outside Pahokee, Florida. I was in the middle of an 
interview with one of his tenants, a child of 11, who was left in charge of her 
younger brothers and sisters while her parents were off working in the fields. 
They were living in a tired shack, almost indistinguishable from the .surrounding 
shacks which the owner had carried to this property on a flat-bed truck. The 
houses in the camp had been condemned for the past year, and he clearly did not 
want them to be part of the film we were making. "Get out! You don't have no 
business here 1" he yelled from the car, and the situation quickly became polarized 
beyond the point where reasonable discussion was possible. 

Ironically, Jim Norling, the cameraman, and his crew had been with NBC 
producer Ted Yates when he was killed by a stray bullet while filming a docu- 
mentary in Jerusalem. The crew had been describing the experience only the 
night before. The sound man, Al Hoagland, had told me how his tape recorder 
stopped a bullet from entering his head. We cleared off the property as quickly 
as possible, but as we walked to the road, I realized that the owner and his gun 
were part of the story as well, and an important part. 

Though we were within our legal rights visiting the camp, the owner, and people 
like him applying various forms of intimidation, were keeping the story of the 
migrants — their continuing exploitation and wretchedness — ^from reaching the 
rest of America and possibly arousing the kind of attention that could remedy 
some of these awful conditions. 

I realized another thing : we were carrying a weapon, too — ^^a camera. As soon 
as we reached the sanctuary of the public road, safely off the camp property, I 
signaled the cameraman to start filming and thi« sound man to start recording. 
36-513 O— 71— pt. 8c 2 



5850 

This scene, along with other at times more courteous forms of intimidation, is an 
integral part of the program which will be shown Thursday night at 7 :30. Un- 
fortunately, intimidation too often works, and there are places and people in 
Florida that M^ill not be seen by the rest of America because of it. 

Chet Huntley, who narrates the program, was scheduled to interview three peo- 
ple who had cooperated with Edward R. Murrow in making "CBS Reports : Har- 
vest of Shame," 10 years ago. They had been carefully lined up and a definite 
time and place had been set for each of the interviews. Huntley got to meet only 
one of these people ; we never got to film any of them. The woman he did meet 
admitted she was too frightened to appear on screen. She was afraid of what 
might happen to her if she talked. She described the reprisals that had been taken 
against one man who had talked to Murrow. He had been a crew chief at the time, 
but after the film was shown, his account at the local bank was closed and his 
crew was boycotted by local growers. It was years before he recovered from the 
after-effects of his two-minute television appearance. The woman's fears were well 
founded. Annie Belle Brown, a migrant lady I had interviewed a few days before, 
was threatened with eviction by her landlord after she had dared to talk to me. 
Huntley was going to ask these people if things had changed very much in the 
10 years since "Harvest of Shame." Though he never got to ask the question, the 
answer had become perfectly clear. 

There is a fable about six blind men, each touching a different part of an 
elephant and each describing the whole elephant in a totally different way. The 
blind man holding the tail describes the elephant as long and thin like a snake ; 
the man touching the leg thinks the elephant is like a tree, and so forth. In other 
words, there were six different "truths" for six different people. 

Again and again, local growers told me that they wouldn't cooperate because, 
they said, I was going to tell only one side of the story — the migrant's side. My 
colleagues and I tried very hard to persuade them to cooperate, pointing out that 
it would be difficult to tell their side of the story if they would not be interviewed. 
But most of them couldn't, or wouldn't, see the point of this argument. 

There is a notarized letter on my desk from one of the farmers we did succeed 
in interviewing. He doesn't want any part of that interview used in the show, 
although on the day it was filmed he had given us his complete cooperation, 
including a signed release allowing us to use the film on air. After careful con- 
sideration, we decided to include the interview in the broadcast. We need it to 
provide the balance which Florida farmers and officials insist we are uninterested 
in. 

One of Florida's largest growers, George Wedgworth, wanted to be interviewed. 
That is, if I followed his "suggestions," as he put it. He had prepared a list of peo- 
ple he thought I should interview in order to learn the "truth" about migrants. 
(Wedgvi'orth must have repeated the word "truth" about 10 times in his con- 
versation). Some of the people on the list were his employes ; all of the people on 
the list would, it seemed to me, obviously support his point of view — that migrants 
live well enough, are paid enough, and have nothing to gain from organizing or 
forming unions. He ended our session together by informing me that I wouldn't 
be able to reach him during the coming week, as he was off to Jamaica to arrange 
for the importation of labor to clear his sugar cane fields. "Wedgworth is not part 
of the documentary, though other farmers and officials with fewer strings 
attached to their co-operation are given a chance to air their views. 

Since our entire film had been shot in Florida, it seemed proper to ask the 
Governor of Florida. Claude Kirk, to give his views on tlie problems of the mi- 
grants. An interview date was arranged for late June, and Huntley planned to 
fly back to Florida to interview him, at his request, in an orange grove. Four days 
before the scheduled interview. Governor Kirk's office phoned and explained that 
the governor had decided against it — that we were not going to balance both 
sides of the story. "We carefully explained how valuable the governor's interview 
would be ; without his cooperation, he would, in fact, help to create the condition 
he said he was trying to avoid. All to no avail. An interview betw-een Claude Kirk 
and Chet Huntley will not be part of this documentary. 

Balance is a problem in making of a television docimaentary, especially one 
that deals with social is.sues. Calling attention to the means of getting a .story is 
the last thing a reporter should do. Ho\%-ever, I'm alarmed at the way the growing 
criticism of tele\-ision news makes it increasingly difficult to gather a story and 
thereby threatens the public's right to know. 



5851 

[From the Washington Post, July 12, 1970] 

A Fitting Farewell 
(Cover iStory By Lawrence Laurent) 

Chet Huntley, who is about to leave television for the Big Sky country of 
Montana, has one tinal d(xnimentary si)ecial to do before he goes. It is this week's 
NBC-TV News program on the plight of the migrant workers in agriculture. 

It is a program that is almost certain to cause controversy, to anger spokesmen 
for agriculture organizations and to bring complaints from Congressmen who 
represent fanning districts. For, going into the program, producer Martin Carr is 
convinced that the condition of poverty, disease and servitude of the migrant 
workers is "virtually the same" as it was ten years ago when Edward R. Murrow 
looked at tliese i)eople and saw a "Harvest of Shame." 

Migrant workers, Carr charges, are still living in substandard housing and, in 
many places, are being treated not as well as slaves were treated in the 19th 
Century. 

Filming was concentrated in the state of Florida, home base for most of the 
migrants who follow the harvest season up the East Coast and into the Midwest. 
These workers are constantly exposed to the effects of pesticides and many are 
in poor health. 

Carr has promised to examine what Florida is doing to improve conditions 
and what the Federal government ought to be doing. Contrary to popular belief, 
Carr adds, the migrant workers are United States citizens. Many persons think, 
however, that the workers come from Mexico or the Caribbean just for the 
harvests. 

The show would seem to be a fitting farewell to TV specials for Chet Huntley. 
He's won every major award and, more surprising, has never exchanged an 
angry word with his partner, David Brinkley. 

At a recent dinner honoring Huntley, Brinkley said : "I doubt any two people 
in the history of television or any other form of public communication or show 
business have ever worked together 14 years every day without once having one 
angry word." 

Brinkley continued : "In spite of some efforts by columnists and others to 
manufacture feuds and fights between us, there has never been — quite literally — 
one angry word ; either with each other or. in fact, with XBC." 

Brinkley noted that "Chet outlasted almost everybody on television except 
Ed Sullivaji, and while Sullivan is fine, I think he has lasted so long because 
he doesn't do anything. He points to people who do things. And if he points to 
a bad act, the audience gets mad at the act; they don't get mad at him." 

In 1956, when the Huntley-Brinkley team first was seen on TV, it was producer 
Reuven Frank who insisted that the "Good Night, David" and "Good Night, 
Chet," be used to close the program. 

As Brinkley recalls : "Chet and I both objected to it. 

"We thought it was eornball and embarrassing. 

"And we thought we ought to say goodnight to the audience and not to each 
other. 

"But reluctantly we agreed to do it, and within a year or so it was part of the 
American language and Huntley and Brinkley had been wrong again." 

NBC will replace Huntley with the team of Frank McGee and John Chancellor 
with Brinkley remaining in Washington. 

Still, Brinkley has a warning: "I'm afraid that maybe out of habit I will 
continue saying good night to Chet after he is gone. If so, I hope you'll all bear 
with me." 



[From the Miami Herald, July 15, 1970] 

Condition of Florida Migrants Unchanged, Reports NBC Crew 

(By Jim Meyer, Herald Entertainment Writer) 

Ten years ago, Edward R. Murrow's award-winning "Harvest of Shame" ex- 
amined the deplorable plight of migrant workers in this country. 

Thursday at 7 :30 p.m. on Channels 7 and 5, "Migrant — An NBC White Paper" 
re-examines the lives of these people and, sadly, concludes that conditions really 
haven't improved very much in 10 years. 



5852 

Producer Martin Carr, newsman Chet Huntley and XBC crewmen came to 
Florida to film "Migrant." In a recent conversation with Carr, I was told : 

"We did go to South Dade, but decided against filming there since I found more 
varied problems in other areas. We filmed very heavily in Palm Beach County, 
starting at the range line of Delray, as well as at Belle Glade. I borrowed footage 
from Murrow's 'Harvest of Shame' for use at the outset of 'Migrant,' and dis- 
solved from that to Belle Glade as it is today. 

"/Our crew also filmed a great deal at Pahokee, Immokalee and Winter Haven. 
You know, in Florida the migrant worker can work a good part of the year — 
about eight months— and in that respect, Florida is unique. Florida accounts for 
two-thirds of the oranges produced in this country and also has the second largest 
vegetable industry. 

"In interviewed one farmer who said that even if he grosses $2 million a year, 
he doesn't break even. What I think he meant is that, after paying salaries and 
all legitimate expenses, it's probably that in pure corporate terms there really is 
no extra money for him. And, of course, we also found that the 'small farmer' is 
disappearing in Florida. The 'big farmers' seem to do quite well." 

Did the migrant workers talk freely ? 

"The workers were greatly intimidated," said Carr. "I had three people lined 
up to talk to Chet Huntley, to tell him how things have changed in the 10 years 
since these same three participated in 'Hars-est of Shame.' 

"The day Chet arrived to see them, one man couldn't get off work, the second 
man disappeared and hid in the fields all day, and the woman set to be inter- 
viewed admitted she was afraid to talk because of reprisals taken against all of 
them after 'Harvest of Shame.' 

"A lot of the migrant workers no longer travel. 'We leave broke and we come 
back broke,' they told us. We found endless hardship cases. People want to work, 
but there didn't seem to be enough jobs. I finally managed, after five days of 
phoning and with the aid of your lieutenant governor, to get permission to go into 
the Belle Glade state employment office to see what the situation really was. 

"After we got there, we encountered a photographer who was not introduced to 
us and who refused to answer when I asked why he was photographing all of our 
crew. I naturally pulled my crew out of there — fast I 

"The lieutenant governor later called and apologized. Subsequently law enforce- 
ment officers cooperated with us, but we still often felt like we were operating 
behind enemy lines." said Carr. 

"An Associated Press story quoted Doyle Connor, commissioner of agriculture 
in Florida, as saying that while he hadn't seen our production, he knew it 'was 
biased and bigoted and tells only the migrant's side of the story and doesn't 
show any of the new housing for workers.' None of these claims are true ! 

"Education for migrant children? Well, a lot of strides have been made, but 
it's been a battle against a whole way of life — a horrendous way of life, in fact, 
since so often the kids are needed to work in the fields to help support their 
families. 

"I'm not sure to what age these kids are required to go to school, but I can 
tell you that this law is not enforced. A lot of families would starve if it were. 
Most school officials are truly sympathetic toward migrant workers, but they'll 
tell you that it's apt to be three or four generations before this situation can 
improve. 

"And no recreational facilities that deserve the name, either. The migrant 
camps just are not to be believed ! Your average camp has been in such a deplorable 
state for so many years that to call it a slum would be to dignify it." 

Martin Carr has been with NBC "slightly less than a year, and I was with CBS 
for 13 years before that. I like doing both cultural and sociological documen- 
taries. My most outright fun experience was with one we called "Search for 
Ulysses,' for which we cruised in the Mediterranean for a few months, tracing 
Homer's 'Odyssey' and proving that Ulysses really lived. 

"I'd like to make that trip again, but I hope it's never necessary to go back to 
the migrant camps." 

[From the News American, Baltimore, Md., July 15, 1970] 

Filming Migrant Camp a Headache 

Being run off with a shotgun from a migrant worker camp was only one of a 
series of hostile encounters between growers and the NBC News crew filming 



5863 

"Migrant — An NBC White Paper," scheduled for colorcast on the NBC-WBAL 
Television Network Thursday, at 7 :30 p.m. 

The shotgun incident occurred at a camp in Pahokee, Fla., where producer 
Martin Carr was filming conditions in the already-condemned housing the owner 
had transferred to his property to rent to migrants. 

•After that," Mr. Carr says, "we got 'courteous intimidation' from local police 
who followed us wherever we went." The police sometimes interrupted filming 
by walking in front of the camera, making noise or intimidating the local 
residents, Mr. Carr explained. 

One of the growers also complained about NBC's use of a local employment 
office for filming interviews, and one of the women migrant workers who talked 
to the crew was threatened with eviction. 

Despite reluctance of many of the workers to talk because of fear of such 
retaliation, NBC News correspondent Chet Huntley, managed to gather material 
from several locations for his last special before leaving NBC Aug. 1. 

"In telling tlie growers' side of the story," Mr. Carr says, "we will interview 
a member of the board of Citrus Mutual, the largest celery-grower in the country, 
and we have arranged for an interview with Florida's Governor Claude Kirk in 
an orange grove." 

"The migrant people have become so used to easy living they don't want to 
work any more," another grower declared. 

In contrast is 15-year-old Jackson Bowers' description of himself as a "bum" 
who dropped out of school in the eighth grade because, as a migrant child, he did 
not have the clothes, shoes, or lunch money that other children had. 

The average annual wage figure for migrants — $891, according to U.S. Depart- 
ment of Labor statistics cited in the program — also seems to belie the "easy 
living" theory. 

[From Women's Wear Dally, July 17, 1970] 
"Migrant" 

The misery and poverty of migrant U.S. farm workers is the subject of the 
NBC White Paper tonight, conducted by Chet Huntley. 

The hour consists of interviews with workers and their employers and land- 
lords, and films of their living conditions. Predictably, the landlords and employ- 
ers stated that migrant workers didn't want to work, didn't keep their homes 
clean, etc. ; while workers seemed in earnest saying that they wanted and sought 
jobs, were lucky to get two days' work a week at $12 a day, and films showed 
their houses to be unsteady shacks, often without running water or plumbing. 

Statistics revealed on the program, too, are grim and shocking : For example, 
migrant workers earn an average annual wage of $891. 

Most families do all they can to keep their children in school, but the children 
are unhappy in school, and it appears they drop out as soon as they can. A 
teacher, helping older children and teenagers to read, described them as "ashamed 
to be field workers," but felt they would probably all grow up to continue it. 

Most of the interviews were conducted by producer Martin Carr, who seemed 
almost condescending in his sympathy with the workers. A 15-year-old boy who 
had quit school was pressed with questions, "How did you feel in school? You 
didn't have shoes to wear?" I felt this segment was not necessary. 

The migrant workers' plight was first brought to the attention of the American 
public in a similar broadcast by Edward R. Murrow 10 years ago ("Harvest of 
Shame," on CBS). That the conditions are hardly changed now may say something 
about how much can be accomplished by such a program. I hope not. 

— Maey Lois Vann. 



[From the Houston Chronicle, July 12-18, 1970] 
Gbowees Hassle NBC News Ceew 

Being run off with a shotgun from a migrant worker camp was only one of a 
series of hostile encounters between growers and the NTBC News crew filming 
"Migrant," an NBC White Paper scheduled for Thursdav evening, 6 : 30 on 
Ch. 2. 

The shotgun incident occurred at a camp in Pahokee, Fla., where producer 
Martin Carr was filming conditions in the already-condemned housing the owner 
had transferred to his property to rent to migrants. 



5854 

"After that," Mr. Carr says, "we got 'courteous intimidation' from local police 
who followed us wherever we went." The police sometimes interrupted filming 
by walking in front of the camera, making noise or intimidating the local 
residents, Mr. Carr explained. 

One of the growers also complained about NBC's use of a local employment 
office for filming interviews, and one of the women migrant workers who talked to 
the crew was threatened with eviction. 

Despite reluctance of many of the workers to talk because of fear of such 
retaliation, NBC News correspondent Chet Huntley managed to gather material 
from several locations for his last special before leaving. 

"In telling the growers' side of the story," Mr. Carr says, "we will interview a 
member of the board of Citrus Mutual, the largest celery-growers in the country, 
and we have arranged for an interview with (Governor Claude Kirk in an orange 
grove." 

The program concentrates on Florida, according to the producer, because the 
state's economy is structured on agriculture and more and more workers are 
staying there the year around. 

"Improvements in agricultural methods have made crops less seasonal," Mr. 
Carr notes, "and the workers discovered they couldn't make any money by going 
north." 

The "Migrant" special will use segments of OBS News' documentary of 10 years 
ago, "Harvest of Shame," produced by David Lowe and narrated by Edward R. 
Murrow. 

Martin Carr was producer of the controversial, award-winning CBS docu- 
mentary, "Hunger in America." He joined NBC in September, 1969. 



[From the Lubbock Avalanche Journal, July 12, 1970] 
Finances, Education : Flobida Migrants Put in Spotlight 

New York (Special) — "The migrant people have become so used to easy living 
they don't want to work any more." 

This is the feeling of one of the growers appearing on "Migrant — An NBC White 
Paper" on Thursday, 6 :30 p.m. News correspondent Chet Huntley conducts the 
interviews. 

In contrast is 15-year-old Jackson Bowers's description of himself as a "bum" 
who dropped out of school in the eighth grade because, as a migrant child, he 
does not have the clothes, shoes or lunch money that other children have. 

The average annual wage figure for migrants — $891, according to U.S. Depart- 
ment of Labor statistics cited in the program — also seems to belie the "easy 
living" theory. 

"Migrant" examines the Florida migrant's economic situation in depth — what 
he gets paid, what he must spend for rent, the availability of jobs, and the state's 
failure to pass a compulsory workmen's compensation law. 

education explored 

Exploration of the migrants' education turns up such state statistics as "50 
per cent of the migrant children don't get to junior high school" and "80 per cent 
don't get to high school." The program probes the reasons behind migrant drop 
out, including the parents' need for help in the fields and social discrimination. 

But perhaps the most startling statistic turns up in an examination of the 
health situation — ^the life expectancy of a migrant worker is 49 years. 

This is Chet Huntley's last documentary before leaving NBC Aug. 1. He con- 
ducts some of the interviews on location and narrates the film. 



[From the Evening Star, Washington, D.C., July 15. 1970] 
Reform Dri\^e May Shift to Agri-Business 

The Project on Corporate Responsibility, a group of young Washington-based 
attorneys which earlier this year mounted a national challenge to the manage- 
ment of the General Motors Corp., has a new target for its reform efforts — the 
country's large agricultural corporations. 



5855 

"In addition to planning the next round of Campaign GM, the Project has 
been investigating tlie agri-l)u>iness industry for some time now," said Philip W. 
Moore, staff counsel to the public interest organization. 

••Dur.ng the coming months, the project intends to devote most of its resources 
to an examination of the agri-business industry and its impact on the day-to-day 
lives of workers and consumers," Moore added. 

Among the corporations on which attention is being focused, Moore .said, are 
Coca Cola. Penn Central, Tenneco, Atlantic Coast Line and U.S. Sugar, all of 
which have substantial land holdings on which migrant workers are employed. 

"At present, a complicated series of corporate layers insulates the managers 
of large cor^iorations from the human suffering which their decisions produce," 
Moore said. "Yet large investors are . . . responsible for the human condition 
of migrant) workers in Florida and Texas." 

Moore's statement coincided with an announcement by Sen. Walter F. Mondale, 
D-Minn., that the Senate's migratory labor subcommittee, which he heads will 
hold a new round of hearings later this month on the same issue. Among the first 
witnesses will be Moore and a team of doctors who studied migrant problems 
in Florida and Texas under a Field Foundation grant. 



[From Hard Times, July 13-20, 1970] 

NBC's updated version of "Harvest of Shame," the documentary about mi- 
grants, was carefully pruned of footage revealing sordid conditions on southern 
Florida farms. The farms are owned by Minute-Maid, a subsidiary of Coca-Cola. 
Coke, a big advertiser on NBC, complained about shots of doctors attending 
wretched migrant children. Rather than lose advertising, the network cut the 
sequence. 

[From the Miami News, July 16, 1970] 
KiBK BbEAKS PBOMISE ON TV MiGEANT SHOW 

(By Verne O. Williams. Miami News Reporter) 

Gov. Claude Kirk, charging the show would be "one-sided," backed out on a 
promise to appear before television cameras for a migrant documentary, NBC 
news producer Martin Carr said today. 

The show, "Migrant — An NBC 'WTiite Paper," is to be aired on Channel 7 at 
7 : 30 p.m. today. 

Carr who said his camera crews encountered violent hostility and gunbacked 
threats in Florida, had invited Gov. Kirk to give his views on the migrant prob- 
lem. An aide at Tallahassee accepted for the governor with the proviso that the 
filming take place in an orange grove. 

"That was not the most convenient place but we said if it would make the 
governor happy we would do it," Carr recalled in an interA'iew today. 

The producer said that Chet Hiintley, who narrates the program, was to inter- 
view the governor. As the date in late June neared, NBC heard nothing from 
Kirk. 

"His oflBce was to call and tell us which orange grove," said Carr. "I had cleared 
the time for Huntley to go to Florida and when it was four days away I got 
worried. We starting calling but Kirk's aide was always out." 

Finally, Carr said, NBC sent a telegram to Kirk and the governor's aide then 
phoned. "He was amazingly forthright," said Carr. "He said, 'Look, frankly 
there are stories out all over Florida that you have a one-sided show with only 
the migrant's side.' " 

The same reason, that the documentary would be one-sided, was given by 
Florida farmers asked by NBC to tell their side, Carr added. 

One migrant camp operator in Pahokee chased Carr and a camera crew off 
his property with a shotgun when he found the N'BC men interviewing an 11-year- 
old girl left in charge of smaller children while the parents worked, he said. 

The NBC crew filmed migrant scenes in Pahokee, Belle Glade, Immokalee and 
the "rangeline" area near West Palm Beach, Carr said. 

"I visited South Dade where we found migrant conditions about the same as 
others but we didn't film there because of logistical problems," Carr added. 

Carr, who won a TV Emmy award with his "Hunger in America" documentary 
in 1968 for CBS, said he felt the "basic squalor" of the migrants' lives had not 
changed in the past 10 years. 



5856 

"It would not be fair to say nothing has been done for the migrant in that 
time," said Carr. "But recent reforms have had little substantial effect on the 
conditions of their lives." 



[From the Miami Herald, July 16, 1970] 
Program ox Migrants Angers State 
(By (Steve (Sink, Herald Staff Writer) 

The plight of migrant workers in Florida is movingly shown in an NBC docu- 
mentary to be televised at 7 :30 tonight. 

Titled "Migrant" the .special could have been filmed in other states, NBC said, 
but was made in Florida because this state depends on migrant labor for its 
agricultural livelihood. 

Newsman Chet Huntley, the program's narrator, said NBC asked Gov. Claude 
Kirk to appear on the special and discuss the migrant situation, but that Kirk 
declined. 

However, Agriculture Secretary Doyle Conner said NBC turned down his re- 
quest to be interviewed "so that someone could put things in a true perspective." 
He also said, "I predict this show will go down in television journalism history 
as one of the most one-sided, biased, unobjective pieces of reporting ever 
produced." 

The showing tonight precedes by four days the start of congressional sub- 
committee hearings in Washington on reports of "shocking conditions" at migrant 
camps in Florida and Texas. 

NBC concludes that migrant conditions haven't improved much since Edward R. 
Murrow's "Harvest of Shame" documentary 10 years ago. 

"Recent reforms have had little substantial effect," Huntley says at the end of 
the program. The film shown in the preceding 55 minutes appears to document 
that statement. 

One woman answers most of a newsman's questions about her trials as a mi- 
grant mother trying to keep her children clothed and fed, but breaks into tears 
and is unable to continue. 

Perhaps the most moving interview is with a 15-year-old white boy who quit 
school because he didn't like it and kept getting into fights. The fights, he said, 
occurred when other children made fun of him because he didn't have shoes and 
the "right" clothes. 

"It makes you feel like a bum," the boy said. 

"Do you think you're a bum?" the newsman asked. 

"Yeah, I am a bum," the boy said. 

Those interviews indicate the "sad realities of these peoples' lives," Huntley 
said. NBC also presents statistics indicating that efforts to combat the situation 
have had little effect. 

Construction of 400 low-income housing units at Pahokee is shmvn, but James 
W. Vann of the Pahokee Hou.sing Authority tells a newsman the new public 
housing doesn't begin to meet the housing needs of the migrant workers. 

Earlier this week, there had been speculation WPTV Channel 5, West Palm 
Beach might not show the documentary if station officials felt it was "grossly 
unfair." Telephone calls and telegrams urged the station to reconsider, however, 
and let the program be shown. 

A station official, however, said the whole issue was "created." 

"This has been twisted beyond belief," he said. "If there is one station in the 
nation that would show the program, we would be one because this is our area." 



[From the New York Times, July 16, 1970] 
CocA-CoLA Denies Link to Farm Ills 

N.B.C. ALTERS DOCUMENTARY ON MIGRANT WORKERS 

(By Fred Ferretti) 

The National Broadcasting Company, following an angry meeting with repre- 
sentatives of the Coca-Cola Company, altered its documentary on migrant farm 
workers before the program was broadcast over the N.B.C. television last night. 



5857 

Coca-Cola was represented in the report as one of the contributors to the mar- 
ginal conditions under which migrant citrus workers live and labor in Florida. 
An addition and a deletion in the script of the program, entitled, "Migrant — ^An 
NBC White Paper," were made late yesterday afternoon, according to its 
producer Martin Carr. 

Mr. Carr said yesterday, "the pressure from Coke was enormous." 

Reuven Frank, president of N.B.C. News, said : "There was no pressure. They 
[Coca-Cola representatives] brought us facts we did not have before. We heard 
them out. 

"After they left, we felt maybe we had singled them out for blame in a situation 
where so many companies are involved. We removed the onus from them." 

An 'Angry Meeting' 

Mr. Frank said that "we made no promises" to the Coca-Cola representatives. 
He characterized the meeting, which was also attended by Julian Goodman, 
president of N.B.C, as "angry." He said. "They expressed themselves." 

The alterations involved two statements made by Mr. Carr on the program's 
track. At one point he is shown interviewing a woman who lives in a shack near a 
citrus grove, and the woman asserts that the shack is owned by Coca-Cola. Over 
her voice, Mr. Carr added this phrase : "Coca-Cola is at work on a major plan, 
which it claims will correct the failings it has found in its citrus operation." 

At another point in the program, Mr. Carr asserts that Coca-Cola and other 
"giants" of the Florida citrus industry, "set the standards for citrus workers in 
Florida together with smaller growers." This was deleted. 

Mr. Carr and Mr. Frank agreed that the changes did not alter the impact of the 
program. "We already established that Coke is one of the giants," said Mr. Carr. 

Unauthorized Viewing 

The pressure from Coca-Cola began yesterday, it was reported, when N.B.C. 
sent by closed circuit, the hour-long documentary to its aflBliates. In Houston 
several representatives of Coca-Cola saw the screening. Mr. Carr called it "unau- 
thorized viewing." They are reported to have gone to their superiors at Coca-Cola's 
Atlanta headquarters. The protests were lodged. 

Despite Mr. Frank's demurrer, it is realibly reported that the Coca-Cola repre- 
sentatives did ask for specific changes. Whether the alterations that were made 
were those requested could not be determined. Efforts to reach a Coca-Cola 
spokesman in Atlanta were fruitless. 

Mr. Carr said his program was not changed "in essence." Following the meet- 
ing, and after the changes were dictated, Mr. Frank met with several of his staff. 
He reportedly told them : "We haven't done anything that wasn't proper jour- 
nalistic judgment." He said the alterations were akin to changes made in a 
newspai)er from the first edition to the second. 

He told his staff : "They came with ideas. They did not complain, demand or 
threaten. We did not crumble." 

Chet Huntley, who will be leaving N.B.C. in two weeks, and who did some of 
the narration — an opening statement and a closing commentary — .said he had 
"no knowledge" of the changes. It was initially reported that Mr. Huntley had 
been asked to alter some of his closing statements about Coca-Cola, but he denied 
this. He said "I did the opener and closer last week, and I haven't been near it 
since." 

The program is regarded by Mr. Carr as a sequel to his "Harvest of Shame," 
al.so about migrant workers, which he produced, with Edward R. Murrow, 10 
years ago. In a recent article in which he described some of the trials and dangers 
of filming among the migrant workers in Florida, in particular the animosity 
towards him and his crew by growers, Mr. Carr described an incident in which 
his party was threatened at gunpoint. He wrote : 

""This scene, along with other, more courteous forms of intimidation, is an 
integral part of the program. . . . Unfortunately, intimidation too often works, 
and there are places and people in Florida that will not be seen by the rest of 
America because of it. . . . I'm alarmed at the way the growing criticism of tele- 
vision news makes it increasingly difficult to gather a story and thereby threatens 
the public's right to know." 



5858 

[From the Bergen Record, Hackensack, N.J., July 17, 1970] 

Documentaries — And the Poor Stay Poor 

(By John Crittenden, staff writer) 

Last night's NBC White Paper on migrant workers in Florida was another 
effort to tweak the conscience of America into doing something about our poor 
and exploited laborers. Past experience tells us that its warnings, voiced by Chet 
Huntley, will go unheeded. It Avas 10 years ago that CBS produced "Harvest of 
Shame" on the same topic. 

Some of the footage showing Ekiward R. MurroT;\' in a small Florida town was 
inserted in the show last night. It gave way to pictures of the town today. No 
changes yet. 

The producer of last night's show, Martin Carr, also was responsible for CBS's 
award-winning "Hunger in America" a few seasons ago. That the networks put 
the heat on for a few days or weeks and go on to win industry awards for their 
efforts is laudable, we suppose. But somehow it begins to seem like a grotesque 
formula for self-congratulation. 

A network sends its newsmen to a depressed area to talk to the poor, they dig 
out information about whose companies are making the profits, then interview 
the company men too. Then they shuffle the film clips of the needy saying they 
want jobs and the rich men saying the poor are either lazy or happy and don't 
really want to work. 

With the addition of a few depressing government statistics on how the poor 
compare with you and me and the naming of the companies as exploiters and 
apologies for invading the poor people's privacy, they put the show on the air. 
Then some senators and congressmen start crying about how something's got to be 
done. After our legislators milk it for political purposes, the network has only to 
sit back and wait for awards time. 

The poor? Always good for an award-winning, tear-jerking documentary. 

Maybe this is a cynical view, but one wonders sometimes why more isn't done 
about the problems themselves. After all, millions of generous Americans watched 
each of the shows. While the migrants can't vote, the TV viewers can. While the 
networks have free speech to expose inequities, the viewers — you and me — 
seem to be either unmoved or unwilling to act. 

We may congratulate the media for exercising their rights, but it seems they 
too little address themselves to the viewer in a leadership role. That would be 
heavy editorializing, of course, molding the viewers' mind. It seems caution is 
the virtue that is the vice in this particular instance. 



[From the New York Daily News, July 17, 1970] 
NBC's "Migrant" Scores as a Powerftil Document 
(By Ben Gross) 

"Migrant," an NBC White Paper, seen last night on Channel 4. proved to be a 
powerful and sensational report concerning the parlous conditions in which 
thousands of farm workers exist in central Florida. This final documentary of 
Chet Huntley's broadcasting career — he retires at the end of the this month — 
was a real blockbuster and, if not exaggerated— a cause for national shame. 

Because the Coca Cola Company, as the owner of citrus trees, was specifically 
mentioned as being partially responsible for the living conditions of some of the 
migrants, its representatives discussed the matter with NBC yesterday afternoon. 
As a result, what a network spokesman termed as a few minor editorial changes 
were made before the program was telecast. 

With Huntley serving as report-commentator, this program revealed that the 
average annual wage for the workers who pick the crops is only $891. This, ac- 
cording to the U.S. Department of Labor. 

One Negro said that although he and his wife combined earn only $20 a week, 
they pay $16 of it weekly for rent, having only $4 left for food and other necessi- 
ties. Another laborer, a woman, revealed that often she lacks food, unless she begs 
for it, 

an opposite view 

Over and over again, this program made clear that the migrants exist under 
the most primitive conditions, without running water and other elementary 
conveniences. They portrayed themselves as being in the real lower depths. 



5859 

And yet, some of the owners of farms disputed the charges of their hirelings. 
"They have become so used to easy living they don't want to work any more," said 
one. Another claimed that farmers "lose millions of dollars." He also insisted that 
last year the majority of migrants "made more than I did." 

The documentary made known that two-thirds of all the oranges harvested in 
the United States are grown in Florida, a crop that brings in $400 million 
annually. But the average picker earns a yearly income of less than $2,000 — about 
half of what the U.S. calls "the poverty level." 

BLEAK FUTUBE 

As for the children of these farm workers — many of whom are really not 
migrants because they live in Florida all during the year — they face a bleak 
future. Some attend school only four months a year, and at 19 or 20 are just 
beginning to read. 

One of them told of why he has dropped out of school. As a migrant child, he 
said, he does not have shoes or lunch money and the other kids "make fun of me." 

A true tear jerker was the interview with Aubrey Grey and his wife. The latter, 
when asked how a mother feels when she does not have enough food for her 
children, broke into uncontrollable sobs. 

During the making of this documentary, the NBC filming crew encountered con- 
siderable hostility from the growers. In one community they were run out of a 
migrant camp with a shotgun. And Huntley made known that Gov. Claude Kirk 
of Florida, after having been asked to comment on these conditions in his state, 
declined to do so. 

Anyway, as Chet Huntley remarked, 10 years ago, the late Edward Murrow 
made a documentary, "Harvest of Shame," dealing with a similar situation, and 
it is to be hoi:)ed that by 1980 it will not be necessary to produce another program of 
this kind. 



[From the News American, Baltimore, Md., July 17, 1970] 

Pre-Empt foe Good of Public? 

(By Jacob Hay) 

To The Management, WBAD-TV. 

Gentlemen : This, as you will shortly see, is not the column I had expected to 
write this Thursday evening. You preempted the documentary program I'd 
planned to review. For the first minute or two I was stunned, and then furious. I 
tried calling your station and got no answer. I tried calling those of you I know 
personally. At home. You were all out. 

My own phone began ringing: "What gives? No NBC 'White Paper'?" Of 
course, I had no answer. 

Now, as I trust you gentlemen are aware, I try to write this column with no 
more than the advantages enjoyed by the readers of this newspaper. Perhaps you 
tried to warn me in advance of this evening's planned preemption. In any event, 
if warning or explanation there was, I didn't catch it. 

So I telephoned a colleague for whose long experience and knowledge of the 
ways of tele\'ision I have great respect. Like me, he, too, was a bit confused at 
the abrupt pre-emption, but he offered a suggestion as to your reasons that made 
a whole lot of sense ; so much sense that I propose to go way, way out on a limb. 

And here, gentlemen, I hope to demonstrate that your consistent policy of public 
responsibility has a pay-off that can't be measured in dollars. Because, without 
an ofiicial word from any one of you, I am prepared to think that your pre-emption 
was intended for the public good. 

Long before this appears in print, you will doulitless have had a good deal of 
flak from all sides. You will have been called gutless wonders, pushovers from 
entrenched pressure groups, and such like. You sold free speech down the river, 
with only the curt announcement that you did not deem this "White Paper" suit- 
able for local showing. 

I prefer to think, on the other hand, that you had in mind Justice Oliver Wen- 
dell Holmes's reservation to the effect that free speech does not include the right 
to shout a false alarm of fire in a crowded theater. 

If my as.sumptions are still correct, you were in the position of being damned 
if you did show "White Paper," and equally damned if you didn't. The easy way 
out would have been to show it, and consequences be blowed. 



5860 

But, as no remote network oflScial could possibly be, you were aware of our 
Baltimore situation, and what the potential effects might be in the incendiary 
circumstances, and you acted accordingly. 

From what I read in the advanced synopsis of this "White Paper," it deserves 
to be shown, and I expect that in the fullness of time you will show it. It remains 
that there is a time for everything, however, and I think you recognized this 
truth, and took the tough way out. Sticks and stones may wreck a ghetto, but 
names will never hurt you. 

As I say, I'm way out on a limb in writing this with no confirmation from you 
all, but it has been my experience that WBAL-TV does not chicken out when 
grave public issues are at stake. 

No, I wasn't expecting to watch an antique segment of "Cheyenne," beginning 
at 7 :30 this past evening, but I have a sneaking idea that this creaking old West- 
ern might have accomplished far more than its producers ever intended. 



[From the New York Post, July 17, 1970] 

Ox THE Air 

(By Bob Williams) 

Despite the taint of last-minute alterations, under heavy "pressure" from the 
giant Coca-Cola Co., NBC's White Paper report on the hopelessly impoverished 
migrant farm laborers of Florida emerged on the homescreen last night as a 
searing social documentary. 

Producer Martin Carr minimized the changes, which on the one hand credited 
Coca-Cola with plans for correcting the "failings" of its vast citrus operations, 
while on the other hand relieving it of major blame for influencing tlie deplorable 
living standards of the fruit-pickers. 

******* 

As narrator €het Huntley noted, the NBC documentary served its purpose in 
demonstrating that nothing of any beneficial consequence had happened to the 
misery-ridden farm workers since the late Edward R. Murrow and David Lowe 
first portrayed their dismal plight on the homescreen in a memorable CBS pro- 
gram, Harvest of Shame, a decade ago. 

Last night, Carr and Huntley gave us contrasting pictures of hungry migrants 
dwelling in slave shacks, subsisting from day to day, while fruit and vegetable 
growers were driving inquiring reporters aAvay, in one instance at the point of a 
shotgun. It wasn't all right, in the view of a minor Coca-Cola functionary, for 
Carr even to conduct a camera interview with a black worker, minus official 
"permission." 

******* 

The program was filled with heartbreaking statistics. The average Florida 
farm laborer averages about $891 a year in income. He enjoys no unemployment 
insurance or workmen's compensation and his offspring are presumably unaf- 
fected by federal child labor I'estrietions. 

Huntley took pains to say that the program could have concentrated on other 
states, in which the growers similarly exploit the uneducated stoop-workers — 
black, white and Mexican — who follow the crops, from one .shack to another. 



[From the Washington Post, July 17, 1970] 

The Misery of the Migrant Worker 

(By Lawrence Laurent) 

Chet Huntley took a look last night (NBC, Channel 4) at Florida's migrant 
farm laborers in an hour-long "NBC White Paper" called "Migrant". The program 
is almost certain to touch off protests and complaints in 1970 as Edward R. 
Murrow's "Harvest of Shame" did a decade ago. 

"Migrant" is the last documentary special in which Huntley will api>ear before 
he leaves broadcasting Aug. 1 to go to the Big Sky country of Montana. 

Producer Martin Carr made the standard effort to provide balance and fair- 
ness — ^the e^mployers of migrant labor were interviewed and offered their side of 



5861 

the story. Often, however, the employers' oral statements were followed by visual 
contradictions or rebuttal from a migrant worker. 

Florida Gov. Claude Kirk declined an offer to appear on this program, Huntley 
said. 

While Carr attempted the fairness ritualism, Huntley left no doubt about his 
feelings of shame and indignation. Over footage of a parade celebrating Florida's 
$1.4 billion harvest, Huntley noted that a migrant worker in the United States 
earns a yearly average income of $891. 

"In the richest country in the world," he said, "the parade passes them by." 

Even the term "migrant" has become somewhat of an anachronism in Florida. 
Few of the workers migrate with the harvest seasons any more because in Florida 
some kind of work is available eight months of the year. 

In fairness to Florida, Huntley pointed out that migrant workers live under 
similar circumstances in other states. 

This was Carr's fir.st documentarj- for NBC. He spent ten years with CBS, 
turning out highly emotional and prize-winning programs such as "Hunger in 
America" and "Gauguin in Tahiti." 

An acknowledgement of the late Mr. Murrow's work in this field appeared at 
both the beginning and end of "Migrant". An opening film clip pictured Mr. Mur- 
row quoting a grower as saying : "We used to own our slaves. Xow we just rent 
them." 

Near the end of the program, Huntley expressed the hope that a similar docu- 
mentary "wouldn't be needed" ten years from now. 

Between those two segments were emotion-charged interviews with despair- 
filled men and women who pick fruit and vegetables. Huntley noted that a mi- 
grant worker has a life expectancy of 39 years, or 31 years fewer than the rest 
of us. 

The film showed substandard housing provided for the workers. One man said 
he and his wife were able to earn an average of $20 a week of which they paid 
$16 in rent. 

Prior to this telecast it was reported that Coca-Cola, owner of Minute Maid 
orange juice, had caused NBC to edit out footage that was uncomplimentary. 
NBC News President Rueven Frank flatly denied the charge, adding that "no 
editing was done for anyone, except for the professional news judgment of NBC 
News." 

Producer Carr shot about 15 hours of film, Frank said, and "nothing was cut as 
the result of advertiser pressure." 



[From the New York Times, July 17, 1970] 
TV : Plight of the Migrant Worker 

The statistics became people last night on N.B.C.'s documentary white paper, 
"Migrant." 

A man earning S891 a year became a black refugee from the mechanized 
South ; a Mexican-American from the Southwest : a poor white from Michigan, 
all .seeking work in the Florida citrus groves. A family of four earning $2,700 a 
year became a woman who worked in the bean fields until two weeks before she 
was ready to give birth ; children with distended bellies who can't read ; and a 
man without shoes. 

The percentages of migrants — 55 per cent blacks, 35 per cent Mexican-Ameri- 
cans, the remaining 10 per cent white, became a sign on a Florida roadstand : 
".No Niggers, Puertoricans, Mexicans Allowed." 

The 800,000 children under 16, most between 10 and 13, who work in the fields 
became a 15-year-old, who said, "It makes you feel like a bum. I guess that's 
what I am anyway." 

The citrus industry with a $4oO-million annual gross that translates into 25 
l)illion oranges became cartons of fruit handpicked at 35 cents a carton, a sum 
that does not multiply into a living wage. 

A migrant worker cannot vote. He's ineligible for unemployment insurance 
and workmen's compensation. His children are not covered by child labor laws. 
He cannot unionize. The country in part lives off his efforts and yet denies him 
the benefits of his country. 

Efforts are made to rationalize the hovels in which he lives, the prejudice with 
which he is regarded, the salary he is denied. But he won't go away even if we 



5862 

turn our heads. Ten years ago Edward R. Murrow reminded us that he was there. 
Last night Chet Huntley and the producer, Martin Carr, poignantly reminded us 
that he's still there. He won't go away. 

Fbed Febretti. 



[By the Associated Press, July 17, 1970] 

Still Reaping "Harvest of Shame" 

(By Jerry Buck) 

"Migrant," an NBC documentary shown Thursday night, exposed the other 
side of affluent America and it was neither a pleasant nor an encouraging view. 
As Chet Huntley pointed out, conditions have improved little since the late 
Edward R. Murrow's "Harvest of Shame" was shown on CBS 10 years ago. 

The camera was adept at capturing the defeated attitude of the migrants, who 
are America's lowest-paid and least-protected workers. 

One 15-year-old boy, already at work in the fields, said he would not return to 
school for "nothing" because his classmates made him feel like a "bum." He said, 
trying to hold back the tears, "I guess I am a bum. I don't have the things other 
people have." 

"Migrant" is likely to make people angry, some because such conditions exist 
and others for exposing them. Produced by Martin Carr, it ranks as the most sig- 
nificant television documentary of the year and is a fitting valedictory for the 
retiring Chet Huntley. 

[From the Louisville Courier Journal, July 17, 1970] 

"Migrant"' — ^Still Powerful as "Rerun" 

(By James Doussard, Courier-Journal Television Critic) 

Ten years ago, CBS News presented "Harvest of Shame," a documentary about 
the plight of migrant farm laborers. 

Biographer Alexander Kendrick called it the "most powerful television docu- 
mentary" Edward R. Murrow ever made. 

The public was horrified. Farm organizations, too, were horrified — at w'hat they 
considered highly colored propaganda and deceit. 

Last night, NBC News presented "Migrant — an NBC White Paper," a docu- 
mentary about the plight of migrant farm laborers. 

It was Chet Huntley's last documentary. It showed conditions that are bound 
to horrify public and farm organizations, public oflicials and farm owners. It con- 
cluded that things haven't improved. 

iStrangely, in a recent phone chat, Huntley soft-pedaled the potential impact of 
"Migrant." 

And he refused to see a parallel between Murrow's big effort and his own 
documentary swansong. 

It was another day's work to Chet. He didn't indicate he thought it would raise 
much fuss or do much to help the worker. 

bleak situation, bleak outlook 

Whether citing conditions tends to foster their correction remains to be deter- 
mined. On the other scores, Chet Huntley was wrong. 

Controversy has surrounded this show since it was announced in March. Farm 
groups have damned it in anticipation. 

Producer-director Martin Carr, in a New York Times service piece published 
in Sunday's Courier-Journal & Louisville Times, complained that farm owners, 
camp owners and state officials refused to state their side of the case on grounds 
that Carr had predetermined to tell only the worker's side. 

To this background, then, came a iX)werful hour, exploring in very human 
terms what these migrant workers make, what rent they pay, what work options 
they have and the fact that the state of Florida has not passed a compulsory 
workmen's compensation law. 

We saw the bleak housing situation and the bleak outlook for remedy, heard 
L at condemned units remain occupied because of the stringency of other accom- 
modations. 



5863 

In one touching scene, we heard Jackson Bowers, 15, style himself a "bum who 

dropi^d out of school because he lacked shoes, clothing and lunch money." 
Cries of foul are certain ; awards are more than probable. 



[From the Washington Star, July 17, 1970] 

XBC Alters Documentaby 

(By Robert Walters, Star Staff Writer) 

The National Broadcasting Co., under pressure from the country's largest 
grower of citrus products, made two editorial changes in an hour-long netw'ork 
documentary on migrant farm workers a few hours before the show was sched- 
uled to be broadcast last night. 

The program has been the subject of a controversy within the broadcasting and 
food industries for several weeks. The editorial alterations were decided upon 
yesterday afternoon at a meeting in XBC's New York headquarters. 

Among those at the meeting were representatives of the Coca Cola Co., the 
nation's bigge.st producer of both soft drinks and orange juice, and two high- 
ranking network officials, XBC President Julian Goodman and XBC Xews Presi- 
dent Reuven Frank. 

FIRM CRITICIZED 

Coca Cola was involved in the negotiations because its foods division markets 
Minute Maid and Snow Crop orange juice and Hi-C drinks. The company's treat- 
ment of migrant workers who pick oranges in its big Florida citrus groves was 
specifically criticized during the documentary program. 

Following yesterday's discussion with Coca Cola representatives, NBC officials 
ordered the insertion of a sentence in the program which said : "Coca Cola is at 
work on a major plan which it claims will correct the failings in its citrus 
operation." 

At the same time, netn'ork officials deleted a sentence which said "Coca Cola 
sets the standards in the field" which are followed by smaller Florida growers in 
their treatment of migrant workers — the salaries paid and the working conditions 
imposed on the fruit pickers. 

"assistance" offered 

A Coca Cola spokesman at the firm's headquarters in Atlanta said his com- 
pany's foods division had offered its assistance to NBC when production of the 
program began two or three months ago. 

Since that time, he said, there have been "any number of meetings" between 
officials of the two companies, both in person and by telephone. "The meeting 
today (Thursday) was merely a continuation of that as far as I know," he said. 

Television industry officials said it was unusual, however, to make editorial 
changes in a news documentary immediately prior to its broadcast. They noted 
that the show had been previewed for XBC-affiliated stations throughout the 
country on Wednesday night, in what was understood to be its final form. 

The Coca Cola spokesman said the head of its foods division, J. Lucien Smith, 
and other officials had sought to present the company's position to XBC through- 
out the program's production, but he insisted that no effort had been made to 
exercise any control over the documentary's editorial content. 

An XBC spokesman said the network had been approached by Coca Cola repre- 
sentatives because "they felt they had been singled out unfairly." At yesterday's 
meeting, the spokesman said, "they asked for no changes, however. They just 
wanted to present their views to the (network) management." 

The broadcasting company spokesman said following the meeting "XBC News 
made very minor changes." The alterations were solely the network's decision 
and were neither requested nor demanded by Coca Cola, the XBC spokesman 
added. 

Other network officials and those present at the meeting said the changes were 
a direct result of the final round of negotiations between NBC and Coca Cola. 



5864 

[From the Miami News, Florida Report, Miami, Fla., July 17, 1970] 

KiEK Says Migrant TV Show Biased 

(By Hubert Mizell, Associated Press writer) 

National television judgment against Florida's migrant labor setup incurred 
the wrath of the state's chief executive, but the words hardly differed after a 
decade. 

". . . did a great injustice." — Farris Bryant, governor of Florida, following the 
1960 CBS-TV expose "Harvest of Shame" with Edward R. Murrow. 

". . . completely biased, bigoted and one-sided." — Claude Kirk, governor of 
Florida, following last night's NBC-TV expose "Migrant" with Chet Huntley. 

While state political leaders cried about unfairness, members of Congress from 
elsewhere expressed concern for the low-paid field and grove workers who harvest 
Florida's rich citrus and vegetable crops. 

"No group is more in need of justice," said Sen. George McGovern (D-S.D.) 
regarding the migrant work force. He said his hopes are that "this will arouse 
Americans so that justice will finally come to our migrant workers." 

As the plight of the laborer.s wa.s .shown nationally, migrant worker Dora Mae 
Dorn sat on her bed with her family and watched on a TV set as yet unpaid for. 

"I bought clothes for my children this week," she smiled, "but I had to use my 
welfare check to do it." Mrs. Dorn is jobless at present since the picking season 
is over. 

Sad faces dominated the hour -long show narrated by Huntley and produced by 
youthful Martin Carr. 

"Poor people like us just don't have a chance," said a black woman on the film. 
"We have to pick fruit and different stuff. We pick what we can get." 

Racial overtones emerged throughout the special. A sign on a backwoods 
bu.siness proclaimed : "No Nigger.s, Puerto Ricans or Mexicans." Celery King 
Andrew Duda referred to workers as "darkies" and said "Negro people are fine, 
but they have to respect you. You get down to their level and they don't respect 
you." 

Huntley pointed out that 55 per cent of the migrant force is black and 35 per 
cent of Mexican descent. 

"If you want to be down and act like a Negro and be dirty and what not," con- 
tinued Duda. "then they're not going to respect you." 

An unidentified farmer .said the migrants are "the happiest people I've ever 
seen. They really enjoy what they're doing." 

However, migrant wife Mrs. Aubrey Gay said she did not want her children to 
suffer the fate of the fields and her interview came to a tearful end with head 
buried in hands. 

A man who said his piecemeal pay in the groves "can't make it," admitted that 
his wife must work to help their family get along. She worked once while preg- 
nant, not quitting until two weeks before childbirth. 

Ernest Jarvis, a black man of 39 who looks 15 years older, said in the docu- 
mentary that he owes "my landlady money and owe my bossman money." 

Jarvis seemed concerned for his years of retirement. Huntley quoted national 
statistics that claim the average man of the field lives to age 49. 

Huntley closed the hour by saying "it's been 10 years .since Edward R. Murrow 
made 'Harvest of Shame' and Ave hope no one will need to make a film about mi- 
grants 10 years from now." 

Sen. Edward Gurney (R-Fla.) said the report was "just another example of 
one-sided reporting of the big television networks." He said the special was 
"consistent with NBC's policy of pointing out only the bad and ignoring the good." 

Gov. Kirk said in Tallahas.see that he originally intended to take part in the 
NBC show, but backed out because he "soon discovered that Mr. Huntley was 
making absolutely no effort to give the viewers a balanced story." 

The only official network comment after the showing was : "We are sorry Gov. 
Kirk has seen fit not to appear on the program in response to our invitation. 
However, we believe the program speaks for itself." 

Secretary of Agriculture Doyle Conner said he was "disappointed" with one- 
sided reporting on the expose, but urged NBC to "use its influence to help correct 
substandard migrant conditions." 

Huntley said Florida's 200.000 migrants work on an eight-month picking season 
and receive no benefits such as workman's compensation, social security. Child 
labor restrictions are seldom enforced, he said. He quoted a national average 
income of $891 a year for laborers. 



5865 

The problems presented by NBC did not involve only minority groups. One 
migrant, a lo-year-old white boy who had quit school, said that watching other 
kids eat at luiichtime while he had no food "makes you feel like a bum. I guess 
that's what I am anyway ... a bum." 



News Release From the Office of Senator Edward .T. Gcrney. July 17. 1970 

Washington, D.C. — Senator Edward J. Gurney (R.-Fla.) today called NBC's 
white pai)er on migrants "just another example of the one-sided reporting of the 
big TV networks." 

"What Huntley (NBC newscaster Chet Huntley) failed to point out," Gurney 
said, "was that conditions have improved and are still improving for the migrants 
over the past 20 years and that great strides have been made in providing 
comfortable living conditions for these laborers." 

Gurney said the fruit and vegetable growers in Florida have made fine progress 
in improving conditions for migrant laborers. He pointed out the construction of 
low-cost housing units by growers with modern conveniences and the building of 
units by county housing authorities that contend with the migrant migration on 
a yearly basis. 

"Of course, there is still room for improvement, but NBC could have shown how 
conditions have changed in recent years and could have taken a more positive 
approach. But, since being positive is apparently not the policy of NBC, it chose 
again to take the negative path. I, at least, am not surprised," Gurney said. 

"It was Mr. Huntley who charged recently that President Nixon is a shallow 
l>erson. I suggest Mr. Huntley take a long at himself to learn what shallowness is 
all about. His program proved just how shallow his in depth reporting is and 
demonstrated again his lack of objectivity." 

For further information : Mr. Jack Hord, Press Secretary, room 5105, New 
Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 



[From the Washington Post, July 18, 1970] 

Officials Denounce Documentaey on Migrants 

Associated Press 

New York — Officials of the state of Florida, led by Gov. Claude Kirk, voiced 
indignation today over the National Broadcasting Co.'s depiction of the life of 
migrant farm workers in their state. 

NBC stood by its documentary, aired Thursday night, and said "the program 
.speaks for itself." 

The network al-so said it made minor last-minute changes in the one-hour si)e- 
cial following a meeting with representatives of the Coca Cola Co., which pro- 
duces fruit juic-es through the Florida fruit industry. 

In Florida. Kirk aecu.sed the network of presenting a picture of living and 
working conditions of fruit pickers in his state that was "completely biased, 
bigoted and one-sidetl." 

An NBC spokesman .said Kirk had been invited to appear on the program and 
declined. 

The changes requested by Coca Cola were "two very minor ones" and were 
made in an effort to indicate that the corporation was "not the only big offender" 
in maintaining poor migrant farm worker conditions, the spokesman said. 

One change was an addition to the sound track that said, "Coca Cola is at work 
on a major plan which it claims, will correct the failings it has found in its citrus 
oiJeration." 

Another was the deletion of an assertion that Coca Cola and other "giants" of 
the Florida citrus industry "set the standards for citrus workers in Florida to- 
gether with smaller growers." 

The program showed the migrant workers as predominantly black, forced to 
live in sub-standard housing, and grossly underpaid. They are subjected to racial 
dist-rmiination and deprives! of such job l_>enefits as workmen's eomi>en.sation and 
imemploynient in.surance. the program .said. 
36-513 O— 71— pt. Sc 3 



5866 

Reuven Frank, president of NBC News, said changes were made because the 
soft drink company "brought us facts we did not have before." 

A week before the special was aired, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Doyle 
Conner charged that it was "one of the most one-sided biased unobjective pieces 
of reporting ever produced." He requested to appear on the program. 

NBC replied by saying it "cannot understand how a man who admits that he 
hasn't seen the program can call it 'one of the most onesided, biased, unobjective 
pieces of reporting ever produced.' NBC stands by its journalistic judgment." 

Sen. Edward Gurney (R-Fla.) said the report was "just another example of 
one-sided reporting of the big television networks." 



[From the Washington Post. July 19, 1970] 
Senate Panel to Explgee Miobant Laboe System 
(By George Lardner Jr., Washington Post Staff Writer) 

There are about one million of them, counting the children, and their profile is 
as grim as their pay checks. 

Migrant farmworkers keep to the backroads, bouncing across county and state 
lines in tumbledown buses and cars, picking tomatoes, pulling corn, snapping 
beans. Hard, back-wrenching labor. Average annual income last year : $891. 

It is less than they made four years ago when the U.S. Department of Agricul- 
ture reported an average migrant's income from farm work was $1,046. 

Mexican-Americans, blacks, Puerto Ricans and whites, they lead chaotic lives, 
but they keep working, flitting from one dismal labor camp to another, a 
subculture of squalor and disease. 

Even the neglected American Indian gets better health care. According to a 
Senate subcommittee, the average per capita health expenditure in 1967 for 
migrants was $7.20. For Indians, it was $170.15. 

Many congressional hearings have been held, but little has been accomplished. 
It is time, says Sen. Walter F. Mondale (D.-Minn.) , to find out who is responsible. 

For the exponents of agri-business, already smarting from an hour-long NBC- 
TV documentary Thursday night, it means a discomfiting week. 

"Nothing will change until this rotten system is exposed and held accountable," 
Mondale says. His Senate subcommittee of migratory labor will open hearings 
Monday aimed, in the chairman's words, at "the powers, the pressures, the 
politics and the special interests" that keep it going. 

Whatever their conduct some of America's biggest corp>orations have substan- 
tial land holdings on which migrant workers are employed. Among them, accord- 
ing to the Project on Corporate Responsibility, are Coca Cola (Minute Maid), 
Penn Central, Tenneco, the Atlantic Coastline Co. and U.S. Sugar. 

The Project, which is run by a group of Washington-based attorneys, has been 
investigating these and other companies for some time now. It will be called to 
testify. 

"At present," says Philip W. Moore, staff counsel of the public interest orga- 
nization that cut its teeth on General Motors earlier this year, "a complicated 
series of corporate lawyers insulates the managers of large corporations from the 
human suffering which their decisions produce. 

"Yet large investors are at least as responsible for the human condition of 
workers in Florida and Texas as . . . the small farmer." 

The first witnesses will be a team of doctors sponsored by the Field Foundation 
of New York who say their investigation of migrant working conditions in the 
two states turned up "thousands of our fellow-citizens manipulated and managed 
in such a way as to reduce them to sub-human status." 

iln a preliminary report to the subcommittee, the doctors said they found prim- 
itive housing, decrepit outhouses, contaminated water, hazardous working condi- 
tions and, in Florida, a death rate for mothers and infants up to a third higher 
than the national average. 

One physician reported seeing men mthout protective gear spraying an insecti- 
cide, parathion, on a windy day in Florida. He said children were playing in a 
yard only 50 feet away. Thirty-two drops of parathion absorbed through the 
skin, Mondale's subcommittee reported last year, is fatal. 

The time of the hearings is no accident. They were calculated to follow the 
NBC documentary, in hopes of gaining a wider audience. "Admittedly we knew 



5867 

the show was coming and admittedly we scheduled our hearings to follow it," 
the senator's press secretary, Charles Sonnenbom, said. 

The production, "Migrant — lAn NBC White Paper," had been under fire from 
agricultural interests for weeks. 

The Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association sought to prevent its being shown. 
In letters to NBC President Julian Goodman and Federal Commmiications Com- 
mission Chairman Dean Burch on June 22, the association claimed in advance 
that it would prove to be a "slanted" news presentation. 

Broadcasting it, the association's Washington attorney warned, would prompt 
the fruit and vegetable men to challenge the FOC's continued licensing of any 
station taking part in the telecast 

George F. Som, the association's labor division manager in Orlando, followed 
this up with similar communioations reportedly sent July 1 to NBC's seven affili- 
ates in Florida, this time expressing fears of a "completely slanted documentary 
on migrants and migrant conditions" in that state. Three of the stations decided to 
cancel it, the Palm Beach Post-Times reported last Tuesday, but then changed 
their minds after the nei^'s story appeared. 

The NBC-TA' affiliate in Fort Worth, Tex., WBBP-TV, however, cancelled the 
Thursday showing. "The primary thing was the threat of opposition at license 
renewal time," program director Bob Gould said. 

His station, he explained, didn't get a closed-circuit preview of the documentary 
until Thursday afternoon and wanted more time to consider it. 

Subsequently, Gould said, WBEP decided to run the program scheduling the 
show for Sunday afternoon. Public reaction to the cancellation, he said, was 
"enormous." 

Representatives of the Coca Cola Co., which owns Minute Maid and Snow Crop 
orange juice, put the pressure on NBC executives in New York at a reportedly 
"angry" meeting Thursday afternoon. 

The documentary criticized Coca-Cola for its treatment of migrant workers in 
the company's Florida citrus groves. 

Although NBC News President Reuben Frank subsequently insisted that 
"nothing was cut as the result of advertiser pressure," slight changes were made 
following the meeting. 

Contending that it was still slanted, Sen. Edward J. Gurney (R-Fla.) denounced 
the show, and narrator Chet Huntley, the next day. Gurney said the program was 
"just another example of the one-sided reporting of the big TV networks." 

"What Huntley failed to point out," Gurney said in a press release, "was that 
conditions have improved and are still improving for the migrants over the past 
20 years and that great strides have been made in providing comfortable living 
conditions for these laborers." 

The Field Foundation doctors, who did their most extensive work in Texas, 
were disappointed, too. NBC, they complained, took plenty of film there, but then 
left it out in a decision to limit the documentary to Florida. 

Sen. Mondale, in any event, has invited representatives of Coca-Cola, farmer 
and grower groups, and N'BC officials, including producer Carr, to testify in view 
of the reports that the network had been under pressure "to alter or censor" the 
show. 

Subcommittee Counsel Boren Chertkov said some prospective witnesses would 
not appear because of "personal threats, harrassment, intimidation." 

As for balance, Carr has said, the growers themselves frustrated some of NBC's 
best efforts, refusing to talk on the grounds that the network would tell only 
the migrant's side. Gov. Claude Kirk, the producer reported, took substantially 
the same position. 

[From Variety, July 22, 1970] 

NBC-TV'S 'MiGBANT* Migraine 

NET ROUGHED-UP PRE-PBODUCTION 

(By Bill Greeley) 

From the farm fields of Florida to the viewer production of NBC-TV's 
"Migrant" was a pressure cooker which exemplifies the odds against electronic 
"White Paper" journalism these days. 

On location, the producers were threatened at gun point and harassed pre- and 
mid-interview, and scheduled interviews dried up in the severe heat of the 
Florida sun, or something. 



5868 

But the hardest pressures, in broadcast industry terms, was turned on in 
Washington, New York City and virtually every NBC aflSliate city, town and 
hamlet down the line. 

Threatening letters — in a legal sense — were fired ofE by the Florida Fruit & 
Vegetable Association's legal counsel in Washington to FCC Chairman Dean 
Bureh, NBC president Julian Goodman, NBC News president Reuben Frank, 
newsman Chet Huntley and "Migrant" producer-director Martin Carr and 
affiliate general managers across the country. 

"Doing A Job" on Coke 

At the network level, the real crunch came last week when Goodman and Frank 
were stormed by "angry" Coca-Cola ofiicials demanding changes in the show. The 
company's food division — including Minute Maid, Hi C and Snowcrop — were 
named and scored in the documentary, primarily via an interview with a poverty- 
stricken Negro woman in her rural slum shanty owned by Coca-Cola Food Co. (the 
interview was interrupted by a company representative, with it all captured on 
camera ) . 

In fact, Coca-Cola president J. Paul Austin phoned Goodman, reportedly 
"screaming" charges that the whole "Migrant" project was aimed at doing "a 
bitch job on Coke." As high insiders at the network read it, Austin is interested 
moving into public life with the current Administration and feared personal 
reputation might be damaged by the show's expose. 

'Screened In Houston 

Coca-Cola Foods is headquartered in Houston, and two representatives of the 
company screened the show when it was put on closed-circuit for affiliate.s last 
Wednesday (15) afternoon. They had requested i>erniission to view the presenta- 
tion, having received word of Coke Foods' involvement, and the NBC Houston 
afliliate KPRC agreed, figuring it had an obligation under the legal pressures and 
controversy already raging pre4)roadcast. 

The legal pressure at the station level came in the form of a letter early this 
month to afliliate managements from the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association : 
"This Association is in receipt of news which have caused us great concern over 
the possibility of NBC News televising a completely slanted documentary on mi- 
grants and migrant conditions in Florida. 

"Our Washington attorneys have registered our concern with the chairman of 
the Federal Communications Commission and to the president of NBC. We are 
attaching copies of this correspondence for your information and consider- 
ation . . ." 

Letter To The Chairman 

The letter to Dean Burch, dated June 22, was from the Washing'ton law firm of 
L. Alton Denslow & Joseph O. Parker. It advised that the Association had sent a 
letter to Chet Huntley May 27 expressing its "concern that a 'documentary' which 
has been filmed in Florida by NBC News will, according to reports in the press 
and statements allegedly made by persons in the employ of NBC News, be de- 
signed to convey the impression that little or nothing has been attempted or ac- 
complished in the state of Florida over the past 10 years intervening since the 
CBS film, 'Harvest of Shame,' to improve the living, working and other conditions 
of migrant agricultural workers." 

The letter further advised that NBC had been supplied with "documented, 
factual information" regarding improvements in the education, housing, employ- 
ment, w-orking conditions, welfare assistance and otherwise" for migrant workers 
(the show attacked the static migrant conditions on every point cited in the 
letter). 

The letter stated that a biased presentation "could result in grave injustice to 
the i>eople of the state of Florida, particularly the workers and their employers." 

The clincher : "If the film is shown by a licensee of the Commission and is in 
fact a slanted news presentation, Florida Fruit & Vegetable Assn. will request the 
Commission to specify 'and issue as to wheth^- such licensee is adequately dis- 
charging its responsibilities so as to warrant its continuing to be 'a licensee." 
That, of course, is legalese for license challenge. 

The letter to Julian Goodman of the same date requested that "you bring the 
views which we express here to the responsible operators of each station to which 
this documentary will be offered." 



The show was put on closed-circuit with a preface by XBC veepee of aflBliate 
rehition.s Don Mercer which cited the hassle with the Association, but said that he 
(Mercer) had every assurance from those involved that it was a "hard-hitting'- 
show "in the "White PaiK'r' tradition." 

As one XBC athliate put it. "If you saw the show you must realize there is 
nothiufr in it actionable." 

I'eiliaps not. But in the past, the aftermath of recent muckraking telementaries 
lias been even more liarassing and co.stly than the prelude to "Migrant's" airing. 
Producer Martin Carr became something of a Washington commuter after his 
"Hunger in America" on CBS. He'll st^irt that trek again this week as the Senate 
Subcommittee on Migratory Labor began hearings tliis week (which were timed 
to dovetail with the XBC show). J. Paul Austin al.so was invited to testify. It 
could be lively. 



[From Variety, July 22. 1970] 
XBC's "Migrant" Defectors 

XBC-TV affiliates generally withstood all the heat from the Florida Vegetable 
& Fruit A.ssn. and aired the network's hard-hitting "Migrant" telementary. 

^^'SYR-TV Syracu.se. however, declined the -show ( one observer iK)inted out 
that the upstate Xew York (Syracu.se) area has its own migrant workers and 
just might be waiting for a good show on them). WBAL-TV Baltimore also pre- 
empted it (see separate story). 

WBAP-TV in Dallas-Ft. Worth at first cancelled the show, but decided later 
to air it Sunday at 4 :30 p.m. 

All seven Florida affiliates carried "Migrant," the one in Ft. Myers doing so 
with a disclaimer bucking any blame to the network. 

There were three other cancellations, but for a very special reason. WLW-TV 
Cincinnati. WTRF Wheeling and WLEX Lexington were all previously com- 
mitted to the Great American Pastime and went with the Pirates-Reds baseball 
game that night. At this writing, none had aired "Migrant" on delay. 



[From Variety, July 22, 1970] 

(With Chet Huntley, Martin Carr, others; Producer- Director : Martin Carr; 
W'riters: Marilyn Xissenson, Carr; 60 Mins., Thurs. 7:30 p.m., NBC-TV (film)) 

When an old fashioned (circa 1950-'60) muckraking telementary like this one 
appears on the home screen it's as though a flock of rare whooping cranes swooped 
into the room. 

Under the imprint of the commercial networks' news departments, the tube has 
been loaded in primetime with travelogs to the Sahara, the Great Barrier Reef, 
Ala.ska. Siberia and other far-flung locales where the geographic exotics tend to 
obscure from amateur viewers the cheapness of the productions. 

Then with shocking .suddenness, the viewer is thrust into the poverty-stricken, 
shanty -ridden backside of Florida's vast fruit and vegetable lands. And the adven- 
ture is not spearing the great whale, but the multi-billion dollar food industry 
with forceful determination keeping the field workers ill fed, clothed and shel- 
tered, and uneducated. 

The last time a shock wave like this rolled out of the tube was a year and a half 
ago when the same producer^director, Martin Carr, produced "Hunger In Amer- 
ica" for CBS X'ews. And "Migrant" was an update on the renowned Ed Murrow- 
David Lowe documentary of 10 years ago, "Harvest of Shame." In between there 
was producer Mort Silverstein's volatile expose of the plight of the Long Island 
migrant worker for X'ational Educational Television. 

After 10 years, XTiC's "Migrant" could begin and proceed exactly as CBS' 
"Harvest of Shame" did. for nothing but nothing has changed. "Migrant" began 
with footage borrowetl from CBS Xews showing the late Ed Murrow in the fields 
in a declaration of the inhumanity and greed .suffere<l by the workers which has 
lost none of its meaning and only gained in poignancy over 10 years. 

"Migrant" had a full share of sensationally dramatic elements, from the sign 
reading, "X'o Xiggers, Puerto Ricans or Mexicans Allowed," to a migrant mother 
bursting into tears on camera when prompted to dwell on the hopeless poverty of 
her family and the 15-year-old grade-school dropout who considered himself a 
bum. 



5870 

But the real thrust of the piece was in its focus on the growers (one who 
admitted an annual gross of $20,000,000 only to beg a marginal operation) and a 
faceless American food industry whose guilt over its own monstrous inhumanity 
and greed is so submerged it only manifests in an angry, frustrated effort to keep 
the whole mess a secret. 

On camera, viewers watched confrontations between producers and the guilty, 
as the latter broke into interviews in progress. Most telling of these incidents 
was a representative of Coca Cola Food Co. attempting to rout producer Carr 
from an interview with a tenant of one of the company's filthy, substandard 
shanties. Named as rural shun lords and/or slave-wage employers were Coca 
Cola — via Snowcrop, Hi C and Minute Maid subsidiaries — Tropicana, Donald 
Duck and others in the $400,000,000 Florida citrus industry. 

Off-camera, Coca Cola turned on all the pressure it could muster to kill the 
expose. Some changes were made, but the impact remained. 

Through it all, narrator Chet Huntley seemed something of a stand-in, on mike 
backing and filling with statistics from the vegetable patch. But, under the cir- 
cumstances of severe pressures during the entire production, it's fair to report 
here that more than one interview scheduled for Huntley folded. 

The real tragedy of "Migrant" is that commercial television, as an extension of 
Madison Ave., has become so unsuited to this kind of show. Besides all that heat 
from a multi-million dollar TV advertiser (Coca Cola), the show didn't carry a 
single commercial. 

[From Variety, July 22, 1970] 

Coke's NBC Buys 

When NBC-TV last week clashed with Coca-Cola over the network's 
documentary, "Migrant," it clashed with a major sponsor. 

For the coming season. Coke has already bought between $2,000,000 and $2,500,- 
000 worth of participating blurbs in NBC primetime. In a total buy of about 
50 minutes. Coke has scheduled blurbs in Red Skelton, Don Knotts, the Tuesday 
and Saturday movies, "Men From Shiloh," "Four in One," Flip Wilson, "High 
Charparral," "Name of the Game," Andy Williams, "Adam 12" and "First 
Tuesday." 



[From Variety, July 22, 1970] 
Florida Gboweibs Want Equal Time for NBC "Migrant" 

The Florida Fruit and Vegetable Assn. is asking NBC-TV for equal time to 
answer what it called the network's "biased and innacurate" portrayal of Florida 
migrant workers in last week's NBC News telementary, "Migrant." 

Assn.'s manager of the labor division George F. Sorn issued the following 
statement : "It doesnot appear that NBC made any substantial effort to balance 
the one-sided presentation in spite of the fact that they had in their possession 
massive factual documentation provided by this Association which clearly shows 
the many improvements made before the program was filmed. Biased on the 
apparent inaccuracies and bias and because of their damaging aspects not only 
to Florida agriculture and the state of Florida, but also to the workers themselves 
we will request equal time so that a proper balance may be offered the nation's 
television viewers." 

Sorn said that the Association's action does not preclude possible additional 
action by individuals who appeared in the film. 

As of this writing, NBC said it had not received the Association request 



[From Variety, July 22, 1970] 
Balto Affil Subs Oateb for "Migrant" ; See Political Motive 

WBAL-TV, NBC-TV afiiliated, turned down the network's "Migrant" a move, 
that gave the switchboard a busy evening. No one knew the station was going 
to preempt until announcement was made before a "Cheyenne" rerun was subbed, 
and then the calls began, presumably those who couldn't pick up Washington's 
Channel 4 and from those who just wanted to be heard. 



5871 

The official statement made by station management was that the station "has 
previewed the program and finds its unacceptable for airing at this time." 

Later, one of those "sources close to management" said it was because 
"Migrant" contained "racial slurs against Negroes" and still another source said 
the move was a "political one," meaning Maryland has its migrants, too. 

NBC sources in N.Y. said WBAI^TV general manager Brent O. Gunts advised 
the web, after the screening to affils on closed-circuit, that the station found the 
program "objectionable." 

Roanoke, Va., July 22, 1970. 
Sen. Walter Mondale, 
U.S. Senate Building, 
Washington, B.C. 

Deab Senatob Mondale : In reference to the enclosed article, I would like to 
complain that the local NBC station, Channel 10, in Roanoke did not carry 
Migrant — an NBC White Paper. On Thursday when it was regularly scheduled, 
they carried a horror movie and said that they did not pick up national programs 
until 8 :30 PM and that it would be broadcast locally the following Saturday at 
5 PM. On Saturday at 5 PM they showed a western movie. I talked to the secre- 
tary of the station manager on Monday and she told me that NBC had refused 
to allow the program to be rebroadcast on Saturday. At this point I was just 
very unhappy but accepted the explanation. However, after reading the enclosed 
article I have become rather skeptical. I was quite anxious to see this program 
and feel resentful that because we are now living in the South our TV programs 
may be subject to local biased censorship. 

Originally, I had planned on writing to Mr. Huntley, but feel that you may 
be in a position to do more about it. Being a native Washingtonian and never 
really having a senator (except our old ball club which your state now has) to 
call my own, I will adopt you, since you represent my husband's home state 
(Osakis, Minn.) and all of his relatives are still living there. 

As a Girl Scout, more than 25 years ago, I remember packing oil cloth kits 
for the migrant children, containing soap, toothpaste and brushes. It is indeed 
horrible that in all this time so little progress has been made in the living con- 
ditions of these poor people. There is not much that I can do to help this cause, 
except boycott Coca Cola, Minute Maid and Snow Crop products, which I intend 
to do. 

One of your colleagues is a very old and dear friend. Dr. Floyd Riddick. Please 
remember me to him when you see him. 
Very truly yours, 

Joan Indla. Fbaseb. 

Senatob Vows To Expose The Guilty In Migrant Probe 

Washington (AP) — A senator probing alleged sub-human conditions among 
migrant farm workers promised today an exjws^ of who is responsible — "insti- 
tutions or persons ; government or agribusiness ; federal, state or local." 

"Nothing will change imtil this rotten system is exposed and held accountable," 
Sen. Walter F. Mondale, D-Minn., said in a statement for today's opening of a 
two-day inquiry by his subcommittee on migrants. 

The first scheduled witness was Dr. Raymond Wheeler of Charlotte, N.C., one 
of a team of foundation-sponsored doctors who visited Texas and Florida migrant 
camps earlier this year and reported that workers were deliberately kept in 
"sub-human status." 

Mondale noted the hearings follow last Thursday's television documentary 
"Migrant — An NBC White Paper," which he said "documented evidence of the 
squalor, degradation and racism which our nation bestows upon the migrants." 

He also noted a similar documentary, the late Edward R. Murrow's "Harvest 
of Shame," had aired much the same migrant conditions 10 years earlier. 

"Perhaps our greatest shame is how little we have done in this decade," Mon- 
dale said. "We must see to it that there will be no such documentary in 1980." 

"We know the problems," he said. "We must now turn to the question of why 
we have accomplished so little. What are the powers, the pressures, the politics 
and the special interests that have perpetuated this degradation who has opposed 
the investigations of these conditions, and who has endeavored to suppress the 
truth." 



5872 

Mondale said he had invited oflScials of NBC and the Coca-Cola company to 
testify about reports Coca-Cola pressured the network to tone down its docu- 
mentary on migrants. Coca-Cola, which owns the Minute Maid and Snow Crop 
brands of orange juice, is a major Florida citrus producer. 

Mondale said he also had invited representatives of growers associations to 
testify about reported pressure. The Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association 
wrote NBC President Julian Goodman and Federal Communications Chairman 
Dean Burch on June 22 warning it would oppose relieensing of any station taking 
part in the "slanted" broadcast. 

The subcommittee has reported pressures of its own. Last Friday Boren Chert- 
kov, the subcommittee counsel, said some i>ersons had declined to testify be- 
cause of "pers(jnal threats, harrassment, intimidation." He said he could not name 
the persons without endangering them. 



Editorial Broadcast by Ed Hixshaw 

(WTMJ-TV at 10:25 p.m., Thursday, July 16, and 12:30 a.m., Fridav, Julv 17, 

1970) 

HiNSHAW. Earlier tonight, WTMJ-TV broadcast the NBC News Special, "The 
Migrant"— dealing with the plight of the itinerant farm worker. 

NBC reporters developed many unpleasant and even painful scenes bearing 
upon the working and living conditions among casual farm laborers. 

Before the broadcast, this station — along with many other .NBC affiliates — 
received communications from the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, im- 
plying that the growers would seek reprisals against stations which showed the 
program, such reprisals perhaps including an attempt to have broadcast licenses 
revoked. 

The program itself, those on our staff who saw it felt, was not an outstanding 
piece of journalism, but it was prepared by competent professional journalists 
of known integrity. 

WTMJ-TV, therefore, decided to carry that program. 

This incident, however, raises a larger issue : Should the threat of possible 
governmental action to punish broadcasters be used in an attempt to thwart 
your right to know — your right to know that reporters believe they have to 
report, your right to know the unpleasant along with the pleasant? 

We think you want NBC, WTMJ-TV, and other television reporters to tell it 
as they see it — through their human eyes. 

We believe in your right to know. 

But — we're most eager to learn your reaction to these policies. 

And — we welcome your opinion on WTMJ-TV's handling of this NBC News 
Special, "The Migrant" . . . and of the many other controversial subjects which 
confront our society today. 

Won't you please sit down and write us — immediately after this program — 
and tell us what you think? 

Baltimore, Md., July 20, 1910. 
Mr. Melvin Cohen, 
^215 Pcnhurst Avenue, 
Baltimore, Md. 

Dear Mr. Cohen : WBAL-TV regrets any concern that our not showing the 
NBC Program, "The Migrant", on Thursday, July 16 may have caused you. 

Under the law WBAL-TV is solely and totally responsible for what it broad- 
casts and can not delegate this responsibility to anyone. 

Nearly ten days in advance of July 16, we advised NBC that a closed circuit 
preview .showing of this program would be highly desirable. We and other 
stations throughout the country have done this many times in the past. 

NBC-T\' did not make the program available for preview until 5 pm on 
Wednesday, July 15. The reason given being that the program was still being 
edited and assembled. 

It was our considered reaction from the preview that this important subject 
needed further investigation and consideration and that the program was not 
acceptable for broadcast by WBAL-TV in its present form. 



5873 

We so advised NBC early on Thursday, but did not receive word baclc from 
tliem until nearly "> PM Thursday evening that they intended to go ahead Avith 
the program as previewed. 
Thank you for your interest 
Cordially, 

Brent O. Gunts. 

[From the Baltimore Sun, Aug. 14, 1970] 
ABC Affiliate To Broadcast NBC's Documentary on Migrants 

The NBC documentary on migrant woi-kers that was canceled last month by 
WBAL, the network s Baltimore affiliate, will be shown Saturday, August 29, 
by WJZ, the ABC alKliate here. 

The hour-long i)rogram will be shown at 9 :30 P.M., followed by a WJZ docu- 
mentary on migrant workers in the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia. 

For Free 

NBC, apparently irked that its Baltimore station was the only NBC affiliate 
not to carry the program, is letting WJZ use the documentary for nothing. 

"They were suri^rised and verj- pleased that we asked them for it," said Alan 
Bell, WJZ's general manager. 

The documentary, called "Migrant," depicts the lives of migrant workers, 
primarily in Florida. The WBAL cancellation last July 16 apparently was be- 
cau.se of racial epithets spoken by white farmer in the program. 

However, Brent Gunts, WBAL's general manager, refu.sed again yesterday to 
go beyond the station's previous statement that the program "was found un- 
acceptable for rtewing at this time." 

Rerun, Instead 

A rerun of the cowboy series, Cheyenne, was shown instead, prompting hun- 
dreds of irate viewers to call the station to complain. Others watched the 
program over Washington NBC affiliate on Channel 4. 

The next day the station was picketed and the Baltimore Council of the 
AFL-CIO threatened to boycott its advertisers. One of the AFL-CIO unions, the 
United Farm Workers, under the leadership of Cesar Chavez, has been instru- 
mental in organizing migrant grape-pickers in California. 

Mr. Gunts said yesterday that the picketing and attempted boycott had little 
economic effect on the station. 

Mr. Bell, his counterpart at WJZ, said the idea to show the program originate<l 
with the i)ersonnel at the local station. 

"We feel we have an obligation to present to our viewers what is happening 
in this area," he .said. 

Show Tragedy 

Mr. Bell added that the station's documentary on Maryland and A'^irginia 
migrants will show the "tragedy of this institution." 

The documentary, done by the station's investigative reiwrter, Christopher 
Gaul, will show workers being "shanghied" off the streets in Baltimore and taken 
to a farm near Cai^e Charles in Virginia, Mr. Bell .said. 



[From the Washington Post. July 29, 1970] 

Confessions and Denials of Migrant Operession 

The pain and tragedy that is a daily part of the migrant subculture has 
been going on for too long for anyone tf) pretend shock at the latest disclosures 
on NBC television and from Senate hearings. The only fact that may be over- 
looked in this ongoing story of endured misery is that the nation's 100.000 mi- 
grant workers are not restricted to the Florida citrus groves. Their "chaos of 
movement" — to use the phra.se of Dr. Robert Coles, long a friend of migrant 
workers — extends to nearly all parts of the United States, from the potato fields 
of eastern Long Island to the fruit orchards of the Yakima Valley in the State 
of Washington. 



5874 

What is new in the recent events is the reaction of the citrus grove owners in 
Florida. First, there is the testimony before a Senate subcommittee of J. Paul 
Austin, president of Coca-Cola, whose subsidiaries, Minute Maid, Hi-C and Snow 
Crop, employ over 1,000 migrant workers in their groves. Mr. Austin admitted 
that conditions in his company's camps were filthy and wretched. He then pledged 
his company to a long-range plan that would vastly improve the living conditions 
of Coke's migrant employees. Mr. Austin and Coke are now on record as vowing 
to take positive action. They will be watched closely by more than a few reporters, 
as well as public defenders like Philip Moore of the Project on Corporate 
Responsibility. 

The second testimony was that of George Wedgworth, a Florida grower and 
spokesman for the state's Fruit and Vegetable Association. "I feel there was 
much sneakiness on the (NBC) film," said Wedgworth. In contrast to the admis- 
sions of Mr. Austin, Mr. Wedg^^'orth doggedly stuck to what he considered was 
the bright side of things, if not the only side of things ; flying directly in the face 
of the enormous evidence of misery, he claimed that "extensive progress (has 
been) made towards the betterment of working and living conditions" of the 
migrant workers. 

What comes through from the contrasting testimony of Mr. Austin and Mr. 
Wedgworth is that great resistance will be offered by the growers at the local 
level despite the good intentions of far-off board room reformers. Migrant op- 
pression has been institutionalized for so long that one conversion does not by 
any means ensure immediate change. If the growers can send before Congress 
a defiant spokesman such as Mr. Wedgworth, it is painful to imagine the effects 
of their group arrogance back home among the poor who work for them. 

Until the government takes seriously the rights and needs of these half- 
enslaved people that are forced to be nomads, great violence will continue to be 
inflicted on them. As for the reason why, Sen. Walter Mondale, after hearing 
from Coca-Cola and the growers' spokesman offered the obvious : "There is 
money to be made off poverty." 

[From the Washington Star, July 27, 1970] 

An Agnewvian View of Migrants 

(By Mary McGrarry) 

When you've seen one congressional hearing on migrant workers, you've seen 
them all, as the vice president might say. 

But this year's version ended on a slightly different note. Sen Walter F. Mon- 
diale, on the last day, produced a witness who proved to be a veritable Agnew of 
agriculture, a man who said the problem was not the migrants' plight, but the 
sensational press which called attention to it. 

George Wedgworth, past president and member of the executive committee of 
the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, is a tanned and silver-haired 
grower who was carrying on a family tradition of objecting to television docu- 
mentaries which insist on showing that migrants live under conditions that are 
intolerable, unspeakable and a disgrace to democracy. 

Wedgworth's mother, a co-owner of the family acres, 10 years ago led the 
protest against a CBS documentary made by the late Edward R. Murrow and 
called "Harvest of Shame." 

Wedgworth came to Washington to express his indignation against NBC, 
which two weeks ago showed a documentary which also depicted what Wedg- 
worth called "the bad side." 

Nothing has happened to the migrant workers in the intervening decade, said 
a final witness, except that conditions have grown worse. James M. Pierce, of 
the National Sharecroppers Fund, called congressional hearings on the subject 
a waste of time. 

He had only come, he said wearily, so that Wedgworth should not be allowed 
to "sell his fairy tales" to the subcommittee and the nation. 

Wedgworth's indictment of NBC was wonderfully Agnewvian. The film will, 
he said, "alienate the worker" and "polarize the migrant situation." It was "un- 
biased," "unfair," "unbalanced" and "sneaky journalism." 

"When the committees and the film companies come down to Florida," he fumed, 
"they surround around them the people that want to show the bad." 



5875 

What the good was, he never said, although he handed the committee a 
bundle of material relating to "improvements" and he spoke vaguely of "self- 
help" and "home-ownership." 

The good side of migrant existence surely cannot be found on Wedgworth's 
domain. He has on his property a 50-room boardinghouse where 200 workers live 
during the harvest, "free, at no cost." 

It is, he admitted, "marginal housing" by state and county codes. Pierce had 
sent a team down to look at it and in a report to the committee termed it a 
"monstrosity," with no indoor plumbing, two showers and no fire-escape. It was 
built in 1936. 

When Mondale questioned Wedgworth about the bathroom facilities, he said 
stiffly, "I do not believe that is accurate — 'I really don't know." 

But he did know that he would be "attacked in the press," he cried, and he 
wanted to "phase out" the camp. He would do it tomorrow morning "provided 
someone can find a place for these people to live." 

No one inquired about his profits. 

Wedgworth, triumphantly unreconstru(?ted, suffered by contrast to another 
executive who had seen the light and came before the committee as a sinner who 
was making amends. 

J. Paul Austin, president of the Coca-Cola Co., belatedly, in 1968, discovered the 
writings of the grape-pickers organizer, Cesar Chavez. 

On finding that Coca-Cola was indeed providing the same wretched life for 
iti^ citrus workers, he went into action, drew up an elaborate scheme for housing 
health, insurance, social service. So far, he admitted, the only results have been 
acquisition of 10 buses with toilet facilities to follow the workers into the field, 
but he is determined. 

The NBC film, in which Coca-Cola was named, was accurate, Austin said 
humbly. If nothing else worked, he was in favor of giving the workers the 
right to organize, a right wrested from the California growers after years of 
effort by Chavez. 

Wedgworth, who obviously regarded Austin as a traitor to his class, was cool 
to Austin's scheme for a National Alliance of Agri-Businessmen "to train and 
employ in dignity and with fair wages the migrant workers of our nation." 

The committee was on the whole encouraged. Corporations with conscience- 
enlightened executives like Austin can change the wretchedness of the migrant 
worker. As for Wedgworth, it is likely he will go back to Florida to wait for 
the next documentary and pray that no Cesar Chavez rises up among his workers. 

Senator Moxdale. This morning we have as our first witnesses 
Mr. J. Paul Austin, President of the Coca-Cola Co., and Mr. J. 
Lucian Smith, President, Coca-Cola Co. Foods Division. 

We are pleased to have you here this morning, Mr. Austin, if you 
will proceed. 

STATEMENT OF J. PAUL AUSTIN, PRESIDENT, COCA-COLA CO; AC- 
COMPANIED BY J. LUCL/IN SMITH, PRESIDENT, COCA-COLA CO. 
FOODS DIVISION 

Mr. AusTix. Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, I ap- 
preciate the opportunity to testify before the Subcommittee on Migra- 
tory Labor Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Labor and 
Public Welfare. 

I am accompanied by Mr. J. Lucian Smith, the president of the 
Coca-Cola Co. Foods Division. 

Although the Coca-Cola Co., grows only some 3 percent of the 
Florida citrus crop, we have become directly involved in the problems 
of the migrant worker. Throughout the L^nited States, there are some 
3 million farmworkers; more than 250,000 of them are characterized, 
in the terms of this committee's 1969 report, as migratory workers. The 
Coca-Cola Co., employs in its citrus groves in Florida, approximately 



5876 

300 full-time groves employees and a dailj- average of about 1,000 
seasonal workers — migrants — over the 8 month orange harvesting 
period. 

As a citizen I am concerned about the plight of every migratory 
Avorker in the Xation ; as a corporate executive, I am directly respon- 
sible for the migratory workers employed by my company. For the 
past year and a half, we have been examining the problem of the 
migrant in our citrus groves in an attempt to develop a program 
through which he can live and work in human dignity and economic 
security. The question we have asked is not whether to help the 
migrant worker, but how to help him — in a lasting way for himself 
and his family. 

As this committee well knows, the problem of the migratory worker 
in America is an enormously complicated one. It is, first and foremost, 
a human problem of severe psychological isolation. It is an economic 
problem involving health, education and citizenship, and family 
structure. The migrant worker has problems of malnutrition, physical 
handicap and mental health, and most significantly, he suffers from a 
profound sense of futility. 

To the migrant, the problem seems overwhelming. To the migrant's 
employer and the migrant's government, the problem is equally com- 
plex and frustrating. Money can build houses and buy food, but money 
alone cannot provide the environment in which a man can live and 
grow with human dignity, economically secure in a life motivated by 
hoDe for himself and his children. 

We do not pretend to have all the answers to this complex question, 
but we are determined to do something about it. Portions of the pro- 
gram we have instituted may not work as we planned, but we are 
dedicated to a persistent and successful effort to place the employees in 
our groves on a parity with all other company employees. 

Our interest in citrus operations began with the acquisition of the 
Minute Maid Co. in 1960. In the summer of 1967, these operations be- 
came part of a new company division, the Coca-Cola Foods Division, 
of which Mr. J. Lucian Smith was appointed president. 

In late 1968, I began to read more and more about the crusade of 
Cesar Chavez in California ov, behalf of migrant labor. I called 
Mr. Smith in Houston and asked him to make certain that workers 
in our gToves were not living in the substandard conditions that 
Mr, Chavez described for the workers in California. Mr. Smith per- 
sonally visited the groves in December 1968. He was so upset by what 
he saw that he came immediately to Atlanta to talk to me. He told me 
that many of the migrants in our groves were living in conditions that 
"could not in conscience be tolerated by the Coca-Cola Co." At that 
meeting he and I agreed that we must establish a program to correct 
these conditions and commit whatever funds and talent were necessary 
to do the job. 

At that meeting I told Mr. Smith that my experience as vice chair- 
man of the Xational Alliance for Businessmen had convinced me that 
the so-called "unemployables" could be placed on corporate payrolls 
and with appropriate job training and special care were capable of 
becoming permanent members of the Nation's labor force. 

Our first instinct was to move promptly and change the physical 
situation in which the migrant worker found himself trapped. We soon 



5877 

realized, however, that merely to provide housing and transportation, 
without facing up to the basic human problems involved, would do 
little more than tcmporarilv ease the hardship of the migi^itory worker. 
A culture of despair and poverty, vested by generations of neglect, 
had to be i-ooted out and replaced. To do so involved the entire spec- 
trum of social services and skills : child care, nutrition, adult education, 
psychological assistance, and medical treatment. 

\Ye established a task force of both company personnel and outside 
consultants, including Scientific Eesources Inc. (SRI) of Union, N.J. 
The task force used a variety of study techniques. 

Mr. Chainnan, I think this report might have a unic^ue feature to it. 
AVe don't know of a report of the type and depth of this group having 
been made before to the Senate that it has been. 

I would like to set foi-th some of the highlights. 

Senator ^Ioxdale. Is that report available in full for the committee ? 

Mr. ArsTix. "We don't have it with us, no, sir. 

During Februaiy 1970, SRI sent three men and one woman into 
our citms groves, one of whom worked as a migrant so that he could 
ex]3erience the life of the migrant in his job and his environment. 

They talked to the migrant workers and their families and inter- 
viewed them in depth, to discover their psychological attitudes and 
their view of their major problems and needs. 

They examined the housing of our migrant workers, and their prob- 
lems in obtaining health care, education, and other basic social serv- 
ices from the private sector as well as from Government agencies. 

They discussed the plight of the migratory workers with local. 
State, and Federal officials in Florida and representatives of local 
groups, religious and social, that had been active in the field for many 
years. 

The task force made its recommendations to me in March of this 
year. I approved the recommendations and their immediate imple- 
mentation, through Mr. Smith, of course. Mr. William Kelly, an ex- 
perienced persomiel executive of our company, who was a member of 
the task force, was appointed a vice president of the foods division 
with the sole duty of getting this job done. 

We all realized that if the program were to be a success, it was es- 
sential that the migrant workers themselves participate in the develop- 
ment of the solution to their own problems. In recent years as a result 
of our Nation's experience with a variety of antipoverty programs, 
we have come to recognize the importance of self-help and above all, 
participation by the disadvantaged themselves in programs to raise 
their standard of living. We believe this is also true with respect to 
the migrant worker. He is the individual most immediately affected by 
our program and if it is to have its maximum impact, he must recog- 
nize that he has within himself the capability — the power — of im- 
proving his condition. 

Many of the most important segments of our program were sug- 
gested by the migrant workers. For example, they repeatedly ex- 
pressed the need to identify with the company, the desire to own or 
rent their own homes at fair prices, the need for job security and life 
and health insurance, for training programs and grievance procedures, 
for better communications with their superiors, and a real measure 
of involvement in the communities in and near which they live. 



5878 

From the company's standpoint we wish to identify those among 
our migrant workers with the basic talent and leadership ability to 
rise not only in our citrus operations but throughout the whole struc- 
ture of our organization. Every migrant with the talent and ability 
to do so will have the same opportunities to rise in the Coca-Cola Co. 
as any of our other employees. One of the key responsibilities of the vice 
president in charge of this program will be to identify and help mo- 
tivate the migrant workers with this potential. In short, our plan is 
to place every groves and harvesting worker in the same status as 
every other employee of the Coca-Cola Co. 

THE SEASONAL HARVESTING EMPLOYEES 

Last year, during the 8 month orange harvesting period, the Coca- 
Cola Co. employed an average of 1,000 seasonal harvesting workers 
per day. Like most of the Florida citrus industry, they had no health, 
retirement or life insurance plans, and no job security. There are 86 
housing units for their families and dormitories to accommodate about 
400 male workers. Li this group we found a deep sense of hopelessness 
and futility. 

These are the migrants who work only during the harvesting season, 
and then often only a few days a week. We believe that our first 
responsibility is to provide as much full-time employment as we can 
for these workers. Beginning with a selected group, we intend to 
provide full-time employment with all the benefits that the Coca-Cola 
Co. provides to its other full-time employees. This will include the 
same retirement and life insurance plans, the same *2 to 4 weeks vaca- 
tions and eight holidays, and the opportunity to enter the same train- 
ing programs. 

As full-time employees they will also be entitled to participate in 
the same tuition refund plans available to all Coca-Cola employees. 

Currently the seasonal harvesting employee is paid by the piece. Be- 
ginning with this first group of harvesting employees, we will provide 
a basic hourly wage, on top of which piece work bonuses will be paid, 
somewhat similar to the salary and commission arrangement for sales- 
men of many major corporations. The combined salary and bonus 
will be significantly higher than the money they are presently making. 
In this way, we hope to combine a sense of security, both in pay and 
in job, along with the incentive necessary to maintain and increase 
productivity. If this program works and productivity increases — as 
we believe it will — we propose to extend it to cover 200 employees by 
the end of its first year of operation ; 500 in 2 to 3 years and at least 
two-thirds of our harvesting employees in 5 to 7 years. 

We plan to organize our harvesting of oranges and lemons, and the 
work that must be done in the groves to maintain and care for the 
trees during the nonharvesting period, in a way that will provide 
full-time employment for the largest possible number of migrants. 
We must replace generations of despair with hope and ambition and 
this will require a major and concerted array of social services. Suffi- 
cient time and patient understanding are essential. 

Although our objective is to convert as many seasonal employees 
to full-time status as possible, the process will of necessity be gradual. 
During transition and thereafter we will need a number of migrant 



5879 

seasonal employees to handle the peak harvesting load. These seasonal 
harvesting employees will be placed in the same status as other sea- 
sonal employees of the company, such as many of the men who work 
in our processing plants. Their pay will be increased, and they will 
be covered by special life insurance and health care plans. Their dormi- 
tories will be modern and sanitary with adequate recreational facili- 
ties. They will be offered three meals a day at cost and will be pro- 
vided, free of charge, with transportation to and from neighboring 
communities. We hope to instill in these migrants the desire to become 
full-time employees of the company. 

FUX-L-TTBO; GROVES EMPLOYEES 

Our task force revealed that the pay and benefits of full-time groves 
employees were in line with local citrus industry standards, rather 
than with the standards of the Foods Division. Thus, these employees 
had no retirement plan, only 1 week of vacation and five holidays per 
year. They received health benefits only after 1 year of employment 
and life insurance benefits of $1,000. 

Effective September 1, our plan will place these employees in the 
same status as all other full-time Coca-Cola employees. They will be 
included in the company retirement plan. They will receive 2 to 4 weeks 
vacation each year aepending on their length of service. Their health 
insurance benefits will become effective 30 days after employment 
and life insurance benefits will be raised to $5,000. Their wages will 
be initially increased by 23 percent. 

H0U8rN"G 

At present we provide housing rent free to approximately 60 per- 
cent of our groves employees. The remaining 40 percent rent or own 
their homes. It will always be necessary for some of our employees to 
live in the groves. For them, we will provide modern and sanitary 
housing and dormitories and the maintenance services necessary to 
keep that housing clean, decent, and livable. 

Early in our strategic planning, however, our long range objective 
was to have as many employees as possible own their homes. "We have 
already surveyed 40 acres of land, on which we are arranging for the 
construction of 60 to 70 houses at prices and mortgage payment sched- 
ules within the means of our citrus employees, and with appropriate 
recreational facilities and power and sewer service. These houses will 
be available exclusively for purchase or rental by our employees. We 
hope to use existing State and Federal housing programs ; but we are 
prepared, if necessary, to do this through company arranged private 
financing. 

SOCIAL SERVICE CENTERS 

Now, one of the key, if not the key, components of the programs. 
Senators, is the one coming up, the social sendee centers. We have 
decided to establish four permanent social service centers and one mo- 
bile social service unit for our groves and harvesting workers. The first 
of these centers and the mobile unit will be in operation at the begin- 
ning of the orange harvesting season in late November. 



5880 

The other three centers will be in operation within a year from that 
time. The centers will provide a one-stop service for the worker and 
his family. These centers will provide the 2:)hysical facilities and pro- 
fessional personnel for : 

Child care and preschool training and education ; 

Adult education ; 

Medical care; 

Family and social counseling; 

Recreation ; 

Special tutoring for children attending local schools: and 

Information center on local, State and Federal programs. 
In addition to professionals, the centers and the mobile unit will 
be staffed by paid members from the migrant conununity itself. These 
staffs will be specially trained to work with migrant workers. The 
mobile unit will be operated in a manner similar to Federal ''outreach'- 
programs. The imit and its personnel will seek out the migrants and 
their families, where they work and live and provide basic social 
services and medical care which they require. 

GENERAL PROGRAMS 

There are a variety of other problems to which we have also directed 
our attention. For example, migrant workers spend substantial 
amounts of time in buses that break down too often. AVe have 
ordered 25 new buses, each with toilet facilities. Ten buses have already 
been delivered. These buses will efficiently transport workers to and 
from the groves and provide sanitary toilet facilities at the location 
of their work. 

Finally — and most important in the long run — we have begun re- 
search into the tools used by the migrant workers. We will put forth 
our best efforts to the task of developing mechanical and other devices 
to ease the burden of this work and make the individual more 
productive. 

This, in brief, is the program of our company to deal with the 
migrant workers in our employ. I do not underestimate the difficulty 
of bringing ho]5e to these men and women, for themselves and for their 
children. And T do not want to overpromise. Generations of abuse and 
neglect cannot be rooted out in weeks or even months. But we have 
looked at this ])roblem with the best people we could find, and we have 
spent at least 18 months doing it, and we believe the programs we are 
instituting will move a long way toward providing for the migrant 
and his family human dignity, motivation, and hope. 

Let me be absolutely clear on one point. As we begin our work on 
the program, we will meet many difficulties and certain ]5ortions may 
not work in the field as we have planned them on paper. We will seek 
other solutions where those we have do not seem to be working. We 
intend to put whatever resources are within our command to solve this 
l>roblem and to do it promptly, humanely and. of most importance, 
permanently. 

While I recognize that our major and most direct responsibility is to 
those in our employ, I am also mindful of our obligations as citizens 
and human beings. We have already informed other citrus growers 



5881 

and employers of migrant labor that our entire experience will be 
mailable to them as they begin to deal with their problems in this area. 

Unfortunately, Mr. ('hairman, neither yon nor I alone can solve 
the in-oblenis of all the migrant workers in this Nation. We employ 
only 1,000 migrants in 20 counties in a single State. There are more 
than 250,000 migrants working in 900 counties in 46 States. These nien 
and their families have been too long neglected by the entire Nation 
in which they live and work. Only a massive, concerted and persistent 
ell'ort by Fecleral, State, and local government can root out the sub- 
culture of poverty in which they barely survive. 

Government housing programs specifically designed for the migrant 
must be enacted and funded. Special health and education programs 
must be created for the migrant and his children. Federal, State, and 
local social services, now denied the migrant because of arbitrary 
residence requirements and outright discrimination, must be opened 
to him. Outreach programs, by which Government officials will seek 
out the migrant where he lives and works, must also be established. 
Until our citizens and their elected representatives at every le^el of 
government, commit the resources and talent necessary to solve this 
i)roblem. migrants and their families — one million human beings — 
will continue to live in poverty without hope. 

This Nation and the States and communities in which the migrants 
live and work have the resources to solve this problem. The only 
question is whether they have the determination. We must, as a na- 
tion, show the migrant that there is hope for him in our country and 
that above all his children can aspire to break the cycle of poverty 
to which they have been condemned for so many crenerations. 

Yet Government alone cannot solve this problem. Through years 
of experience and the work of dedicated Federal employees and legis- 
lators like yourself, the Government has tried to help the migrant 
worker. Unfortunately, the impact of most of its programs has been 
marginal at best. 

IiiT 1968, lai'gely because Government, acting alone, met the same 
frustration in its attempt to deal with the problems of the hard-core 
unemployed in our urban ghettos, the President formed a National 
Alliance '^ of Businessmen, In partnership with the Government, the 
NAB created the JOBS program to help train and employ the hard- 
care disadvantaged in the ghettos of our largest cities. I was privileged 
to serve as the first vice chairman of the NAB. 

I believe the time has now come to form a national alliance of agri- 
businessmen to train and employ in dignity and with fair wages the 
migrant workers of our Nation. I urge this committee to consider 
sucli a program and recommend it to the Congress in its report. A 
national alliance of agri-businessmen, working in partnership with 
the Government, can do for thousands of rural migrant workers what 
the National Alliance of Businessmen has done for thousands of 
ghetto dwellers. 

In closing, Mr. Chairman, let us recognize that the migrant repre- 
sents a phenomenon in our society. The migrant and his family have 
the motivation to travel hundreds of miles across our country seeking 
one of the hardest jobs in our economy. If that motivation is fired 
with self-respect and special training, we can reclaim hundreds of 
thousands of our citizens and create a major addition to our Nation's 

36-513 O — 71 — pt. 8c 4 



5882 

work force. It is this inherent motivation of the migrant that gave me 
the confidence last March that the program of the Coca-Cola Co. 
will work. 

Thank you, Senator. 

Senator Mondale. Thank you, Mr. Austin, for a very useful 
statement. 

To what extent were the migrants and farmworkers themselves 
consulted in developing the plan which you have described, and to 
what degree will they control or participate in the direction of these 
programs ? 

Mr. Austin. Mr. Chairman, can I ask Mr. Smith to respond to the 
question because he was right at the scene and on the spot. 

Senator Mondale. By all means. 

Mr. Smith. Senator, as part of the assessment of our total problem 
Scientific Resources put four people into the groves and they actually 
worked as migrants. In the course of that activity they obviously 
discussed with the employees themselves what their own problems 
were and what their objectives were. That was the initial movement 
that led to the specifics of the program Mr. Austin just read. 

Each successive step involves doing that again and again in develop- 
ing the complete details of each aspect of the program. 

Senator Mondale. Is the role of the farmworker and migrant in- 
stitutionalized within boards or committees in some way, or is it 
merely an informal consultation that occurs in the development of 
this plan ? 

Mr. Smith. If I understand your question. Senator, in our particu- 
lar program it will definitely be formal. We intend to have manage- 
ment-employee committees at each level and on each subject of this 
program. 

Senator Mondale. Mr. Austin, you say that around 1968 you be- 
came concerned about the farmworker, partly because of Chavez's 
leadership, and that you asked for a study of the conditions of the 
farmworkers in your own organization. 

I gather you were somewhat shocked by what you found. 

Mr. Austin. That is correct. Senator. 

Senator Mondale. Would you say that the conditions as we have 
heard them described here by doctors, and as reflected in the NBC 
documentary called "Migrant an NBC White Paper" and as de- 
scribed by migrants and farmworkers before this committee, gen- 
erally reflect outrageous and offensive circumstances under which these 
migrants work — conditions which must be corrected ? 

Mr. Austin. Senator, it definitely shows this environment of 
frustration and despair. 

Senator Mondale. Was there any question but that the farm work- 
ers and migrants at least when you first looked at them were receiving 
inadequate wages, had inadequate job security, had inadequate hous- 
ing, had inadequate health care, as well as other problems, including 
psychological, to which you made reference ? 

Is there any doubt that the situation was a deplorable one ? 

Mr. Austin. No doubt whatsoever. 

Senator Mondale. Would you not agree with me that this deplor- 
able condition is to be found tragically throughout this country where 
farmworkers and migrants are working ? 



5883 

Mr. Austin. That is my understanding, Senator. 

Senator Mondale. Would you agree with me that this is a major 
national scandal that has to be corrected ? 

Mr. Austin. It has to be corrected. 

Senator Mondale. Now, in your testimony, you indicate a host of 
steps which your company is now taking to provide housing, to im- 
prove wages, I gather, to a level comparable to your other employees, 
to provide social service centers for preschool education, health care, 
adult education, and the rest. 

Why is it, as grateful as we are that you are taking these steps, that 
it has been a decade since Coca-Cola purchased Minute Maid that these 
steps are just now beginning to be taken. 

Mr. Austin. I believe that for the first 8 years, as you say, the prob- 
lem was handled in what would be called a traditional manner, m an 
industry' wide manner that grove operators accepted. I mentioned the 
reorganizational structure of the compan;^ in 1967 when Mr. Smith 
took over. One of the first and most positive moves made was to re- 
structure how the grove management reported to top management. 

The information flowing from grove operations upwards was in- 
sufficient. A corporation, as you know well, is in a constant stage of 
evolution. The fact of the matter is today that the same oversight would 
not happen. 

Senator Mondale. If you had not become concerned in 1968, as you 
have testified, it could well be the case today that nothing yet would 
be occurring — no improvement would be imderway, none of the plans 
and efforts that j^ou have described would be underway. In effect, the 
reason progress is being made today is that you happened to have 
become concerned and then asked for a report. And this is only one 
example. 

We had witnesses the other day that said one of the big problems 
is that these huge corporations, and you would have to say that Coca- 
Cola is fairly large, are so remote from the human conditions of their 
employees on the farms that many times they do not know about it. 
Or, if they do, they are so remote and distant from them that they 
are not motivated to do anything about them. 

Do you think there is some validity to that criticism ? 

Mr. Austin. Mr. Chairman, I can only answer for the one com- 
pany, the Coca-Cola Co. I actually do not know any facts concerning 
the others. I would like to stress that as we are set up today there would 
be instant communications and that you will find no lack of motivation 
in this particular company. 

Senator Mondale. Of course what this committee has to be con- 
cerned about is not alone the conditions of the employees on the farms 
who are employed by your concern, but the national problem, which 
is an unutterable disgrace. Nationally, the living conditions of the 
farmworkers are miserable. 

We have to try as best we can to find a national solution. This morn- 
ing, for example, the New York Times ran an editorial which pointed 
out that time and time again the Congress, national television, radios, 
official reports, private reports, going back 50 years have reported on 
the heartbreaking and disastrous conditions of the lives of our migrant 
farmworkers. Yet for all practical purposes, no substantial improve- 



5884 

ment has occurred. I would like to include that editorial, entitled 
"Peonage in the Field," at this point in the record. 
(The material referred to follows :) 

[From the New York Times, July 24, 1970] 
Peonage ix the Fields 

Once again the nations' attention has been drawn to tlie appalling conditions 
that exist among the nation's most exploited and miserable workers, migratory 
farm laborers. This time it is a group of physicians who visited these peons in 
Florida, Texas and Michigan and who have been recounting the horrors they 
saw to the Senate Subcommittee on Migratory Labor. As medical men, they have 
been focusing on the sicknesses that plague the workers as a result of their 
abysmal poverty, poor housing and lack of medical care. 

IJnfortunately, there is nothing new in this depressing testimony. Since the 
Industrial Commission reports of 1901, several generations of governmental and 
private investigators have told and retold this scandalous story of human 
misery. Yet little has changed over these seventy years, and — if past precedent 
is any guide — the national conscience will soon relax again. 

But precedent need not be followed. The nationwide sympathy that helped 
win contracts for unionized grape pickers in California showed that gains can 
be made in today's more sensitive political atmosphere. 

The primary need is for Government action to organize the seasonal farm 
labor market so that it is confined to a limited number of persons who can be 
assured decent earnings and acceptable conditions of life and work. That is a 
long-range goal. In the short run. Congress and the state legislatures have the 
obligation to give farm workers all the protections now taken for granted by 
other types of labor : generally applicable minimum wages, unemployment insur- 
ance, workmen's compensation, etc. For too long this nation has tolerated inex- 
cusable discrimination against its most needy workers. That toleration must 
end, and soon. 

Senator Mondale. They conclude that the Congress and State legis- 
latures have an obligation to give farmworkers all of the protections 
now taken for granted by other types of labor. I take it that that will 
include the right to organize into miions and to negotiate and to 
bargain for contracts. 

Would you object to legislation which extended these rights to farm 
labor? 

Mr. Austin. I would not. May I broaden my answer ? 

Senator Mondale. I like the one I heard. 

Mr. Austin. In the interest of living in the real world as it exists, 
this problem runs so deep and has so many psychological overtones 
to it that the real problem is to get these people out of the status of 
migrants. 

Now if you organize them in any one of a dozen labor unions and 
improve their pay and improve their working conditions, and they 
remain roamers, the problem is going to be with us. There is an anal- 
ogy here, IMr. Chairman. 

The Government did a great many things for the poor in the country 
for a number of years and to my knowledge it has been substantiated 
by some rather professional opinions, only when the XAB program 
got into full swing was there really something concrete done. 

American industry, I believe, had a very proud record. Once the 
problem was explained to them understandably rather than rhetoric- 
ally, they picked it up, did not ask any questions, and instituted the 
program. 

Now it has been done better one place and than another and so on 
but I will speak to the average which actually is and has accomplished 



5885 

something. If the labor union or appropriate legislation was the 
panacea and was the corrective thing, then obviously who could say no ? 

But I want to stress that a program such as the Coca-Cola Co. pro- 
gram is also essential to change the mental attitudes. These people do 
not have a philosophy of work discipline, they don't have a skill. It is 
at this level that very hard work must be done. 

One other comment if I may. I am on the board of OIC, Rev. Leon 
Sullivan's very effective organization in Philadelphia. We have our 
board meetings over there in the middle of the ghetto, we visit the 
training centers. The secret of his success is to teach first and foremost 
Xo. 1, self-respect. 

He takes people without self-respect, who could not have earned it, 
could not have known about it and retrained them and once they have 
that they are ready to go to a skill school and they progress through 
there and they become tax producers rather than tax eaters. 

So it does work. But involved in that work are people who are 
eligible for unions, some who have been in unions, and yet the con- 
ditions continued to exist, union or nonunion, until this method of 
training was devised where you could take people who were otherwise 
despairing and make them proud of what they had become. 

Senator Moxdale. I do not object to the observation that union 
organization has not solved many of the problems of the disadvantaged 
in this country^ 

I think it is obvious that they have not. But it seems to me that the 
farmworker in the migrant labor field is unique for his utter depriva- 
tion. In the industrial sector, where you do have unions, you have 
decent wages, job security, welfare and pension plans, collective bar- 
gaining protections, and individual worker protections. Of course, that 
is what Chavez' movement is all about. 

You referred to your being impressed by his effort. I recall being 
with a man my age on a farm outside Delano. He took me to his home 
that he had just built under the self-help housing program. He was 
my age, 42 yeai-s old. 

He had never had a house in his life. I asked him how come he had 
waited so long I He said, "Until we got a contract with the wine grape 
industry, I had never been able to know that I had a job from one year 
to the next. 

"This is the first time in my life that I ever had a job that I knew I 
would have the next day and had legal right to it." 

He said, "That changed my life, my family's life, this community's 
life and I am now building my own house for the first time. It is the 
greatest thing that ever happened to me." 

That came about principally because of job security written into 
the contract. That is not a revolutionary concept, except in the migra- 
tory labor and farm fields. I think there is a national solution that is 
indicated. Essential to it must be the right to organize and to bargain 
collectively, and I gather from what you said you would not object to 
an extension of the Xational Labor Relations Act for that purpose. 

Mr. ArsTix. That is correct. Let me giA'e you a philosophical 
answer. 

Senator Moxdale. I still like the one you just gave. 

Mr. ArsTix. We have the situation of first-class citizens and second- 
class citizens and that is not right under the constitution that we live 



5886 

under. Now whatever is necessary to change that as an American 
citizen or a businessman whatever, this committee is apparently in the 
process of doing. 

Senator Moxdale. I have some more questions but I will turn to 
Senator Saxbe. 

Senator Saxbe. I think my questions will best be answered by Mr. 
Smith. 

The migratory labor that you employ is not employed in your proc- 
essing plants, it is in the groves, is that right? 

Mr. Smfth. Yes, sir. 

Senator Saxbe. You have no other food interests except where you 
have migratory labor or except in citrus? 

Mr. Smith. Yes ; we have coffee business in the western part of the 
United States. 

Senator Saxbe. Coffee ? 

Mr. Smith. Yes. 

Senator Saxbe. You raise coffee ? 

Mr. Smith. No, sir ; we roast it and market coffee. 

Senator Saxbe. But you do not employ migratory labor ? 

Mr. Smith. No. 

Senator Saxbe. Now the maintenance of the groves is all done by 
permanent employees, is that right ? 

Mr. Smith. Yes, sir. 

Senator Saxbe. So, the only migratory labor you employ is the 
picker ? 

Mr. Smith. At the present time ; yes, sir. 

Senator Saxbe. Most of these pickers are employed by a daily 
shapeup or do you have some other arrangements ? 

Mr. Smith. The foreman recruits the group every morning and 
there is a good deal of repeat, of course, among the same people every 
day. 

Senator Saxbe. They are paid by the boss ? 

Mr. Smith. Yes, sir. 

Senator Saxbe. If a man gets on the bus and it rains or a bus breaks 
down, he may have a dry run ? 

Mr. Smith. That is ri^ht. 

Senator Saxbe. This is one of the greatest problems of migratory 
labor. That many of these days he is not picked up or he misses a 
day because of sickness or because he does not want to work. Or he 
gets to the grove and he is rained out, or they are moving from one 
grove to the next, or the trucks are not available to take the fruit, 
and, therefore, his employment is rather chancy at the present time. 

Mr. Smith. That is right. 

Senator Saxbe. He cannot plan ahead, as Senator Mondale said, 
on any income. He has to take it as it comes. Is there any innovation 
being made in mechanical harvesting? Is that practice — using 
shakers — in citrus at all, shakers? 

Mr. Smith. There is a good deal of work being done, Senator. We 
think it is a few years off before it will be commercially practicable. 

Senator Saxbe. They are doing it for cherries I know and for com- 
merical apples. The way we solved some of the problems in Ohio 
is by doing away with migratory labor and I think the only way that 
you are ever going to solve the problems is to do away with migratory 



5887 

labor because if a man is available for work, as you must have him, 
and he does not get work, he is in a serious financial bind with his 
family. 

Now I recognize that the citrus harvest lasts 7 or 8 months. 

Is that not correct ? 

Mr. Smith. The orange harvest, itself, lasts about that long. We 
are going to be in a fortunate position from this point of view, al- 
ready are to some degree, in that as the oranges phase out, grapefruit 
phases in, lemons phase in. Lemons will each year become a larger 
proportion of our total crop. 

That is one of the reasons why we can immediately start a program 
of giving annual employment and regular employment status to a 
sizable number of heretofore migrant laborers. 

We share your view that the real answer is to find ways of running 
our business without the need for migrant labor. 

Senator Saxbe. Well, the citrus crop as you pointed out is a little 
better than many of the crops. For instance, the tomato harvest is 
3 weeks and depends entirely on the weather. 

You may have 2,500 pickers and you are rained out. They live 
in these camps in squalor and everybody comes to look at them and 
who is to pay them? I have advocated and it is being followed, 
that we depend on mechanical pickers, which, again, is subject to the 
weather. 

If the field is muddy the mechanical picker can't work in Ohio. It 
can work in California because of the dryness of the soil and the 
nature of the weather, on irrigated land. 

I think Mr. Austin's testimony is now an indication of certainly an 
intent to cure one of these. But I think the most profound statement 
you have made is that the way to cure migrant labor is to do away 
with it. 

If then a family wants to embark upon a trip across the country for 
a few days work I do not see how we are going to stop them, but I 
think they should be discouraged because they wind up in these ter- 
rible camps and make themselves available :for exploitation by un- 
scrupulous growers. 

Of these growers, many of them are marginal, as you know and 
have small return. They find themselves in a position where this is 
the only way they can get help. But I think we must draw from your 
testimony as to the intent of the company policy. I certainly hope that 
it is carried through — that you can make permanent employees out 
of the migratory people. 

Mr. Smfth. That is the intent. Thank you. Senator. 

Senator Mondale. Senator Schweiker, do you have any questions ? 

Senator Schweiker. Thank you very much. Mr Austm, I gather 
from what you said in your company background perspective that 
until you got into the Minute Maid situation you really had not had 
occasion, corporately, to come up against the migratory problem in 
any substantial way. 

is that right? 

Mr. Austin. That is right. 

Senator Schweiker. The nature of your business being what it is 
I suspect you are normally quite removed from this kind of situation. 

Mr. Austin. That is right. 



5888 

Senator Schweiker. You said that you conducted a study in depth 
of the workers conditions, motivations, and personal feelings. Did this 
study show, Mr. Austin, anything that might be helpful to this com- 
mittee in terms of why are these migrants the forgotten Americans ? 
IVhat peculiar conditions of their en^'i^onment or employment or gen- 
eral situation make them so disadvantaged compared to the rest of our 
society ? 

In other words, why are they in a state, as you so well put it, of 
hopelessness ? Did you have any psychological attitudes or conclusions 
from your study that pinpointed the reasons for these things ? 

Mr. Austin. I can answer the question in more general terms and 
I think Mr. Smith who has worked with the task force himself — do 
vou want me to do it personally or Mr. Smith ? 

Mr. Smith? 

Senator ScH^vEIKER. Whoever you prefer ? 

Mr. Austin. I think Mr. Smith has worked with them more than 
I have. 

Mr. Smith. I doubt that we have learned very much in a historical 
sense, Senator. In that sense I suspect we have learned most from the 
reports of this committee. But in the on-going current situation which 
is about as far as we are at the moment, that is talking with the people 
who were at the time of this survey on your payroll and trying to open 
up their eyes to the future, you really g:et a strong conviction that they 
just don't feel they have any opportunity to ever change the situation 
in whicli they are and there is a sort of "futility about it that does not 
really present a fellow with motive. 

There is not any reason to that if he performs in a superior way he 
can get out of that kind of situation. 

Senator Schweiker. ^^Hiat keeps them going against such adverse 
environmental conditions from one part of the country to the other? 
That, in itself, must be some pecular unique factor that keeps them on 
that kind of path. 

Mr. Smith. I don't think we have learned anything that adds to 
that, Senator, except a gi-eat deal from your own reports. 

Senator Schweiker. I was impressed with some of the instructors. 
These are some of the more concrete specific suggestions, particularly 
from an industry basis, that have come out of these hearings. 

I was very impressed with your analog}^ of the national Alliance of 
Businessmen and the obsen^ations or suggestions that a national alli- 
ance of agribusinessmen be formed. 

In view of this suggestion, in view of Coca-Cola potential for leader- 
ship, capacity for leaderehip, would you folks be willing to assume 
some kind of voluntary effort to bring about such an association? 

Because I feel it takes some people with your foresight and vision 
to get that thing on the road. I just wondered if you folks would be 
willing, companywise to lead an effort, to at least start it and organize 
it. 

Particularly with your experiences as vice chairman, I think it 
would be an ideal situation. 

Mr. Smith. I have this conviction that if the company is reasonably 
successful, and we believe it will be, we will have a couple of stumbles 
but, by and large, we will put this program into effect after we have 



5889 

done that and illustrated that it can be done, I think the job of form- 
ing a frroiip dedicated to the same purpose will be relatively simple. 

But I also believe, Senator, that it has to come, the fonnation of such 
a trroup has to be the result of the executive branch of the Government 
actually setting it up, as NAB was. 

It needs a great deal of support as a voluntary association of indus- 
tries widely would not be optimistic. 

Senator ScHWEiKKR. I think maybe this committee could help you 
with some support. I am sure the chairman would be very receptive to 
encouraging a number of the other industries who are in the same 
positions as Coca-Cola to lend it their support. 

I think maybe it would not have to — have to come froni the execu- 
tive branch. The legislation branch might play a little bit of a role 
here. 

I think it is a constructive suggestion. 

Mr. S^nTH. It is my recommendation to you that the start be with 
this committee. 

Senator Schweiker. One other idea that intrigues me, Reverend 
Sullivan is one of my close friends and one of my constituents, and I 
have been deeply impressed with his work even when the Federal Gov- 
ernment initially turned it down, which it did at first, and I think 
Reverend Sullivan has put a key on something which is very important 
to migratory work and that is motivation, 

I think you defined it, too, when you talked about the physical 
problem of outreach. So I would like to throw out suggestions to your 
voluntary association that it might be well to consider asking Rever- 
end Sullivan to set up an educational and motivational program for 
the agribusinessmen in the industry. 

Mr. Smith. I have already done so and he has accepted. 

Senator Schwteiker. I think that is very fine because I think if we 
are combining two elements that up to now have been loose, one, the 
fiscal problem of folloAving the migratory workers throughout the 
country which outreach is the specific answer to and, two. the deep moti: 
vational factor, there is no person more qualified in this country in 
my opinion to run down the motivational factor than Reverend 
Sullivan. 

Mr. Smith. I agree. I have watched him and worked on his board. 

He is terrific. 

Senator Schweiker. I really feel if any combination of factors can 
cure this situation and turn the tables, I think that might well be it. 
I believe you said you were responsible for about 3 percent of the 
total business in this area, is that right ? 

Mr. Smith. That is our groves produced about 3 percent of the citrus 
in Florida. 

Senator Schweiker. You said you had 1,000 employees of the 250,- 
000 employees. That clarifies that point. When do you expect the 
mobile and the social service centers to be in operation ? 

What is your timing on these programs ? How far along are they ? 

Mr. Smith. The first social service center will be in operation by the 
beginning of the next han^est season, which is essentially November. 
The first mobile unit will be in operation by them. The other three 
service centers will be in operation within 12 months after that time. 



5890 

Senator Schweiker. I would like to make another suggestion, if I 
may, along this same line and maybe you folks are already aware of 
it. But the Appalachian Regional Commission has been doing experi- 
mentation in this same kind of provision whereby they take a mobile 
classroom and travel it around Appalachia and bring education to 
the people who need it. 

I would suggest if you have not already that you could consider the 
Appalachian Regional Laborator}^ as a iDasis for some of your work 
here because they have come up with some very specific recommenda- 
tions that they hope to implement in Appalachia. "While the problems 
are not exactly the same, I think the migratory mobile parties is 
quite similar and might be quite advantageous. 

Mr. Smith. Thank you very much. 

Senator Schweiker. That is all I have, Mr. Chairman. 

Senator Mondale. Thank you. Senator Schweiker. AVhat is the an- 
nual dollar volimie of the sales of Minute Maid juice ? 

Mr. Smith. Of course the Minute Maid Co. is now merged in with 
the total division but the citrus portion of the foods division in 1969 
was roughly $157 million in annual sales volume. 

Senator Mondale. $157 million. You say that you have about 300 
year-round employees, and that during the harvesting season and dur- 
ing other peak employment periods you hire additional migrants ? 

Mr. Smith. Senator, I think I am misleading you. The dollar fi^re 
I gave you is not juice oranges. You understand we only grow a little 
less than one-third of our total usage. 

The sales volume figure I gave you is Minute Maid-Snow Crop 
products that is processed out of what we grow as well as a much 
larger quantity that we buy. 

Senator Mondale. So that $157 million you talk about involves citrus 
products, only a portion of which are grown and harvested by your 
company ? 

Mr. Smith. That is right. 

Senator Mondale. "What proportions of them are grown and har- 
vested by your company ? 

Mr. Smith. Roughly a third. This varies yearly but it is roughly a 
third. 

Senator Mondale. So that two-thirds of the products which you 
use, oranges and other citrus fruits, are picked by migrants and farm- 
workers at farms not owned or leased by your company ? 

Mr. Smith. Yes, sir, people not in our employ. 

Senator Mondale. Do you have any program for assuring decent 
working conditions for those people ? 

Mr. Smith. Well, one of the first things we did in our program and 
as a preplanned part was as soon as it had been announced to our 
own employees, I then spent 2 days calling on the other leaders of 
the citrus industry in Florida to apprise them of what our plan is, to 
ask them to serve with us as a sort of unofficial overseer group to help 
us evaluate as we go along, with the distinct intention that as we 
demonstrate practicability of each step of our program they will see 
fit to adopt it. 

Senator Mondale. Are you encouraged to believe that they will 
respond to any ejttent in a way such as that described ? 



5891 

Mr. Smith, Yes, I am. In a personal visit I made at the suggestion 
of one of the citrus leaders we then made copies of that talk I made 
to a wider number and we received a number of letters in response 
to that mailing, each one of which has been highly favorable, if I 
am responsive to your question. 

Senator Moxdale. Are you saying that you think we will shortly 
see from these other growers a response like that which you have 
described here for your own company ? 

Mr. Smith. It has been my impression from the leaders I have talked 
to that they share our concern over the problems and they are as 
eager to find ways to solve them and as we demonstrate the practica- 
bility of our various programs I believe certainly they will want to 
adopt them but it will be a long process. 

Senator Mondale. I gather you looked at the documentary entitled 
"Migrant^An NBC TVTiite Paper"? 

Mr. Smith. Yes, sir. 

Senator Moxdale. In your opinion does that documentary accurately 
reflect the conditions of the migrant f armwarkers in Florida ? 

Mr. Smith. Senator, I don't think I am qualified to comment on 
that. Our own findings clearly demonstrate that in our groves the 
conditions are very bad and we intend to do something about them. 

Senator Mondale. Let me say I commend you for that candid ad- 
mission, because I think that has to be the starting point. I cannot be 
as optimistic as you are that we will naturally see a similar response 
to this problem from other agri-businesses. This is, as you know, at 
least the third documentary in the last 10 years that depicted condi- 
tions no better now than they were 20 years ago. Yet for all practical 
purposes nothing has happened. 

This emotional outrage and shock which the American people have 
suffered on a seasonal basis has not proved to be much of an engine 
for reform. That is why I feel very strongly that there must be legis- 
lation which empowers the workers themselves to seek decent wages, 
job security and incomes so that they can buy their own housing and 
take care of themselves just as other workers have done for 45 years. 

I do not wish to argue here but I really believe that if there are 
any workers in the country that do not need to be motivated it is the 
farmworker and the migrant. After all, when a father puts his wife 
and children in a car and drives all over this country to do the hardest 
work which any worker can do for the meager return that they re- 
ceive, I don't think you can argue any more that there is a problem 
of motivation or that he lacks a desire to work or earn a living. 

The problem is that he does not have an opportunity. [Applause.] 

Senator Mondale. I will advise the audience that these hearings 
are supposed to be lifeless events. [Laughter.] 



5892 

If these efforts you propose to make are fully imjDlemented, and 
quickly implemented, 1 can see they will make a difference in the 
lives of workers. 

I would hope that in addition to such proposals as the National 
Alliance for Agri-Business, Coca Cola really provides this Nation 
an example by coming in here and helping us to get the legislation 
that we all Imow is essential if these tragic conditions are going to be 
ended. 

I think there is a reason why this tragic human condition has con- 
tinued to exist decade after decade, despite the recurrent disclosure 
of these tragedies. 

The reason I think is that there is a lot of money to be made off 
])overty. You have surplus labor and you pay minimum wages with no 
job security or fringe benefits. There is money to be saved. 

Also there is the factor of competition. Regardless of what the aver- 
age grower may wish to do, he has got to compete with others who are 
getting this same worker for a substandard wage. 

It seems to me that when you have a problem like this, the way to 
solve it is to be sure that these costs are generally distributed among 
all competitors and that fundamentally we reach to the very' basis of 
the migi'ants problems, which has been that he has been utterly power- 
less, economically and politically to change his circumstances. 

Unless we join together to alter that powerlessness there will be 
instances such as those which you are undertaking in which a few farm 
workers and migrants may have a somewhat better life but the overall 
conditions of the migrant and farmworker will continue to be one of 
this Nation's greatest scandals. 

I say that— I suppose I am testifying myself at this time — because 
I think the record is absolutely clear on that point. 

One final question about the documentary, itself. There have been 
statements made that Coca Cola sought to influence that documentary 
and what was said in it. 

Would you comment on that statement? 

Mr. Austin. Yes, Mr. Chairman. 

The press reports alleged pressure was brought to bear and I would 
like to state categorically that that is not so. I would like to read into 
the record two letters, one from Mr. Smith to Mr. Goodman, president 
of the National Broadcasting Co., and his reply. 

Senator Mondale. We will include those in the record but you may 
read such portions as you wish. 

Mr. Austin. Thank you very much. 

It won't take 2 minutes if I can just read through them. 

(The information referred to and subsequently supplied follows:) 



5893 



^ (^(^ &mpa/i^ 



ADOBES5 CTTPLf TO 

P O OHAWEB 173* 

ATLANTA. GA 3030I 

TELEPHONE a75-3<ll 



July \1 , 1970 



Mr. Julian Goodman 

President 

National Broadcasting Compaiiy 

New York, New York 

Dear Mr. Goodmati: 

Tliis letter will serve to confirm the circumstances of 
our meeting yesterday with vots, Mr. Reuven Frank an 1 your 
other associates. We sincerely regret that some have inter- 
preted this discussion as an attempt to place "enormous 
pressure" on your organization. At the same time, we 
appreciate Mr. Frank's prompt and candid clarification of 
the matter when Vie stated Lor. die New York Times: ''There 
was no pressure. They (C-ca-Cola representatives) brought 
us facts we did not have before. We heard them out. After 
they left, we ft: it maybe we had singled them out for blame 
in a situation v;here so many companies are involved. We 
removed the onus from them." 

As you know, we sought the inter-^iew with you because we 
felt that the television, prograro, which several of our 
people had previewed /at several independent stations, did 
not include important facts necessary to a truthful portrayal 
of our Company's attitude toward both NBC's efforts to report 
the Migrant problem and our Coirtpany's program which is already 
underway. We are convinced that the Minute Maid program can 
cause a significant :;-;versal of the tragic cycle of poverty 
under which migrant farm laborers have lived for so long. 
What is of particular significance is that if we succeed, 
our program can be effective anyv/nere in the country where 
similar conditions exist. This is the reason we were so 
convinced that this infonnation should have been part of the 
Migrant documentary. 



5894 



^e O^'^S^ &mpajif 



After first learning of your project several months ago, 
we offered your people full and complete access to all 
of our facilities and personnel. We also shared the 
details of the above-mentioned program, the result of 
an intensive study we had undertaken over a period of 
more than a year in an effort to find solutions to the 
difficult problems facing migrant workers. We felt these 
circumstances should be brought to your personal attention 
prior to the broadcast. 

For the record, I will repeat what has been said publicly 
about our position. Our sole interest is a fair and 
complete presentation of all the facts. 

Also, for the record, I repeat our invitation to NBC to 
return to our groves a year from now in order to evaluate 
the results of our program. 



Sincerely, 



J. Lucian Smith 
President 

The Coca-Cola Company 
Foods Division 



JLS/o 



5895 



Addressed to Mr. J. Lucian Smith, President, The Coca-Cola Company 
Foods Division, 515 Madison Avenue, N. Y., N.Y. 

Dictated over the telephone to Sally Jones by John Sullivan. 7/22/70 



Dear Mr. Smith: 

I want to thank you for your note of July 17 and for the 
discussion wc had the other day in which ^c u put before us 
information relating to the subject presented in the NBC news 
special program "Migrant". 

I appreciate the fact that, having outlined this information, 
you did not ask for or suggest any change in the program, recognizing 
that this was a matter of our journalistic judgment and should be 
left to NBC news, whether or not it collided with Coca-Cola interest. 
For the same reason, we did not in our discussion with you and your 
associate, undertake to make any change, nor did we reach any 
conclusion on that subject at that time. 

After you had left, Reuven Frank and Don Meaney, who have the 
responsibility respectively for the overall NBC news operation and 
for NBC news specials, concluded that in the light of the information 
you had outlined, two rather minor changes should be made in the 
script. One of these was intended to remove what might otherwise 
be construed - perhaps incorrectly - as placing a special onus on 
Coca-Cola; and the other referred to your company's efforts to 
correct some of the deficiencies in its operations relating to 
farm labor. In outlining these changes, which involved a 
sentence or so in each case, Mr. Frank pointed out to me that they 
would not in any way alter the thrust, meaning or impact of the progran 
or its treatment of the condition of migrant workers. 

I appreciate your invitation to NBC news to return to your 
company's groves a year from now, to evaluate the results of 
these programs. I know you will understand that we do not make 
commitments in advance for news or a feature coverage, but judge 
such matters in terms of their news worthiness and importance 
in relation to all the other current issues and events on which NBC 
news might report. 

With best wishes. 

Sincerely, 

Julian Goodman 



5896 

Mr. Austin. Then I would like to emphasize one point, again, Mr. 
Chairman, that there has been talk that this program was sort of synon- 
ymous with the news broadcast. 

I want to read to you an excerpt from the minutes of the finance 
cormnittee meeting of the Coca-Cola Co. dated December 22, 1969. 

Mr. Austin discussed grove activity in Florida and stated that we have made 
a study of the costs in connection with modernizing our facilities for housing, 
feeding and educating transient labor and estimated continuing and annual cost 
for this project would be $500,000, initial capital investment $750,000. 

That was the starting budget which permitted us to get our pre- 
liminary work going. 

Senator Moxdale. Is this the dollar amount involved in the plans 
you have been talking about ? 

Mr. Austin. Xo, this is my opening budget so that we could go 
and hire SRI. I had to work from a budget, from a fund. The com- 
mittee made them available to me on December 22, 1969. SRI was hired 
6 weeks later. 

That concludes my statement. 

Senator Mondale. I watched the documentary. There was one event 
there in which it appeared to me that the cameraman was asked to 
leave the Coca-Cola premises. 

I got the impression that you were not quite as receptive as your let- 
ter implied there. 

Mr. Austin. Mr. Smith received a phone call from that particular 
man and he can give it to you first hand. 

Senator Mondale. Would you respond ? 

Mr. Smith. Senator, April 27th was the day of that filming and 
the man who was seen on the screen, without notification to anybody 
in management, simply saw the filming going on and apparently 
went to find out what was happening. The first we knew of NBC's 
presence in the grove was that date. I immediately flew to Florida, 
sought an interview with ISh: Carr and Mr. Huntley. We had the 
interview the following day. 

We offered complete access to our facilities and our personnel on an 
unescorted basis at any time they wanted and they accepted that. 

Senator Mondale. Did any such incident occur again after that 
occurrence ? 

Mr. Smith. I — any other filming ? 



5897 

Senator Moxdale. Any other efforts to remove cameramen? 

Mr. Smith. No, not at all. In fact they did more filming the 
following day. 

Senator Moxdale. A^liat is your position about access to the premises 
by poverty workers, legal services workers, organizers, and the rest? 
Do you have organizations there present on the premises talking to 
the workers who are living on your premises ? 

Mr. ArsTix. To be completely frank, Senator, if we have a policy 
I am not aware of it. I do know that we are working now already 
and have been over a period of some months with various of those 
organizations in Florida. We hope to get their input in developing 
the program as we go forward. 

Senator ^Iondale. Mr. Austin, have you personally looked at this 
housing and these conditions ? 

Mr. Austin. No ; I have not. Senator. 

Senator Moxn \t,e. Mr. Smith has ? 

Mr. Austin. Yes. 

Senator Moxdale. Do you have any other questions, Senator 
Schweiker ? 

Senator Schweiker. No. 

Senator Moxdale. I don't wish to imply that I am unimpressed by 
the proposals that you are making. I think the test will be whether 
they are carried out — not whether we talk about housing, but whether 
there is housing; not whether we talk about improved wages, but 
whether there are; not whether we talk about social service centers, 
but whether such centers are built and services provided. 

If all of this comes about, it cannot be argued that the condition of 
the workers who work for you will be substantially improved. But that 
would be one company with its own program helping a few em- 
ployees out of over a million. Also, I think there is merit in the pro- 
posal for a National Alliance of Agri-Businessmen. But that alliance 
would reach only a few thousand employees. I would hope that you 
would help us, and the rest who feel there should be a national solu- 
tion to this, to shape the legislation and get the kind of national broad 
response and solution that we need. 

Mr. Austin. I will be delighted to, Senator. 

Senator Moxdale. Thank you very much. 

We will print your entire statement at this point in the Record. 

(The prepared statement of Mr. Austin follows :) 



36-513 O— 71— pt. 



5898 



STATEMENT OF J. PAUL AUSTIN 

PRESIDENT, THE COCA-COLA COMPANY 

BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON MIGRATORY LABOR OF 

THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON LABOR AND PUBLIC WELFARE 



MR. CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE: 

X appreciate the opportunity to testify before the Subcom- 
mittee on Migratory Labor of the Senate Committee on Labor and Public 
Welfare. I am accompanied by Mr. J. Lucian Smith, the President of 
The Coca-Cola Company Foods Division. 

Although The Coca-Cola Company grows only some three per- 
cent of the Florida citrus crop, we have become directly involved 
in the problems of the migrant worker. Throughout the United States, 
there are some three million farm workers; more than 250, 000 of them 
are characterized, in the terms of this Committee's 1969 Report, as 
migratory workers. The Coca-Cola Company employs in its citrus 
groves in Florida approximately 300 full-time groves employees and 
a daily average of about 1,000 seasonal workers — migrants — over 
the eight month orange harvesting period. 

As a citizen, I am concerned about the plight of every 
migratory worker in the nation; as a corporate executive I am directly 
responsible for the migratory workers employed by my Company. For 
the past year and a half, we have been examining the problem of the 
migrant in our citrus groves in an attempt to develop a program 
through which he can live and work in human dignity and economic 



5899 



security. The question we have asked is not whether to help the 
migrant worker; but how to help him — in a lasting way for himself 
and his family. 

As this Committee well knows, the problem of the migratory 
worker in America is an enormously complicated one. It is, first 
and foremost, a human problem of severe psychological isolation. It 
is an economic problem involving health, education, citizenship and 
family structure. The migrant worker has problems of malnutrition, 
physical handicap and mental health, and most significantly, he suffers 
from a profound sense of futility. 

To the migrant, the problem seems overwhelming. To the 
migrant's employer and the migrant's government, the problem is 
equally complex and frustrating. Money can build houses and buy 
food, but money alone cannot provide the environment in which a man 
can live and grow with human dignity, economically secure in a life 
motivated by hope for himself and his children. 

We do not pretend to have all the answers to this complex 
question, but we are determined to do something about it. Portions 
of the program we have instituted may not work as we planned, but 
we are dedicated to a persistent and successful effort to place the 
employees in our groves on a parity with all other Company employees. 

Our interest in citrus operations began with the acquisi- 
tion of the Minute Maid Company in 1960. In the summer of 1967 these 



5900 



operations became part of a new Company Division, The Coca-Cola 
Foods Division, of which Mr. J. Lucian Smith was appointed President. 

In late 1968 I began to read more and more about the 
crusade of Cesar Chavez in California on behalf of migrant labor. 
I called Mr. Smith in Houston and asked him to make certain that 
workers in our groves were not living in the sub-standard conditions 
that Mr. Chavez described for the workers in California. Mr. Smith 
personally visited the groves in December, 1968. He was so upset 
by what he saw that he came immediately to Atlanta to talk to me. 
He told me that many of the migrants in our groves were living in 
conditions that "could not in conscience be tolerated by The 
Coca-Cola Company." At that meeting he and I agreed that we must 
establish a program to correct these conditions and commit whatever 
funds and talent were necessary to do the job. 

At that meeting I told Mr. Smith that my experience as 
Vice Chairman of the National Alliance for Businessmen had convinced 
mc that the so-called "unemployables" could be placed on corporate 
payrolls and with appropriate job training and special care were 
capable of becoming permanent members of the nation's labor force. 

Our first instinct was to move promptly and change the 
physical situation in which the migrant worker found himself trapped. 
We soon realized, however, that merely to provide housing and trans- 
portation, without facing up to the basic human problems involved, 
would do little more than temporarily ease the hardship of the 



5901 



migratory worker. A culture of despair and poverty, vested by genera- 
tions of neglect, had to be rooted out and replaced. To do so involved 
the entire spectrum of social services and skills: child care, nutri- 
tion, adult education, psychological assistance and medical treatment. 

We established a task force of both Company personnel 
and outside consultants, including Scientific Resources, Incorporated 
(SRI) , of Union, New Jersey. The task force used a variety of study 
techniques: 

— During February, 1970, SRI sent three men and one 
woman into our citrus groves, one of whom worked 
as a migrant so that he could experience the life 
of the migrant in his job and his environment. 

— They talked to the migrant workers and their 
families and interviewed them in depth, to dis- 
cover their psychological attitudes and their 
view of their major problems and needs. 

— They examined the housing of our migrant workers, 
and their problems in obtaining health care, 
education and other basic social services from 
the private sector as well as from government 
agencies. 

— They discussed the plight of the migratory 
workers with local, state and federal officials 



5902 



in Florida and representatives of local 
groups, religious and social, that had been 
active in the field for many years. 

The task force made its recommendations to me in March of 
this year. I approved the recommendations and their immediate imple- 
mentation. Mr. William Kelly, an experienced personnel executive of 
our Company, who was a member of the task force, was appointed a 
Vice President of the Foods Division with the sole duty of getting 
this job done. 

We all realized that if the program were to be a success, 
it was essential that the migrant workers themselves participate in 
the development of the solution to their own problems. In recent 
years, as a result of our nation's experience with a variety of 
anti-poverty programs, we have come to recognize the importance of 
self-help and participation by the disadvantaged themselves in pro- 
grams to raise their standard of living. We believe this is also 
true with respect to the migrant worker. He is the individual most 
immediately affected by our program and if it is to have its maximum 
impact, he must recognize that he has within himself the capability 
-- the power -- of improving his condition. 

Many of the most important segments of our program were 
suggested by the migrant workers. For example, they repeatedly 
expressed the need to identify with the Company, the desire to own 



5903 



or rent their own homes at fair prices, the need for job security 
and life and health insurance, for training programs and grievance 
procedures, for better communication with their superiors, and a 
real measure of involvement in the communities in and near which 
they live. 

From the Company's standpoint, we wish to identify those 
among our migrant workers with the basic talent and leadership ability 
to rise not only in our citrus operations but throughout the whole 
structure of our organization. Every migremt with the talent and 
ability to do so will have the same opportunities to rise in The 
Coca-Cola Company as any other employee. One of the key responsi- 
bilities of the vice president in charge of this program will be to 
identify and help motivate the migrant workers with this potential. 
In short, our plan is to place every groves and harvesting worker in 
the same status as every other employee of The Coca-Cola Company. 

The Seasonal Harvesting Employees 

Last year, during the eight month orange harvesting 
period. The Coca-Cola Company employed an average of 1,000 seasonal 
harvesting workers per day. Like most of the Florida citrus industry, 
they had no health, retirement or life insurance plans, eind no job 
security. There are 86 housing units for their families and dormi- 
tories to accommodate about 400 male workers. In this group, we 
found a deep sense of hopelessness and futility. 



5904 



These are the migrants who work only during the harvesting 
season, and then, often only a few days a week. We believe that our 
first responsibility is to provide as much full-time employment as 
we can for these workers. Beginning with a selected group, we intend 
to provide full-time employment with all the benefits that The Coca-Cola 
Company provides to its full-time employees. This will include the 
same retirement and life insurance plans, the same two to four weeks 
vacations and eight holidays, and the opportunity to enter the same 
training programs. As full-time employees, they will also be entitled 
to participate in the same tuition refund plans available to all 
Coca-Cola employees. 

Currently the seasonal harvesting employee is paid by the 
piece. Beginning with this first group of harvesting employees, we 
will provide a basic hourly wage, on top of which piece-work bonuses 
will be paid, somewhat similar to the salary and commission arrange- 
ment for salesmen of many major corporations. The combined salary 
and bonus will be significantly higher than the money they are 
presently making. In this way, we hope to combine a sense of security, 
both in pay and in job, along with the incentive necessary to maintain 
and increase productivity. If this program works and productivity 
increases — as we believe it will — we propose to extend it to 
cover 200 employees by the end of its first year of operation; 500 
in two to three years and at least two-thirds of our harvesting 



5905 



employees in five to seven years. 

We plan to organize our harvesting of oranges and lemons, 
and the work that must be done in the groves to maintain ernd care 
for the trees during the non-harvesting period, in a way that will 
provide full-time employment for the largest possible number of 
migrants. We must replace generations of despair, with hope and 
ambition and this will require a major and concerted array of social 
services. Sufficient time and patient understanding are essential. 

Although our objective is to convert as many seasonal 
employees to full-time status as possible, the process will of neces- 
sity be gradual. During transition and thereafter we will need a 
number of migrant seasonal employees to handle the peak harvesting 
load. These seasonal harvesting employees will be placed in the same 
status as other seasonal employees of the Company, such as many of 
the men who work in our processing plants. Their pay will be increased, 
and they will be covered by special life insurance and health care 
plans. Their dormitories will be modem and sanitary with adequate 
recreational facilities. They will be offered three meals a day at 
cost and will be provided, free of charge, with transportation to and 
from neighboring communities. We hope to instill in these migrants 
the desire to become full-time employees of the Company. 

Full-Time Groves Employees 

Our task force revealed that the pay and benefits of 



5906 



full-time groves employees were in line with local citrus industry 
standards, rather than with the standards of the Foods Division. 
Thus, these employees had no retirement plan, only one week of vaca- 
tion and five holidays per year. They received health benefits only 
after one year of employment and life insurance benefits of $1,000. 

Effective September 1, our plan will place these employees 
in the same status as all other full-time Coca-Cola employees. They 
will be included in the Company retirement plan. They will receive 
two to four weeks vacation each year depending on their length of 
service. Their health insureince benefits will become effective thirty 
days after employment and life insurance benefits will be raised to 
$5,000. Their wages will be initially increased by 23 percent. 

Housing 

At present we provide housing rent free to approximately 
sixty percent of our groves employees. The remaining forty percent 
riMit or own their homes. It will always be necessary for some of 
our employees to live in the groves. For them, we will provide modern 
and sanitary housing and dormitories and the maintenance services 
necessary to keep that housing clean, decent and liveable. 

Early in our strategic planning, however, our long range 
objective was to have as many employees as possible own their homes. 
We have already surveyed forty acres of land, on which we are arranging 



5907 



for the construction of 60 to 70 houses at prices and mortgage payment 
schedules within the meams of our citrus employees, and with appro- 
priate recreational facilities and power and sewer service. These 
houses will be available exclusively for purchase or rental by our 
anployees. We hope to use existing state and federal housing programs; 
but we are prepared, if necessary, to do this through Company-arranged 
private financing. 

Social Service Centers 

We have decided to establish four pennanent social service 
centers and one mobile social service unit for our groves and har- 
vesting workers. The first of these centers and the mobile unit 
will be in operation at the beginning of the orange harvesting season 
in late November. They other three centers will be in operation 
within a year from that time. The centers will provide a one-stop 
service for the worker amd his family. These centers will provide 
the physical facilities and professional personnel for: 

— child care and pre-school training and education 

— adult education 

— medical care 

— family and social counseling 

— recreation 

— special tutoring for children attending local schools 

— information centers on local, state and federal programs. 



5908 



In addition to professionals, the centers and the mobile 
unit will be staffed by paid members from the migrant community 
itself. These staffs will be specially trained to work with migrant 
workers. The mobile unit will be operated in a manner similar to 
federal "outreach" programs. The unit and its personnel will seek 
out the migrants and their families, where they work and live and 
provide basic social services and medical care to them. 

General Programs 

There are a variety of other problems to which we have 
also directed our attention. For example, migrant workers spend 
substantial amounts of time in buses that break down too often. vie 
have ordered twenty- five new buses, each with toilet facilities. 

Ten buses have already been delivered. These buses will efficiently 
transport workers to and from the groves and provide sanitary toilet 
facilities at the location of their work. 

Finally — and most important in the long run -- we have 
begun research into the tools used by the migrant workers. We will 
put forth our best efforts to the task of developing mechanical and 
other devices to ease the burden of this work and make the individual 
more productive. 

This, in brief, is the program of our Company to deal with 
the migrant workers in our employ. I do not underestimate the dif- 
ficulty of bringing hope to these men and women, for themselves and 



5909 



for their children. And I do not want to overpromise. Generations 
of abuse and neglect cannot be rooted out in weeks or even months. 
But we have looked at this problem with the best people we could 
find, and we believe the programs we are instituting will move a 
long way toward providing for the migrant and his family human 
dignity, motivation and hope. 

Let me be absolutely clear on one point. As we begin our 
work on the program, we will meet many difficulties and certain 
portions may not work in the field as we have planned them on paper. 
We will seek other solutions where those we have do not seem to be 
working. We intend to put whatever resources are within our command 
to solve this problem and to do it promptly, humanely and permanently. 

While I recognize that our major and most direct respon- 
sibility is to those in our employ, I am also mindful of our obliga- 
tions as citizens and human beings. We have already informed other 
citrus growers and employers of migrant labor that our entire experience 
will be available to them as they begin to deal with their problems 
in this area. 

CONCLUSION 

Unfortunately, Mr. Chairman, neither you nor I alone can 
solve the problems of all the migrant workers in this nation. We 
employ only 1,000 migrants in 20 counties in a single state. There 
are more than 250,000 migrants working in 900 counties in 46 states. 



5910 



These men and their faunilies have been too long neglected by the entire 
nation in which they live and work. Only a massive, concerted and 
persistent effort by federal, state and local government can root 
out the sub-culture of poverty in which they barely survive. 

Government housing programs specifically designed for the 
migrant must be enacted and funded. Special health and education 
programs must be created for the migrant and his children. Federal, 
state and local social services, now denied the migrant because of 
arbitrary residence requirements and out-right discrimination, must 
be opened to him. Outreach programs, by which government officials 
will seek out the migrant where he lives and works, must also be 
established. Until our citizens and their elected representatives, 
at every level of government, commit the resources and talent necessary 
to solve this problem, migrants and their families -- one million 
hiu.ian beings -- will continue to live in poverty without hope. This 
nation and the states and communities in which the migrants live and 
work have the resources to solve this problem. The only question is 
whether they have the determination. We must, as a nation, show the 
migrant that there is hope for him in our country and that above all 
his children can aspire to break the cycle of poverty to which they 
have been condemned for so many generations. 

Yet government alone cannot solve this problem. Through 
years of experience and the work of dedicated federal employees and 
legislators like yourself, the government has tried to help the 
migrant worker. Unfortunately, the impact of most of its programs 



5911 



has been marginal at best. 

In 1968, largely because government, acting alone, met 
the same frustration in its attempt to deal with the problems of the 
hard core unemployed in our urban ghettos, the President formed a 
National Alliance of Businessmen. In partnership with the govern- 
ment, the NAB created the JOBS program to help train and employ the 
hard core disadvantaged in the ghettos of our largest cities. I 
was privileged to serve as the first Vice Chairman of the NAB. 

I believe the time has now come to form a National Alliance 
of Agri-Businessmen to train and employ in dignity and with fair 
wages the migrant workers of our nation. I urge this Committee to 
consider such a program and recommend it to the Congress in its 
report. A National Alliance of Agri-Businessmen, working in partner- 
ship with the government, can do for thousands of rural migrant 
workers what the National Alliance of Businessmen has done for thousands 
of ghetto dwellers. 

In closing, Mr. Chairman, let us recognize that the 
migrant represents a phenomenon in our society. The migrant and his 
family have the motivation to travel hundreds of miles across our 
country seeking one of the hardest jobs in our economy. If that 
motivation is fired with self respect and special training, we can 
reclaim hundreds of thousands of our citizens and create a major 



5912 



addition to our nation's work force. It is this inherent motivation 
of the migramt that gave me the confidence last March that the 
progrcun of The Coca-Cola Compemy will work. 



5913 



Biography of Mr. T- Paul Austin 

J. Paul Austin is Chairman of the Board and President of The Coca-Cola 
Company. 

Mr. Austin joined the Company in 1949 as a member of its Legal Department. 
The following year, he joined The Coca-Cola Export Corporation, where he held 
various posts, including four years of overseas service as direction of operations 
in the African Area . 

He was elected President of The Coca-Cola Export Corporation in 1959. In 
1962, he was elected President and Chief Executive Officer of The Coca-Cola 
Company. Earlier this year, he was elected to the additional post of Chairman of 
the Board. 

Mr. Austin earned a liberal arts degree from Harvard University and a law 
degree from the Harvard Law School. 

He is a director of various corporations and industry organizations and is 
active in a wide range of civic and community betterment programs on the local, 
regional and national levels. 

Mr. Austin was the first Vice Chairman of the National Alliance of Business- 
men, an organization designed to provide employment opportunities for the "hard- 
core unemployable." 

Mr. Austin participated in the White House Conference on Equal Employment 
and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Opportunities Industrialization 
Committee, a Philadelphia-based organization created to train and assist in 
seeking employment for residents of ghetto areas. He currently is serving as 
Southeastern Regional Chairman of a national funds drive to benefit the National 
4-H Club Educational Buildings Program. 



36-513 O - 71 - pt.8C - 6 



5914 



Biography of Mr. T. Lucian Smith 

J. Lucian Smith is President of The Coca-Cola Company Foods Division, 
an operating division of The Coca-Cola Company, which is headquartered in 
Houston, Texas. The Foods Division was organized in 19 67 to include operations 
of both the Minute Maid Corporation and the Duncan Foods Company, previously 
acquired by The Coca-Cola Company through mergers. Mr. Smith was named 
President of the Foods Division upon its formation. 

Mr, Smith joined the Coca-Cola business in 1940. He was named Sales 
Manager of the Western Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Chicago, in 1947, serving 
in that capacity until 1949 when he was named to head the Company's New England 
operations. He was named Field Sales Manager, Bottler Sales Development 
Department, in 1958. 

Mr. Smith was elected Vice President of The Coca-Cola Company in 1961. 
In 1965, he was named Assistant Marketing Director for Carbonated Beverages, 
a post he held until 19 67 when he was named President of the newly formed 
Coca-Cola Company Foods Division. 

Mr. Smith is a member of various industry organizations. Also, he is a 
member of the Board of Trustees of the United Fund of Houston & Harris County, 
Texas. He is a member of the Board of Development, YMCA, and the Board of 
Directors, Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas, Inc. 



5^15 

Senator Mondale. Our next witness is Mr." George Wedgworth, 
president of the Su^ar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida. He is 
represented by the distinguished Senator from Florida, Spessard Hol- 
land and Mr. George F. Sorn, manager of the Labor Division, Florida 
Fruit & Vegetable Association. 

Senator Holland, we are very pleased to have you with us this 
morning. 

STATEMENT OF HON. SPESSARD L. HOLLAND, A U.S. SENATOR EROM 
THE STATE OF FLORIDA 

Senator Holland. Mr. Chairman, I am happy to be here. I am not 
present as you have indicated to represent the next witness, but to 
mtroduce him. I am very proud to introduce him. 

Since the committee would be interested in his backbround, I want 
to give part of it. His father, a native of Mississippi took his bache- 
lor's degree at Mississippi A. & M., his master's degree at Michigan 
State, doctor's degree at Cornell, and then came to Florida to serve as 
a highly respected member of the research staff of the experiment 
station at Belle Glade, Fla., where I first knew him. 

His mother, who I believe was u native of Michigan, but at any rate, 
she finished only 3 years of her work there when she and Dr. Wedg- 
worth were married and she, of course, came with him to Florida. He 
was a highly respected member of the professional staff at the experi- 
ment station. He later went into the development of a farm of his own. 
He was killed when this young man was only 10 years old and the 
mother took over the management of the farm and made an outstand- 
ing success of it. She is one of our finest citizens. 

This young man, George Wedgworth, who I introduce today, is 
himself a graduate of Mississippi State University and an outstanding 
figure in our agricultural group in Florida, both as head of the family 
farm, which he has operated now for many years and as the president 
of the Cooperative Sugar Producing Organization, which, next only 
to the U.S. Sugar Corp. is the largest sugar producer in our State. I 
believe they have 50 or more independent growers who are members 
of that cooperative. 

He serves as president of the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association 
which has about 4,500 members who are producers of fruits and vege- 
tables and is now a member of the executive committee and head of 
their labor committee in which respect he comes here to testify today. 

I not only recommend him in the highest terms, but I think he is 
one of our finest citizens. 

I know that this committee is not interested in offshore labor, but I 
do want to mention the fact that as president of the Cooperative Sugar 
Producing Organization which he heads, he has the responsibility for 
the handling of 3,300 each year of the offshore canecutters from 
Jamaica, Barbados, and the Lesser Antilles. 

The housing, the health conditions, the rate of pay, and other things 
in connection with all of those offshore laborers are subject not only to 
the constant supervision by our own Department of Agriculture, but 
by the health people and by our own Department of Labor who send 
down frequent visitors and inspectors. The rate of pay of those offshore 
laborers is fixed at a minimum of $1.65 per hour. The average earnings, 



5916 

because this is on a piecework for canecutters, is something in excess 
of $2 per hour, as I am told by Mr. Wedgrworth. The housing is one 
of the things that is particularly subject to inspection by the inspectors 
from the offshore government who are here frequently to see what is 
the condition of their workers. 

I am particularly happy to present Mr. Wedgworth, because not 
only of his outstanding character and quality and attainment, but 
because I think he can present to this committee what comes nearer 
being a representative picture of the employment of our migrants, not 
only the offshore which appear only as canecutters, and the chairman 
will remember that a former Secretary of Labor tried his best to find 
domestic canecutters and ended with the tragic experience which I 
will be glad to narrate if the committee wants me to, but which finally 
persuaded him that there were no domestic workers who were willing 
to get out on their knees in the Florida muck and cut cane with 
machetes which have to be used in that very soft soil. 

But he also represents, not only because of his own very large 
production, but production of the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Associa- 
tion, a large part of the producers who do produce our fruit and 
vegetables. 

Before introducing him I want to make one thing clear, and that 
is that among our producers of fruit and vegetables and our packers 
and canners there are various classifications. I live and was born in 
the county which produces more citrus fruit than any of the rest of 
our State and incidentally, produces more citrus fruit than all the 
State of California. I know something about the conditions there. We 
have quite a number of growers there who use nothing but domestic 
labor, I mean local labor, and supply for them working conditions in 
the production of fruit and other work through the year, also supply 
most of them the housing which they occupy. 

We have others who in part use domestic labor and in part use 
labor which is transient and is in the migrant field which is of par- 
ticular concern to this committee. We have still others that almost 
wholly rely upon that migrant work. 

So far as the producers of fruit and vegetables in our State are 
concerned, they are no longer permitted to rely upon the offshore labor, 
which, to the amount of nearly 9,000 per year, are available only as 
canecutters for the sugarcane part of our industry and about whom 
I spoke a moment ago. We have the various classes of fruit producers, 
fruit packers and fruit processors. Incidentally, a large part of the 
migrants who are generally considered so, have nothing to do with 
the harvesting in the fields, but are the people, mostly women, who 
come in from adjoining States to produce our canned product and to 
help in the production of our concentrate product. 

So, it is a complicated and differing picture that relates to many 
different fruits. 

I am happy to present Mr. George Wedgworth because more than 
any other person that I know, he is in a position as former president of 
the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association and now as head of their 
labor committee, to give a clear picture, a fair picture, and I am sure 
it is not a uniform picture, of the situation prevailing in our State in 
the field of the production, harvesting, preparation for shipment of 
fresh fruit and vegetables, canning and concentrating of our very 



5917 

large production of fruit and vegetables. I am happy to present Mr. 
George Wedgworth. 

Senator Mondale. Thank you very much, Senator Holland for that 
very kind introduction. 

Mr. Wedgworth, you may proceed. 

STATEMENT OF GEORGE WEDGWORTH, PRESIDENT, SUGARCANE 
GROWERS COOPERATIVE OF FLORIDA; ACCOMPANIED BY 
GEORGE F. SORN, MANAGER, LABOR DIVISION, FLORIDA FRUIT 
& VEGETABLE ASSOCIATION 

Mr. "Wedgworth. Thank you Mr. Chairman. With your indulgence 
I will read my prepared statement. 

My name is George H. Wedgworth, a grower from Belle Glade, 
Fla. At present, I am president and director of the Sugarcane 
Growers Cooperative of Florida, secretary and general manager of 
Wedgworth Farms, Inc., and past president and member of the execu- 
tive committee of the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association and chair- 
man of its labor committee. 

I appreciate the invitation to appear before you and welcome the 
opportunity to enter into the record my concern over the many charges 
made against the agricultural industry in Florida by various individ- 
uals, both before this subcommittee and in other media. 

Before proceeding further, please let me make it perfectly clear that 
I recognize the need for continued improvement of working and living 
conditions of migrant agricultural labor. Toward this end, I join you 
in attempting to find a solution to the migrant problem that will, 
at the same time, allow Florida agricultural producers to continue in 
business. 

The need for solutions to the migrant problem has been recognized 
by interested individuals in Florida long before television became in- 
volved through the "Harv^est of Shame." 

On October 14, 1955, the Governor of Florida created by executive 
order a Florida Citizens' Advisory Committee on Migrant Labor. The 
official report of this committee, published in April of 1957, includes 
recommendations in the areas of migrant housing, labor supply and 
recruitment, transportation, welfare and children's problems, migrant 
education, and migrant liealth and sanitation. 

The need for Federal aid in certain interstate problems concerning 
migrants that could not be properly classified as the responsibilities 
of a single State was also recognized. The advisory committee included 
Florida leaders from all areas concerned with migrant workers. 

There has been extensive progress made toward the betterment of 
working and living conditions of migrant workers in Florida through 
the years. I deplore the fact that these improvements have not been 
recognized by recent publicity, particularly the NBC white paper, 
"Migrant," in spite of the fact that NBC News was provided by the 
Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association on May 27, 1970, with extensive 
documentation, showing the effort directed toward Florida migrants. 

This was followed up on July 10 by Florida Fruit & Vegetable As- 
sociation's furnishing pictorial documentation to Mr. Chet Huntley 
of NBC News. Copies of both the extensive documentation sent to 



5918 

Mr. Huntley on May 27 and the pictorial documentation sent on 
July 10 are submitted for the record of this Senate subcommittee. 

Senator Schweiker. We will be pleased to have that. As I am not 
certain just how much of the materials can be printed in the record, 
I will note that it contains, along with other documents, a number of 
glossy, color photographs of housing units in Florida. 

Mr. Wedgeworth. The document, because of the short length of 
time available for its preparation, does not cover all the effort directed 
toward migrants in Florida. 

The documentation (D-1 of submittal) reveals that in the area of 
migrant housing the Farmers Home Administration submitted in- 
formation showmg there has been $14,220,655 utilized in Florida in 
the last 6 years for 1,970 families of migratory and/or seasonal agri- 
cultural workers. 

This does not include loans by Farmers Home Administration to 
individual farm labor families, such as self-help housing projects in 
Collier, Lee, and Hendry Counties. 

There are various public housing authority camps in Florida. You 
will note in D-2 of submittal that the four major housing authorities 
which have been in existence in Florida since the early 1940's have 
expended well over $18 million in the last few years in the construc- 
tion of over 1,600 new replacement units of housing with an approxi- 
mate capacity of 10,000 workers. 

In addition, under submittal J-4, it is shown that approval has 
been granted for a $15 million farm labor housing project in the Fort 
Myers area of Lee County. The first stage, consisting of 350 homes, is 
now well under construction and expected to be completely finished 
by the end of this year. Eventually, there will be 1,250 units of public 
housing within this farm labor complex. 

Submittal D-3 indicates the activities of the Federal Housing Au- 
thority and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Develop- 
ment with regard to public housing units constructed or under con- 
struction in Florida which are de^^ied for low-income individuals, 
including agricultural workers, either thTough rent subsidy or through 
low-interest loans. 

You will note from this report that most of the $308 million ex- 
pended bv HUD and FHA in the nroorams for low-income housing 
in Florida has been expended in the last 3 years. 

Growers and agricmtural employers in Florida have also spent con- 
siderable sums of their money toward agricultural labor housing, as 
evidenced in some of the pictorial documentation also submitted for 
your information and record. 

This bv no means covers all the improvements in housing directed 
to aid low-income individuals, including agricultural workers in 
Florida. 

In the area of labor supply and recruitment, the Florida Fruit & 
Vegetable Association, other Florida agricultural associations and in- 
dividual growers have historically worked closely with the Farm 
Labor Department of the Florida Industrial Commission and other 
appropriate departments of the LT.S. Department of Labor in insur- 
ing that domestic workers are advised of available job openings and 
conditions of employment in Florida and in coordinating the movement 



5919 

of workers so they do not arrive at their destination without job 
opportunities. 

Conditions of employment in Florida agriculture have improved 
over the years. Documentation of mechanical aids and equipment which 
help improve agricultural employment conditions are too numerous 
to mention. 

Section E of the submittal indicates other statutory improvements 
in wages and working conditions. Included is information which re- 
veals that agricultural workers are now covered by the provisions of 
the Fair Labor Standards Act (Wage and Hour Law), the Federal 
and State provisions of child labor regulations, and increased benefits 
accruable under the Social Security Act. 

Florida's agricultural employers also provide vastly improved 
transportation facilities for their workers. It has been estimated that 
nearly a million dollars is now being expended each year on trans- 
portation facilities for agricultural workers. Cooperating criteria 
employers offer a work contract to many domestic workers recruited 
through the facilities of the farm labor services of the Florida In- 
dustrial Commission, now called the Farm Labor Department of the 
Division of Labor and Employment Opportunities of the Florida 
Department of Commerce. 

Under section F of the submittal, Florida's stringent regulations are 
listed with regard to use of pesticides. Additionally, activities in the 
areas of job safety are indicated, together with an estimate of the 
voluntary compliance under Florida workmen's compensation laws by 
many agricultural employers in Florida. 

In the area of health, welfare, and children's programs, we respect- 
fully refer you to section B of the submittal, wherein the Florida 
migrant health project, funded primarily through the Federal Gov- 
ernment, is expending about a million dollars per year in the Florida 
migrant health project. 

Additionally, under section G, the extent of distribution of food 
under the commodity distribution program indicates that food valued 
at $16,231,000 was distributed during the fiscal year ending June 30, 
1960, to needy individuals, including migrants. 

Additionally, over $12 million in food was distributed through the 
school lunch program. The food stamp program is also used in several 
counties in Florida. 

In the matter of migrant education, section C relates to the expendi- 
ture of over $71/^ million in the Florida migratory child compensatory 
program in 1969. Additionally, over $700,M0 was used in the Florida 
State adult migrant and seasonal farm workers' educational program 
in 1969. 

In the area of sanitation, Florida has had a stringent sanitary code 
since the late 1940's. It was one of the first States in the Nation to adopt 
and enforce such a code. However, many times enforcement is possible 
only to the extent that other housing is available for the evicted 
tenants. 

This is, by no means, a complete listing of all the acti\aties directed 
toward migrants and I do apologize to any other interested groups 
who have been inadvertently omitted from inclusion in this report. 

In any discussion of the Florida migrant problem, recognition must 
be given to the many dedicated individuals who have directed their 



5920 

efforts toward its solution. Althoug-h the total solution has not yet 
been attained it is not because of the lack of effort on their part. 

This testimony, however, should not be interpreted as indicating 
that all that could be done or should be done has been done. On the 
contrary, there is much to be done. 

I do not condone poor housing, poor working conditionSj and stand 
ready to join with any individuals or groups who are genumely inter- 
ested in helping to find a solution to such problems. 

I sincerely feel that housing, as depicted in the recent NBC tele- 
vision showing, "Migrant — an NBC White Paper" is not typical of 
the housing provided by most agricultural employers in Florida. The 
majority of time spent on housing in the NBC! film was spent on hous- 
ing owned by private individuals and not by agricultural employers. 

U.S. Bureau of the Census figures for 1965, reveal that when mi- 
gratory farmworkers are at their homebase, only 14 percent live on 
farm locations. Additionally, about 50 percent of migrant workers 
own, or are buying their houses or other living quarters at their 
homebase. 

I feel that the extremely adverse publicity recently released pri- 
marily by the NBC film which insinuates that all migrant conditions 
in Florida are as typified in the film will actuallv stymie progress 
toward a solution of the migrant worker problem and will be 
detrimental to the worker himself. 

For one thing, it will tend to alienate those individuals and groups 
who have, in fact, done much to improve the migrant conditions in 
Florida. In my estimation, it has also hurt in the continued efforts 
that have been made by various groups in attempting to assimilate 
the migrant into the communities rather than to separate him from 
the communities. 

It is polarizing the migrant situation and can only hurt the effort 
bein^ made to assimilate the migrant into the community. Recent 
publicity is downgrading all migrants in the eyes of the general public 
and in the eyes of those migrants who have pride in what they are 
doing and who look upon themselves as performing a necessary func- 
tion in our society, which, in fact, they do. 

The lack of acknowledgement of the many and varied activities 
directed toward Florida migrants and the inaccuracies and bias shown 
in the NBC Wliite Paper— "Migrant" — are a particular disappoint- 
ment to me and to the Florida Fruit ^ Vegetable Association. 

I feel that NBC News — in spite of the fact that Mr. Huntley had 
our documentation as early as May 27 — produced a biased and unfair 
television special that only depicted the worst conditions surrounding 
some low-income individuals in Florida and that the film did much 
to downgrade the Florida migrant, Florida agriculture and the State 
of Florida itself. 

In addition, NBC did not present any concrete suggestions for solu- 
tions to the migrant problem. Could this be because they were pri- 
marily interested in creating sensationalism — not in finding solutions 
to the problem ? 

I feel that there was much "sneaky journalism" involved in the film 
which took the exceptional circumstance or incident, many times out 
of context, and implied that Florida was "rampant with conditions 
bordering on slavery and racism" and that no one in Florida was mak- 



5921 

ing any constructivo effort to help the migrant. These accusations^ and 
innuendos are just not so. 

The fibn implied that all farmworkei-s who pick crops are mi- 
grants — which is untrue. Florida's agricultural work force includes 
many year-round residents of the State who work in agriculture, both 
on a full-time and on a part-time basis. 

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the maximum 
total hired farm labor force in Florida agriculture in 1968 was 103,000, 
of which 35,000 to 40,000 are year-round hired workers. Of the balance, 
over half are seasonal workers who reside in Florida on a year-round 
basis and are not looking for year-round employment. 

Mr. Huntley stated that there were 200,000 migrant men, women 
and children in Florida. Figures compiled by this Senate Subcommit- 
tee on Migratorj^ Labor — and as reflected in the 1968 annual report 
of this subcommittee — show 76,024 migrant workers and their non- 
working dependents who travel with them. 

Information received since the preparation of this statement reveals 
that the U.S. Department of iVgriculture figures agree that the $891 
average wage earned by migrants from farm work in the United 
States is true but is only a partial truth and used alone is misleading. 

What Mr. Huntley failed to reveal in his narration is that the average 
migrant also earned $841 in nonfarm wages, or a total of $1,732. There 
is an additional figure which Mr. Huntley also failed to reveal. In the 
average migrant family there are 2.85 wage earners, so the average 
family wage would approximate $4,422-farm and nonfarm in 1969. 
This average is, of course, for U.S. migrants, not just those based in 
Florida. In Florida migrants have a longer work season than the aver- 
age for the United States. Thus, Florida migrant wages should exceed 
the U.S. average. 

Mr. Huntley stated, "* * * the migrants don't have the rights 
guaranteed the rest of us * * *" This implies that rights guaranteed 
the rest of us include unemployment insurance, workmen's compen- 
sation, age requirements in child labor laws, and others. The rights 
that were stated in the film are not rights that all the people in the 
United States have today. 

Tlie fact that a person is a migrant is not the determining factor as 
to whether he is entitled to these rights or not. The determining factor 
is whether the particular job that he is working in is covered under 
Federal or State laws and regulations. It is the type of work that a 
migrant elects to follow that determines whether he is covered or not. 
There are areas of employment outside of agriculture that are not 
covered by unemployment insurance or by the Fair Labor Standards 
Act or by workmen's compensation, or by other Federal or State laws, 

I feel that the NBC white paper should have noted that many 
Florida employers voluntarily elect to cover their workers under some 
State laws. For instance, workers in the citrus processing industry of 
Florida, including migrants who elect to work in this pa,rticular seg- 
ment of the industry, are covered under the State unemployment com- 
pensation laws by the companies involved. 

It should also have been noted that, although agricultural workers 
are not specifically included under the workmen's compensation laws 
of the State of F'lorida, a substantial portion — estimated to be well 



5922 

over 70 percent of all agricultural workers in Florida — are voluntarily 
covered by employers under Florida's workmen's compensation law. 

Under our State workmen's compensation law, it is estimated that 
the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, who are self-insurors, 
alone cover between 20,000 and 30,000 domestic agricultural workers 
in the State of Florida at the request of cooperating members of the 
Association. This number is increasing each year and Florida Fruit 
& Vpflre<"ab]e Association is onlv one of several companies in this field. 

Mr. Huntley made the statement that Florida's migrants "* * * are 
not protected by age requirements in child labor laws." This state- 
ment is completely untrue. 

You will note from submittal E-8 that when school is in session, 
minors under age 16 may not be employed in agriculture in Florida 
during school hours. All children in Florida, including migrants, are 
not only covered by our State child labor law, but also by the child 
labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. These laws are 
enforced on both the Federal and State levels. 

Additionally, there are restrictions on the use of children below 
age 16 in hazardous occupations under both Federal and State laws. 
Penalties are imposed under both the State and the Federal laws for 
the use of child labor illegally. 

Mr. Huntley stated, "while others' annual wages have gone up, 
his (the migrant's) have stayed the same," compared to 10 years 
ago. A statement such as this made by a national commentator with- 
out insuring that his information is a true picture of actual conditions 
is unbelievable. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture figures reveal that the average 
hourly wage rate paid to hired workers in Florida has increased 62.8 
percent since 1961. Florida Department of Commerce figures reveal 
that prevailing piecework rates for the major agricultural crops in 
Florida have increased over 100 percent since 1960. 

If the annual wage of migrant workers has not increased, it is not 
because of the unavailability of work, or that there has been no increase 
in either the hourly or the piece rate paid workers in Florida 
agriculture. 

Mr. Huntley continues in his narration by stating "for they (the 
migrants) are paid not by the hour but by the piece. They are paid for 
what they pick, but not for the time it takes them to pick it." This is 
another completely untrue statement. 

Payment by the piece does not obviate the employer's obligation to 
pay the minimum wage as stipulated under the Fair Labor Standards 
Act. A worker who is in a field or grove for 8 hours and who is working 
under a piece rate of pay is paid by the piece rate or the statutory 
hourly rate, whichever is the higher. A quick check bv NBC News with 
any office of the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of 
Labor could have confirmed this fact. 

Mr. Huntley quotes the U.S. Department of Labor as estimating 
that if wages paid farmworkers were doubled, and all the increase 
passed on to the American housewife, she would pav just 1 or 2 more 
pennies for her produce. I am requesting the U.S. Department of 
Labor to verify their statistics in this respect as it relates to Florida 
agriculture. 

At any rate, I would disagree with this conclusion. Because of the 
high percentage of fruits and vegetables grown for the fresh market 



5923 

in Florida, the percentage of total production costs attributable to 
labor costs is inordinately high compared to other areas of the country. 

In tlio filmed interview with Mr. Vann, director of the Pahokee 
Housing Authority. Mv. Vann made the statement that the housing 
program is not geared to the needs of migrants. Mr. Vann has sub- 
sequently stated that the definition of a migrant as used in the com- 
mentary and his definition of a migrant are not the same. 

He has stated that most of the occupants of the Pahokee Housing 
Authority are former migrants. Most of them continue to work in jobs 
connected with agriculture. With the loose interpretation of a migrant 
used by ISIr. Huntley and as evidenced by his figure of 200,000 in the 
State of Florida, the housing authorities are geared toward the type 
of individual to whom Mr. Huntley refers, many of whom are no 
longer migrants. 

The statement is made in the film that 80 percent of migrant children 
never enter a high school classroom. Here, again, we feel that this is 
an untrue statement. It implies that 80 percent of the children included 
in the 200,000 so-called migrants in Florida do not go to high school. 

Bureau of Census figures for 1965, reveal that 50 percent of migra- 
tory workei-s attended at lease some high school and 20 percent finished 
high school — still not a good record but a far cry from the statement 
made in the film. 

Mr. Huntley quoted the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Migratory 
Labor's estimate that 800,000 children under age 16 work as hired 
farmhands across the Nation. We do not dispute this figure. 

However, Mr. Huntley failed to point out that most of these chil- 
dren work in agriculture on a part-time basis for additional income 
primarily in Northern States during the summer, when no school is 
in session. 

In Florida, we also use children during hours when school is not 
in session, many of whom work in agriculture for additional earnings 
and not because it is needed for the bare sustenance of their families. 
With the increasing difficulties that school-age children are experi- 
encing in locating part-time jobs, particularly during the summer 
period, it would be unfortunate for this subcommittee to consider an 
age restriction for use of children outside of school hours in 
agriculture. 

Dr. Donald Stone, director of the Collier County migrant educa- 
tion program, stated that "the family, for example, when it works in 
the field is paid daily for what it does — not at the end of the week." 

And he goes on to indicate that this has an influence on the child 
growing up with the idea that if he does something right he must be 
rewarded instantly. I agree with the latter part of Dr. Stone's state- 
ment. However, I would like to point out that the majority of farm- 
workers in Florida are not paid on a daily basis. They are paid on a 
weekly basis, most of them by check with the proper deductions taken 
out for social security. All agricultural workers — including migrants — 
are covered by social security. 

As I have stated previously, we do not condone poor housing and 
we are not here to attempt to justify any poor housing that may be 
found in Florida. However, except for one sequence of film we do not 
recall that the NBC ^Vhite Paper — Migrant — showed any housing ac- 
tually owned and operated by agricultural producers in Florida. The 



5924 

housing shown was that of public housing authorities or private owners 
who have no direct connection with agriculture. 

Agriculture, therefore, except in the public housing authorities, 
where agricultural leaders in various counties have been very active, 
would have little influence in helping correct poor housing situations 
where workers live in housing of their own choosing. U.S. Bureau of 
Census figures reveal that only 14 percent of migrants live in on-farm 
housing. Many of the growers who do provide on-farm housing ac- 
commodations in Florida provide free housing for their agricultural 
workers. 

Florida's agricultural employers and the relevant agencies of gov- 
ernment in Florida have done much — particularly in the last 10 
years — toward the betterment of living and working conditions for 
Florida's agricultural workers, including migrants. 

I realize that in spite of the fact that a solution to the problem is 
being diligently sought, no lasting solution has yet been found. Any 
solution that does not consider both sides of the problem cannot be a 
lasting one. 

Florida growers — particularly those who are heavily inclined to- 
ward producing for the fresh fruit and vegetable market — have been 
obtaining increased competition in marketing their product, from low- 
wage countries, particularly Mexico. Agricultural producers are 
greatly handicapped bv this competition. Their abilities to pay in- 
creased costs of production — including labor — are being greatly 
impaired. 

This has been a longstanding and continuing concern of the Florida 
Fruit & Vegetable Association and its growers. This last season has 
been a particularly disastrous year to our vegetable growers, particu- 
larly our tomato growers. 

As recently as May 22, Mr. Joffre C. David, secretary-treasurer 
of the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, presented testimony to 
the House Committee on Ways and Means regarding the problem of 
unlimited importation of fresh fruits and vegetables from foreign 
countries, particularly Mexico, in direct competition with Florida 
growers. 

The film depicted corporated farming and "bigness'' as contributing 
to the problem of the migrant. Others who have testified before this 
subcommittee have attacked corporate famimg. These are unfounded 
attacks, 

I manage a corporate farm, which is made up of my mother and my 
two sisters. 

A. Duda & Sons, Inc., is also a family corporate farm. It was a 
gross injustice to Andy Duda, Jr., to have been filmed and quoted out 
of context and represented to the viewing audience in a most unfair 
manner by Mr. Huntley. 

Those of us who personally know the history of Andrew Duda, Sr., 
who brought his three sons from Czechoslovakia to work in the fac- 
tories in Ohio as poor immigrants, deplore this injustice. 

The Duda's saved their money to come to Florida to farm, only to go 
broke, whereupon they returned to the north and worked as hired agri- 
cultural workers themselves before returning to Florida the second 
time to farm. 



5925 

From this meaner boo:innin^, they have built one of the most re- 
spected organizations in tlie Nation by always maintaining Christian 
and humanitarian principles in the conduct of their business. They 
are a fine example of how corporate farming with efficient produc- 
tion i)ractices, can provide benefits to both their employees and the 
consumer. 

Tlie question arises as to why does one attack or accuse "bigness" or 
corporate farming or attempt to discredit agriculture ? 

What are the attackers' motives? 

Would it not be more productive to work with agriculture for the 
realization of solutions to the migrant problem rather than to attack 
the bigness of producers? — Producers who now supply the consumer 
their food requirement for only 161/^ percent of their disposable in- 
come prepared to communistic countries like Russia, where consumers 
spend over 50 percent of their disposable incomes for food. 

I will depart from my printed text to answer your telegram, the 
second question that you made inc[uiry of. I also would like to offer in 
the record of the committee hearing a copy of the telegram which in 
part stated that you "* * * are deeply concerned about news accounts 
alleging that presssure was put on NBC to alter or censor parts of 
'Migrant, An NBC White Paper.' " 

Senator Mondale. Without objection, the telegram will be entered 
in the record. 

(The information referred to follows :) 

[Telegram] 

Washington, D.C. 
George Wehjo-woeth, 

Sugar Cane Groivers Cooperative of Florida, 
Belle Glade, Fla. 

I am deeply concerned about news accounts alle^ng that pressure was put on 
XBC to alter or censor parts of '"Migrant : An NBC White Paper." From my per- 
sonal experience I can affirm that general living and working conditions of 
migrants are as dismal if not worse than those portrayed in the documentary. 
The Migratory Labor Subcommittee is interested in obtaining additional in- 
formation about the conditions portrayed in that documentary. I therefore invite 
you to testify before the subcommittee at a hearing the latter part of the week 
of July 20, 1970. Your response at the earliest possible time would be appreciated. 

Walter F. Mondalbx 

Mr. Wedgworth. This is categorically unfounded and untrue. Quite 
to the contrary, our concern was to be sure that the American public 
was furnished with an unbiased and balanced presentation. Upon 
learning of the publicity which was presented in the newspapers by 
NBC News releases dating back even before the research and the film- 
ing in Florida, we became aware of the purpose of the film. Mr. Hunt- 
ley is quoted in the May 1 issue — well, this issue is after he did come to 
Florida when he stated in part, "I would just love to get hold of some- 
thing demonstrating that real meaningfiil changes are being made. 
If they are, people certainly are not willing to talk about it." 

He went on in addition and said, "I wish they would step forward." 
We notice in the Atlanta Journal by NBC's own news release, and 
which I will enter into the record of the committee, on April 25 there 
was indication that the film was going to be a biased film. This was 
enough to put us on notice, especially because of the fact that we had 
talked to the produce,r, that the film may not contain a balanced view. 



5926 

We presented to Mr. Huntley and to other officials of NBC the same 
documentation which we have now furnished to this committee. We 
have yet to have received any acknowledgement from NBC of furnish- 
ing them this documentation. We wrote to NBC asking them for 
balance and for fairness in presenting the picture and that they should 
make themselves aware of not only the bad, but also the good. 

We had reason to believe that this was not going to be presented 
as a fair unbiased film and therefore, we told them that we would 
like to have the American people be told of both sides of the situation. 

As far as charges of balance, I notice by the news releases them- 
selves, quoting the personnel of NBC, that they stated that any tele- 
vision station which did not show the film had better have a good 
reason for doing so. I think that this committee might also look into 
the pressure brought by NBC on the individual stations. 

I again express my appreciation for your invitation to appear before 
this Senate subcommittee and volunteer my help in finding a solution 
to the migrant problem that would allow the agricultural producers 
of Florida to pay increased wages and benefits to its workers and 
continue to stay in business. 

Senator Mondale. Thank you, Mr. Wedgworth. 

Your association, I am told, sent letters to Mr. Goodman, presi- 
dent of NBC, and Dean Burch, Chairman of the FCC, and at least 
one local NBC affiliate in June 1970 suggesting, "If the film is shown 
by a licensee of the Commission and is in fact a slanted news presenta- 
tion, the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association will request the FCC 
to specify an issue as to whether such licensee is adequately discharg- 
ing its responsibilities so as to warrant its continuing to be a licensee." 

(The information referred to follows :) 

Washixgtox, D.C, June 22, 1910. 
Mr. Julian B. Goodman, 
President, 'National Broadcasting Co., 
New York, N.Y. 

Dear Sir : On May 27, 1970, Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association sent a 
letter to Mr. Chet Huntley expressing its grave concern that a "documentary" 
recently filmed in Florida and reported to be narrated by ]Mr. Huntley, will not 
accurately portray the conditions of so-called "migrant" agricultural workers 
in that State. 

The enclosed copy of our letter of this date to the Chairman of the Federal 
Communications Commission relates to the same subject. As stated therein it is 
the position of Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association that the telecasting of 
a news presentation with knowledge or reason to believe that it is slanted or in- 
accurate requires the specification of an issue to determine whether any licensee 
using such material has adequately discharged its responsibility so as to war- 
rant its continuing to be a licensee. 

It is our understanding that the film we refer to is scheduled to be shown over 

many television stations affiliated \^^th NBC on .July 16, 1970 at 7 :30 p.m. EDT 

or PDT. We request that you bring the views which we express here to the 

responsible operators of each station to which this documentary will be offered. 

Very truly yours, 

L. Alton Denslow, Attorney at Law. 



Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, 

Orlando, Fla., July 1, 1970. 
General Manager, 
WPTV, Palm Beach, Fla. 

Dear Sir : This Association is in receipt of news releases and other information 
which have caused us great concern over the possibility of NBC News televising 
a completely slanted documentary on migrants and migrant conditions in Florida. 



5927 

Our Washington attorneys have registered our concern with the Chairman of 
the Federal Communications Commission and to the President of tlie National 
Broadcasting Company. We are attaching copies of this correspondence for your 
information and consideration. 

We are respectfully bringing this matter to your attention as a reported 
affiliate of NBC. 

Sincerely yours, 

George F. Sokx, 
Manager, Labor Division. 



Washington, D.C, June 22, 1970. 
Hon. Dean Burcii, 

Chairman, Federal Communications Commission, 
Washington, D.C. 

Dear Mr. Chairman : We are counsel to Florida Fruit and Vegetable Asso- 
ciation, a non-profit co-operative association which represents over 4.500 pro- 
ducers of vegetables, sugar cane, citrus and tropical fruits in virtually all the 
major agricultural producing areas in the State of Florida. 

On May 27, 1070, that Association directed a letter to Mr. Chet Huntley ex- 
pressing its concern that a "documentary" which has been filmed in Florida by 
NBC News will according to reports in the press and statements allegedly made 
by persons in the employ of NBC News, be designed to convey the impression 
that little or nothing has been attempted or accomplished in the State of Florida 
over the past ten years intervening since the CBS film "Harvest of Shame" to 
improve the living, working, and other conditions of migrant agricultural workers. 
A copy of the Association's letter to Mr. Huntley, together with a copy of the 
index of attachments referred to therein, is enclosed. The attachments, copies of 
which are not being enclosed because of their volume, document factual in- 
formation demonstrating many of the improvements which have been and con- 
tinue to be made for the benefit of agricultural workers in Florida relating to 
health, education, housing, employment, working conditions, welfare assistance 
and otherwise. It was requested that NTBC take these facts into serious con- 
sideration in the preparation of the film, and it was pointed out that a biased 
presentation resulting from the failure to take into consideration all of the 
activities surrounding agricultural workers could result in grave injustice to the 
people of the State of Florida, particularly the workers and their employers. 
Copies of the letter and of the file enclosed therewith were sent to Mr. Gerald 
Adler. President, NBC Enterprises, Mr. Reuven Frank. President, NTBC News, 
and Mr. Martin Carr, Producer and Director, NT3C News, so that they will be 
fully informed of the basis for the Association's concern and its desire to be 
of whatever further assistance it can in assuring that NBC is cognizant of all 
available factual information which is pertinent to presenting a fair and accurate 
portrayal of the state of agricultural workers in Moridia. 

It is our understanding that the film is scheduled to be shown as a "docu- 
mentary" television special over about 190 of the NBC affiliated stations on 
July 16. 1970. at 7:30 p.m. EDT or PDT. If the film is shown by a licensee of 
the Commission and is in fact a slanted news presentation, Florida Fruit and 
Vegetable Association will request the Commission to specify an issue as to 
whether such licensee is adequately discharging its responsibilities so as to 
warrant its continuing to be a licensee. 
Very truly yours, 

L. Alton Denslow. Attorney at Laic. 

Senator Moxdale. I interpret that to mean, ''If you show this docu- 
mentary we will try to take your license away fi'om you." 

How do you interpret it? 

Mr. Wedgworth. I do not interpret it that way. 

Senator Moxdale. How do you interpret it ? 

Mr. Wedgworth. Well, in both letters that were written we merely 
stated that if they did not show fairness — my interpretation is if they 
did not show fairness, and that is all we were asking for is fairness 
and objectivity in reportino; to the American people. 

Senator Moxdale. But if they did not do that, what would follow? 



5928 

Mr. Wedgworth. ^Yhat could follow if they did not, if they were 
unfair, then we did tell them that we intended to move against their 
license. 

Senator Moxdale. That is the only thing you asked was that it be 
fair from your standpoint 

Mr. Wedgworth. Xo, fair from all standpoints, Senator. 

Senator Moxdale. Some people have been unkind enough to suggest 
that this was a threat to those stations. Would you regard it as such ? 

Mr. Wedgworth. I do not regard it as such. I think the letter speaks 
for itself. 

Senator Moxdale. I do too. 

Now, were there any stations in Florida or Texas or elsewhere that 
did not show the XBC documentary ? 

Mr. AVedgworth. To my knowledge in Florida there were some 
who questioned whether they would show it, but did show it. 

Senator Moxdale. Were there some XBC affiliates m Florida which 
did not ? 

Mr. Wedgworth. I don't know of any station in Florida which did 
not, from my own personal knowledge. 

Senator Moxdale. Did this letter go to any of the stations in Texas ? 

Mr. Wedgworth. Yes. 

Senator ^Ioxdale. Did any of the stations to which that letter was 
sent not show the documentary ? 

Mr. Wedgworth. I have heard by hearsay that possibly one. 

Senator Moxdale. Did this letter go to any stations in Baltimore? 

Mr. Wedgworth. Yes, it did. 

Senator Moxdale. Was there a station there that did not show the 
documentary ? 

Mr. Wedgworth. I will l)e. happy to read the reply which was 
received from a station in Baltimore which states: "For your informa- 
tion, based on closed circuit preview of XBC program 'The Migrant' 
WBAXr-TV, Baltimore, will not present this program July 16, 1970.'" 

Senator ^Ioxdale. Did that telegram come after they received your 
letter threatening revocation of their license if they showed an unfair 
documentary? 

Mr. Wedgworth. With all due respect, we have not threatened. We 
have merely asked that the American people be given the opportunity 
of objectivitv in news reporting. 

Senator Moxdale. I just asked the time sequence. Did that telegram 
come after they received your letter ? 

Mr. Wedgworth. This telegram did come after the letter, yes. 

Senator Moxdale. Can you explain to me why so many people seem 
unable to understand your point of view ? Over 10 years ago we had 
"Harvest of Shame," by Edward R. Murrow which, among other 
things, delivered a stinging indictment of the conditions of migrants 
and farmworkers in your State. 

Xow, these many yeare later we have another documentary by a dif- 
ferent network wliich comes up with the same indictment. A year ago 
the nutrition committee on which I serve, spent some time in Collier 
and Lee Counties and we were horrified, and I use that word advisedly, 
by the rotten, stinking housing, by the humiliation of these poor peo- 
ple, by the inadequacy of the food programs, and by the hostility of 
the local officials. 



5929 

And now this morning the president of one of the largest corpora- 
tions in this conntry says of his own working conditions in Florida 
that they are deplorable. 

How is it that everyone seems to get snch a mistaken impression of 
the sitnation ? 

Mr. Wedgworth. Let me say again that the deplorable conditions 
which yon evidently saw and the deplorable conditions which were 
represented on both films are indefensible by anyone, including myself 
and the people whom I represent. We are opposed to this and we offer 
our assistance in any way. 

Now, I am saying that it is not typical, it is not typical of the living 
and working conditions of agricultural people in the State of Florida. 

Senator Mondale. Isn't Collier one of the large migrant and farm- 
worker counties in the State? 

Mr. Wedgworth. Well, in terms of area, yes. 

Senator ISIoxdale. I mean in terms of farmworkers. 

^Ir. Wedgworth. In terms of personnel, to my knowledge, I would 
say no, it is not the largest. It is one of the larger. 

Senator ]Moxdale. Wouldn't what we saw there, the testimony we 
heard and the housing we saw, be typical of Florida, or is Collier an 
unusual county ? 

Mr. Wedgw^orth. I do not personally know all of the conditions that 
are in that county. I would not say if what was reported by the press 
following your visit to Florida is typical of Florida. I think more 
typical of JFlorida are the conditions as far as improvements and ad- 
vancements which are contained in the book which lies by your side, 
Senator. 

There are poor conditions. These poor conditions are being scheduled 
out. There are tremendous sums of money being spent for new housing 
and improvements. But, Senator, the housing is not, as has already 
been testified to, the basis of the problem. There are many things being 
done which I have testified to and of which documentation has been 
made. 

To say the very worst is typical of the State I categorically deny 
that. What has been shown by a lot of the press has been the very 
worst in an effort to say that this is typical of the conditions through- 
out ^^he State. 

This is not based upon fact. 

Senator Moxdale. Mr. Wedgworth, do you run a labor camp with 
salaried workers ? 

Mr. Wedgw'orth. No, sir, I do not. I know, sir, what you are refer- 
ring to. I have on one of my farms, my family farm, a 50-room room- 
ing house. This rooming house is furnished free at no cost with all 
utilities furnished free. This is a house which is a marginal house. 

Senator Moxdale. It is a what ? 

Mr. Wedgw^orth. It is a marginal house as far as meeting State and 
county codes. Admittedly so. This was a house that was built in 1936. 
When the news media in the county in which I reside learned that I 
was coming here they attacked me in the press the day that I was 
traveling to testify. 

This house, I want to close it, I want to phase it out, and I have been 
in the process of providing for those people who have lived in it in 
the past an opportunity to buy and move into their own homes in 

36-513 O— 71— pt. 8c T 



5930 

that I find that ownership is one of the keys in respect to housing. This 
house is being phased out. 

But to say that it is typical is not representative in fact. 

Senator Mondale. Do you have other housing that you provide on 
your premises ? 

Mr. Wedgworth. Not on my farm operation. Our emphasis, sir, has 
been in respect to housing to encourage homeownership. 

Senator Moxdale. How many bathrooms are there in that building 
for the occupants ? 

Mr. Wedgworth. As far as sanitary facilities and showers, there 
are two large adjoining and attached sanitary facilities. I can't tell 
you the total ^amount of shower heads and lavatories and other things, 
but they meet the code as far as number of rooms and occupancy of 
the building. 

Senator Mondale. How many showers or bathroom facilities in the 
building itself for these families ? 

Mr. Wedgworth. As I said, there are two, both women and men. 

Senator Moxdale. In separate facilities ? 

Mr. Wedgworth. They are attached to the main and are a part of 
the main building. 

Senator Mondale. I read in the statement of Mr. Pierce, executive 
director of the National Sharecroppers Fund, that you have two shower 
spigots, one for the men, one for the women, to serve the whole camp. 
Is that an accurate statement ? 

Mr. Wedgworth. No, sir ; I don't believe that is accurate. 

Senator Mondale. How many do you have ? 

Mr. Wedgworth. I really don't know. 

Senator Mondale. To reach the bathrooms, he said, tenants must 
leave the building, often to trek through mud to overflowing Johns. 

Mr. Wedgworth. That is not true. 

Senator Mondale. That is a lie ? 

Mr. Wedgworth. I said it is not true. 

Senator Mondale. Because of the distance, he says, tenants often 
use slop buckets in their rooms which they empty in the morning or 
when they gain access. Wash basins are located 25 yards east in a shed. 
There are no recreation facilities for the children ; there is no grass ; 
the building is infested with roaches and rats ; flys and other insects 
swarm around the area. The building has no fi^re escape. 

Would you respond to that ? 

Mr. Wedgw^orth. I would say that that is untrue and. Senator, I 
suspected attacks when I came here. I knew that this attack was com- 
ing. Let me say this, that these facilities will be closed tomorrow pro- 
vided someone can find a place for these people to live. Let me remind 
you that most of them do not work on my farm, all of them live there 
free. 

Now, it is regretful that this item has been sent up to you to attack 
my testimony as an individual when I represent a group of growers 
in the State of Florida. 

Senator Mondale. Senator Saxbe. 

Senator Saxbe. You testified that the fact that the minimum wage 
applied regardless of the piece rate. 

Mr. Wedgworth. That is correct. 

Senator Saxbe. We had Mr. Smith this morning from Coca-Cola 
who testified that the people who work in the citrus groves are paid 



5931 

by tlie box and if they are sliaped up and they get to the grove and 
they are rained out or if the bus breaks down or the truck for the fruit 
does not show up or for any other reason, then they don't get paid. 

But you say that they do get paid once they agree to go to work. 

Mr. Wedgworth. I said that the time spent working in the field — 
I am not referring now to citrus. Frankly, my operation is in vege- 
tables. I am more familiar with that. I would defer to someone who is 
more familiar with the citrus industry. 

But in regard to vegetables where workers travel very short dis- 
tances, the time in the field is kept and they are either paid the hourly 
rate not lower than the statutory minimum or the piecework rate 
whichever is the greatest. 

Admittedly, there are some times, even after a worker begins to 
work and a rain ensues, if it is one that will last all day these workers 
are taken back to their living facilities. 

But the statement is that either the statutory minimum as a mini- 
mum is paid or the piecework, whichever is the higher. 

Senator Saxbe. But if they are rained out or a bus breaks down or 
the truck for the produce does not come or if any of a dozen different 
variables happen, they are not paid, they are only paid when they are 
working. 

Mr. Wedgworth. They are paid for the hours they work in the 
field ; yes. 

Senator Saxbe. Right. And if this lasts for a week they make noth- 
ing that week. 

Mr. "\yEDG\voRTH. It is very unusual in the State of Florida that 
rains last for a week. 

Senator Saxbe. I know, but if they don't get hired, if they are avail- 
able but don't go to the field, they don't get paid. Isn't that part of this 
problem, that you have people in these camps that are available for 
work and for one reason or another they don't get work, then they have 
great financial distress ? 

Mr. Wedgworth. That may be true, but I would remind you that 
in my own operation, which I am personally familiar with, we operated 
with an average of about 75 percent total employment, meaning that 
we had as an average about 25 percent jobs not filled. As far as job 
opportunities this is typical of the area in south Florida. 

I don't believe that it could be stated that there is not job oppor- 
tunity. There is job opportunity. 

Senator Schwt:iker. Mr. Wedgworth, in your testimony you said 
that— 

It is the type of work that a migrant elects to follow that determines whether 
he is covered or not. This is in terms of workmen's compensation, child labor 
laws and unemployment compensation. There are areas of employment outside 
of agriculture that are not covered by employment insurance and by fair labor 
standards. 

What kind of work do you liave in mind ? Wliat are these other areas 
that aren't covered ? 

Mr. Wedgworth. Under the Fair Labor Standard Act? Or unem- 
ployment compensation ? 

Senator Schweiker. Whatever you are referring to on page 9 of 
your testimony. 

Mr. Wedgworth. Well, under the Fair Labor Standards Act those 
not covered, as I understand the act, are domestic servants, small 



5932 

business not engaged in interstate commerce, commercial and office 
help, doctors and dentist offices, family farms, some outside salesmen 
and buyers, small rental and services establishments, resort types of 
amusement and recreation, very small newspapers and publications and 
even motion picture establisliment employees. 

Now under unemployment compensation in Florida, barbers are 
not covered, insurance men, domestic services in homes, casual labor 
not in the course of employers trade or business, church employees, 
teachers, musical employees and some nonprofit organization 
employees. 

Senator Schweiker. The point I am trying to get at is how is that 
analogous to the migrant labor situation? It seems to me that none of 
those occupations that you mention have any of the environment or 
social or economic problems property or housing or any of these other 
problems we relate, so I don't see how that is relevant. 

The thing that is relevant to me is that we have not covered these 
and we probably should cover all those areas for migrants that we 
have not covered. The migrant worker has sort of been a stepchild. 
When you cite these others, I do not see what bearing that has on it 
in that they do not have to live under the conditions that the migrants 
do. 

Mr. Wedgworth. I would remind the committee that many of the 
migrants who come to Florida do not work in, say, the fields. Many 
work in processing plants which are covered by unemployment insur- 
ance. What I was trying to say was a migrant just because of the fact 
he is a migrant does not necessarily have to be married to that par- 
ticular job. He can select a job where there is coverage and there are 
migrants who make that selection. 

Senator Schweiker. Then you also say in your testimony that we 
should not judge housing based on the kind of housing that was pri- 
marily shown in the documentary; we should judge it based on those 
people who live on the growers houses and farming camps. 

Yet, only 14 percent, according to your own testimony, live on farm 
locations. Now maybe 1 missed your point. 

Mr. Wedgworth. Let me clarify it by stating 

Senator ScH^VEIKER. If 85 percent don't live in these areas why 
should we not judge where the 85 percent live? Even if your assump- 
tion is right that they live better on corporate farms than others, 
why should we not judge it on the basis of where the majority of 
them live which is the 85 percent. 

Mr. Wedgworth. I think if you would take the time to review the 
pictorial documentation not only of on-farm housing, but also off- 
farm housing, we in agriculture are interested in the total spectrum of 
housing. Most of us find that on-farm housing is really not the solution 
to the problem. That is the reason I am phasing*^ out of on-farm 
housing. 

The solution, in my opinion, as has already been stated, is to try 
to get the migrant with roots down for a long enough period of time 
that he can develop homeownership of his own or to have it provided 
by a public housing authority. 

As I have stated, there are vast sums of money in housing presently 
being built and are typified in the documentation which I have 
furnished. 



5933 

I have said, yes, there are some conditions which are completely de- 
plorable, but to cite them as typical is not fair. We want to phase out 
that which does not meet standards. We want to get these peoj^le into 
their own homes if possible. I would just venture to say that if you 
would take a look at the good as well as the bad in arriving at what is 
typical this is all that we are asking. 

We are saying that we are prepared to phase out the bad. 

Senator Schweiker. I saw in your book of photographs some pic- 
tures of public housing projects, but again, we have had a number of 
witnesses before this committee say that the average migrant just 
does not get a chance to get in a housing project like that. 

I know around Washington for most public housing projects that 
you would consider good or acceptable by fair standards there is a 
waiting list. You have to wait to get into public housing projects and 
you have to qualify under a certain economic situation. 

By the time the migrant would wait he would be harvesting a crop 
somewhere else. I am not sure that public housing as practiced now 
is an answer to the migrant worker. Sure, the percent that resides there 
the year around, yes, I acknowledge that. But that does not seem to be 
where the problem lies. The problem lies with those who have to move. 
Those are the ones who are basically in the subpoverty conditions and 
they can't get into public housing. 

Mr. Wedgworth. I did not mean to say only public housing is the 
solution, no. The self-help housing projects that are coming in are 
very, very fine. There is need for additional funding in respect to up- 
grading housing. We support this very strongly. 

However, to tear down all the bad at one time, where would these 
people live? This has to be a gradual phasing out process and one 
which we have been into within the last 3 or 4 years on an accelerated 
basis. 

Senator Schweiker, You heard the Coca-Cola people testify about 
forming a National Alliance of Agri-Businessmen. I am wondering if 
your group would be willing to participate in such an alliance and 
also would be willing to do some of the things that Coca-Cola ap- 
parently is willing to do in terms of what their approach is. 

Mr. Wedgworth. Well, I don't fully understand the alliance, but 
as it has been explained here in general terms, the answer to that would 
be yes, we are quite interested. Anyone who would purport that we are 
not interested in advancing the welfare and the living conditions of the 
migrant is totally inaccurate. Yes, we have been working and this is 
the point that I have been trying to make, that there are many pro- 
grams going on in the State of Florida which have to be recognized 
biit that is not to say that the bad is being condoned. 

We deplore the bad, but I think it has to be recognized that when 
$71/^ million annually is being spent in child compensatory educational 
programs just on migrant labor children, I think you have to recog- 
nize that there is much good being done. And to typify everything as 
being bad is damaging to the very people whom we want to help. 

Senator Schweiker. I also sit on a committee where we studied 
and worked with the problems of coal miners of which we have a lot 
more in Pennsylvania than we have migrant workers. 

It seems to me that one of the purposes of exposing and bringing 
to light these conditions is that it triggers action. Yes, some case may 



5934 

or may not be overstated. I am not expert enough to know. You saw in 
your statement that we are downgrading and taking away from the 
pride of the migrant. 

If these are in fact unfair attacks, and I am not saying they are, 
then certainly the people who are most concerned will know' that, 
the migrants themselves will Icnow they- are imfair attacks. 'SVe have 
not had an avalanche of lettere or correspondence saying they are 
unfair attacks. I must say. If they are not then certainly would they 
not serve a constructive purpose of focusing our social responsibilities 
that all of us, not just the growers, but the people who eat fruits and 
vegetables, the consumer, the people who pay the bill, and the corpo- 
rate farms have ? Wliat is so wrong with holding the spotlight of 
attention even on the woi^se parts ? 

Don't we all need that in all of our respective jobs ? 

Mr. Wedgworth. I would say yes, let us look at bad, but also let 
us look at the good and give credit where credit is due. All we have 
asked, and I want to make this abundantly clear, we deplore the 
sensationalizing of only the bad. "We think there is progress being 
made and we have tried here before this committee to document that 
proofi-ess. 

We have also said that. yes. there is bad. "We do not condone the 
bad. There again to present in the eyes of the American public a 
completely unbalanced and biased presentation of the conditions by 
only showing the bad and not giving credit for the many programs 
that I have documented here today, I think is totally unfair to the 
workere and their employers. 

Senator Schweiker. It is a little like the argument of how do you 
get a traffic light on a corner? Unfortunately, for our society, as I 
see it. you don't get the traffic light at the corner until you have four 
accidents that get written up and sensationalized in the paper. 

After a few people get hurt and get killed then you get a traffic light 
at the comer. 

Isn't that the process that is at work here and isn't that a self- 
correcting process that is needed in our society to upgrade ourselves. 

]\Ir. "Wedgworth. With all due respect. Senator, the analogy is over- 
simplification of a very complex problem. The analogy of a traffic light 
of a problem, one being there and not being there, is not symbolic at 
all of the conditions that are taking place and the progress. There are 
manv caution lights, if you want to make the analogy, or other stop- 
lights, comparing your analogy, that are there now. 

I think it is an oversimplification. To take what little dignity a per- 
soTi has away by categorizing him as a bum, which was done in the film 
"Migrant.'- 1 don't think is good. 

Senator Moxdale. "Will you yield there ? 

Mr. "Wedgworth. Yes. 

Senator Moxdale. "Wasn't this a young child who said of himself 
that he felt he was a bum ? 

■^Ir. "Wedoworth. That is true. 

Senator Moxdale. Xov.-. what kind of system produces that kind 
of tragedy ? That is what we are asking today. That was not editorial- 
izing. That was a child whose life had been ruined. And I would like 
to see some expression of concern out of you. These people are being 
mangled and destroyed and we hear nothing from you. 



5935 

Mr. Wedgworth. Senator, you have not heard my remarks. I am 

concerned, but to take the very poor and say that is typical of all 

miirrant children is just not fair! I think we could find, probably within 

a few blocks of where we are sitting here, a child that would say the 

I same thing. 

i Senator Moxdale. Yes. sir. 

I Mr. Wedgworth. But that may not be typical of all the children in 
I the District. This is only the point. If I have not convinced you of our 
I sincerity and concern over this problem then I have failed. I have tried 
'■' to make it abundantly clear that we stand ready. 

It is quite interesting, Senator, that when committees and film com- 
panies come to Florida they get around them the people or in^'ite peo- 
' pie who want to present the bad. 

Senator ^^Ioxdale. Right. How do you explain the Coca-Cola Co., 
I which discovered that its own conditions were deplorable ? Are they 
I outsiders who don't know anything ? 

Mr. "Wedgworth. I did not say that at all, but I was saying in re- 
spect to the filming of migrants. 

Senator Moxdale. "Wliat about Coca-Cola ? Don't they understand 
it either? 

Mr. "Wedgworth. I have no argument with Coca-Cola. I concur with 
many of their remarks. I feel that the growere that I represent are also 
:oncemed. But to put the burden of a problem which is not totally 
agriculture's problem solely on agriculture's shoulders by innuendos 
is unfair. 

We are concerned, and I have thrown out to this committee several 
times that we are willing to work in any wav to alleviate the conditions 
which have been shown as the woret in Florida and also to help in 
upgrading. 

Senator Moxdale. T^t me ask you this. "Would you support legisla- 
tion to extend unemployment insurance to farmworkers? 

^Ir. Wedgworth. Would I support legislation ? I would have to look 
at that legislation before I could give you an answer. 

Senator Moxdale. Would you support the right of farmworkers to 
1 organize and bargain collectively ? 

Mr. Wedgworth. Senator, you know I testified in front of this com- 
mittee some time ago in respect to that same question and I think my 
Wews are well on record with the committee, but if I could make an 
analogy, since analogies have come forward, you know, some of the 
papers that have been presented by the national network have been 
on Appalachia. It seems to me that in Appalachia the coal miners 
have had an opportunity to organize for many years but that has not 
cured the problems. 

I concur in the president of Coca-Cola's testimony in that the mere 
legislation setting up a mechanism for organization of agricultural 
workers will not in itself correct the problems that we are discussing 
today. 

Senator Moxdalf^ Can you think of any Federal legislation that 
you think is needed in any area? 

Mr. Wedgworth. I would like to stress this question of housing. I 
think some legislation is needed to make housing more available to 
migrants in encouraging homeownership. I think homeownership is 
more important than mass public housing. 



5936 

Senator Mondale. Senator Saxbe. 

Senator Saxbe. Do you think your industry is capable of giving 
regular well paying employment to these people? 

Mr. Wedgworth. There has been quite a change in the industry in 
Florida, a lot of phasing out of commodities which call for short time 
seasonal harvest with high labor demand. The strawberry industry 
almost has gone out. Tomatoes have experienced very great difficulties 
with importations from Mexico. 

In my own farm operations I phased out all vegetable operations 
with the exception of celeiy because of the short labor demands. We 
are going to commodities that have harvesting requirements, for in- 
stance, up to 35 weeks and more. Then we are finding ways through 
mechanization of reducing those employees so that we are able to keep 
those employees the year around, or at least longer periods of employ- 
ment to do away with the needs for short-term employment. 

Senator Saxbe. I understand that in regard to that type of employ- 
ment you are phasing out, but still you have the sorghum and the 
flowers which you know are pretty substantial in your area. 

Is there any way that a labor supply can be provided without victim- 
izing the worker ? Nothing is going to solve this worker's problem and 
his family's problem except regular, well paid employment, is there? 

Mr. Wedgworth. I tMnk it is going to take more than regular well 
paid employment. 

Senator Saxbe. Is there anything going to solve this man's problem 
and his family's problem but regular well paid employment ? 

Mr. Wedgworth. T think that will contribute to the solution. How- 
ever, that in itself is not the solution. 

Senator Saxbe, How can you raise his standards and give him the 
things that he has to have to support a family without regular well 
paying employment ? 

Mr. Wedgworth. In respect to the migrant situation there are mi- 
grants who have earnings which are respectable, imder even the Fed- 
eral guidelines. Where the problem is, is in the motivation of some 
migrants as has already been put before this committee. 

I think there is the work opportunity in agriculture now for those 
who are properly motivated. I think one of the big problems is to find 
some time, either through education, or through some social work in 
respect to bringing the dignity of these people, not all of them, some 
of them, to the point where they will seek year-round employment. 

Year-round employment is offered in my county in the construction 
trades and many other trades. "Wliat we need is motivation so that if 
they don't want to work in agriculture full time they have an oppor- 
tunity to move to other parts of employment. I think this is more than 
money. 

Senator Saxbe. No further questions. 

Senator Mondale. Thank you for your testimony. We will print 
your entire statement in the record at this point, as well as certain of 
the exhibits. Because of their length, and the color photographs, some 
of the exhibits will be retained in the subcommittee files, as pr'inting 
will be impossible, T do note, however, that you do have a rather 
detailed index of the exhibits, and certainly we will print that. 
(The information referred to follows :) 



5937 



STATEMENT 



BY 



GEORGE H. WEDGWORTH 



BEFORE 



THE SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE 



OF 



THE COMMITTEE ON LABOR AND PUBLIC WELFARE 



UNITED STATES SENATE 



FRIDAY, JULY 2 4, 1970 



WASHINGTON, D. C. 



5938 



My name is George H. Wedgworth, a grower from Belle Glade, 
Florida. At present, I am President and Director of the Sugar Cane Growers 
Cooperative of Florida, Secretary and General Manager of Wedgworth Farms, 
Inc. , and Past President and Member of the Executive Committee of the 
Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association and Chairman of its Labor Committee. 

I appreciate the invitation to appear before you and welcome the 
opportunity to enter into the record my concern over the many charges made 
against the agricultural industry in Florida by various individuals, both 
before this Subcommittee and in other media. 

Before proceeding further, please let me make it perfectly clear 
that I recognize the need for continued improvement of working and living 
conditions of migrant agricultural labor. Toward this end, I join you in 
attempting to find a solution to the migrant problem that will, at the same 
time, allow Florida agricultural producers to continue in business. 

The need for solutions to the migrant problem has been recognized 
by interested individuals in Florida long before television became involved 
through the "Harvest of Shame. " On October 14, 1955, The Governor of 
Florida created by Executive Order a Florida Citizens' Advisory Committee 
on Migrant Labor. The official report of this Committee, published in 
April of 1957, includes recommendations in the areas of migrant housing, 
labor supply and recruitment, transportation, welfare and children's 
problems, migrant education, and migrant health and sanitation. 

The need for Federal aid in certain int-C.^state problems concerning 
migrants that could not be properly classified as the responsibilities of a 



5939 



single state was also recognized. The Advisory Committee included Florida 
leaders from a'l areas concerned with migrant workers. 

There has been extensive progress made towards the betterment of 
working and living conditions of migrant workers in Florida through the years. 
I deplore the fact that these improvements have not been recognized by 
recent publicity, particularly the NBC White Paper -- Migrant -- in spite 
of the fact that NBC News was provided by the Florida Fruit & Vegetable 
Association on May 27, 1970, with extensive documentation, showing 
the effort directed towards Florida migrants. 

This was followed up on July 10 by Florida Fruit & Vegetable Asso- 
ciation's furnishing pictorial documentation to Mr. Chet Huntley of 
NBC News. Copies of both the extensive documentation sent to Mr. 
Huntley on May 27 and the pictorial documentation sent on July 10 are 
submitted for the record of this Senate Subcommittee. 

The documentation, because of the short length of time available 
for its preparation, does not cover all the effort directed towards migrants 
in Florida. 

The documentation (D-l of Submittal) reveals that in the area of 
migrant housing the Farmers Home Administration submitted information 
showing there has been $14,220,655 utilized in Florida in the last six 
years for 1 ,970 families of migratory and/or seasonal agricultural workers. 

This does not include loans by Farmers Home Administration to 
individual farm labor families, such as self-help housing projects in 
Collier, Lee and Hendry Counties. 



5940 



There are various Public Housing Authority Camps in Florida. 
You will note in D-2 of Submittal that the four major housing authorities 
which have been in existence in Flor-ida since the early 1940's have expended 
well over $18,000,000 in the last few years in the construction of over 
1,600 new replacement units of housing with an approximate capacity of 
10,000 workers. 

In addition, under Submittal J-4, it is shown that approval has 
been granted for a $15,000,000 Farm T.abor Housing Project in the Fort 
Myers area of Lee County. The first stage, consisting of 350 homes, Is 
now well under construction and expected to be completely finished by 
the end of this year. Eventually, there will be 1 ,250 units of public housing 
within this Farm Labor complex. 

Submittal D-3 indicates the activities of the Federal Housing 
Authority and the United Stot(>s ()(>partii\enl of ilnuslnq and Urban Develop- 
ment with regard to public liciusliiq unit:: conr-tmctod or under construction 
in Florida which aro dosiqned for l(.u'-iin;onie individuals, uicluding 
agricultural workort;, olther through r<Mit subuldy nr throuah low-Interest 
loans. 

Yon will nolo from l]\i:: r<M'"i'l Ihdt most of the $,'0!^ 000 , 000 
expoiuind by IIIM) .uuj I'HA in lh.> i^rour.nn-; lor low-iiu-oiiu- housing in Florida 
has been oxpend'>H In tiio l,r:l tliroi' vo.irs. 

(JrowTs ,ind uiricnlMit.il omploycrs in Florida have also spent 
ronsidnrnblf sninr. o| Ih^lr imMicy low.nd >iuru-nlluia 1 lab(M; hcMislnu, as 



5941 



evidenced in some of the pictorial documentation also submitted for your 
information and record. 

This by no means covers all the improvements in housing directed 
to aid low-income individuals, including agricultural workers in Florida. 

In the area of labor supply and recruitment, the Florida Fruit & 
Vegetable Association, other Florida agricultural associations and 
individual growers have historically worked closely with the Farm Labor 
Department of the Florida Industrial Commission and other appropriate 
departments of the United States Department of Labor in insuring that 
domestic workers are advised of available job openings and conditions 
of employment in Florida and in coordinating the movement of workers 
so they do not arrive at their destination without job opportunities. 

Conditions of employment in Florida agriculture have improved 
over the years. Documentation of mechanical aids and equipment which 
help improve agricultural employment conditions are too numerous to 
mention. 

Section E of the Submittal indicates other statutory improvements 
in wages and working conditions. Included is information which reveals 
that agricultural workers are now covered by the provisions of the Fair 
Labor Standards Act (Wage & Hour Law) , the Federal and State provisions 
of Child Labor Regulations, and increased benefits accruable under the 
Social Security Act. 

Florida's agricultural employers also provide vastly improved 
transportation facilities for their workers. It has been estimated that 



5942 



nearly a million dollars is now being expended each year on transportation 
facilities for agricultural workers. Cooperating "Criteria" Employers offer 
a Work Contract to many domestic workers recruited through the facilities 
of the Farm Labor Services of the Florida Industrial Commission, now 
called the Farm Labor Department of the Division of Labor and Employment 
Opportunities of the Florida Department of Commerce. 

Under Section F of the Submittal, Florida's stringent regulations 
are listed with regard to use of pesticides. Additionally, activities in 
the areas of job safety are indicated, together with an estimate of the 
voluntary compliance under Florida Workmen's Compensation Laws by 
many agricultural employers in Florida. 

In the area of Health, Welfare and Children's Problems, we 
respectfully refer you to Section B of the Submittal, wherein the Florida 
Migrant Health Project, funded primarily through the Federal Government, 
is expending about a million dollars per year in the Florida Migrant Health 
Project. 

Additionally, under Section G, the extent of distribution of 
food under the Commodity Distribution Program indicates that food valued 
at $16,231,000 was distributed during the fiscal year ending June 30, 
1969, to needy individuals, including migrants. 

Additionally, over $12,000,000 in food was distributed through 
the school lunch program. The food stamp program is also used in 
several counties in Florida. 



5943 



In the matter of migrant education, Section C relates to the 
expenditure of over $7^ million in the Florida Migratory Child Compensa- 
tory Program in 1969. Additionally, over $700,000 was used in the 
Florida State Adult Migrant and Seasonal Farm Workers' Educational 
Program in 1969. 

In the area of sanitation, Florida has had a stringent Sanitary 
Code since the late 1940's, It was one of the first states in the Nation 
to adopt and enforce such a code. However, many times enforcement is 
possible only to the extent that other housing is available for the 
evicted tenants. 

This is by no means a complete listing of all the activities 
directed toward migrants and I do apologize to any other interested groups 
who have been inadvertently omitted from inclusion in this report. 

In any discussion of the Florida migrant problem, recognition 
must be given to the many dedicated individuals who have directed their 
efforts towards its solution. Although the total solution has not yet been 
attained it is not because of the lack of effort on their part. 

This testimony, however, should not be interpreted as indicating 
that all that could be done or should be done has been done. On the 
contrary, there is much to be done. 

I do not condone poor housing, poor working conditions, and stand 
ready to join with any individuals or groups who are genuinely interested 
in helping to find a solution to such problems. 



5944 



I sincerely feel that housing, as depicted in the recent NBC tele- 
vision showing, "MIGRANT -- an NBC White Paper," is not typical of 
the housing provided by most agricultural employers in Florida, The majority 
of time spent on housing in the NBC film was spent on housing owned by 
private individuals and not by agricultural employers. United States Bureau 
of the Census figures for 19 65 reveal that when migratory farm workers are 
at their home base, only 14 percent live on farm locations. Additionally, 
about 50 percent of migrant workers own or are buying their houses or other 
living quarters at their home base, 

I feel that the extremely adverse publicity recently released 
primarily by the NBC film which insinuates that all migrant conditions in 
Florida are as typified in the film will actually stymie progress toward a ■ 
solution of the migrant worker problem and will be detrimental to the 
worker himself. 

For one thing, it will tend to alienate those individuals and 
groups who have, in fact, done much to improve the migrant conditions 
in Florida. In my estimation, it has also hurt in the continued efforts that 
have been made by various groups in attempting to assimilate the migrant 
into the communities rather than to separate him from the communities. 
It is polarizing the migrant situation and can only hurt the effort being 
made to assimilate the migrant into the community. Recent publicity is 
downgrading all migrants in the eyes of the general public and in the 
eyes of those migrants who have pride in what they are doing and who look 
upon themselves as performing a necessary function in our society, which, 
in fact, they do. 



5945 



The lack of acknowledgment of the many and varied activities 
directed toward Florida migrants and the inaccurdCies and bias shown in 
the NBC White Paper -- Migrant -- are a particular disappointment to me 
and to the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Associatjor . 

I feel that NBC News -- in spite of the tdct that Mr. Huntley 
had our documentation as early as May 11 -- produced a biased and 
unfair Television Special that only depicted the worst conditions sur- 
rounding some low-income individuals in Florida and that the film did 
much to downgrade the Florida migrant, Florida Agriculture and the 
State of Florida itself. In addition, NBC did not present any concrete 
suggestions for solutions to the migrant problem. Could this be because 
they were primarily interested in creating sensationalism — not in 
finding solutions to the problem? 

I feel that there was much "sneaky journdlism" involved in 
the film which took the exceptional circumstance or incident -- many 
times out of context -- and implied that Florida was "ram.pant with 
conditions bordering on slavery and racism" and that no one in Florida 
was making any constructive effort to help the migrant. These accusa- 
tions and innuendoes are just not so. 

The film implied that all farm workers who pick crops are 
migrants -- which is untrue. Florida's agricultural work force includes 
many year-round residents of the State who work in agriculture, both 
on a full-time and on a part-time basis. According to the United States 
Department of Agriculture, the maximum total hired farm labor force in 



36-513 O - 71 - pt. 8C - 8 



5946 



Florida Agriculture in 19 68 was 103,000, of which 35,000 to 40,000 are 
year-round hir«d workers. Of the balance, eve- half are seasonal 
workers who reside in Florida on a year-round basis and are not looking 
for year-round employment, 

Mr. Huntley stated that there were 200,000 migrant men, 
women and children in Florida, Figures compiled by this Senate Subcom- 
mittee on Migratory Labor — and as reflected in the 1968 Annual Report of 
this Subcommittee — show 7 6,024 migrant workers and their nonworking 
dependents who travel with them. 

Information received since the preparation of this statement reveals 
that the U, S. Department of Agriculture figures agree that the $891 average 
wage earned by migrants from farm worlc in the United States is true but is 
only a partial truth and used alone is misleading. Wiat Mr, Kuntley failed 
to reveal in his narration is that the average migrant also earned $8^+1 in 
non-farm wages, or a total of $1,732. There is an additional figure which 
Mr, Huntley also failed to reveal. In the average migrant, family there 
are 2.85 wage earners, so the average family wage would approximate $^,422 - 
farm and non-farm - in I969. This average is, of course, for United States 
migrants not just those based in Florida. In Florida migrants have a longer 
work season than the average for the United States. Thus, Florida migrant 
wages should exceed the United States average. 



5947 



Mr. Huntley stated, "... the migrants don't have the rights 
guaranteed the rest of us ..." This implies that rights guaranteed the 
rest of us include Unemployment Insurance, Workmen's Compensation, 
age requirements in Child Labor Laws, and others. The rights that were 
stated in the film are not rights that all the people in the United States 
have today. The fact that a person is a migrant is not the determining 
factor as to whether he is entitled to these rights or not. The deter- 
mining factor is whether the particular job that he is working in is 
covered under Federal or State Laws and Regulations. It is the type of 
work that a migrant elects to follow that determines whether he is 
covered or not. There are areas of employment outside of agriculture 
that are not covered by Unemployment Insurance or by the Fair Labor 
Standards Act or by Workmen's Compensation, or by other Federal or 
State Laws. 



5948 



I feel that the NBC White Paper should have noted that many- 
Florida employers voluntarily elect to cover their workers under some 
State Laws. For instance, workers in the citrus processing industry 
of Florida, including migrants who elect to work in this particular seg- 
ment of the industry, are covered under the State Unemployment Compensa- 
tion Laws by the companies involved. 

It should also have been noted that, although agricultural workers 
are not specifically included under the Workmen's Compensation Laws of 
the State of Florida, a substantial portion -- estimated to be well over 
70 percent of all agricultural workers in Florida — are voluntarily covered 
by employers under Florida's Workmen's Compensation Law, 

Under our State Workmen's Compensation Law, it is estimated 
that the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, who are Self-Insurors , 
alone cover between 20,000 and 30,000 domestic agricultural workers 
in the State of Florida at the request of cooperating members of the 
Association. This number is increasing each year and Florida Fruit & 
Vegetable Association is only one of several companies in this field, 

Mr, Huntley made the statement that Florida's migrants 
". , , are not protected by age requirements in Child Labor Laws. " This 
statement is completely untrue. 

You will note from Submittal E-8 that when school is in session 
minors under age 16 may not be employed in agriculture in Florida during 
school hours. All children in Florida, including migrants, are not only 
covered by our State Child Labor Law but also by the Child Labor provisions 



5949 



of the Fair Labor Standards Act. These laws are enforced on both the 
Federal and State levels. 

Additionally, there are restrictions on the use of children below 
age 16 in hazardous occupations under both Federal and State Laws. 
Penalties are imposed under both the State and the Federal Laws for the 
use of child labor illegally. 

Mr, Huntley stated, "while others' annual wages have gone 
up his (the migrant's) have stayed the same," compared to ten years 
ago. A statement such as this made by a national commentator without 
insuring that his information is a true picture of actual conditions is 
unbelievable. 

United States Department of Agriculture figures reveal that 
the average hourly wage rate paid to hired workers in Florida has 
increased 62.8 percent since 19 61. Florida Department of Commerce 
figures reveal that prevailing piece work rates for the major agri- 
cultural crops in Florida have increased over 100 percent since 1960. 
If the annual wage of migrant workers has not increased it is not 
because of the unavailability of work or that there has been no 
increase ineither the hourly or the piece rate paid workers in Florida 
agriculture. 

Mr. Huntley continues in his narration by stating "for they 
(the migrants) are paid not by the hour but by the piece. They are 
paid for what they pick but not for the time it takes them to pick it. " 
This is another completely untrue statement. 



5950 



Payment by the piece does not obviate the employer's obligation 
to pay the minimum wage as stipulated under the Fair Labor Standards 
Act. A worker who is in a field or grove for eight hours and who is 
working under a piece rate of pay is paid by the piece rate or the 
statutory hourly rate, whichever is the higher. A quick check by NBC News 
with any office of the Wage & Hour Division of the United States Department 
of Labor could have confirmed this fact. 

Mr. Huntley quotes the United States Department of Labor as 
estimating that if wages paid farm workers were doubled and all the 
increase passed on to the American housewife, she would pay just one 
or two more pennies for her produce. I am requesting the U.S. Department 
of Labor to verify their statistics in this respect as it relates to Florida 
Agriculture. At any rate, I would disagree with this conclusion. Because 
of the high percentage of fruits and vegetables grown for the fresh market 
in Florida, the percentage of total production costs attributable to labor 
costs is inordinately high compared to other areas of the country. 

In the filmed interview with Mr. Vann, Director of the Pahokee 
Housing Authority, Mr. Vann made the statement that the housing program 
is not geared to the needs of migrants. Mr. Vann has subsequently 
stated that the definition of a migrant as used in the commentary and his 
definition of a migrant are not the same. 

He has stated that most of the occupants of the Pahokee Housing 
Authority are former migrants. Most of them continue to work in jobs 



5951 



connected with agriculture. With the loose interpretation of a migrant used 
by Mr, Huntley and as evidenced by his figure of 200,000 in the State of 
Florida, the Housing Authorities are geared towards the type of individual 
to whom Mr. Huntley refers, many of whom are no longer migrants. 

The statement is made in the film that 80 percent of migrant 
children never enter a high school classroom. Here, again, we feel that 
this is an untrue statement. It implies that 80 percent of the children 
included in the 200,000 so-called migrants in Florida do not go to high 
school. Bureau of Census figures for 1965 reveal that 50 percent of 
migratory workers attended at least some high school and 20 percent 
finished high school — still not a good record but a far cry from the 
statement made in the film. 

Mr. Huntley quoted the United States Senate Subcommittee on 
Migratory Labor's estimate that 800,000 children under age 16 work as 
hired farm hands across the Nation . We do not dispute this figure. 

However, Mr. Huntley failed to point out that most of these 
children work in agriculture on a part-time basis for additional income 
primarily in northern states during the summer, when no school is in 
session. In Florida, we also use children during hours when school 
is not in session, many of whom work in agriculture for additional 
earnings and not because it is needed for the bare sustenance of their 
families. With the increasing difficulties that school-age children 
are experiencing in locating part-time jobs, particularly during the summer 
period, it would be unfortunate for this Subcommittee to consider an age 



5952 



restriction for use of children outside of school hours in agriculture. 

Dr. Donald Stone, Director of the Collier County Migrant Educa- 
tion Program, stated that "the family, for example, when it works in the 
field is paid daily for what it does — not at the end of the week. " And 
he goes on to indicate that this has an influence on the child growing up 
with the idea that if he does something right he must be rewarded instantly. 
I agree with the latter part of Dr. Stone's statement. However, I would 
like to point out that the majority of farm workers in Florida are not paid 
on a daily basis. They are paid on a weekly basis, most of them by check 
with the proper deductions taken out for Social Security. All agricultural 
workers -- including migrants -- are covered by Social Security. 

As I have stated previously, we do not condone poor housing and 
we are not here to attempt to justify any poor housing that may be found 
in Florida. However, except for one sequence of film, we do not recall 
that the NBC White Paper — Migrant -- showed any housing actually owned 
and operated by agricultural producers in Florida. The housing shown was 
that of Public Housing Authorities or private owners who have no direct 
connection with agriculture. 

Agriculture, therefore, except in the Public Housing Authorities, 
where agricultural leaders in various counties have been very active, would 
have little influence in helping correct poor housing situations where 
workers live in housing of their own choosing. United States Bureau of 
Census figures reveal that only 14 percent of migrants live in on-farm 
housing. Many of the growers who do provide on-farm accommodations in 
Florida provide free housing for their agricultural workers. 



5953 



Florida's agricultural employers and the relevant agencies of 
government in Florida have done much — particularly in the last ten years 
towards the betterment of living and working conditions for Florida's 
agricultural workers, including migrants. 

I realize that in spite of the fact that a solution to the problem 
is being diligently sought, no lasting solution has yet been found. Any 
solution that does not consider both sides of the problem cannot be a last- 
ing one. 

Florida growers — particularly those who are heavily inclined 
towards producing for the fresh fruit and vegetable market — have been 
obtaining increased competition in marketing their product, from low- 
wage countries, particularly Mexico. Agricultural producers are greatly 
handicapped by this competition. Their abilities to pay increased costs 
of production — including labor — are being greatly impaired. This 
has been a long-standing and continuing concern of the Florida Fruit & 
Vegetable Association and its growers. This last season has been a 
particularly disastrous year to our vegetable growers, particularly our 
tomato growers. 

As recently as May 22, Mr. Joffre C. David, Secretary- 
Treasurer of the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, presented testi- 
mony to the House Committee on Ways and Means, regarding the problem 
of unlimited importation of fresh fruits and vegetables from foreign 
countries, particularly Mexico, in direct competition with Florida growers. 



5954 



The film depicted corporate farming and "bigness" as contributing 
to the problem of the migrant. Others who have testified before this 
Subcommittee have attacked corporate farming. These are unfounded 
attacks. 

I manage a corporate farm, which is made up of my mother and 
her three children. 

A. Duda and Sons, Inc. , is also a family corporate farm. It was 
a gross injustice to Andy Duda, Jr. to have been filmed and quoted out of 
context and represented to the viewing audience in a most unfair manner 
by Mr. Huntley. 

Those of us who personally know the history of Andrew Duda, 
Sr. , who brought his three sons from Czechoslovakia to work in the 
factories in Ohio as poor immigrants, deplore this injustice. 

The Duda's saved their money to come to Florida to farm, only 
to go broke, whereupon they returned to the North and worked as hired 
agricultural workers themselves before returning to Florida the second 
time to farm. 

From this meager beginning, they have built one of the most 
respected organizations in the Nation by always maintaining Christian 
and humanitarian principles in the conduct of their business. They are 
a fine example of how corporate farming , with efficient production 
practices, can provide benefits to both their employees and the 
consumer. 



5955 



The question arises as to why does one attack or accuse 
"bigness" or corporate farming or attempt to discredit agriculture? 

What are the attackers' motives? 

Would it not be more productive to work with agriculture for 
the realization of solutions to the migrant problem rather than to attack 
the bigness of producers? — Producers who now supply the consumer 
their food requirement for only 16^ percent of their disposable income 
compared to Communistic countries like Russia, where consumers spend 
over 50 percent of their disposable incomes for food. 

I again express my appreciation for your invitation to appear 
before this Senate Subcommittee and volunteer my help in finding a 
solution to the migrant problem that would allow the agricultural 
producers of Florida to pay increased wages and benefits to its workers 
and continue to stay in business. 



Respectfully submitted, 
George H. Wedgworth 



Dated July 24, 1970 



5956 

Index of Attachments With Comments 
a. general 

A-1-3 Recent Newspaper Clippings concerning NBC Telecast. 
A^ Copy of Letter of February 14, 1961, from The Honorable Spessard L. 
Holland, United States Senate, to the Chairman, Migrant Committee of Belle 
Glade Chamber of Commerce, Belle Glade, Florida, with attached copy of excerpt 
from the Congressional Record of February 6, 1961. 
A-5 "Migrants" — Comments and Figures : 

A-5-a Comments on "Migrant Workers in Florida". 

A-5-b 1968 Report, U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Migratory Labor, page 
70. 

A-5-C 1969 Report, U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Migratory Labor, page 
117. 

A-5-d FARM LABOR, March 1969, page 7. 

B. HEA.LTH 

Florida Migrant Health Project — Sixth Annual Progress Report 1968-69 (Most 
recent known yearly funding : $996,404). 

Comments : You will note a copy of the Florida State Housing Code included 
in the Health Project Report. Florida has had a State Housing Code since the 
late 1940's. It was one of the first States in the United States to have one. It 
continues to be the only State in the Southeastern States with an effective Housing 
Code. Florida has also been the originator of many of the health and education 
projects that other states are using for their migratory workers. 

C. EDUCATION 

C-1 The Florida Directory of Programs and Services Benefitting Migratory 
Farm Children, October 1967 (Now in the process of being updated) . 

Comments : There are many more agencies now concerned with migratory chil- 
dren than in 1967. 

C-2 Annual Evaluation Report of Florida Migratory Child Compensatory Pro- 
gram, Fiscal Year 1968. 

C-3 Evaluation Report of the Florida Migratory Child Compensatary Pro- 
gram 1969 (Most recent known yearly funding for Florida Migratory Child Com- 
pensatory Program : $7,277,880 plus $500,000 OEO funding). 

C-4 New Areas of Activity not covered in the 1969 Evaluation Report of the 
Migratory Child Compensatory Program, which involves : 

C^4-a Early Childhood Educational Experiences for Migrant Children, 
Ages 3-6 Years. 

C-4-b Pre-Kindergarten, Home and Family Life Program. 
C-5 Adult Migrant Education : 

C-5-a Copy of Letter of May 25, 1970 from State Department of Educa- 
tion, Adult Migrant Project Coordinator, to FFVA Labor Division Manager. 
C-5-b Overview of the Florida State Adult Migrant and Seasonal Farm 
Workers' Educational Program 1967-1970. 

(Most recent known yearly funding : $742,000) . 

D. HOUSING 

D-1 Letter from Farmers Home Administration, regarding Aotiv'tie« in 
Florida by that Agency as they relate particularly to all types of agricultural 
workers, including migratory and/or seasonal, since 1963. ($14,220.6.55 for 1,970 
families in last six years with most activity in last three years) This does not 
include loans to individual farm labor families, such as the Self-Help Housing 
Projects in Collier, Leo and Hendry Counties, which are discussed elsewhere. 

D-2 Brief Recap of some of the Public Housing Authority Camps in Southern 
Florida. This also includes a statement on Self-Help Housing in Collier, Lee 
and Hendry Counties. (Funded by OEO in most recent year for $243,255 in 
administrative costs plus Farmers Home Administration funding of actual loans 
to individuals). 

D-3 Activities of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in Florida as they 
relate particularly to all types of agricultural workers, including migratory 
and/or seasonal. (Includes activities of Federal Housing Authority). The Atlanta 



5957 

Regional Ofl3ce of HUD advises that through January 1, 1970, there have been 
30,537 public housing units completed or under construction in Florida. As of that 
same date, there are reservations for an additional 6,842 units, contingent upon 
adequate funding. 

D-3-a List of Selected Programs of HUD that are available to qualifying 
migrant and/or seasonal agricultural workers. 

D-3-b Recapitu'atinn of ninnies exriended and number of hou<5inc units 
constructed under HUD for period through September 1969 and for the period 
after October 1, 1969. (Attached figures do not include rentals or other hous- 
ing under programs for people 65 years of age and older.) 
Comments: HUD officials have inUicated that there is a tremendous increase 
in applications for construction of low-rental units and low-interest housing 
loans within the last year. The attached figures reflect this increase. For instance, 
in the period from the inception of the programs in the late 1930's through 
September 30, 1969, there were a total of 23,436 units constructed. Since Octo- 
ber 1. 1960, there have been application.s made for a most 50 percen'^ of thi.s num- 
ber (11,269) — a period of only seven months. We are advised that approval will 
be conditioned primarily by the availability of Federal funds for this low-rent 
and low-interest housing. (Total monies expended: $308,083,000, most of which 
has been in the last three years). 

D— 4 Partial listing of grower-financed labor camps constructed within the last 
ten years. There would be no way to estimate monies expended. 

D-5 Information submitted directly to Mr. Huntley by Mr. James W. Vann, 
Executive Director, Pahokee Housing Authority, in May 1970, including the 
following : 

D-5-a Copy of Editorial of Everglades Observer, May 7, 1970. 
D-5-b Copy of Letter to Mr. Gregory Favre of May 4, 1970. 
D-5-c Copy of Letter to Mr. Chet Huntley of May 5, 1970. 
D-5-d Copy of Letter to Mr. Chet Huntley of May 15, 1970. 
D-5-e Copy of another Letter to Mr. Chet Huntley of May 15, 1970. 

E. LABOR EMPLOYMENT, PLACEMENT, AND OTHER RELATED ACTIVITIES 

E-1 Listing of U.S. Department of Laior Programs Available to qualifying 
individuals in Florida, including migratory and/or seasonal workers. (Current 
funding for most recent year available is $10,581,000. ) 

E-2 Florida Farm Labor Department Annual Reports 1968 and 1969 : 
E-2-a 1968 Florida Annual Farm Labor Report. 

E-2-b Preliminary 1969 Report of Florida Farm Labor Department, Bu- 
reau of Employment Services, Division of Labor and Employment Op- 
portunities, Department of Commerce, Tallahassee, Florida. 

Comments : The Florida Farm Labor Department was funded by the Federal 
Government for the most recent fiscal year in excess of $350,000 towards the 
activities included in the report. The services of the Farm Labor Department 
have been available to agricultural workers, including migratory and/or sea- 
sonal agriculutral workers, since the mid-1930's. 

E-3 Copy of the Florida Department of Commerce Farm Labor Department 
Pl<in of Service for Fiscal 1971, indicating the various areas of activity relating 
to farm labor. 

E-4 Wage and Employment Surveys : 

E-4-a Copy of Citrus Harvesting Survey for 1966-67. 
E-4-b Copy of Citrus Harvesting Survey for 1967-68. 

Comments : Another survey was taken in 1968-69, but has not yet been printed. 
In 1968-69, wage figures indicate an average per-hour earnings of citrus pickers 
in excess of $2.50 per hour. 

A similar wage sur\-ey covering com harvesting is now in process and it is 
anticipated that more surveys will be conducted in other vegetable activities 
next season. These are submitted to show potential earning opportunities for 
workers. 

E3-5 Regulations complied with by volunteering Florida growers obtaining 
labor through the facilities of the Farm Labor Department of the Division of 
Labor and Employment Opportunities of the Department of Commerce, State of 
Florida. In seasonal 1969-70, approximately 6 to 8 thousand workers were 
brought in to Florida under these conditions. At least this number have been 
brought in each of the last five seasons. 



5958 

E-5-a "Criteria" Regulations of the U.S. Secretary of Labor. 
E-5-b The Housing Regulations of the U.S. Department of Labor. 
E-5-C Sample Citrus Domestic Worker Contract. 

E-6 Copy of FFVA Labor Bulletin No. 263 dated Sepetember 29, 1966, showing 
revisions in the Fair Labor Standards Act (wage and hour law). 

Comments : Agricultural workers, including migrants, were first covered under 
the Fair Labor Standards Act as of February 1, 1967 — another "meaningful 
change." You will note that the minimum as of February 1, 1969 is $1.30 per 
hour for agricultural workers, including migrants, and that, in most cases, 
packing house and canery workers, including migrant packing house and cannery 
workers, are paid at least $1.60 per hour under the Fair Labor Standards Act 
In some cases, packing house and cannery workers are also covered under the 
overtime provisions of this Act. 

E-7 Copy of FFVA Labor Bulletin No. 290, dated December 17, 1968, showing 
current coverage of migrant and agricultural workers under the Social Security 
Act. 

Comments : In 1960, the employee and employer contribution was 2.75% each 
toward Social Security. This has increased to where it is now 4.8% on the part 
of each party and will increase to 5.2%, if the law is not changed on January 1, 
1971, for each party. The benefits under the law have also increased for 
eligible individuals. 

E-8 Copy of FFVA Labor Bulletin No. 296, dated April 16, 1969, indicating 
responsibilities of agricultural employers under both State and Federal Child 
Labor Laws. 

Comments : These laws are being continually revised and becoming more re- 
strictive. You will note that except for a few special exemptions, all minors 
under age 16 may not be employed in agriculture during school hours. 

E-9 Copy of FFVA Labor Bulletin No. 253, dated January 11, 1966, indicat- 
ing employer responsibilties under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, with subsequent 
changes. 

Comments : There are other laws that relate to labor, such as the Labor Man- 
agement Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, with which agricultural employ- 
ers must comply, and which, in many cases, benefit agricultural workers, including 
migrants — Another indication of the "meaningful changes" that have taken place 
during the last decade in Florida agriculture. 

E-10 Transportation : 

E-lO-a Copy of newspaper clipping dated April 21, 1968, from the Lake- 
land Ledger, showing the general provisions of a Florida State Statute cover- 
ing the transportation of migrant workers within the State of Florida. 

Comments: During the last decade, there has been a tremendous effort by 
agricultural interests in upgrading transportation of agricultural workers in- 
cluding migrants, to the fields and groves and within the State of Florida. A 
decade or so ago, the use of fiat-bed trucks and truck-type equipment to haul 
labor was common throughout the State of Florida. Today, the use of this type 
of equipment has been reduced to the point where the great majority of workers 
transported to fields and groves are moved by the use of buses of all types. The 
financial outlay on the part of agricultural employers in purchasing both new and 
used buses during the last ten years is tremendous. Mr. Dan Zaffran, President 
of Superior Coach Company of Florida, located in Orlando, Florida, is the State 
Representative for Superior Coach Company in the sale of buses to interested 
individuals in Florida. He states that in addition to his company, there are five 
other bus companies selling new and used buses to agricultural employers in 
Florida. He states that, to his best knowledge, ten years ago there was an approx- 
imate expenditure of $200,000 per year by agricultural employers towards the 
purcha.se of new and used bus equipment for use with agricultural workers, in- 
cluding migrants. He also states that this has accelerated to where in the last 
calendar year, he would estimate that there has been approximately 350 new 
and used buses purchased by agricultural employers and that the approximate 
value would be in the neighborhood of $875,000 for the calendar year 1969. 

E-lO-b Copy of pamphlet put out by the Farm Labor Department of the 
U.S. Department of Labor, indicating the general regulations that must be 
followed by individuals who transport workers across state lines. 

Comments: Here again, there has been a tremendous increase in the use of 
buses compared to ten years ago. In both movements of agricultural labor, in- 
cluding migrants, interstate and intrastate, there have been "meaningful changes." 



5959 

F. SAFETY 

F-1 Pesticides: 

F-l-a Copy of Florida House Bill 409, which became law and took eflPect 
on January 1, 1970, indicating restrictions on pesticides. (This is the most 
recent specific bill on pesticides. The Florida Department of Agriculture 
has had rules and regulations on restrictions in the use of specific chemicals 
for .several decade-s.) 

F-l-b Copy of Letter from Florida Agricultural Research Institute dated 
December 19. 1969. which includes the rules and regulations promulgated by 
our Commissioner of Agriculture on the restrictions in the use of certain 
pesticides in the State of Florida. Also included are the regulations which 
relate to the transportation of such pesticides. 

Citrus Safety Manual — A copy of the most current Citrus Safety Manual 

formulated and adopted by the Florida Citrus Safety As.sociation, of which 

Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association is a member. 

Comments : FFVA is now in the process of publishing a similar manual for 

activities in vegetables. An FFVA Safety Film on Sugar Cane Harvesting has 

been used for about ten years. 

The insurance carriers of Workmen's Compensation coverage on agricultural 
workers in Florida have Safety Officers who circulate constantly among the par- 
ticipating employers. A substantial number of agricultural workers in Florida 
are voluntarily covered under Workmen's Compensation. Florida Fruit & Vege- 
table Association is a Self-Insuror on Workmen's Compensation for agricultural 
workers for its members and estimates that between 20 to 30 thousand agricul- 
tural workers are covered by our Self-Insurance program alone. 

G. WELFARE 

G-1 Directory of Services to Migrants d Agricultural Workers of State of 
Florida Department of Health & Rehabilitative Services. 

G-2 Thirty-Second Annual Report, State of Florida Department of Public 
Welfare, 1968-69. 

Comments : Since there are no longer any residency requirements, migrant 
workers and other agricultural workers are eligible for assistance under the 
Division of Family Services of the Florida State Department of Public Health 
& Rehabilitative Services. Of particular note is the surplus commodity distribu- 
tion indicated on pages 18, 19 and 20 of the Thirty-Second Annual Report of the 
State Department of Public Welfare. The chart on page 19 indicates that over 
125,000 persons in needy households were provided with food under the com- 
modity distribution program during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1969. This 
free food is valued at $16,231,608.76. In addition, children of migrant and other 
agricultural workers participate in the School Lunch Program. The value of the 
food provided through this program is $12,758,683.69. 

On page 20, you will note a map indicating the Counties that participate in the 
surplus commodity program. In addition, Orange and Collier Counties partici- 
pate in a food stamp program, which is available to migrant and agricultural 
workers. This program is new and is not indicated in the Annual Report. 

H. CEO INV0L\'EMENT 

H-1 An Action Plan for Migrant and Seasonal Farm Labor of Florida, dated 
March 19, 1969, indicating some of the OEO funds and activities available for 
migratory workers in Florida at that time. 

H-2 Listing of some of the OEO-funded Programs directed toward migrants 
now in existence in Florida. Indicated is the scope of individual projects and 
monies funded through OEO. (Total of most recent funded year is $2,991,566, 
not including programs listed elsewhere in attachments. ) 

I. INVOLVEMENT OF OTHER GROUPS 

I-l Statement concerning creation of Division of Migrant Labor within the 
Department of Community Affairs in the State of Florida. 

1-2 Listing of some of the Migrant Ministries active in Florida (No 
attachments) : 

Redlands Christian Migrant Ministry, operating in Dade County with the 
1969-70 funding of $11,861.38. 



5960 

Polk County Christian Migrant Ministry, operating in Polk County with 
a 1969 calendar funding of $22,587.09. 

Florida Christian Migrant Ministry, operating in various sections through- 
out the State with a funding for the year ending February 28, 1970 of 
$60,322.93 (The budget for the subsequent year is identical). 

J. CLIPPINGS PBIMAKILY SINCE AUGUST 1, 1969, SHOWING CONTINUATION OF MANY 
OF THE PROGRAMS CONCERNED WITH MIGRATORY AND/OR SEASONAL AGRICULTURAL 
WORKERS 

Comments : This, by no means, includes all of the clippings published in news- 
papers in Florida. 

It is presented to give an idea of the publicity surrounding the availability of 
help for migrant and/or seasonal workers throughout the State of Florida in 
all of the different areas of activity at different times of the year. 

J-1 General Clippings (in white). 

J-2 Health (in yellow). 

J-3 Education (in blue). 

J-^ Housing (in pink). 

J-5 OEO (mixed blue and pink). 

J-6 Day Care (in green). 

[Air mail — Registered (return receipt requested) ] 

Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, 

Orlando, Fla., May 21, 1970. 
Me. Chet Huntley, 
NBC Xetcs, 
New York City. 

Dear Mr. Huntley : Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association represents over 
4500 producers of vegetables, sugar cane, citrus and tropical fruits in virtually 
all the major agricultural producing areas in the State of Florida. This Associa- 
tion, and many of its members, are concerned over the activities of XBC Xews, 
as indicated in newspaper clippings shown in the attached, marked "A-1" and 
"A-2," and in reports received from various growers, indicating conversations 
and activities of cameramen and individuals purportedly in the employ of 
NBC Xews. 

You will note that in the March 31st newspaper item (Exhibit A-1) under 
a UPI dateline, it is indicated that XBC purposely plans a slanted "documentary" 
showing tiat conditions of migrant workers have remaine<l unchanged during 
the last ten years (since the CBS film on "Harvest of iShame" was televised) 
rather than an unbiased documentary based on actual facts surrounding the 
migrant workers. 

In the Atlanta Journal of April 25, Mr. Reuven Frank, President of NBC 
News, indicated that the proposed documentary will show ". . . in a one-hour 
television special that the plight of migrant workers remains virtually the 
same today." Mr. Frank goes on to state, "Although obvious remedies for im- 
proving living and working conditions and raising health standards were evi- 
dent a decade ago, few of these remedies have been carried out." 

iSubsequent NBC News fi'ming in Florida and reported conversations between 
various individuals in Florida and NBC News personnel have also indicated 
that the projwsed TV show will be a completely biased "documentary." Please 
refer to correspondence shown in "D-5" for indications of this. 

Again, in the Palm Beach Post of May 1, 1970 (A-3 attached), you are quoted 
as stating. "We all are. All levels of government are indifferent. Growers are 
indifferent, processors and consumers and organized labor are indifferent. . . ." 

You also are quoted as agreeing with the Film Director, Martin Carr, wherein 
he states he has not been able to see any ". . . meaningful change . . ." 

This Association vehemently maintains that there has been "meaningful 
change" with regard to all areas concerning migratory workers in Florida over 
the past several decades. For this purpose — and in the interest of informing you 
of the thought, energy, activity and financial means directed towards individuals 
who are considered to be migratory workers in Florida, the attached is presented 
for your consideration in the preparation and presentation of your "docu- 
mentary." "We hope you will seriously consider the factual information contained 
herein since you are quoted in the Palm Beach Post of May 1, 1970 as stating, "I 



5901 

would just love to get ahold of something demonstrating that real, meaningful 
changes are being made . . ." 

You will note that the attached information is not all one-sided. There are 
statements by the people most directly involved in bringing about meaningful 
changes, indicating both the accomplishments and the needs concerning individ- 
uals who are considered migrants. 

The attachments are for the most recent year available in the various areas 
of activity. Updated annual statements and reports are generally not available 
until six months to a year after the close of a season. Under Section "J. Clippings," 
we present more recent newspaper clippings indicating the continuation of many 
of the programs shown in the attachments. 

Information contained herein does not include the meaningful changes brought 
about by the extensive effort and monies expended by growers themselves through 
their own resources, not only in the areas of employment and of housing, but also 
in other areas which are of benefit to agricultural workers generally and specifi- 
cally to migratory and/or seasonal agricultural workers. 

The attached is by no means all of the activity concerning migratory workers. 
I am sure there are many organizations and groups who are inadvertently being 
left out because of lack of time necessary to obtain a more complete picture of 
activity surrounding migratory workers. 

You can only conclude from the material presented here that ". . . meaningful 
changes are being made" in relation to migratory workers in Florida. To con- 
clude otherwise would be to purpo.sely overlook all of the beneficial activity 
directed toward migrants by a great number of dedicated people in the State 
of Florida. 

We respectfully request that you take these meaningful changes into serious 
consideration when you are preparing your "documentary." We feel you and 
NBC News would be doing migratory workers, agricultural employers and the 
people of the State of Florida a complete injustice if you fail to take into con- 
sideration all of the activities surrounding migratory individuals. 

In 1961. the CB^S production, "Harvest of Shame," was severely criticized in 
the Senate of the United States. For your information we are attaching as 
Exhibit A-4 a letter dated February 14, 1961, together with a copy of the 
Congressional Record of February 6, 1961, regarding the so-oalled documentary, 
"Harvest of Shame." 

'We are including with this letter an index with comments regarding the 
attachments. 

We are now in the process of documenting by photographs "meaningful 
changes" that have taken place in Florida with regard to migrant and other 
agricultural workers. This documentation will also be submitted to you as soon 
as pos.sible for your consideration. 

This Association will be more than happy to take whatever time is necessary 
to arrange for you to observe and/or explore more fully any of the meaningful 
changes indicated in the attached. 
Sincerely yours, 

George F. iSorn, 
Manager, Labor Division. 

Mr. Reuven Frank, President, NBC News, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York 
City 10020. 

Mr. Martin Carr, Producer & Director, NBC News, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New 
York City 10020. 

The Honorable Spessard L. Holland, United States Senate, 420 Old Senate 
Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510. 

The Honorable Edward J. Gumey, United 'States Senate, Suite 133, Senate 
Office Building, Washington. D.C. 20510. 

The Honorable Paul G. Rogers, U.S. House of Representatives, 2417 Rayburn 
Building. Wa.shington, D.C. 20515. 

The Honorable Louis Frey, Jr., U.S. House of Representatives, 1315 Long- 
worth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515. 

The Honorable Claude R. Kirk, Jr., The Governor of the iState of Florida, The 
Capitol, Tallahas.see, Florida 32304. 

Mr. Cola B. Streetman, President, Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, 
Hogan & Sons Citrus Corporation, P.O. Box 880, Vero Beach, Fla. 32960. 

Mr. Joffre C. David, iSecretary-Treasurer and General Manager, Florida Fruit 
& Vegetable Association, Headquarters Office, P.O. Box 20155, Orlando, Florida 
32814. 

36-513 O — 71 — pt. 8c 9 



5962 

[From South Dade News-Leader, Homestead, Fla., Mar. 31, 1970] 

Television in Review — Migrants Will Be Featubed 

(By Rick Dubrow) 

Hollywood (UPI) — It is a curious period for network television documentaries 
which are being buffeted by diverse winds of change. 

Outwardly, it might seem rather safe to say that most of today's documen- 
taries are more in the nature of features — in short, on the safe side 
journalistically. 

There can be little doubt that there certainly has been no steady stream of 
truly hard-nosed documentaries in the tradition of Edward R. Murrow. 

In addition — and not always admirably — feature documentaries like the Na- 
tional Geographic specials keynote the entry of outside entertainment-minded 
documentary-makers in an even larger way than before. 

On the plus side, there nature documentaries have often been done. 

After all, we have had our supply of hard-nosed documentaries about abortion, 
and all those programs that worked most of the obvious hard-core subjects into 
the ground. 

However, one must also consider the changing times. Now that most of the 
obvious subjects are known to young persons, attitude becomes more important. 
Thus the new documentaries are more and more concerned with life-styles and 
film technique as impact, and this is a legitimate reflection of the period we 
live in. 

Ironically, the ecology movement is almost the perfect video subject in this 
period of change. It is a subject about which the networks can be positive about 
America and offend no one because everyone wants to improve the environment. 
Also, it concerns life-styles and is a matter for the passions of young and old. It 
is about nature, and one can be safely hard-nosed. 

Still, one yearns for a constant supply of tough documentaries. And it is re- 
freshing to learn that NBC TV plans to foUowup to Murrow's decade-old, classic 
video expose "Harvest of Shame," about the plight of migrant workers — and how 
their conditions are virtually unchanged. Chet Huntley will be the reporter, and 
Martin Carr, who guided the noteworthy 1968 documentary "Hunger in America," 
will be the producer and director. 

[From the Atlanta Journal. Apr. 25, 1970] 
NBC To Show Plight of Migrant Labor 

New York — Ten years ago CBS News presented "Harvest of Shame," an award- 
winning television special examining the conditions of poverty, disease and 
servitude under which migrant workers were forced to live in the United States. 

This program, reported by the late Edward R. Murrow, as "one of the finest 
documentaries ever produced for television," according to Reuven Frank, presi- 
dent of NBC News. It won many awards : it stimulated many calls for action. 

NBC News will show — in a one-hour television special — that the plight of 
migrant workers remains virtually the same today. 

Although obvious remedies for improving living and working conditions and 
raising health standards were evident a decade ago, few of these remedies have 
been carried out," Frank said. 

The NBC News special will be colorcast in June. Correspondent Chet Huntley 
will be the reporter. The program will be produced and directed by Martin Carr, 
winner of numerous awards for television documentaries. 

Migrant workers still are living in substandard housing and are being treated 
in many places not as well as many slaves were treated in the 19th century, 
Carr said. 

Carr's "Hunger in America," which was broadcast on CBS-TV on May 21, 
1968, won an Emmy Award, a George Foster Peabody Award, Critics' Consensus 
honors, and a Writers Guild of America Award. His "Gaugin in Tahiti" the pre- 
vious year received two Emmy Awards. 



5063 

[From the Palm Beach Post, May 1, U970] 

Chet Huntley: A Commentaby on the Migrants 

NBC's CHET HUNTLEY CHATS WITH A DAVIS QUAETEK8 RESIDENT WHILE THE CAMERA 
CREW SETS UP 

(By Kent Pollock) 

Chet Huntley came to town yesterday to begin his final television crusade. 

The NBC news commentator wants to help migrant farmworkers find a way 
to live like other Americans. 

So he has devoted the last crusade of his celebrated career to the depressing 
problem with an hour-long documentary film. 

Huntley toured one dilapidated shack after another, his head hung low and 
shaking, "Oh boy. Oh my. Oh boy," he murmured with empathy. 

He began his day in Palm Beach where he filmed the affluence of Palm Beach 
County, then traveled 45 miles west to Belle Glade where he found the migrants. 

There he saw poverty, filth, malnutrition, despair — all the ingredients of the 
migrant's futile life. 

His first stop was at Everglades Camp, a migrant housing center oi>erated by 
the Palhokee Housing Authority. 

Decayed structures leaned to one side and children romped in rubbish as Hunt- 
ley began his narration. 

"Lack of decent housing is one of the biggest problems facing the migrants in 
Florida. Everglades Camp ♦ * * was built over 30 years ago as temporary 
housing for farmworkers. 

"In 1962 — along with two other camps operated by a public housing authority — 
it was condemned • * ♦ but today, eight years later, they are still open." 

Huntley glanced to his rear in dismay. 

"And they are home to 475 families who have nowhere else to go." 

Even the film crew was taken back by Huntley's forceful delivery. 

And then it was time for lunch. 

Huntley leaned against a dusty rental, constantly sucking his sweet-smelling 
pipe. He talked about migrants and other topics. 

"No one group is really responsible for this," he said with a nod towards the 
ramshackle dwellings. 

"We all are. All levels of government are indifferent. Growers are indifferent, 
processors and consumers and organized labor are indifferent. That just about 
covers all of us, doesn't it?" 

He sipped on a soft drink and ate a roast beef sandwich. 

What does Chet Huntley want to accomplish with his final documentary? 

"If we can only get all those groups of people who are now indifferent to the 
problem to act, we will have accomplished something." 

Will that happen? 

"I don't know. I hope so. Agriculture is getting to be bigger and bigger busi- 
ness. Maybe there is some hope for these bigger corporations being sensitive to 
pressures * * ♦ maybe there is hope." 

The NBC caravan proceeded to Armstrong Quarters in Pahokee where Huntley 
investigated a report that the mother of eight children had been asked to leave 
for cooperating with an NBC crew. 

"They asked me if I was the woman who told the television my house was 
raggedy. When I said I was. they said I'd have to leave," Mrs. Annie Bell Brown 
said. 

Huntley said the woman would be looked after. A Rural Legal Service repre- 
sentative nearby said he would help find Mrs. Brown a residence if she had to 
move. 

Huntley saw Mrs. Brown's two-room dwelling where eight people sleep. He 
saw the faucet outside where she draws her water, and the stove she must heat 
water on for bathing. 

Huntley saw the kerosene lantern Mrs. Brown uses to light her bedroom. The 
single light socket there doesn't work. 

For this, she pays $42.50 per month plus gas and electricity. 

Huntley poked his finger through Mrs. Brown's wall. It took little effort He 
picked one of many spots where the sunlight filtered through. 

"And it gets cold here during winter, doesn't it?" he asked her. 



5964 

"Yes sir, it sure does." 

Huntley was noticeably moved by Mrs. Brown's plight. He left without another 
word. 

"I hope you can help me," Mrs. Brown said. 

The next stop was at Davis' Quarters between Belle Glade and Pahokee. It 
was here that the NBC crew was threatened a week ago with a shotgun. 

Crewmembers said they were told Davis' Quarters was private property and 
were asked to leave. 

Huntley talked with residents and filmed a walk through the U-shaped housing 
center. He chatted with Boone Darden, a Florida Rural Legal Services 
investigator. 

"Do you believe officials keep this atmosphere going deliberately and with 
premeditation to maintain a guaranteed work force year after year?" he asked. 

"Yes sir. I believe so,'" Darden answered. 

With that, Huntley shook his head and walked over to a group of children. 

'^He's going to be a good football player, look at those muscles on him . . . can 
you give me your hand for a handshake young man?" 

He got back inside his car and thought for a moment. 

Was Huntley surprised at what he had seen? 

"No. I guess I wasn't surprised. This is about the same as migrant workers in 
California." 

He thought about what he had said, then spoke again. 

"I guess what I mean is that you're always surprised to see these things con- 
tinue and hang on from year to year. That's distressing." 

Huntley was finished for the day. He expressed concern his film might be 
criticized by Florida residents claiming he looked only at one side of the problem. 

"I would just love to get ahold of something demonstrating that real, meaning- 
ful changes are being made. If they are, people certainly aren't willing to talk 
about it." 

Film director Martin Carr said he had spoken with several farmers in the area, 
including a representative of A. Duda and Sons, a major Belle Glade grower. 

He said people haven't been able to show him meaningful change. 

Huntley agreed. 

"My friend Edward R. Murrow told me of these problems 10 years ago. We 
came here with no preconceived ideas, but the truth is that not very much has 
been done since then." 

Is it meaningful that this will be Huntley's last television special? 

"I think so. I certainly can't think of a better one or a more needed crusade." 

Chet Huntley hopes he will be successful. He'd like to retire without people 
like Mrs. Brown on his conscience. 



[Excerpts from the Congressional Record, 1961] 

United States Sen^ate, 
Committee on Appropriatioxs, 

February H, 1961. 
Mr. Urban S. Felsing, 

Chairman, Migrant Committee of Belle Glade, Chamber of Commerce, Belle Glade, 
Fla. 
Dear Mr. Felsing : It was very kind of your Committee to wire me as you did 
with regard to my remarks on the Senate Floor on the so-called documentary, 
"Harvest of Shame", a copy of which is enclosed. 

With the help of many Belle Glade residents and others, I studied this program 
carefully and found that the script and film, as it pertained to Florida, was 
grossly slanted and inaccurate. The producers deleted anything which might 
tell the story of the very fine progress which has been made in our state in recent 
years in this field. I believe the American public has a right to expect a higher 
standard of performance from those who hold and u.se a valuable franchise given 
by all the American people. 
Thanking you for your support in my position and with kind regards, I remain 
Yours faithfully, 

SPESS.ARD L. Holland. 
Enclosure. 



5965 

Telecast "Harvest of Shame" Unfair to Florida Agricultural Empix)yers 
AND Employees 

Mr. Holland. Mr. President, on November 25, 1960, the Columbia Broadcast- 
ing System televised a program entitled "Harvest of Shame," which related to 
the migratory agricultural workers and their families. The transcript of this 
telecast was placed in the Congressional Record of January 23, 1961, by the Sen- 
ator from Wisconsin [Mr. Proxmire]. It appears at pages 1107 through 1111. The 
film covering the telecast was replayed, with sound, in the auditorium of the New 
Senate Office Building on Monday, January 30, 1961. 

This telecast is grossly unfair to both migrant agricultural workers and their 
employers. It presents migrant workers in a highly unfavorable light, and their 
employers as hardhearted exploiters of their labor. It is unfair not only to Florida 
agricultural employers and employees but also to those of other States in which 
agricultural migrants work. This includes the eastern seaboard from Florida 
north through New Jersey and New York, the Pacific coastal States of California, 
Oregon, and Washington, and other States. 

Following the program, the Philip Morris Cigarette Co., which sponsored it, 
sent two of its excutives, Robert W. Norris and James C. Bowling, to the Belle 
Glade, Fla., area to investigate the facts. 

Because Florida was placed in the peculiarly invidious position of introducing 
the telecast at great length and of terminating the telecast at great length, these 
gentlemen naturally came to the vegetable-producing part of Florida to make their 
investigation for the Philip Morris Co. 

Mr. Bowling stated that the network would not i^ermit the sponsors to review 
the program in advance and that no one in the firm had any idea of its contents 
until the broadcast. Both Mr. Norris and Mr. Bowling said they were convinced, 
after visiting Florida areas where migrant labor was utilized, that the show was 
unfair : that it does not paint an accurate picture ; and that they found in Florida 
"a dedicated people who have worked for years to improve the life of the mi- 
grants." At this point, Mr. President, I shall read into the Record an excerpt 
from a Tampa Tribune article, which is entitled "Cigarette Firm Bought 
Documentary Sight Unseen," and which was written by Mr. Sam Mase, a highly 
reputable staff writer for the Tribune : 

"Criticism of CBS for Migrant Labor Film Is Justified, Says Sponsor of Show 

(By Sam Mase) 

"Two top executives of Philip Morris, Inc., told the Tribune yesterday 
Floridians were justified in denouncing Columbia Broadcasting Co. for its 
production of "Harvest of Shame," a Philip Morris-sponsored television docu- 
mentary on the problems of migrant farm laborers. 

"When citizens of Florida charged the TV show presented a distorted scene 
of migrant conditions in Florida, Joseph F, Cullmann III sent the two executives 
here to investigate conditions and report back to him. 

"They are : Robert W. Norris, director of personnel and community relations 
for the firm, and James C. Bowling, director of public relations. 

"CBS SHOW^ unfair 

"Both men said they were convinced after visiting areas in the State where 
migrant labor is utilized that the CBS show was unfair to Florida because it 
failed to depict the great progress this State has made in behalf of migrants. 

"Norris and Bowling commended the Tribune for presenting an accurate ac- 
count of the migrant situation in order to offset the adverse impression created 
by the television program. 

"Bowling said his firm bought the 'Harvest of Shame' show in good faith that 
it would l>e an outstanding public service based on a true picture (good or bad) 
of the migrant story. 

"The public relations man said CB'S would not permit sponsors to review its 
'CBS Reports' .series in advance. 

"Speaking of the impression of Florida the documentary conveye<l to a nation- 
wide audience. BowUng said 'the picture is not as black as portrayed.' 



"dedicated people 

"He said that on the contrary, he and Norris found in Florida 'a dedicated 
people who have worked for years to improve life of the migrants.' 

"The men noted that the film did not present efforts and progress of dedicated 
people who worked to improve conditions. 

" 'We were impressed with the progress and feel it should have been shown 
(on the program),' Norris said." 

Mr. President, the progress which Florida has made and is making in the 
field of migrant labor is shown by the following statements by the chairman 
of the Subcommittee on Migrant Labor, the distinguished junior Senator from 
New Jersey [Mr. Williams] . 

Mr. President, this morning I notified the oflSce of the Senator from New 
Jersey [Mr. Williams] that I intended to make this speech at this time, and I 
also notified the distinguished 'Senator from Wisconsin [Mr. Proxmire] and the 
distinguished Senator from Montana [Mr. Metcalf], because they had had some 
part in the discussion of the telecast. 

I was advised that the Senator from New Jersey [Mr. Williams] was snow- 
bound somewhere and could not be here. I do not know why the other two 
Senators are not present on the floor. 

The first statement by the Senator from New Jersey [Mr. Williams] was made 
at a hearing in Fresno, Calif., on July 8, 1960, and is as follows : 

il might say that Florida is probably the most enlightened State we have 
seen in the total picture of migrant State problems. 

Again, Senator Williams of New Jersey said in an address in Boston on 
May 21, 1960 : 

"In Florida, to even a greater degree that we had foiind in many other States, 
we found many people who do not believe in limiting their vision. They are con- 
cerned. They want to know what was happening in that shack seen from the 
highway. They are remembering the forgotten people. They believe that 'any 
person can change,' and they are working to bring about that change." 

In his extension of remarks reported at page A4548 of the Congkessional 
Record for May 27, 1960, Senator Williams of New Jersey said : 

Mr. President, the migrant workers in the United States today often ex- 
periences hardship, danger, and exclusion as he travels from one State to another, 
from one crop to another, each year. In many parts of the Nation, however, he 
also experiences something more — community concern about the problems which 
face him and members of his family. 

"The Senate Subcommittee on Migratory Labor spent 3 days in southern Flor- 
ida last week and there we saw evidence of this community concern in 
abundance." 

At this point, Mr. President, I should like to present some of the specific mis- 
representations in the "Harvest of Shame" program which are so unfair to both 
migrant workers and their employers. Quotations are from the script, which I 
have personally read in full, and which already appears in the Congressional 
Record, where it was inserted by the Senator from Wisconsin [Mr. Proxmire]. 

"misrepresentation no. 1 

"Approximately 1 out of every 500 children whose parents are still migrant 
laborers finishes grade school. Approximately, 1 of every 5,000 ever finishes high 
school. And there is no case upon the record of the child of a migrant laborer 
ever receiving a college diploma." 

the facts 

If the producers had wanted to exercise any reasonable degree of care to pre- 
sent the truth, they could have easily found by questioning school authorities in 
Palm Beach County that there are a number of children of migrants in that one 
county alone who are college graduates. They would have learned of the follow- 
ing: OUice Davis, coach and teacher at East Lake High School in Pahokee : 
Gerald Berk and Earlene King Hudson, teachers at Lake Shore High School in 
Belle Glade ; Eugene Lincoln, teacher at Lincoln High School in Riviera Beach — 
his wife, Lavena Lincoln is a registered nurse at a West Palm Beach hospital — 
Willie Pifren, band instructor for several schools in the Lake Okeechobee area : 
Delois White, eacher at Okeechobee Elementary School; Helen Verence, Doris 
Harrell, and Julia Johnson, teachers at East Lake Elementary School in Paho- 
kee ; and Estelle Pifron, teacher at East Lake High School. 

I am advised that all these college graduates were children of migrants or were 
migrants themselves, through high school, and that Eugene Lincoln, Gerald Berk, 



5967 

and Earlene King Hudson were migrant agricultural workers even during most 
or all of their college careers, joining the migrant stream during the summer 
months and returning to college in the fall. 

Another prominent college graduate, who does not live in Florida, is the na- 
tionally known missionary, Mrs. Billie Davis, who is married to a minister and 
now lives in California. 

These people do not fit into the film's insulting inference that migrant workers 
are so exploited that they cannot and do not make educational progress. These 
are well educated and useful citizens who are a credit to their State and Nation 
and to the type of workers from which they came. 

With referen<^ to the percentage of migrants who graduate from high school, 
the records at Lake Shore High School in Belle Glade show that over 30 percent 
of the graduates during the last 5 years have been migrant children ; of that 
number over 20 percent have attended college or have graduated. To be specific 
the number of migrant children so graduating was 65 and the number of such 
graduates who have attended college is 15. 

Mr. President. I am indebted to Mrs. Ruth S. Wedgworth, of Belle Glade, Fla., 
for her assistance in checking and rechecking these facts — which I have read 
into the Recobd as facts — on the educational progress of migrant workers. She 
is a well-educated, longtime resident of the Belle Glade area ; and for a number 
of years she has been one of the leaders in the economic, cultural, and govern- 
mental progress of the area. 

I may sav that Mrs. Wedgworth is the widow of a gentleman, who a few 
years ago, was a very distinguished member of the experiment station staff at 
Belle Glade. Mrs. Wedgworth has led in all kinds of worthwhile, progessive 
civic activities in her area and in her State. 

MI8EEPEE8ENTATI0N NO. 2 

I quote from the telecast : 

"People have been killed purely because there is no interstate standard with 
regard to safety." 

The reference was to travel by migrant workers. 

The facts are as follows : A statute enacted in 1956 authorized the ICC to 
regulate interstate transportation of workers by motor vehicle. Pursuant thereto, 
the ICC issued comprehensive regulations, which have been in effect for several 
years. 

MISRBTEESENTATION NO. 3 

Again I quote from the text of the transcript and of the motion picture : 

"Secoxd Hawker. Over here — 70 cents a day. We're paying today. 

"MuRROW. The hawkers are chanting the going piece rate at the various fields. 
This is the way the humans who harvest the food for the best fed people in the 
world get hired." 

The facts are these : This is not the way most of such people are hired. Less 
than 50 percent of the migrants engaged in harvest farm work are hired through 
this procedure known as day haul. 

This is sometimes a necessary means of employing workers, where a farmer 
needs them only a few days. The U.S. Employment Service, cooperating with 
State employment services, has promoted this means of employing farm labor 
in many areas, including the State of Florida. 

In fact, the Department of Labor requires farmers to cooperate in day haul 
programs, wherever they are feasible, as a condition of eligibility for interstate 
recruitment of domestic workers and/or the employment of Mexican Nationals. 
If this is a "slave" labor practice, it is one that has been promoted for many 
years by the U.S. Department of Labor. 

The network denies that there was any inference that the "70 cents a day" — 
and I have quoted those words from the telecast — means that this is the total 
earnines of a worker for a day's work. It is true that the commentator did say 
"The hawkers are chanting the going piece rate at the various fields." However, 
there would be few viewers who would understand the meaning of the term "piece 
rate." All would understand the expression "70 cents a day" to mean that is the 
total earnings of a worker for a day's work. 

The inference that a dollar or less a day is the usual income of such workers 
IS further discus.sed in connection with the next misrepresentation. 

MISREPRESENTATION NO. 4 

"Mr. Lowe. (Interviewer) : How much did you earn? 
Mrs. King. A dollar." 



5968 

The inference was that Mrs. King earned $1 for picking beans from 6 a.m. to 
3 :30 or 4 p.m. 

The facts are these : The prevailing base — minimum — rate for picking beans 
in the area is 60 cents a hamper. Most workers have little diflSculty picking two 
hampers or more an hour. Good bean pickers can pick 20 bushels per day, for 
which they are paid 60 to 75 cents, and sometimes as high as 90 cents per bushel. 
If Mrs. King earned only a dollar for a day's work, she either was not working 
very hard or she was in a very unusual situation. Perhaps she felt that in view 
of her husband's employment and income — and in a moment I shall refer to that — 
there was no real necessity of pressing for a substantial income that day. 

MISREPRESENTATION NO. 5 

"Mr. Lowe. How many children do you have? 

"Mrs. King. Fourteen." 

The inference was that Mrs. King must support 14 children on a dollar a day. 

The facts are these : Mrs. King has seven children living and seven who are 
dead, two having been stillborn. Lest it be alleged that these deceased children 
were the victims of inadequate medical care, due to the financial plight of this 
family, the record shows — and I quote from the public record — that in 1958, 
the county welfare agency in West Palm Beach paid $943.80 to St. Mary's 
Hospital for the care of Katherine King, still living ; and, additionally, over 
$1,000 in hospital and medical bills has been written off by the local hospital and 
doctors at Belle Glade, in connection with medical treatment afforded the King 
family over the last several years. 

Mr. President, this is a i)eculiarly interesting addition to the facts. Mrs. King's 
husband. Will King, has been a permanent seasonal employee at a sugar refinery 
near Belle Glade since 1956, when he started at $66 a week. He works there 4 or 
5 months each year, and now receives a salary of $83.50 per week. His employer 
provides him life insurance, workman's compensation coverage, and Blue Cross- 
Blue Shield coverage, free of charge. 

By deliberately leaving out these facts, Mr. President, the telecast created a 
wrong impression. 

misrepresentation no. c 

Here the reference is to Florida. This part of the program occurred toward its 
end: 

"Murrow. * * * the Sunshine State welcomes them back : Homestead, Im- 
mokalee, Pahokee, Belle Glade and hundreds of other communities. This is home. 
New housing is available. Tlie rent. $15 per room, per week." 

The facts are these : An exhaustive survey by those who are directly concerned 
in the Homestead, Immokalee, Pahokee and Bell Glade area, indicates that 
ordinary housing for migrants rents for a maximum of $7 per week for a one- 
room apartment, and $12.50 paid for apartments consisting of living room, bed- 
room, kitchen, and bath. In the latter instance, the living room may also be used 
for sleeping purposes. There may be rare instances of housing for migrants rent- 
ing as high as $15 per room per week. If so. those who conducted the survey were 
unable to find it. If it does, in fact, exist, it is highly unusual — not the usual 
case, as indicated by the script. When it is considered that this housing is sub- 
jected to terrific abuse at the hands of the tenants, who occupy it seasonally for 
brief periods, the cost of housing is considered to be relatively low. 

Incidentally, Mr. President — and the film was silent on this point — Florida has 
a State law regulating the .safety and sanitation of migrant labor camps. Under 
it, the State board of health prescribes minimum standards relating to con- 
struction, sanitary conditions, light, air, safety, protection from fire hazards, 
equipment, maintenance and operations of camps, and other matters necessary to 
protect the life and health of occupants. Based upon these standards, the board 
of health licenses migrant labor camps ; and it has the authority to revoke licenses 
of those who do not meet these standards. 

MISREPRESENTATION NO. 7 

"Lowe. Mrs. Doby, w^ouldn't you ever care to have a house of your own? 
"Mrs. DoBY. I'd like to have a house that — we plan to buy one if we could ever 
get enough to pay down on one, we'd buy one. 
"Lowe. Do you think this will ever happen? 
"Mrs. DoBY. Well, it don't seem like it." 



5969 

lilr. President, let us see what the facts are. 

After this prog:ram, Harvey Poole, a Belle Glade Negro leader, compiled a 
list of migrants who, since 1052, have ihov^mI out of migratory-housing quarters 
into homes of their own in the Belle (Hade area alone. Tie reports that there are 
approximately 100 families on his list. This contradicts the inference in the film 
that there is almost no hoix' for migrants ever to own homes of their own. 

I would he frespas.siiig upon the Senate's time, Mr. President, if I should cite 
in det<iil other siH'citic false impressions which are created hy the CBS telecast. 
I l)elieve the examples I have given are sufficient to show that the producers of 
this telecast were, to put it mildly, careless of the truth. A number of individuals 
were interviewed and filmed under the impression that their comments were to 
be included in the program. They subsequently found that the interviews and 
films which did not support the impression the producers wished to create were 
deleted. The housing shown was the worst the producers could possibly find. Tliere 
was no balancing presentation of relatively good housing provided farmworkers 
in many areas. Everything supporting the view desired by the producers was 
included ; everything nOt supporting it was excluded. 

The film was propaganda, pure and simple. 

As a result, the brighter side of the migrant labor story failed to emerge. The 
production excluded everything which might tell the story of the progress which 
has been made in recent years in this field : the improvement in housing, the 
enactment of State legislation of various kinds — not only in our own State, but 
in other States — the effor^ts of local authorities, the upward trend in farm wage 
rates, and the progress in education. Regarding education of migrants, the report 
of the President's Committee on Migratory Labor says : 

"There is a definite trend, particularly since 1954, of increased and sustained 
interest on the part of State departments of education, local school districts, 
and communities, and private organizations to provide for the educational needs 
of migrants." 

Mr. President, I am willing to give the producers the benefit of the doubt as 
to their motives in presenting this so-called documentary. Perhaps they wanted 
to contribute to the improvement of a situation which needs continual improve- 
ment. However, good motives are no excuse for playing fast and loose with the 
truth, which is what was done. Slanted documentary films are fully as unethical 
as rigged quiz shows. Perhaps they are more dangerous to a free society, since 
they present a false picture as a basis for shaping public opinion and the laws 
resulting therefrom. 

I have no evidence, Mr. President, that the exceutives of the CBS network 
which telecast this program had knowledge of its unfairness before its original 
presentation. However, when they continue to actively cooperate in promoting the 
showing of this film, as they did in the presentation last Monday — January 30 — 
at the New Senate Office Building Auditorium, they make it impossible for me 
to feel that they are proceeding with the caution and fair play which the Ameri- 
can public has a right to expect from those who hold and use a valuable fran- 
chise given by all the American people. 



Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida, 

Belle Glade, Fla., August 7, 1970. 
The Hon. Walter F. Mondale, 
Senator, State of Minnesota, 
Washington, D.C. 

Dear Sex,-\tor Moxdale : After reading the testimony of Mr. James M. Pierce 
before your committee hearings on July 24, 1970, I feel it necessary to respond 
and ask that this letter be made a part of the record of the hearings held July 24, 
1970 by your sub-committee on migratory labor. 

Mr. Pierce's statement was designed solely to attempt to discredit my testimony, 
which you invited me to give, by making a personal attack on my family opera- 
tion and myself even though I was speaking for the members of the Florida 
Fruit & Vegetable Association. Even if his statement was based upon fact, which 
it was not, I would consider this an unfair maneuver and one in which I was 
surprised to see your participation. 

The statement of Mr. Pierce was so maliciously designed with grossly untrue 
charges and statements that I will not resort here to give it credibility by digni- 
fying them with a reply. 
Sincerely, 

George H. Wedgworth, President. 



5970 

U.S. Sexate, 

COMMITTBrE ON LaBOE AND PUBLIC WELFARE, 

Washington, D.C., September 22, 1910. 
Mr. George H. Wedgworth, 

President, Sugar Cane Grotcers Cooperative of Florida, 
Belle Glade, Fla. 

Dear Mr. Wedgworth : I am in receipt of your letter of August 7, 1970, and 
pursuant to your request, it will be printed in the hearing record at the appro- 
priate place. 

I regret that you took the testimony of Mr. James M. Pierce, Executive Di- 
rector of the National Sharecroppers Fund, as an "unfair maneuver" on my part, 
but in any event, I assure you that there was no such element in the Subcommittee 
having him as a witness. As Chairman of this Subcommittee, I have taken pride 
in the open invitation to submit statements for the record that we have extended 
to all persons interested in finding solutions to the migrant and seasonal farm- 
worker problem. Furthermore, I have not in the past censored, nor do I intend 
to do so in the future, statements in advance of a hearing. My concern is solely 
to learn the truth about the extent of the farmworker problem, and to build a 
record upon which both legislative and administrative reforms, many of which 
I'm sure you would agree are necessary, can be made. 

With warm regards. 
Sincerely, 

Walter F. Mondale, 
Chairman, Subcommittee on Migratory Labor. 

Senator Moxdale. Our next witness is Mr. Martin Carr, NBC pro- 
ducer of "Migrant — An NBC White Paper." Mr. Carr, will you 
please come forward ? 

We are pleased to have Mr. Martin Carr, who is the producer of the 
documentary "Migrant — An NBC "NAHiite Paper", which has been 
cited several times in these hearings. Mr. Carr and his crew produced 
the film under hazardous conditions. I think all of us have seen that 
documentary. 

Also I think I am correct, Mr. Carr, in saying that you produced 
the "Hunger in America" documentary shown 2 years ago. 

STATEMEITT OF MARTIN CARR, PRODUCER, NATIONAL BROAD- 
CASTING CO., PRODUCER OF THE DOCUMENTARY "MIGRANT— 
AN NBC WHITE PAPER," NBC, NEW YORK 

Mr. Carr. That is right. Senator. 

Senator Moxdale. Do I understand you were also involved earlier 
in "Harvest of Shame?" 

Mr. Carr. No ; I was not. 

Senator Moxdale. I understand that you do not have a prepared 
statement. Are there any opening comments you would like to make? 
After your comments, I would like to ask a few questions. 

Mr. Carr. In lieu of a prepared statement, Senator, I wouM like to 
say that I hope the documentary, "Migrant — An NBC A^Hiite Paper" 
is a sufficient statement and that it can stand on its own. I would like 
to take this opportunity to give you ih^ transcript of the entire pro- 
gram for the record. 

Senator Moxdale. Without objection, it will appear at this point 
in the record. 

(The information referred to follows :) 



5971 

Migrant — An NBC White Paper 
An NBC White Paper with NBC news correspondent Chet Huntley 

Produced and directed by Martin Carr. Written by Marilyn Nissenson and 
Martin Carr. Corresix>ndent Chet Huntley. Associate producer Marilyn Nissen- 
son. Film editors Darold Murray and Mary Ann Martin. Cameraman Richard 
Norling. Unit manager Paul Shienfeld. Production coordinator Peter Freed- 
berger. Sound Al Hoagland. 

We wish to express our appreciation to CBS News for a segment of CBS 
reports : Han-est of Shame, Produced by David Lowe, Narrated by Edward R. 
Murrow. 

Note : As used herein, VO means "Voice Over while film is shown there is 
background sound, and OC means On Camera while sound is present. 

Migrant: An NBC White Paper. Copyright c The National Broadcasting Co., 
1970. All rights reserved. 

TEASE 

Huntley (VO) (parade footage) 

Parades are as popular down on the farm as they are in the big city. Farmers, 
food packers, politicians and leading citizens are celebrating the harvest — the 
gathering of the spring crop in the heart of Florida's farmland. Even though 
many farmers consider this year a disaster, they have shared in a harvest that 
brings Florida agriculture an income of over 1.4 billion dollars each year. For 
the farm workers who pick the crops — the migrants — watching the parade from 
the sidelines, there is little to celebrate. 

Migrant #1 (OC) (first of sequence) 

But the poor people like us, we don't — we just don't have a chance. We don't 
get good jobs, we have to pick fruit and different stuff; we have to take what 
we can get. 

Migrant #2 (OC) 

The only way you can get a job is you have to owe somebody. And if they got 
anything for you to do, you could work like that 'til you pay them back. And I 
need something right now. 

Migrant #3 (OC) 

I wear a pair of shoes for about six months and do without shoes in order for 
the kids to have something to wear to school. And that's only right. 

K. D. Eatmon (OC) 

American people is — become so used to easy living that they don't want to work 
anymore. 

Huntley (VO) (return for parade) 

Wth an average annual income of $891, the migrants can hardly afford the 
basic necessities of life taken for granted by their fellow Americans. In the 
richest country in the world, the parade passes them by. 

Vann (OC) (second SOF sequence) 

They are staying here for longer periods of time because the agricultural 
season has stretched out. They're here for eight, no, nine months, some of them. 

Jackson Bowers (OC) 

We was up in Texas, and we lived real good up there. We made good money till 
we came down here and we 'bout starved to death here in Florida. 

Mrs. Garza (OC) 

Migrant work, it just isn't worth it. Some people just come over and over 
and over, year after year. I don't know why. I wish I could go back to Texas. 
I'll never come back here to Florida. Just — there is no job. It is not worth it. 

Sheriff Hendry (OC) 

Practically all of them are the happiest people I've ever seen. They really 
enjoy what they're doing. They go from place to place and from crop to crop and 
they really enjoy it. 

Workers walking away through orange grove (MOS) 



5972 

ACT I 

Huntley (OC) {Huntley open) 

The fruit and vegetables that every American eats are gathered by about 2i/^ 
million people — farm workers — many of them migrant laborers who follow the 
crops from state to state. Florida, the Sunshine State, is the nation's leading 
supplier of citrus, its second largest source of fresh vegetables. Florida's farm in- 
dustry depends on a migrant population of 200,000 men, women and children. 
Because of its eight month picking season, many of them choose to remain in 
Florida year 'round, trying to put down roots, trying to live like other Americans. 

But they do not have the rights guaranteed the rest of us. In Florida and many 
other states, migrants are not eligible for unemployment insurance ; they are 
not guaranteed workmen's compensation ; they are not protected by age require- 
ment in child labor laws ; they are excluded from the protection given other 
workers in their attempts to organize or strike; and, according to the U.S. De- 
partment of Labor, they work for an annual wage lower than that of any other 
income group in the country. And because of residency requirements, they are 
usually not qualified to vote. Though many of them no longer travel, they're still 
called migrants. Despite some changes effected by federal and state agencies and 
local organizations, the migrants live in poverty and despair. This report ex- 
amines their lives today — just ten years after Edward R. Murrow first brought 
the migrant to the attention of the nation on the CBS Reports Documentary, 
Harvest of Shame. 

Murrow {OC) (Harvest of Shame Footage) 

These are the forgotten people, the under-protected ; the under-educated ; the 
under-clothed ; the underfed. 

Murrow {VO) (Harvest of Shame Belle Glade Footage) 

This is Belle Glade, Florida. This is a shape-up for migrant workers. One 
farmer looked at this and said, "We used to own our slaves, now we just rent 
them." 

Huntley (VO) (Belle Glade Today) 

This is Belle Glade, Florida today. Ten years after HARVEST OF SHAME, 
farm workers still gather each morning looking for a day's work in the fields. 
For a migrant, jobs are not always easy to find. Producer Martin Carr talked 
with migrants during the height of the picking season this past spring, when 
jobs seemed particularly scarce. 

Carr (Martin Carr Interviews Migrant, Mr. Jenkins (OC)) 

Have you been looking for work ? 
Jenkins 

Yes. 
Carr 

What do you do? 
Jenkins 

Well, I just get out and go look for it. 
Carr 

Every day? 
Jenkins 

Yes. 
Carr 

And you haven't worked in a couple of months? 
Jenkins 

That's right. I don't like to sit around. I like to work. I know if I'm working, 
it is something for me and something for the family. Without a job, you ain't 
nowhere. 

Carr (Martin Carr Interviews Migrant, Mr. Gay (OC)) 
How many days a week do you find work now ? 



5073 

Gay 

Well, I worked 3 days last week. I don't know how many I'll get next week. 
Can- 

Do you go out every day and look for work? 
Gay 

I try to. 
Carr 

How much do you make on a day ? 
Gay 

Twelve dollars. 
Carr 

TAA-elve dollars. That means you made about $36 last week? 
Gap 

Right. 
Carr (Martin Carr interviews migrant, Mrs. Garza (OC) 

Are there weeks when your husband can't get work, Mrs. Garza? 
Cfurza 

Yes, sir. Like it has been already for about five weeks. 
Carr 

Are there days when you go without food ? 
Garza 

Sure we do. 
Carr 

VThat do you do then? 
Garza 

I have to ask for it. 
Carr 

You have to go around to your neighbors? 
Garza 

I have to ask somebody, you know. If we don't have enough food. I need some 
food. And. some days, well, I have to get some food for the kids and my husband 
and I just have to wait 

Carr 

Do you think you'll be able to get back to Texas? 
Garza 

I hope so. After school is out, and the boys will start helping us again. We 
might get a couple of dollars and then we can make the trip back home. 

Carr 

Have you ever thought of taking your boys out of school so they could help 
your husband work in the field? 

Garza 

No, sir. 
Carr 

You want them to finish school? 
Garza 

I want them to finish school. I'll try the best to education as much as I can, 
so they won't have to be working like we are. Because they need to learn how 
to read and write and talk good English, and speak good English so they can 
get a better job. Because if they don't go to school, they'll never have a better 
job than what we are doing right now. They'll be a migrant all their lives, and 
I don't want them to be that. 



5974 

Ellis Lewis (Mortin Cnrr interviews Mifrrant Ellis Lewis (OC)) 

Now you can't hardly make enough to go from one season to another, now. 
Carr 

On the average week, how much money have you been making? 
Lewis 

About $20 a week. 
Carr 

About $20 a week. Is this you, yourself? 
Lewis 

That's me and my wife. 
Carr 

You and your wife working. 
Lewis 

That's right. 
Carr 

And you're making $20 a week. 
Lewis 

That's right. 
Carr 

How much rent do you pay? 
Lewis 

Sixteen dollars a week. 
Carr 

Well, that only leaves you $4 a week. 
Lewis 

That's right. To get groceries with. And you can't get no groceries with $4 a 
■week. So we just have to do the best we can. 

Carr 

You have six children. 
Lewis 

Six children and a wife. 
Carr 

What do you do on a week when you have only $4? 
Lewis 

Well, I take up. I borrow. I do anything I can, to live you know. Except steal. 
I don't steal none. And so we have to survive, tryin' to get by until we do go to 
work and make something. 

Carr 

On the weeks when you make nothing, is it because you don't want to work? 
Lewis 

No, it's because I can't work. 
Carr 

Why can't you work? 
Lewis 

Well, you can't — you can't get a bus going out or probably a bus going out and 
the guy you're riding with ain't got nothing, or he off for a day or two, and you 
just can't work. 
Huntley {VO) {Huntley est. Eatmon) 

Farmer K. D. Eatmon claims he has jobs that go begging. He doesn't take the 
migrants at their word. 



5975 

Farmer Eat nwn (OC) (Eatmon in field) 

I would like to be able to prove to you that they didn't want work by going 
and trying to pick them up and bring them here and saying, "All right. Let's pick 
these beans." And see how many of them would really work. They will not work. 
They make out like they want to work, but they don't want to. 

Huntley (VO) {pieking Montage) 

The migrant who does find work in the fields is actually earning less in terms 
of real money than he was ten years ago. While other workers' annual wages have 
gone up, his have stayed the same and inflation has taken its toll. According to 
the U.S. Department of Labor, the average individual migrant last year earned 
$891. A family of four earned $2700, nine hundred dollars below the oflBicial 
poverty level of the United States. 

Migrants are specifically excluded from the minimum wage rate that applies to 
most of us. For them, the minimum wage is one dollar and thirty cents, less than 
the hourly wage guaranteed workers imported from the West Indies to cut 
sugar cane in Florida fields. For most farm workers, howeve;;, it makes little 
difference what the minimum wage is, for they are paid, not by the hour, but by 
the piece ; paid for what they pick, not the time it takes them to pick it. Farmers 
claim that piecework means more money for the worker. For all but the youngest 
and strongest, however, it means less. 

The day NBC News visited this bean field, the piece rate was a dollar a bushel, 
paid in cash as each bu.shel basket was filled. By the end of the eight hour day, 
most workers had picked just seven or eight bushels, that is, they earned seven 
or eight dollars, far below the minimnm wage. Florida growers claim they 
cannot afford to pay higher wages ; that higher wages would mean higher prices 
for the consumer. Yet, the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that if the wages 
paid to farm workers were doubled, and all of the increase passed on to the 
American housewife, she would pay just one or two pennies more for a head of 
lettuce, a dozen oranges, a bunch of radishes, or two pounds of celery. Perhaps 
the migrant, with his low wage scale, is subsidizing both farmer and consumer. 

Celery Field. — Celery cutters are paid by the row. They are expected to cut 
6000 stalks of celery a day, feeding them into a machine known as a mule train. 
A tractor has replaced the mules, but the migrant still supplies the stoop labor, 
bending over 600 times every hour in the usual 10 hour day. On a good day, he 
may earn $22 here at the Belle Glade farm of America's largest celery grower, 
A. Duda and Sons. 

Huntley Est. Andrexc Duda. — The Duda family grows 23 varieties of fruit and 
vegetables, some of which they can and market under their own labels. They 
farm nearly 100,000 acres in Florida plus a 2 and % million acre ranch in 
Australia. President Andrew Duda spoke about the problems of running this 
vast agricultural empire. 

Carr {Martin Carr interviews Andrew Duda (OC) 

Mr. Duda, would it be fair to describe you as one of the largest growers in 
Florida? 

Mr. Duda 

I think so. 
Carr 

On an annual basis, how much money do you have to take in to break even? 
Duda 

We gross about twenty million. Last year we paid for the privilege of farming. 
We lost over $400,000. Every ijerson, every person on our — in our — in the orga- 
nization including the migrant worker made more money then I did. Because 
we lost. 

There was one while, we had five years of red ink — hand running. Five years. 
One year we lost a million dollars. And that's when — the farmers were going 
broke, particularly celery growers. And that's when we finally stopped being 
rugged individualists and decided we better get together because the chain 
stores had a tremendous buying power and we as unorganized growers were 
just being hurt 

So this was the condition we were faced with. We formed, got a marketing 
order — got a state marketing order first and a celery exchange, and then we 
had to go to a federal marketing order in order to have enough — as much bargain- 



5976 

ing power as the chain stores got buying power and once we did this, it works 

beautifully. 

Carr 

In other words, the growers gc^t together to agree on what price to sell to the 
supermarkets. 

Duda 

That's right. 
Carr 

Mr. Duda, do you think it would be a good idea if farm labor were to organize 
as well? 

Duda 

No. Because in perishables, a week — say a farmer, particularly various crops, 
the farmers go on strike, they ruin a farmer real fast. 

Carr 

You say that the big threat to you would be the Strike. You deal in perishables 
and if a strike occurred, you would be at the mercy of the 

Duda 

That's right. 
Carr 

people working. Where farm labor has been organized, the unions have 

agreed to a "no strike" clause. Wouldn't that solve the problem? 

Duda 

If anyone would say that the people would guarantee they won't strike, I don't 
think it's worth the paper it's written on. Years ago when we — our "darkies" as 
we used to call them in those days, we pointed out to them, here's the situation, 
here's what we're doing, here's what we're paying you. Here's what we're getting. 
Here's what t cost us. We're losing money on what you're harvesting. And when 
you pointed this out to them, they would continue to work. But you take the 
same people now. The young people, you tell them the same thing and they'll 
laugh at you. And the Negro in particular. The Negro are a hne peopie, but they — 
you — they have to respect you. You get down to their level and they have no 
respect for you. I mean if you want to be down and act like a Negro and be 
dirty and what-not, they're not going to respect you. 

Huntley {VO) {Race Mont a oe) 

Florida depends on the labor of the migrant, 55% of whom are Negroes, driven 
there when machines replaced them in the cotton fields of the Old South. An- 
other 35% are Mexican-Americans who migrated from Texas. Unlike the tour.sts 
visiting Florida's Gold Coast, these new arrivals are often unwelcome guests. 
And racism must be added to the list of problems the migrant faces, everywhere 
he turns in the state. 

END OF ACT I 
ACT n 

Huntley {VO) {Palm Beach footage) 

To most Americans, Florida is Miami, or the more exclusive Palm Beach, the 
richest township not only in Florida, but in the entire United States. Its main 
street is certainly the most elegant and possibly the most expensive shopping 
center in America. Palm Beach homes are modern day palaces occupied a few 
months a year by migrants of a different sort, the affluent who fly here to escape 
the cold, probably unaware that less than 10 miles away live the poorest people 
in America, crowded into homes that are not required to meet the legal standards 
applied to Florida's urban slums. 

Migrant housing footage. — Even with standards this low, more than 100 
migrant camps operated without licenses last year. This year the Florida State 
Board of Health did not collect statistics on unlicensed camps. 

Davis Camp, Huntley {VO) with track up for confrontation tcith Mr. Davis. — 
Davis Camp, just outside Pahokee, is owned by a local house mover. The homes 
in Davis Camp do not meet the minimum standards. They have been condemned 



5977 

for a year. Thesp are sovie of Mr. Davis' houses. We could not film them all for 
on the day NBC News visited the camp, guaranteed free access by Florida law, 
landlord Davis ordered us off his property at the point of a gun. 

Davis Camp Confrontation 
Davis 

You don't have no business at this site. 
Con- 
Why don't you want me to see inside? 
Davis 

Just because I told you no and that means no. 
Carr 

Are these your own? 
Davis 

Yep. These are mine. I've lived ixi this house for years. 
Carr 

Is there anybody I could talk to to make arrangements 

Davis 

(Off mike.) 
Carr 

Is there anybody I can talk to to make arrangements to come out here? 

Off Mike Fades Up 
Carr 

Why? 
Davis 

Because you didn't contact me first. 
Huntley (FO) 

Most other camp owners did not desire to let NBC document conditions in 
their camps and our production crew found itself repeatedly harrassed. 

Carr 

Why don't you want me to see inside? 
Davis 

Just because I told you so and you know very well — ^( vehicle motor) 
Huntley {VO) 

Conditions in the migrant housing camps in Florida, owned and rented by 
public agencies, are often no better. 

Huntley (OC) (Chct Huntley at Everglades camp) 

Everglades Camp here in Pahokee was built more than 30 years ago as tem- 
porary housing for farm workers. Eight years ago this camp along with two 
others operated by the Public Housing Authority was condemned by the Palm 
Beach County Health ofiieials, but eight years later, eight years after the con- 
demnation, it is still here, still open. 

Huntley (VO) {Huntley est. James Vann) 

Producer Carr asked the head of the Pahokee Housing Authority, James W. 
Vann, why condemned public housing remains occupied. 

Vann {OC) {James W. Vann) 

Well, because there was no place else for the people to go. It's a commentary 
on the stringency of the general housing condition in this area. It boils down 
simply to this, sir, that — four walls and a roof regardless of how poor are better 
than the great outdoors. 

Vann {VO) (Housing Construction Footage) 

And we are, as you see, in construction on a new housing project here which 
is referred to as Paget Island Homes, 200 units. And we are starting construc- 
tion at this time on Fremd Village, also 200 units. 
36-513 O— 71— pt. 8c 10 



5978 

Huntley (VO) {Hoiislng Construction Footage) 

Some 12,000 units of low cost housing are now open or getting under way in 
areas throughout Florida where migrants are concentrated. The Paholiee Hous- 
ing Authority will operate 515 units with rents adjusted to meet the income of 
the tenants. The new projects will be a boon to the families lucky enough to 
move in. But as Director Vann adknowledges, there is a serious flaw in the 
program. 

Vann {OC) {James W. Vann) 

We do not have a program that is geared to the needs of the migrant. And this 
is one of the areas which has been, in my opinion, sadly neglected in the matter 
of a housing program in this country. 

If I were going to build housing strictly for the migrant segment of the 
population, I would figure on keeping it closed at least 60 days of the year, and 
probably 90 days. Now if you eliminate any rental income for 25% of the year 
and keep the rents for the remaining 75% of the year within the reach of your 
migrant agricultural worker, you'd — you come up empty when you start looking 
for enough money to operate it. It is just simply economically impossible. 

Carr {Carr interviews Vann (OC)) 

Would a migrant family be able to live in a project like this? 
Vann 

Unfortunately, you've put your finger on one of the bad points with a program 
of this kind. We cannot turn away permanent residents in the low income group 
in order to hold this housing for a migrant. The migrant is — has always been, 
and undoubtedly will continue to be, just by the sheer economics of the situation, 
the low man on the totem pole when it comes to housing. 

Huntley (VO) {Armstrong Quarters) 

The number of new housing units doesn't begin to meet existing needs. Mi- 
grants continue to rent from private landlords, often paying as much as $80.00 
a month. These houses are commonly called "quarters", probably a holdover from 
the days of slavery. 

Armstrong Quarters, in the center of Pahokee's slum, is owned and operated 
by Dr. L. W. Armstrong, a retired dentist, and his wife. 

Carr {Martin Carr interviews Mrs. Armstrong {OC)) 
Mrs. Armstrong, are these your homes here? 

Mrs. Armstrong 
Yes, they are. 

Carr 

How did you come to own them? 
Mrs. Armstrong 

Oh, we've had them many years. 20 or so. 
Carr 

You had them 20 or so years. 
Mrs. Armstrong 

Ummhmm. 
Carr 

Why did you buy them to begin with? 
Mrs. Armstrong 

Well, as an investment. 
Carr {Martin Carr interviews Mrs. Bowen {OC)) 

Mrs. Brovra, you live in Armstrong Quarters, don't you? 
Mrs. Brown 

Yes, sir. Yes, sir. 
Can- 
How much is your monthly rent? 



5979 

Mrs. Broicn 

I pay $42.50 for the rent. 
Carr 

What kind of a house do you rent? 
Mrs. Brovcn 

Yes, sir. That old wooden house that is in the corner behind the bathtub. 
Carr 

Does it have any running water inside? 
Mrs. Broicn 

Outside. Everything. We got to go outdoors for everjrthing. 
Carr 

Is the house in good condition? 
Mrs. Broion 

No, sir. It ain't in good condition. 
Carr 

What are the problems? 

Interior of Mrs. Brown's house 
Mrs. Brown 

It's raggey and — ^when you walk, it just shakes and it just aint no good. 
Carr 

Is there anybody who ever comes over and inspects your house? 
Mrs. Arnistron-g 

The state — well — health and the welfare and the city. Comes. 
Carr 

And have all your houses, the frame houses included, passed inspection? 
Mrs. Arm^tron^ 

Yes, they have. 
Carr 

What are the standards for housing here? 
Mrs. Armstrong 

Well, for — a standard house you have to have running water inside and a sink 
and toilet and bath. 

Carr 

And do all your frame houses have this? 
Mrs. Armstrong 

No, they don't. They're sub-standard. 
Carr 

They're sub-standard. 
Mrs. Armstrong 

Yes. 
Carr 

In other words, if you fall below the building code, it doesn't make any dif- 
ference you can still rent the house. 

Mrs. Armstrong 

Well, you — you couldn't rent something that was just newly built that way, 
but something that has long been in operation, why you can. But when one of 
our houses gets like burned or something, why we do put a standard house in. 

Carr 
You put a standard house in . . . 



Miartin Carr Interviews Residents of Armstrong Quarters (OC) 

Carr (OC) 

What is it like living here in Armstrong Quarters? 
Resident #1 

Well, it is kind of rough, but it is the best we can do. 
Carr 

Do you have water inside? 
Resident #2 

No. We have to walk down the stairs and get it. 
Carr 

The pump, huh? 
Resident #2 

It's a spigot. 
Carr 

What about the toilet — the toilet's outside too ? 
Resident #2 

Yes. And they be nasty all the time, and that's where all the water be running. 
They be running over all the time, but she charge us for the water. 

Carr 

Any rats? 
Resident #2 

Not so many rats, but a whole gang of roaches. (Laughter.) 
Carr 

Roaches ? 
Resident #2 

A whole gang of 'em. 
Mrs. Armstrong {Martin Carr interviews Mrs. Armstrong (OC)) 

They're kind of slack. You just have to — that's our biggest problem is to see 
that they keep cleaned up around and keep their toilet scrubbed. 

Carr 

How do you manage to do that? 
Mrs. Armstrong 

Well, we have inspection. I do that personally. 
Mrs. Broivn (Martin Carr Interviews Mrs. Brown {OC)) 

Only way she comes through the quarters, when she hear tell of some of you all 
coming in and — coming in to cheek the quarters, then she'll come in then like that. 

Carr {Martin Carr Interviews Mrs. Armstrong {OC)) 

Is there a housing shortage in Pahokee? 
Mrs. Armstrong 

Yes, there has been. Uhh huh. 
Carr 

So in other words, there is really not much choice for a family. If they wanted 
to move, there is no place to move really. 

Mrs. Armstrong 

No, there is not. There hasn't been and I think for some time to come it's going 
to be that way. 
Mrs. Brown {Martin Carr Interviews Mrs. Brown {OC) ) 

Dr. Armstrong come over here this morn'ng when I was out there washing. 

And he come at me and said, "Didn't you tell them folks yesterday that my 
house ain't no good?" 



5981 

Can- 

What folks did he mean? 
Mrs. Broivn 

You. Y'all. Said .v'all was out here yesterday. Meant you all. And I told him, 
"yeah." I said, "'Yeah," I said, "You can look up there now and you can tell the 
house ain't no good yourself." And he said, "If the house ain't no good, you just 
move out. Move." 

Cfl?T 

What are you going to do, Mrs. Brown? 
Mrs. Broicn 

I'm just going to stay there until I get me somewhere to go. That's all. I ain't 
got nowhere to go. 

END ACT II 



Voice (remedial reading class) 

In this lesson you will learn how reading the labels on the products you buy 
can save you time, money and trouble. Now look at the new words you will 
see in this lesson. Say the words to yourself as I read them. Antidote. 

Huntley (VO) (classroom footage. Huntley (VO) with track up for students 
reading laboriously 

These high school students struggling to read are exceptional. Most migrant 
children never get this far. 80% of migrant children never enter a high school 
classroom. More than half don't even get to the 7th grade. Tlie few who do are 
pitifully far behind. Despite streamlined remedial reading programs, and dedi- 
cated teachers like Sally Carey of Belle Glade High School. 

Mrs. Carey (Mrs. Carey and student reading) 

That's a name, not more. 
Student 

Morely. Muller 
Mrs. Carey 

Say it again. 
Student 

Moiler. 
Mrs. Carey 

No. 
Student 

Morley. 
Huntley (VO) (Huntley est. Mrs. Carey) 

Mrs. Carey explained why her students continue to fail. 
Carr 

How old are these students? 
Mrs. Carey (Martin Carr interviews Sally Carey (OC) ) 

12 to around 19 or 20. 
Carr 

Isn't 19 or 20 a little bit old to he learning to read? 
Mrs. Carey 

Yes, but they've never learned it before so they have to learn. And the classes, 
they haven't had the individual attention that they need in a lab, so they haven't 
been able to learn to read. 

Can- 
Are many of these boys and girls the sons and daughters of migrant families 
that travel? 



5982 

Mrs. Carey 

Oh, yes. In fact most of them, in fact there is a great many of them go up the 
road with their family. They may not go up the road this year, but next year 
they will be up in New York and New Jersey part of the year. 

Carr 

How does this affect their schooling? 
Mrs. Carey 

It takes a child a while to adjust to a classroom situation, to get to know the 
teacher and what she wants, and they have to do this off and on throughout the 
year, and without any, you know stable home, to come home to. It's more diflScult 
to adjust. 

Carr 

Do any of them ever talk to you about these problems? 
Mrs. Carey 

The just don't want to talk about it. They don't like to be known as migrants. 
They don't like you to ask them if their families work in the fields. They don't — 

Carr 

Why is that? 
Mrs. Carey 

Well, they're embarrassed about it. There's some stigma attached to being a 
field worker. 

Carr 

What do you think will become of these students after they leave school ? 
Mrs. Carey 

Work in the fields. 
Huntley (VO) {Montage of Children Working in Fields) 

They have been working in the fields from the time they were old enough to 
do the job, if only for a few days a week. No child labor law sets a minimum 
age for young farm workers in Florida. Children are supposed to be in school 
during school hours, but few people check. The United States Subcommittee on 
Migratory Labor estimates that 100,000 children under 16 work as hired farm 
hands across the nation, almost half of them between the ages of 10 and 13. 
Carr 

Do you have any children, M'am ? 

Lady {Carr Interviews Lady in Beanfield { OC) ) 

Five. 
Carr 

You have five children. 
Lady 

Uh-huh. 
Carr 

Will you be able to keep them in school, do you think, till the end of the year? 
Lady 

Well, we try. 
Carr 

You try. 
Lady 

Yes. Sometime we takes them out to help us pick beans, you know, help us 
along. 

Carr 

How old are they ? 
Lady 

My oldest boy is nine. 



5983 

Carr 

How old are the other boys? 
Lady 

One's eight, one's seven, six and the baby's five. 
Carr . 

And you keep them out of school to help you in the field. 
Lady 

Yeah. 
Carr 

That's so you can make a little bit more money? 
Lady 

Yeah. 
Carr 

Are they good when they pick in the field ? 
Lady 

Well, they do their best, you know. 
Duda (OC) (CuttoDuda) 

Look. This is a picture of a migrant worker — they call them migrants ; they're 
natives — and a child in the beanfield. Look how terrible this is. And the mother 
and child were a picture of perfect health. And we ask : What's the matter with 
it? The child is in the open, fresh air. It's with his mother. "VMiat's wrong with it? 

Dr. Stone (OC) (Dr. Stone Working with Children in Classroom) 
Tell me about it. Tell me about what you have inside there. 

Huntley {VO) (Classroom footage icith track up for children and Dr. Stone 
talking) 

This year, Florida received over $7,000,000 in federal funds to educate migrant 
children. But the parents of most of these iStudents dropped out before the 
seventh grade, and their children, according to a Florida survey, will do exactly 
the same. 
Dr. Stone 

You don't work when you go to Texas? What do you do when you go to 
Texas? 

Huntley (VO) (Huntley est. Dr. Stone) 

Dr. Donald Stone, Director of the Collier County Migrant Education Program, 
explains why education alone cannot break the cycle. 

Carr (Martin Carr interviews Dr. Stone (OC)) 

About what period of time — how many months does a migrant child attend 
school here in Collier County ? 

Dr. Stone 

I would say somewhere between four to seven months, out of the ten month 
program. For the mo.st part, these children do not attend school other than tliat. 
This is all they get in a year, and in some years they do not attend our school 
when they're here in the winter time for the winter crop season, because they're 
needed to harvest the crop. The family wants the income that the child can 
produce. They must live day to day, because that is the nature of their life. 
The family, for example, when it works in a field, is paid daily for what it does, 
not at the end of the week. And the child, con.sequently, grows up and enters 
school with the notion that if he does something right he must be rewarded 
instantly. A person, for example, with an ambition to go to college is, in a sense, 
postponing an immediate reward in terms of money that he can get on a job 
if he were to quit school at any point, for what he hopes will be a better job 
much farther down the road. And if we can communicate this notion to the 
family, fine. But we're having this problem of breaking into that family circle. 

Carr 

What chances do you think a student has now to escape from the migrant 
situation? 



5984 

Dr. Stone 

Frankly, I think it would take three to four generations. The migrant child, 
for the most part, has a rather negative self-concept of himself and his own 
abilities and doesn't have too great an expectation that he can ever be anything 
other than what his family, his mother and father, are — or than what he's 
doing. 
Carr {Martin Carr intervieics Jackson Bowers (OC)) 

If you were working in the orange grove, you weren't able to go to school, 
were you? 
Bowers 

No. I quit school. 
Carr 

You quit school. How come? 
Bowers 

Oh. I don't like school. 
Carr 

Why? 
Bowers 

Get into too many fights, get in too much trouble when you go to school. 

Carr 

You're fifteen years old now, right? 
Bowers 

Uh-huh. 
Carr 

What class were you in? 
Boioers 

I was in the eighth. 
Carr 

You were in the eighth grade. 
Bowers 

Uh-huh. 
Carr 

Before, your mother was telling me that sometimes it was a problem having 
enough clothes or even shoes to get to school — has that ever been a problem 
for you? 

Boicers 

Yeah. Been a problem lots of times. 
Carr 

Ever been a time when you haven't had the clothes to put on and shoes to put 
on? Bare feet? 

Bowers 

Uh-huh. 
Carr 

The other kids ever say anything? 
Bowers 

Yeah. They make fun of you. 
Carr 

They make fun of you ? 
Bowers 

Uh-huh. 



5985 

Carr 

And what does it feel like. \A-hen you aren't wearing shoes or aren't wearing 
the right clothes, and the other kids are making fun of yoiiV 

Boiccrs 

Just makes you feel different, that's all. 
Carr 

Is that why you left school? 
Bowers 

Uh-huh. Won't go back for nothing, neither. 
Carr 

Why? 
Boicers 

I just don't like school. 
Carr 

How about lunches at school ? Do you get lunch at school ? 
Bowers 

Uh-huh. 
Carr 

Do you have to buy them? 
Bowers 

Yeah. 
Carr 

Did you always have the money to pay for it? 
Boicers 

No. Sometimes we'd have to charge it. 
Carr 

Did you ever have to not eat and watch the other kids eat? 
Botcers 

Yeah. Did that a lot of times, too. 
Carr 

What does that feel like? 
Bowers 

They've got something better than you, and it makes you feel like a bum. I 
guess that what I am anyhow. 

Carr 

You think you're a bum? 
Bowers 

Yeah. 
Carr 

Why? Why, Jackson? 
Bowers 

I don't have — I don't have the things other people have. 
Huntley {VO) {Citrus Montage) 

If Florida's famous for anything beyond Palm Beach and Miami, it is oranges. 
Huntley (OC) {Huntley in Orange Grove) 

Two-thirds of the oranges grown in the United States are Florida oranges, 
from groves like this one, which happens to belong to ^Minute Maid. Florida farm 
workers each year harvest a citrus crop worth $400 million dollars to the grow- 
ers. That translates into more than 25 billion oranges each year, virtually every 
one of them picked by hand. 



5986 

Huntley (VO) {Citrus Montage) 

Flor da orange pickers, like other migrants, are usually paid a piece rate based 
on how many boxes they fill. This past season, the going piece rate was 35 cents 
a box. Even during the height of the season, there are days when there is no 
work. The weather is bad, the fruit isn't ready, or the processing plants are over- 
loaded. A worker who might have been making $25 on a good day finds himself 
with days at a time, or weeks at a time, when he can't make a dime. That is why, 
when work is available, entire families go into the groves. 

Carr {Martin Carr Intervieus Mr. and Mrs. Farmer {OC) ) 

Mrs. Farmer, how many children do you have? 
Mrs. Farmer 

Five. 
Carr 

How about when you were pregnant, did you have to work then? 
Mrs. Farmer 

Sure. 
Carr 

While you were pregnant. About how far along? 
Mrs. Farmer 

Uh — until 'bout I guess two weeks before the baby was born. But then if 
you've got kids they have to eat, and got to have a place to live, so — you auto- 
matically do what you wouldn't do if you didn't have them. 

Carr 

The two of you go out and work. 
Mr. Farmer 

"Well, we can make it better when both of us are working, and uh — by myself 
I can't make it. I don't make enough money. 

Carr 

What do you do when you're by yourself there, in a day? How much money? 
Mr. Farmer 

Approximately ten dollars ; it's hard to say because you may get in a grove 
that has good fruit, then you may get one that you can't make nothing out of. 

Carr 

Do you ever know in advance how much work you're going to have? 
Mr. Farmer 

No, sir. We might be told today to be ready in the morning, and in the morning 
they may tell us to forget it. We have it rough. We do have it rough, but we 
work. And fruit-picking is the hardest work — I mean it's harder than construc- 
tion work or any work that I know. 

Carr 

But do you think you'll get caught in it? Do you want to get out of It? 
Mr. Farmer 

Uh, yes, I want to get out of it, but I don't know how. 
Carr 

Why is it that you're not working right now? 
Mrs. Botcers {Martin Carr intervieics Mrs. Boivers {OC)) 

Well, the trees are too tall, and I can't handle a ladder by myself. 
Carr 

Well why do you have to handle the ladder by yourself? Can't your husband 
help you? 

Mrs. Bowers 
He's not here. 



5987 

Carr 

Who is working to support tlie family? 
Mrs. Bowers 

"Well, I work two days, but that's all. They said that I couldn't clean the trees 
good because I had to go up on the ladder, and I didn't do it — couldn't do it by 
myself. 

Carr 

In those two days, how much money did you make? 
Mrs. Bowers 

Well my son and me made — well my son worked with me too, and we made $32. 
Carr 

You made $32 for the two days. 
Mrs. Bowers 

Uh huh. 
Carr 

On a good week, what do you make? 
Mrs. Bridges {Martin Carr Interviews Mrs. Bridges (OC) ) 

Well, sometime I may have $50, maybe $60. 
Carr 

On a good week. 
Mrs. Bridges 

Uh huh, that's a good week for me. 
Carr 

And how many people are you supporting here out of that? 
Mrs. Bridges 

Well, just I and my daughter, four kids. 
Carr 

Are you worried about the future ? 
Mrs. Bridges 

I sure am ... I don't see no future, nothing but hard work and I mean I 
don't ever save anything. 

Carr 

Can't get ahead. 
Mrs. Bridges 

No, never get ahead. 
Carr 

What do you think of the house? 
Mrs. Bridges 

Well I just think it's terrible, it's not enough work to do, for a large family. 
And these houses just too small. It's al' right for maybe just a husband and wife, 
but when it come round to maybe 7 or 8 or maybe 10 people in the house, it's 
just too many. 

Carr 

You have 8 people in this house? 
Mrs. Bridges 

That's right. 
Carr 

You lived here for a long time? 
Mrs. Bridges 

Uhhuh. 



5988 

Carr 

How long? 
Mrs. Bridges 

12 years. 
Carr 

12 years. Who owns these houses ? 
Carr {VO) {Track under for Carr (VO)) 

These homes, I was told, are owned by the Coca Cola Company. Coca Cola is 
at work on a major plan, which, it claims, will correct the failings it has found 
in its citrus operation. 

Lassiter {Mr. Lassiter interrupts interview) 

Are you in charge? 
Carr 

Yes, sir. 
Lassiter 

Who'd you say give you i>ermission? 
Carr 

Are we trespassing? 
Lassiter 

Yes. 
Carr 

Why? 
Lassiter 

Becau.se this is a Coca-Cola Foods property. 
Carr 

Uh huh. 
Lassiter 

You got business here, it's fine. But you got to make it okay with one of our 
department. 

Carr 

Right ; in other words we can't talk to the lady . . . 
Lassiter 

If you don't have i^ermission, I suggest you leave till you get permission. 
They'd like to know about it . . . 

Carr 

iThe only reason I'm asking is . . . 
Lassiter 

. . . we'd be glad to have you, if you tell us what you want and what you're 
after and all. But we don't just have people just dropping in, and taking over, 
till we know what they're doing, see? 

Carr 

Well, how — let me lask you, how do you visit somebwly at their home? I mean 
this is their home, right? 

Lassiter (Lassiter walking away) 

Ain't no argument, I'll call Joe and see what he says. 
Carr 

I'm just trying to finish an intervieAV — 
Lassiter 

All right, let me see if he wants you to move or not, now. 



5989 

Carr 

I think that we should leave. I don't want you to feel that you're going to get 
into trouble, okay? 

Mrs. Bridges 

Ask me a question, and I know all I can do is tell you this . . . that's all. I 
mean so far as 

Carr 

Well, we did beautifully and we talked. 
Mrs. Bridges 

So 

Carr 

Thank you. 
Huntley (VO) {Minute Maid eamp and plant) 

Coca Cola provides 80 individual housing units rent-free to families who work 
in its groves. In its three labor camps. Coke has dormitories for 400 .single men 
who migrate to Florida for the citrus season. Coca Cola Foods, using the brand 
names Minute Maid. Snow Crop and Hi-C. is the largest single grower and 
processor of oranges in the world. The oranges they don't grow themselves, they 
have to buy. A total of about 350.000.000 a year. Giants like Coca-Cola and other 
large corporations such as Tropicana. Lykes-Pasco and Donald Duck support the 
Citrus Industrial Council, an agency to advise them on labor and harvesting 
practices. Its executive director. Clark M. Ghiselin, explained how citrus workers 
are paid. 

Huntley (Chet Huntley Intervieics Mr. Ghiselin (OC) ) 

Well Mr. Ghiselin. would a weekly wage system be impossible, in this citrus 
industry? 

GMselin 

"We have an average wage in the industry now of $2.r>0 an hour, which is a 
dollar — approximately a dollar 20 cents an hour higher than the national farm 
labor average. 

Huntley 

Mr. Ghiselin, is it true that a husband working in the groves alone, cannot 
make a living without the help of his wife and sometimes his children? 

Ghiselin 

I would have to examine the particular — the cases involved, but it could very 
well be, and we do find this in some — in quite a bit of frequency in our recruit- 
ment, that there are many people who are just not adaptable to picking citrus — 
Climbing a ladder and handling a bag, just the hard, arduous work day in and 
day out. 

Huntley 

We keep hearing, Mr. Ghiselin, that the citrus picker really has no desire to 
work 6 or 7 days a week over a period of time. 

Ghiselin. 

There are a certain i)ercentage of pickers in the industry who will work at 
every opportunity that's offered to them — we offer generally, as an average, 
l>etween 40 and 48 hours of work a week. The average — the average number of 
days that the picker works, is about three and a half. His hours per day run 
about 6.1. Now, this is all averages. This means the worker who goes out there 
and doesn't pick a bov, as opposed to the worker who will pick 100 boxes in a day. 

Huntley (VO) (Orange Grove) 

According to the.se figures, the average worker earns a yearly salary well 
below .$2,000. Unless he has help from his wife and children, he is earning less 
than half of what the United States Government defines as the poverty level. 
And the Citrus Indu.strial Council tells us 80% of the migrants working in the 
groves earn even less than this. These are just the statistics, numbers which 
must be translated into human beings, who work when work is available, but 
fall farther and farther behind, as Ernest Jarvis who works in the orange 
groves, explains. 



5990 

Carr {Martin Carr interviews Ernest Jarvis (OC) ) 

Do you ever manage to save any money? Do you ever find yourself coming 
out ahead? 

Jarvis 

No, there's mighty few times I find myself coming out ahead. That's the 
reason I'm here now. If I was ahead, I wouldn't — I'm behind — 

Carr 

You owe money. 
Jarvis 

I owe money. I owe my landlord money and I owe my boss man money. I ain't 
been able to pay my boss man for the last four weeks, which that he — for the 
little work I do, he lets me keep the money, to pay my board bill and stuff like 
that, and he says when we get to working good, then you can pay me some. 

Carr 

Since you're not able to save any money, do you ever worry about say ten years 
from now or 15 years from now? 

Jarvis 

All the time. Not only then, I worry about the present, now. 
Carr 

What do you think? 
Jarvis 

I think that I need more work or better something — I need more of something. 
To have something to go on. 

Carr 

Do you have any money coming to you when you're say 60 or 65 ? 
Jarvis 

Well, accordingly, they say they would pay, they say pay Social Security some- 
thing like that. Get 65, I could probably be able to draw it. But I don't know 
whether that would be enough. Probably be living about the same then as now. 

Carr 

How old are you now, Mr. Jarvis? 
Jarvis 

Me, I am 39. 
Carr 

You're 39 years old ? 
Jarvis 

39 years old. 
Huntley (VO) (Footage of Old People) 

Ernest Jarvis may never be faced with the problem of collecting Social Se- 
curity. The United States Public Health Service estimates that while you and 
I may live until the age of 70. the life expectancy for a migrant worker in 
America is 49 years. All of us, even newsmen, disilike facing the unpleasant. We 
want to turn away, avoid looking and asking those painful questions. And getting 
the even more painful answers. But after careful consideration, the seriousness 
of this subject compelled us to intrude upon tihe privacy of some of these people. 
We felt it necessary to include these interviews in our broadcast, so we would 
all be forced to face the sad reality of these people's lives. W^e talked to Mr. and 
Mr. Aubrey Gay. It was painful for us, it will probably be painful for you. 
Carr 

Mr. Gay, do you stay here during the summer? 
Mr. Gay {Martin Carr Intermews Mr. <£ Mrs. Gay {OC) ) 

Yes. 
Carr 

Why is that? 



i 



5991 

.Ur. Gay 

Well. ... if you go near to Michigan, you up there and work, trying to get 
back you still don't accomplish anything. You spend what you make going, and 
spend what you make coming back. 

Carr 

Mrs. Gay, what do you think will happen to your children when they grow up? 
Mrs. Gay 

I don't know. 
Carr 

Do you think they'll work in the fields like you? 
Mrs. Gay 

If they're still farming, they probably will. 
Carr 

Is that what you'd like for them to do? 
Mrs. Gay 

No. 
Carr 

Do all of your children have enough clothes ? 
Mrs. Gay 

Not all of them, they got enough they can make out with. 
Carr 

They all have shoes? 
Mrs. Gay 

Yes. 
Carr 

Do you ever have to go around and ask anybody, ask any of your friends or 
relatives for help? 

Mrs. Gay 

Yes. 
Carr 

What kind of help? 
Mrs. Gay 

Well, I — if I didn't have the money and had to have milk and borrow money, 
stuff like that. 

Carr 

What does it feel like, as a mother, not to be able to give your children the 
food that you think they should have? 

Mrs. Gay 
It feels pretty bad. 

Can- 
When they go off to school, do they get a free meal in school? 

Mrs. Gay 
Two of 'em does. (Weeping) (says something indistinct) 

Carr 
Okay. 

Huntley iOC) (Huntley close) 

We concentrated on conditions in Florida, which oflScially describes the 

migrants a.s, quote, the most economically and socially deprived segment of 

population in tlie United States, end quote. W^e could have made this film in any 

number of other states. But we chose Florida because it depends on the migrants. 

And for more and more of them, Florida is now home. 



5992 

NBC News invited the Grovernor of Florida, Claude Kirk, to discuss these 
problems with us, but unfortunately, Governor Kirk declined. 

The responsibility goes beyond Florida and other states that depend on mi- 
grant labor. Beyond even large farmers, big business, organized labor and federal 
agencies. To say that no programs have been instituted to help the migrants 
would be misleading. It is our observation that recent reforms have had little 
substantial effect on the conditions of their lives. 

It should be the respon.sibility of all Americans to see that no American is 
deprived of the quality of life that the re.st of us take for granted. 

It has been 10 years since Edward R. Murrow made HARVEST OF SHAME. 
We hope that no one will need to make a film about migrants ten years from 
now. 

Senator Moxdale. We have heard charges that the documentary was 
biased, unfair, distorted, and failed to represent the (rood as well as 
the bad. 

What is your response to those charges ? 

Mr. Carr. I have been hearing that charge, Senator, before I ever 
finished shooting the documentiary. I heard the charge repeatedly while 
I was editing it. I heard the charge from the head of agriculture of 
the State of Florida who said, "It is biased, unfair, one-sided, although 
I have not yet seen it." 

I heard it again from the Governor of Florida. 

According to the Miami Herald, the Governor of Florida repeated 
it the day after the program. He claimed it was so biased he did not 
bother to watch it. 

Senator Mondale. Did you offer the Governor an opportunity to be 
in the show ? 

Mr. Carr. Yes ; we did, Senator. 

Senator Mondale. '\^niat did the Governor do with that offer? 

Mr. Carr. Initially he was delighted with the offer. He said he 
would like to be interviewed by diet Huntley as long as the interview 
was conducted in an orange grove. We set up a tentative date to be 
confirmed by the Governor or his office. 

"\^nien the date approached and we had not heard from the Gov- 
ernor we began to call. Our calls — well, we never managed to get 
through. Finally we sent a series of telegrams. Four days before 
the scheduled interview the Governor's office phoned and said the 
Governor preferred not to go ahead with the interview. 

He had heard that the program was biased, one sided, and he did 
not feel that he could do justice to the subject under the circumstances. 

Senator Mondale. Was Mr. Wedgworth offered a chance to be inter- 
viewed for this program ? 

Mr. Carr. Mr. Wedgworth expressed the desire to participate in 
the program. We had a long meeting lasting an entire afternoon as 
a matter of fact, where Mr. Wedgworth and his mother set forth 
their views. When Andrew Duda agreed to become part of the pro- 
gram since their views seemed to coincide in all matters I informed 
Mr. Wedgworth that it would not be necessary to include him in the 
broadcast. 

I also felt that there were strings attached to his cooperation and 
that certain of the problems he had created for me in the State of 
Florida made me wonder about his truthfulness, to be exact, as a 
person to be interviewed. 

Senator Mondale. What were those obstacles and what were the 
problems ? 



5993 

'Slv. Carr. "Wo had been coiuhictin*; an interview in the rural legal 
services office with a lawj-er and a field representative of rural legal 
services in Florida. 

The interview we were filming had just ended, when Mr. Wedg- 
worth burst in on the proceedings and wondered who we were and 
why we were there. 

Senator Moxdale. Where was that ? 

Mr. Carr. That was in Belle Glade, Fla., at the office of n^iral legal 
services. 

Senator Moxdale. Mr. "Wedgwoith broke into that office? 

Mr. Carr. He is a member of the board as I understand it and had 
been there that afternoon attending a meeting. It was explained to him, 
I think quite carefully, by a field representative and by one of the 
lawyers why we were there. 

However, the following day the headlines in the Palm Beach papers 
were to the effect that XBC crew uses rural legal ser\'ices without 
authority, and went on to point out that we were there for no reason 
that he could discern and in addition created the impression that since 
nobody of responsibility to rural legal services was about, we might 
have gone through the drawers and read the records that they were 
keeping. 

I thought that was rather unfair. To be fair to Mr. Wedgworth, 
however, he did apologize for this. He said, "Although I gave the re- 
porter this information I had no idea he would print it." 

Senator ]Moxdale. Xow the chief charge is that the documentary is 
biased ; the growers indicate that the situation there is much better for 
the migrants than your documentary reflects. Can you give us your 
response to that charge ? 

Mr. Carr. I would say that the documentary does speak for itself, 
and is a fair j^icture of conditions as they exist in Florida. 

I am not acquainted with, and I spent a considerable amount of time 
in the State, many of these so-called improved conditions that Mr. 
Wedgworth, for instance, was referring to. 

Senator Moxdale. How long were you in Florida ? 

How long were you personally there ? 

How widely dicl you travel ? 

Mr. Carr. I traveled fairly extensively from the southern part of 
Dade County to a hundred miles north of Orlando and from one coast 
to the other coast of Florida. 

All told I spent roughly 2 months in Florida. I had been working 
on the documentary since sometime in February. 

Senator Moxdale. There have been charges that the documentary 
itself was changed substantially, or changed in some way, as a result 
of pressure from Coca-Cola. 

Would you respond to that ? 

Mr. Carr. It is my understanding, though I was not part of the 
meeting that occurred, that Coca-Cola brought to the attention of 
XBC the day of the scheduled showing of the documentary a plan that 
they intended to put into effect to improve conditions for the migrant 
workers in citrus in Florida. 

The president of XBC Xews, Eeuven Frank, brought this plan to 
my attention and felt that to be fair to Coca-Cola it would be good 



36-513 O — 71 — pt. 8c 



5994 

to include the plan or mention the plan in the documentary and 
wondered if this were possible. 

Since it was possible I agreed to do it, trying to be fair to Coca- 
Cola. In addition, Coca-Cola felt that they bore an unfair share of 
responsibility for setting the standards, that is wage standards, liv- 
ing standards, for migrant workers in Florida, and this was brought 
to my attention also by Mr. Frank and I agreed. 

One sentence was deleted trying to give the impression that not 
only Coke but other large companies bore a fair share of the respon- 
sibility and taking the onus off Coca-Cola individually. 

Senator Mondale. In your opinion, were those serious changes ? 

Mr. Carr. No ; if they had either falsified the documentary or weak- 
ened it in any way I probably would not have agreed to them. I found 
them to be truthful, easy to make, and perfectly agreeable. 

Senator Mondale. Now, Mr. Wedgworth commented that migrants 
should not be called bums, that this degrades them. But it is my recol- 
lection in the documentary that that reference was derived from an 
interview with a young boy who said, of himself, that he felt he was 
a bum. 

Is my recollection correct ? 

Mr. Carr. That is right. Senator, absolutely correct. 

Senator Mondale. That interview captured something that I have 
seen so many times in migrant camps, ghettos and Indian reserv'a- 
tions, with the poor in this country. They express a sense of defeat, 
self-deprecation, hopelessness, despair, and just general ruin. 

Would you not say that this migratory labor system must be one of 
the cruelest and most tortuous human institutions in America today ? 

Mr. Carr. Judging from the many examples of destroyed humanity 
that I met daily as I traveled around the State of Florida I can't 
help but agree, Senator. 

Senator Mondale. I am sorry that I lost my temper with Mr, Wedg- 
worth, but it boils from frustration over my inability to express to 
the American public the cruel destruction visited upon these children, 

I thought you were able to capture that for a brief moment in the 
documentary, I do not believe Americans would permit this to hap- 
pen if they could visit these camps and talk to these children, 

I just don't think they would do it. But since it is remote and distant, 
as we find, even from some of the major corporations that own these 
camps. Somehow for 75 years this system has operated and continued, 
and some claim it is worse today than it was, say, 25 years ago. 

Thus I can only hope that this documentary helps shock the con- 
science of this country and that there might follow the kind of legis- 
lation that will enable these people to have their own fair share of 
political and economic power to seek a better life — that they might 
finally be accorded the protections of the same social and economic 
legislation that has protected the rest of us for years. 

That is my hope. I am not very optimistic, but that is my hope. I 
thank you very much for a most sensitive and most moving 
documentary. 

Mr. Carr. Thank you very much. Senator. 

Senator Mondale, Did you watch the workers in the field ? 

Mr, Carr, While we were filming, yes. 



5995 

Senator Mondale. Did you get the impression that there was a 
hick of motivation on the part of tliese workers to go out and work to 
earn a living? 

Mr. Cahr. Just the opposite, Senator. In a constant series of inter- 
views I heard over and over again the statement to the effect that they 
wanted to work, only work was not always available, and when it 
was they were more than delighted to take it. 

Senator Moxdale. Was it your impression that they were lazy 
workei-s, that those who had jobs did not seem to be exerting 
themselves ? 

Mr. Carr. Just the opposite. It is extremely difficult work and most 
of the workers that I observed were working very, very hard. 

Senator Moxdale. Last week I was in Uvalde, Tex., at the home of 
a Mexican-American family. The father worked in a local grocery 
store I think for $3,300 a year. There were around eight or 10 in the 
family. The mother was 36; she was a brilliant lady who had educated 
herself. 

She told me that last summer she left her husband home to work in 
a grocery store and took her whole family north to work in the sugar 
beets. They worked all summer, the whole family, to earn enough 
money to keep that family going. 

I have seen this story repeatedly, hundreds of times. To say that 
there are questions about motivation — I have never seen a group so 
motivated. They don't want welfare, they are very proud people, until 
we beat that pride and dignity out of them. 

Mr. Carr. AVell, we did not have time. Senator, to include this in the 
documentary but when we visited a bean field, since it was only em- 
ployment available at the time on that day, I learned that the average 
worker in the fiekl had traveled approximately 150 miles in order to be 
able to get to work that day. 

They worked for about 8 hours picking beans and left, pocketing 
about $8. 

Senator Moxdale. Were there situations w^hicli you filmed that were 
worse than those which were in the documentary ? 

Mr. Carr. I would say that the documentary is a fair picture of the 
conditions as they exist in Florida. 

Senator Moxdale. You also took some film of doctors examining 
children of migrants and farmworkers in Texas, did you not? 

Mr, Carr. Yes, I did, Senator. 

Senator Moxdale. I understand that the decision was made later 
that that would not be included. Could you comment a little bit on 
your appraisal of what you saw during those medical examinations 
and what kinds of conclusions you personally drew from the condi- 
tions there in that area in Texas ? 

Mr. Carr. If I may speak as a human being rather than as a reporter. 

Senator Moxdale. Without objection that will be granted. It will be 
for the first time though. [Laughter.] 

Mr. Carr. I was horrified. I had spent about 10 months examining 
the i)roblem of hunger in America. I thought I had became rather 
inured to conditions of poveity and extreme hunger and of the disease 
that usually goes along with it. In all of my travels around the United 
States, investigating hunger and in all of my travels investigating the 



5996 

migrant situation both in Florida and in Texas, I never saw anything 
worse or I think as bad as the conditions I observed in Hidalgo County 
that week I was there. 

I would have liked to include the whole sequence with the doctors 
in the documentary. As I informed the doctors, regrettably it was not 
possible simply for considerations of time. 

Senator Moxdale. Is there any chance that another documentary 
can be done on that aspect, on the health problems of the disadvan- 
taged ? 

Mr. Carr. That is a decision I can't make, Senator. 

Senator Moxdale. Have you had a chance to examine any of the 
materials submitted to you by Mr. AVedgworth ? 

Mr. Carr. Only the material that I received in the course of pre- 
paring the documentary which did not come directly from Mr. Wedg- 
worth but came from the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association. I 
felt it incumbent upon me to read all of the material that thev sent 
to NBC. " 

I may say it took several nights to digest it all. And while they did 
bring to my attention several changes or perhaps improvements that 
they might have made in living conditions for the migrants in Florida 
it was my feeling that none of these so-called changes or improvements 
had any substantial effect on the basic quality of life of the migrants. 

Senator Mondale. I was in Florida, with the Nutrition Committee, 
going over the food stamp program and commodity food programs to 
which Mr. Wedgworth made mention. 

It is true that in some counties there are food programs. But it is 
also true they are token programs, and they really don't meet any 
substantial or significant portions of the problem. 

I think that is the issue here. 

In the documentary there are a few occasions which you were or- 
dered off property and even threatened. Was this prohibition from 
going on premises and interviewing workers and talking to them a 
major problem in developing the documentary, or was that just a 
minor isolated problem? 

Mr. Carr. There were many instances of intimidation, or over co- 
operation you might say. One wonders if a migrant is going to give an 
open interview standing 4 paces from the sheriff. But it is a problem 
that I have learned to handle so that it did not seriously affect our 
operations. 

"We had to gear ourselves as a commando unit and move before any- 
one knew where we might be going in order to arrive before the sheriff 
or before the farmowner or whatever other local officials might be 
interested. 

We managed to do this in most instances. 

Seenator Moxdale. Again, thank you very much. Mr. Carr. for very 
useful testimony. 

Mr. Carr. Thank you. 

Senator Moxdai>e. Mr. Harlan Chidsey, a New York State fanner, 
and Mr. James Pierce, of the National Sharecroppei-s Fund have re- 
quested to testify, but I am afraid we do not have time to hear them 
today. It is now 12 :-l-5. I will ask unanimous consent that their state- 
ments appear in full at the conclusion of today's hearings as though 
read. 

If either of them wishes to testify we will be glad to schedule a time 
when they can appear personally. 



5997 

^rr. Chids?:v [from the iiudience]. Sir, I feci that to f^ve fair treat- 
ment to tlie witnesses I should be heard. I have driven 900 miles back 
and forth to come here to testify. 

Senator Moxdale. Come on up to the witness table. 

Mr. Chidsey. Do you mean it or not ? 

Senator ]Moxdale. I mean it. 

Mr. CiiiDSEY. I am surprised that a citizen of this country has to 
beg for a chance to testify on a subject as impoitant as this. I have 
gotten nothing but the runaround. 

STATEMENT OF HARLAND W. CHIDSEY, FARMER, HARLAND W. 
CHIDSEY FARMS, PENN YAN, N.Y. 

Mr. Chidsey. Senator ^Slondale, members of the committee, and 
ladies and gentlemen: I am Harland Chidsey, 46, of Penn Yan, X.Y. 

In the operation of my 280-acre vegetable crop farm I have used 
and housed migratory labor for the last 20 yeaj-s. 

To represent myself as God's gift to the migrant before this hearing 
would be inconceivable. But rather to be myself and express to you my 
beliefs and philosophy toward my fellow man regardless of his station 
in life and the hue of his skin. 

One's beliefs and actions today are tempered by the profit and loss 
factor, agriculture is no exception and neither am I. From the firet 
use of migrant labor I found that they are not cheap labor, but that 
their ability to do weeding, picking, and packing of vegetable crops 
was essential to me. 

The first crop was planted and growing, the people were coming, 
where do you put them ? How much do you pay them ? That chicken- 
house was the newest building on the farm at that time. Scrubbed, 
disinfected, and painted with one addition for a kitchen and another 
for two flush toilets and two showers, curtains and our home tele- 
vision (the workers had it in the summer and we had the set in the 
winter) . "We were said to have had one of the first camps with flush 
toilets, I know it was the first chickenhouse to have his and her 
showers. 

The first wages were about 80 cents per hour with a piecework 
rate of 10 cents per bushel for picking green tomatoes, figured at 10 
hours per day this was .300 percent more than these workers made in 
the South at that time and free rent and firewood were furnished. 

Sensing a need to ])rotect the workers and myself in case of work- 
connected accidents, Xew York State compensation coverage was car- 
ried and paid for by me from the second year on. About 15 years 
before compensation became mandatoiy in Xew York State for many 
farmworkers. 

I have personally introduced resolutions at the county level of farm 
bureau to cover all farm labor in the State regardless of a farmer's 
payroll, it is now only mandatory for all farmers with payrolls over 
$1,200 per year. 

The first few years of operating a camp was a time of learning for 
both myself and the workers. I found that they could do many or all 
jobs that my farm needed. 

Tractor driving, supervising, and truck dri\dng. In order to main- 
tain steady work and wages. I would stagger the workers' arrival and 
departure in accordance with their wishes and my needs. 



5998 

Some workers in those years returned to my farm as many as 7 
years. Many years the turnover of personnel would be less than 20 
percent. 

Yes, we had behavior problems, cleanliness, adjustments, and com- 
munity concerns. Many of these type problems are still with us today. 

One has to be employer, negotiator, peace officer, nurse, and public 
i-elations man to run a labor camp. 

Wages over the years have been raised voluntarily by me to be com- 
petitive with other jobs through negotiations with the employees and 
to be above any minimums enacted by governmental edicts. 

New York State has been interested in and inspecting labor camps 
and the treatment given migratory labor for all the years that I have 
operated a camp. Their concerns have been health, housing, fire haz- 
ards, education, and wage payment practices. I am proud that my 
State has led the way in these areas. 

One concern of the State was fire-resistant material on the inside 
walls of camps. This regulation was enforced on a downward sliding 
scale according to the number of residents in a camp. 

Starting with camps over 150 persons and all new structures, down 
to camps with 12 or over in about 5 years. Now it covere all camps, 
would your house pass ? 

This approach growers knew was coming and had time to make 
financial arrangements to comply. 

For many years all departmental groups with interest in migratory 
labor made a five meeting tour of the State to explain changes in laws 
and regulations concerning camp operations. The farmers were kept 
informed and the department personnel learned from the growers in 
order to realistically approach future problems. 

In recent years my employees have favored chili, hot peppers, and 
tortillas, over chops, neck bone, and black-eyed peas. The size of my 
camp is now the main building which has been refurbished three 
times, plus nine smaller family-type buildings and a new larger 
shower and toilet building. The camp holds up to 45 people under the 
State regulations. 

Over the years we have worked closely with the State and Federal 
farm labor people in procuring workers and in trying to keep the 
worker busy in more than one area or State. 

Our local churches and medical people have provided a house of 
concern for any people who might need help. Recently opened is a 
clinic that is available to migrant and local persons. 1 have always 
looked to the churches as a source of help if an emergency arose in 
conjunction with my camp. 

Public health resources have always been available to the migrants 
of our area — letting the migrant pay according to his resources and 
keep claim to his dignity. 

To bring this committee up to date on my own and local wage rates, 
I am enclosing certificates of intent which are sent to or presented each 
worker before work is started. 

Much of my statement has been on my operation. I will say that 
80 percent of New York State camps are as good as or better than 
mine and that pay schedules match or are better than mine. 

In 1960, the country was shocked by the plight of the migrant as 
depicted by CBS's Harvest of Shame. I was concerned at the one 
sidedness of that presentation. It also spurred me to do even better by 
my workers. 



5999 

Xow we have the sequel by NBC that sliows even more bias and one 
sidedness. Surely I am concerned with tlie humanitarian problems. 
I am aware that if other growers are not paying the price for labor or 
providing adequate living facilities that these growers or processors 
have an unfair advantage over me at the marketplace. 

Senator Moxdale. Would you yield there ? 

Mr. CiiiDSEY. Yes, sir. 

Senator Moxdale. There was an educational television documentary 
''AMu^t Harvest for the Reaper,'' on the condition of migratory workers 
in Xew York State 2 years ago by National Educational Television. 
Did you see that ? 

Mr. Chidsey. I believe I saw it, sir. I cannot remember it well 
enough to make too much comment on it. 

Senator Moxdale. The documentar}- seen the other night was on 
Horida migrants. The other to which I make reference was migrants 
in Xew York State. 

Mr. Chidsey. The committee may think I am liorning in because my 
statement is about migrants in Xew York State. When they talk 
of migrants, to me it means migrants in the United States. 

Any inference as to treatment of migrants refers to me personally 
because I am a migrant camp operator. 

Senator Moxdale. There seems to be a feeling that all these docu- 
mentaries are distorted. The one on Xew York migrants was really, 
I thought, devastating. 

Mr. Chidsey. Was that the one with the barbed wire around the 
camp on Long Island ? 

Senator Moxdale. Yes; on Long Island, Was that documentary 
distorted, too ? 

]Mr. Chidsey. We had two Senators, Mr. Javits and the late Mr. 
Kennedv who inspected the camps. They went to the worst ones in 
the State. 

Mr, Mittlemax', I believe the camp was called the Sodus Camp. 

Mr. Chidsey. In Wayne County. 

Mr. MiTTLEMAx. That camp consisted of abandoned bus hulks. 
They had stripped them down and set tlieni up in a row and that was 
the housing for the migi'ants. 

Mr. Chidsey. I am not proud of that but I would have liked to 
have had at least my own representatives of my own State look at 
some better camps and see what is being done. 

May I finish now ? 

Senator Moxdale. By all means. 

Mr. Chidsey. AMien Mr. Huntley spoke that the migrants' lot had 
not improved over the last 10 years, he is false. When a man of his 
supposed stature, employed by a large network, flagrantly omits the 
large number of growers and processors who have conscientiously 
provided good to excellent housing and fair wages to migratory farm- 
workers, he should be censored by all. 

I have always felt that telling both sides of a subject was an 
American trait. AATiat do you think ? 

Each person who has Voi-ked for me must verify my honesty and 
sincerity in my dealing with them. I would hasten to add that there 
is a power greater than any of us to judge our treatment of our 
fellow man. With this in mind, I submit that I have never exploited 
any person knowingly. I am but one of a great number of camp 
operators over the country that can say this. 

Senator Moxdale. Thank you very much. 



6000 

Mr. Chidsey. If I could just have one second. 

Senator Mondale. By all means. 

Mr. Chidsey. For you people that don't see them these are certifi- 
cates of intent that Xew York State law requires the farmer or grower 
or processor to file for the workers. 

They spell out the minimums that the worker will get. I liaA-e four 
here that came from four camps right in my area. They go from a 
low of $1.45 an hour with piecework that would pay up to $2, $2.50 an 
hour, to a high of $1.75 and a piecework schedule that could pay up 
to $30 or $35 a day. 

It also sets forth what will be the worker's responsibility, what 
room rent will be charged, whether electricity and fuel will be charged, 
transportation to New York. 

It is all spelled out here. If an employer in the New York State can 
not live up to this he is liable under the labor laws of the State of 
New York. 

(The information referred to follows :) 



6001 



1 ^*,'•^i"ndi!l^^ \ 9- !>IA1F Ol Ni;\\ YOUK- 1)1 CAKIMI .^1 Ol I AMOK '"" ^|,','^„' "'"v"" -'■""' 

j[~^(^^ APPIICATION FOR MIGRANT LABOR REGISTRATION CERTIFICATF ^/ 'V/i/'U 

W.K „,., b. .««>on..l>le for fc„r>«,nB 5 or mo/-^ M>r««ri .nro N.~ Yort, Slor. -TlKour „■;;.,, „ , „.,,^^ , I fh,'; / ■^ / / ' 
^cr..,r,n,' X y-ES 1 J NO. (II roor •<•.«> .< "NO" rJU o.«V not comjj.t. (h.. (onr,, ,( ^„^, ..,.».. 

7 CD. " "'"" """ °" ''""°"" '" """ "" " """'"' ""' " °"°"''""'"' '"'•' ' */»/;-. .;^;/ 



/^RkfiNa w CHlD^-r FMMS 



T^tA<, 



3.-0. 


OF MIGRANTS 


J- 


-<^^ 


^^'- 


•s^aRkEHS 



APPROXIMATE DATES OF EMPLOYMENT 

5. DATE mCRANTS BEGIN »3((K ~[ 6. OAT E MIGRANTS E 



J . , PMO. I 



AMf" / ;'77o 



^cr, /r /<?7.o_ 



P/9/0 /?>' I-/ ■^■Cf^iosey RcCfhROLGii dP \^/HcRe \A/6RH (S P^f/f- 



}4.\>-/. CHIP55 ^'^f^n ;:./A6o/? C/^/v?p Rp./ _ ft^vv/^ ^'/9a/ ^ >^7-^j- 

8. Will there bt a commijsxy seiiinj food oi olher goods at this camp? ^ yes; M no C/SAfiePtf — P^^fi _ C/iHO V 

Check lypfol goods to [« sold orleased at this commissaiy^pM^ALS; [;; groceries. L j other (specify) /yf*/^ l^/KN/^^S 

9. List chiel craps, the mrti to be done, and wage lates the migrams will be paid foi each type ol worl( on each crop. 

9A.CHrEF CROPS 96. work TO BE DONE 

ptcueo -f- 1 occeo 



"'•"n''DL'LY"^'cw'*'° 

□ EVERY TWO WEEKS 



rJ"5; ^"i 






YES. n« 



9L. RATES TO MIGRANTS PER BUSHEL. HOUR. ETC. 

yo e-cf^r-s P^/? Bo. 

12. S'S^Verp'.Pc?*^"' '"-'-" *•"""= -o- -"CM .o^JT lira ilt AND .H 

PfilO Ai Bathos //= \/^i/?Kc^ iT^y* 77J~^ . 



YES". LIST ALL CHARCBS BELOW 






13B. AMOUNT OF CHARGE (INDICATE WHETHtR PER PERSON. PER 



o<-T.J^^ I 9 TO 

ETC.) 



ELECTRICITY 

OR /_UE L 

BUNKETS 
fRANSPORTATION 
TONY. STATE 
TRANSPORTAtiON 
FROM N.Y. STATE 

OTHER CHARGES (EXPLAIN) 






A/a CMARCe 









NaN ^ . 

e<j by WorkmeB's Conpensalion Insurarce' 5^ y 



□ ho By I 



' Liability Insurance' [J yes 



ojSIc^ uj cAo-^^u., 



MATURE OF RfGISTRANT: n ^■^^'^y-'^^t^ ^^^ ^'T'<-|?^-lP<^,_ . 16. DATE SIGNED /W?. / / ^ 7^ 

'•ROVAi. OF THIS APPLlCATirK pOFS NOT P.'RMIT EMPLOYMENT CDNTKikr TO ANY APPLICABLE MINIMUM WAGE LAW. 



6002 



L«h^ Standard 



4.C. 



V""^ 



AAIEA/PED 6-7-70 

7 STATE Oh NEW YORK — D HARTMENT OF LABOR 



APPLICATION FOR MIGRANT LABOR REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE / / 

APRIL 1 ta 76 TO MARCH 31 !• 71 -rff- ^ (^-j V V '^^ y 

r^ Submif a Mporafc opp'ico'fon /o^ toch camp or fecofton wh^f* m%ronf> wi// b» Souwd. j2 *y-i -» n^t/ ^7 

Wilt you b« rviponsJb/* 'or bringing 5 o' ffwr* iw«H<«ri into Naiv Yolk Stat* withoyt uaing m contractor for rhfs 
^ S fcruiting^ >3 YK □ NO. (If fOur tmt^r It "NO" you mW nof cwfv>/«t« ltM» him. If yoiit mwwor 

^^..JtAM^Or REOISTRANT ADDRESS 

2_ M.Mt or r.~ o. P^.~r .«€»t u,s..Jt, w,^c-o». 

R obso*^ SetA Pe.'~s C^-C^^^i^o-. - 

3. NO. OF HICRANTS , 4. HOME STATE(S) 

S--7S- i p/o^:j«. 



7 i7i5E"or CAMP ««T»lM.«»»»T.-i„Lir«EH00VrD 

8. Will there be 1 commissary sellii* food ot other goods at this camp' ^yes. Qno 
Check type of joods to Pe soid O' leased at this commissary. JSmeals, X groceries 



tr COM rax iwo CMapl«tt and rtturn ik* occo«panyin« I«t1«.) 


^.•// 


^*.// 0«-t»r;o /44t3 


^CROlieR 

□ PROCESSOR 


/^«.// 


0„4^,;., 


APPROXIMATE DATES OF EBPLOYVENT 


5. DATE MIGRAMTS BEOIN WORK , 6. DATE MICSAMTl END WORK 


ZO ApV, 1 70 3o /Ve^. 70 





AVLL 



On U 



AuE dT-erRjoi. 



71,«p</o-rt??ri'.;-i, Vc'T^ofcion 5f*J Fcr^^ }i^Ji^lL}L_14AJ,2. 




' Farmers' Liability Insuia-.ce' QJres; >Qno 



14 »:ii anif rants be ccvtrc.b. *<rVcei's rwrensation Insarare?' ^te 

aOBSOB SKD FARMS COHPOHATICS Q /- /V/^;? 

HAU, NEW YORK ^^-h^'^^^i^f-- 



C-Z-70 



6003 



Diti.ioo of _ I iS/-^ <y<^^-^ ^Z'/^" ^ State Office Building Campuf 

L«bof Standards//' (JJ^ STA TE OF NIW YORK — DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Albany, N. Y. 12226 

20 APPLICATION FOR FARM LABOR CONTRACTOR CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRATION ^6^ /// -,/, / 

■n APPLICAT'ON FOR PERMIT TO OPERATE A FARM LABOR CAMP COMMISSARY 

, . fA».««onl,. ijj.ii.on. I&9 90 IS ISok, 17 o I., 18, 19. I9o-.. ») 

/[j] APRIL 1. i» 70 to MARCH 31. IB ?/ PLEASE PRINT IN INK OP USE TYPEWmTCR 7////^* 



g^ neCBUIT WORKERS; [^ TRANS PQBT WORKERS. ^ SUPPLY WORKERS. ^HIRE WORKERS; f^ SUPERVItE OOKKERS 




^ -^ ^^ APpf^jy^^^ATi OF EMPLOYMENT ^^^^^^^'^^ 



^.•J<±. I cTc/v^ 2 4^ 



/•y^g 



. DATE WORKERS END WORK 



4r'/^r^y. /y''y/^/P7B 



9. Will there bra commissary selling tMd 01 othei goods at !his camp' Qyes; I^no 
Ctie ck type ol goods to He s old oi leased at Itie rommissai y , _:meals; lUcoceries; □other (Specifti ^ 



10. List chief ciops the work to be done, and the wage latcs the workers will be paid fw each type of woiV on each crap. 

lOA. CHIEF CROPS 



Ic 



J^dJ-l-f^ 



! DAILY 
WEEKL. 
EVERY TWO WEEKS 



, WORK TO BE DONE 



fioifut 



IOC. RATES TO WORKERS PER BUSHEL, HOUR, ETC. 






liB. AVOUN- O C -ARGE INDIC/lt WMETrtCR PER PERSON. PER FAMILY, ETC., BY DAY, WEEK, PER MEAL, ETC.! 



'' ., ^ f r <v p-y-o d^o c 



V'rs NO B, Fainers' l.ioV'i-'y rsurance' ^rES; [_. 



:f S N,->7 rf 'l.r [». 'LOYMENT CONTK*!iY TO iJJY Ai'PL/CABLf 



6004 



Division of L ^>^ 

or S(MiaTi/)(pt^ STATE OF NEW 



^■>^ Siaif Office Bu.ld.ng ( ac 

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Alban> , N. Y. IJ." \' 

|;X! AP'^LICATION FOR FARM LABOR CONTRACTOR CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRATION ^ \ "3- ' 'l/?/7<' 

Q APPLICATION FOR PERMIT TO OPERATE A FARM LABDR CAMP COMMISSARY 
,' .> 'A/.<-»- o-V qo'sl.or,. l.ft^'ia IS 15o-b, 17 ct., 16, 19. I9o-e, Ml ^, 

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9. Will theceb* a cominssafy selling food or olhB goods at this camp' lTIyes. [Jjno 
Clieclt type of goods to bt sold or leased at the cammissaiy: □meals; □groceries, Mother (specifyi 

No**t^ . 



10. List chief ciops, the work to tie done, and the wage rates the iwrkers will Ik paid for each type of mud, on each crop. 



lOA. CHIEF CROPS 106. WORK TO BE DONE 



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04f X'iln^r /jf.'oi/i Crriff^ 



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IOC. RATES TO WORKERS PER RUSHEL, HOUR, ETC. 



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13. Will wotkers receive any bonus' CI yes; 5(]n 



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LIyES, K'nO. 15A..r YES 



15B. AMOUNT OF CHARGE (INDICATE WHETHER PER PERSON, PER FAMILV ETC., BY DAY. WEEK. PER MEAL. ETC] 



MEALS 


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ROOM (RENT) 




ELECTRICITY OR FUEL 


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TRAttSPORTATION TO N.Y. STATE 


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TRANSPORTATION FROM N.Y. STATE 


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OTHER TRANSPORTATION 


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OTHER CHARGES (EXPLAIN) 


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16. Will wockers be covered by Workmen's Compensation Insurance' ^yes; Qno By Fanners' Liability Insurance' ;_;YES; S* 



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APPROVAL OF TUS APPLICATION DOES NOT PERMIT EMPLOYMENT CONTRARY TO ANY APPLICABLE MINIMUM WAGE LAW. 
,3 , ..,„, YOU MUST COMPLETE AND SIGN THIS FORM ON THE REVERSE SIDE 



6005 

Senator Moxdale. Thank you very mucli, ^Ir. Chidsey, for coming 
here. 

I think it is very difficult to understand, but we have to arrange 
these witness schedules weeks in advance many times. Hearings are 
very hard to arrange and have tight agendas. We must also work 
within the scheduler of other memliei-s of the connnittee, other com- 
mittee meetings, and business on the floor of the Senate. 

As I said earlier, we would have been glad to reschedule you. I think 
it is very hard to undei-stand, unless you have worked around here, 
iiow difficult it is to comply with something seemingly as simple as the 
request of someone who just arrived as you did. I am glad you spoke 
up and that we were able to hear your testimony. 

After all, in a democracy that is what we are about. 

I am glad that you came here, I am glad that you made this state- 
ment. And I am grateful to you. Is there something else you want to 
say? 

Mr. Chidsey. I understand the procedures of the committee. I just 
did not come yesterday, I came Tuesday. I have been in touch with 
Mr. Chertkov, counsel to the subcommittee. Tuesday afternoon a re- 
porter called me who said, "AYlio will be here on Friday V I said 'T am 
not sure. I want to be one of those.'' I have been on his back ever since 
not for what I have to say because Harland Chidsey is saying it, but 
these things need to be said. 

The committer seems to have a pessimistic view and I would suggest 
that the committee should represent all segments of this country. 

By such you would recognize the good job many are doing and hold 
this up to others to do likewise. 

Senator Mondale. That is fair. Thank you very much. 

We will insert your full statement in the record at this point. 

(The prepared statement of Mr. Chidsey follows :) 



6006 



Grower Pack(^r Shipper 

Quality Produce 



Harland WJChmsey Farms 

R.D I PewT'Yr^V Y. 14527 

Code 315 5J6^te43 



Senator Mondale and members of your committee, ladies 
and gentlemen. I am Harland Chldsey, U6, of Penn Ian, Kew 
York. 

In the operation of my 280 acre vegetable crop farm, 
I have used and housed migratory labor for the last 20 years. 

To represent myself as God's gift to the migrant before 
this hearing would be inconceivable. But rather to be my- 
self and express to you my beliefs and philosophy towards my 
fellow man regardless of his station In life and the hue of 
his skin. One's beliefs and actions today are tempered by 
the profit and loss factor, agriculture is no exception and 
neither am I. Prom the first use of migrant labor I found 
that they are not cheap labor, but that their ability to do 
weeding, picking euid packing of vegetable crops was essential 
to ma. 

The first crop was planted and growing, the people were 
coming, where do you put them? How much do you pay them? 
That chicken house was the newest building on the farm at 
that time. Scrubbed, disinfected, and painted with one 
addition for a kitchen and another for two flush toilets 
and two showers, curtains and our home T. V. (the workers 
had it in the summer and we had the set in the winter). 
We were said to have had one of the first camps with flush 
toilets, I know it was the first chicken house to have 
his and her showers. 

The first wages were about 80 cents per hour with a 
piece work rate of 10 cents per bushel for picking green 
tomatoes, figured at 10 hours per iay this was 300 per 
cent more than these workers made in the south at that 
time. Pree rent and fire wood were furnished. 

Sensing a need to protect the workers and myself in 
case of work-connected accidents, New York State Compensa- 
tion coverage was carried and paid for by mo from the second 
year on. About fifteen years before compensation became 
mandatory in New York State for many farm workers. 

I have personally Introduced resolutions at the county 
level of Farm Bureau to cover all farm labor in the state 
regardless of a farmer's payroll (it is now only mandatory 
for all farmers with payrolls over $1200.00 per year). 



6007 



The first few years of operating a camp was a time of 
learning for both myself and the workers. I found that they 
oould do many or all jobs that my farm needed. Tractor driving, 
supervising and truok driving. In order to maintain steady work 
and wages, I would stagger the workers' arrival and departure 
in accordance with their wishes and my needs. 

Some workers in those years returned to my farm as many 
as seven years. Many years the turnover of personnel would 
be less than 20 per cent. 

Yes, we had behavior problems, cleanliness, adjustaents 
and community ooncems. Many of these type problems are still 
with us today. 

One has to be employer, negotiator, peace officer, nurse, 
and public relations man to run a labor camp. 

Wages over the years have been raised voluntarily by ae 
to be competitive with other jobs through negotiations with 
the employees and to be above any raiminums enacted by govern- 
mental edicts. 

New York State has been interested in and inspecting 
labor camps and the treatment given migratory labor for all 
the years that I have operated a camp. Their ooncems have 
been health, housing, fire hazards, education and wage pay- 
ment practices. I am proud that my state has led the way 
in these 



One concern of the state was fire resistant material on 
the inside walls of camps. This regulation wa^ enforced on 
a dovmward sliding scale according to the number of residents 
in a camp. Starting with camps over I50 persons and all new 
structures, down to camps with 12 or over in about five years, 

(Now it covers all camps would your house pass?) In this 

approach growers knew It was coming and had time to make 
financial arrangements to comply. 

For many years all departmental groups with interest in 
migratory labor made a five-meeting tour of the state to 
explain changes in laws and regulations concerning camp 
operations. The farmers were kept informed and the depart- 
ment personnel learned from the growers in order to realisti- 
cally approach future problems. 

In recent years my employees have favored chili, hot 
peppers and tortillas over chops, neck bone and black-eyed 
peas. The size of my camp is now the main building which 
has ^'een refurbished three times, plus nine smaller family 
uype buildings and a new larger shower and toilet building. 
The camp can holtl up to k^ people under the state regulations. 



6008 



Over the years we have worked closely with the state and 
federal farm labor people In procuring workers and in trying 
to keep the worker busy in more than one area or state. 

Our local churches and medical people have provided a 
"House of Concern' for any people who might need help, Re- 
cently opened is a clinic that is available to migrant and 
local persons. I have always looked to the churches as a 
source of help if an emergency arose in conjunction with ay 
camp. 

Public health resources have always been available to 
the migrants of our area — letting the migrant pay accordiag 
to his resources and keep claim to his dignity. 

To bring this committee up to date on my own and local 
wage rates, I am enclosing certificates of intent which are 
sent to or presented each worker before work is started. 

Much of my statement has been on my operation, I will 
say that 80 per cent of New York State camps are as good as 
or better than mine and that pay schedules match or are better 
than mine. 

In i960 the country was shocked by the plight of the 
migrant as depicted by N.B.C's "Harvest of Shame". I was 
concerned at the onesidedness of that presentation. It 
also spurred me on to do even better by my workers. 

Now we have the sequel by N.B.C. that shows even more 
bias and onesidedness. Surely I am concerned with the 
humanitarian problems. I am aware that if other growers 
are not paying the price for labor or providing adequate 
living facilities that these growers or processors have an 
unfair advantage over me at the market place. 

When Mr. Huntley spoke that the migrants' lot had not 
improved over the last ten years, he is false. When a man 
of his supposed stature, employed by a large net work, 
flagrantly omits the large number of growers and processors 
who have conscientiously provided good to excellent housing 
and fair *«fages to migratory farm workers, he should be 
censored by all. 

I have always felt th^;; telling both sides of a subject 
was an American trait. What do you think? 

Each person who has worked for me must verify my honesty 
6-nd sincerity in my dealings with them. I would hasten to 



6009 



edd that there Is a power greater than any of us to judge our 
treatment of our fellow man. With this in mind, I submit that 
I have never exploited any person knowingly. I ara but one of 
a great number of camp operators over the country that can 
say this. 



Respectfully submitted, 



July 24, 1970 



36-513 O - 71 - pt. 8C - 12 



6010 

Senator Moxdale. Since we seem to be going on, and on, and on 
here, Mr. Pierce, of the National Sharecroppers Fund, in addition to 
submitting your written testimony, would you like a minute or two 
to make a brief oral statement ^ 

We will be glad to hear from Mr. Pierce. 

STATEMENT OF JAMES M. PIERCE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, 
NATIONAL SHARECROPPERS FUND, NEW YORK 

Mr. Pierce. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I will 
make it just a minute or two. With your permission I would like to 
submit the total statement for the record. 

Senator Mondale. It will appear as though read. 

Mr. Pierce. Very good. 

Just one statement, sir. If a migrant appeared before this committee 
and said he is worse off then he was 10 years ago, he is telling you the 
truth. 

If he tells you that housing, and health, and education, and wages, 
and working conditions are worse than they were 10 yeare ago, he's 
telling you tTie truth. 

I have worked the fields and I have watched migrants for over 20 
years in Texas, California, Florida. I have been with them day after 
day and week after week and month after month. 

Conditions are bad. I don't think they are going to be corrected 
by the growers themselves. 

Senator Mondale. In your opinion was the NBC documentary 
biased ? 

Mr. Pierce. I don't think it told all of the truth. I think it was un- 
derstated. I think it was going too far toward being fair because I have 
seen conditions much worse than that, what he showed on that film. 

One statement I do want to make in answer to Mr. Wedgworth's 
accusations that I lied about his housing. 

I would like to describe in detail, time does not permit it, but I 
would like to say that as of 10 or 11 o'clock last night I checked with 
my contact in Belle Glade, and he certified that the conditions were 
as I have put in the statement. 

I recognize, Mr. Chairman, you know changes can be made awfully 
fast, especially when the grower is motivated properly, but I don't 
think they can be made that fast. 

Senator Mondale. Have you seen that housing personally ? 

Mr. Pierce. Yes, sir. I worked in Bell Glade in 1966 and 1967 as 
coordinator for the industrial union department for an organizing 
campaign. 

Senator Mondale. How yould you characterize housing there ? 

Mr. Pierce. Terrible. Filthy. A disgrace. His and a lot of others 
there. I have never seen so many flies, so much filth, as many rats. 

The outside toilets run over and people wade right through it to 
get to them. One John for 40 or 50 or a hundred people. 

And in the field it is even worse, Mr. Chairman, because there are 
none, and they use the same vegetables that we eat. 

Senator Mondale. No field toilets ? 

Mr. Pierce. No. That is right. Many, many places there are no field 
toilets. 



6011 

Senator Moxdale. "We talk about pride. We wonder how much pride 
a fieldworker can have under such conditions. 

Mr. Pierce. I don't feel they can do much more than uprise. They do 
have real pride. I don't like to hear people say they are lazy. I have 
traveled with them from south Florida to Travers City, Mich., and 
I lived with them all one summer. 

There is not a harder working, more dedicated, honest bunch of 
people in the world. They are being exploited and nobody is doing a 
thing about it. 

Senator Moxdale. Thank you very much, Mr. Pierce, for your 
testimony and for your fine work. We appreciate your statement. I 
regret we don't have more time. 

Thank you very much. 

Mr. Pierce. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, my name 
is James M. Pierce. I am executive director of the National Share- 
croppers Fund, whose principal offices are in Xew York, with field 
operations in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and elsewhere. 

Since its inception 33 years ago, the National Sharecroppers Fund 
and members of its board and staft' have been concerned about the 
horrible conditions under which the rural poor exist. Many times we 
have appeared before committees such as this one, detailing those 
conditions and asking for relief. Unfortunately, in most cases, relief 
has not been forthcoming. 

I, personally, have just about reached the point where I feel that 
further appearances before governmental committees dealing with the 
plight of migrant and seasonal farmworkers and related agricultural 
problems are a waste of time. 

For the last 35 years, people have been coming to Congress seeking 
a better standard of living and fair treatment for working people. 
In many cases they have been successful. Congress has provided a 
minimimi wage for industrial workers, but not for most farmworkers. 
Congress has provided unemployment compensation for industrial 
workers, but not for farmworkers. Congress has guaranteed the right 
to organize into unions to industrial workers, but not to farmworkers, 
and on, and on, and on. Because industrial workers had the right to 
organize, they have been able to negotiate hospital and life insurance, 
vacations, holidays, and fair working conditions, but not farmworkers. 

What do farmworkers get ? Every 10 years America's conscience 
barely open its eyes and someone produces a documentary, people 
become stirred up for a short period of time, hearings are held, and 
then it goes back to sleep for another 10 years. 

Gentlemen, I originally had no intention, or desire, to testify before 
your committee. Then, something happened. One of my staff who was 
investigating migrant conditions in Florida called me. He told ine 
that there was a widespread effort being made by the Florida Fruit 
& Vegetable Growers Association to suppress the XBC documentary, 
"Migrant: White Paper." He told me of pictures being circulated by 
George Wedgworth that would "knock the committee and XBC for 
a loop." He also told me of threats and coercion against migrant 
families. 

I decided he should not be allowed to do this. T decided that a full 
investigation should be conducted. I contacted friends and associates 



6012 

from a previous campaign waged in Florida in 1966 and 1967. I sent 
additional staff into the area. I decided to bring my findings to you. 

Gentlemen, George AVedg^vorth, who has come to testify before this 
subcommittee today, is a powerful man. As head of the Sugar Cane 
Growers Cooperative, as a large operator and owner of agriculture and 
other business interests in Florida, and as a member of the board of 
the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association, of which he is 
the past president, Mr. Wedgworth exercises considerable influence 
over the economy and government of Florida. He is in a ^^osition to 
help the migrant or perpetuate his bondage. All the evidence shows 
that he has chosen the latter alternative. 

For months, Mr. "Wedgworth, in his capacity as a member of the 
growers association, has been claiming that the XBC documentary' 
"Migrant : '\'\niite Paper" is a biased and unfair depiction of the mi- 
grant's plight and does injustice to the growers in Florida by plac- 
ing blame on them for the workere poverty and misery. His assault 
was launched prior to the airing of the show, indicating that he either 
knew what was in the show that he objected to, or did not care, or was 
predisposed to close his mind to any other view but his own. 

As part of his attack, Mr. AVeclgAvorth has argued that the migrant's 
life has improved and that the growers are partly responsible for this 
progress in bettering the migrant's lot since Edward R. Murrow 
presented his documentary "Harvest of Shame." To make his case, 
he has pictures of new housing, glowing reports about new welfare 
programs, and alleges that plans for new reforms are imminent. From 
my personal experience, investigations, and conversations with con- 
cerned citizens in Florida, I feel compelled to set the record straight: 

First, conditions have not improved for the migrant in Florida over 
the past decade. In fact, it is arguable that his condition has worsened. 

Second, Mr. "Wedgworth's documentation of progress in Florida is in 
some respects a sham and this subcommittee should not allow him to 
sell his fairy tales, dressed in pictures and glowing rhetoric, either to 
the subcommittee or the Xation. 

Third, Mr. "Wedgworth himself runs a labor camp in Belle Glade 
that is so deplorable that it is ironic for him to come as a spokesman 
for progress and a debunker of the XBC documentary. It is even more 
ironic since his conservative influence over Florida politics has im- 
peded necessary reform. 

"We must all recognize that Mr. "Wedgworth and the Florida Fruit 
& "\^egetable Growers Association together constitute an agribusiness, 
governmental complex which perpetuates the ''Harvest of Shame." 
And not least important, his threats and intimidation of XBC af- 
filiates nearly prevented the truth from being told. Mr. "Wedgworth, 
far from being a humanitarian, in my opinion, is a spokesman for the 
politics of selfishness, bias, and human misery. I^t me be specific. 

Before Mr. "Wedgworth tells this subcommittee about programs and 
plans to improve the living conditions of migrants in Florida, he must 
l3e asked to explain what improvements he intends to provide mi- 
grants housed on his own acreage. Some of this land, I am told, is 
owned by his mother, Mi-s. Ruth "Wedgworth, who, by the way, was 
a principal debunker of Murrow's '"Harvest of Shame" as the Con- 
gressional Record of 1961 documents. In any event, owner or operator. 
Mr. "Wedgworth is responsible for the following conditions: 



6013 

Despite the fact that Mr. Wecl<>-\vorth was one of the most success- 
ful growers in terms of profits durinti^ the last year in Palm Beach 
County, he runs a deplorable labor camp on his property for celery 
workers. This lar^e ^reen barracks, euphemistically named "Wed^- 
worth's Great White House" defies description. Located on State Road 
80, in rural Belle Glade, the "Great House" is a two-story monstrosity 
which houses over :2()0 workei-s during- the cuttino- season which lasts 
for 7 months, from Xovember through May. Miijrant and seasonal 
farmworkers, who work in the Wedgwortli fields doin^ the back- 
breakintr labor of pullintj and cuttinof celery are crowded into this two- 
story buildinof. Constructed in 1936, it contains single rooms for small 
families and two-room quarters for larger families. A separate build- 
ing contains bathroom facilities, one for men and one for women. 
Each has five stalls. Two shower spigots, one for the men and one for 
women, serve the whole camp. To reach the bathroom, tenants must 
leave the building, often trek through mud to overflowing Johns. 
Because of the distance, tenants of "en use slop buckets in their rooms, 
which they empty in the morning or when they can gain access. "Wash 
basins are located 25 yards east in a shed. There are no recreation 
facilities for the children; there is no ijrass; the building is infested 
with roaches and rats. Flies and other insects swarm around the area. 
The building has no fire escape. 

Mr. Wedgworth will tell you that this housing is provided free to the 
workers. It is quite a luxury, as the tenants made clear in an article 
in the Pompano Beach Post on July 23, 1970. As Hattie Bell Bush 
said, she has eight children and they live in two small rooms. An 11- 
month-old baby and another child sleep in the kitchen. She said her 
second floor roof leaks when it rains. "I asked someone to get me some 
more room," she is quoted as saying, "but they told me I couldn't 
have it." And to get in this camp, you have to work for Mr. Wedg- 
worth. To inspect it, you need his permission. As of this date, the 
Pompano Beach County Health Department inspector states that 
Wedgworth does not have an operational permit for the facility be- 
cause it violates county housing regulations. Yet it remains open, free 
to those who work in celery for the benefit of Mr. AVedgworth. Oh, by 
the way, about 250 yards from the "Great White House" is Mr. Wedg- 
worth's own quarters, a handsome ranch house. You travel a paved 
road to reach it. To get to the "Great White House," you turn right 
off of Highway 80 and travel down a dirt road and arrive in the squalor 
just described. 

How else does Mr. Wedgworth help the migrants ? A few examples 
will suffice. For one, after the rains and frost ruined some of this past 
season's crop in Florida, during March through May of this year, the 
Rural Organization Coalition (ROC), a coalition of organizations 
working to better the conditions of farmworkers, requested emergency 
relief for workers because so many of them had been made jobless by 
the weather. Mr. Wedgworth personally claimed that there was no need 



6014 






for disaster relief because there was plenty of work. The relief did not 
come, yet wage loss figures just released for the past season show that 
employees lost over $10 million in wages. 

For another, Mr. Wedgworth sits on the board of directors of South 
Florida Rural Legal Services, which has attemf)ted to engage in law 
reform efforts to l^nefit the migrant. Mr. Wedgworth has consistently 
fought this program from the mside, trying to destroy its law reform 
efforts. Recently, an attorney in the program investigated charges by 
young blacks of police brutality. Wedgworth has since convinced the 
board to conduct an investigation into this lawyer's fitness to serve on 
the attorney staff, all because he was seeking the truth about police 
racism and harassment of blacks. During 1966 and 1967, Mr. Wedg- 
worth was connected with the growers' use of intimidation and detec- 
tives to stop an effort among migrants to organize a union. The Wedg- 
worth family also owns a fertilizer and insecticide business. The 
insecticides are used in the fields but the warnings on the packages 
are in English which many migrants do not understand. Rarely is 
protective equipment used by men in the fields, perhaps because it is 
unavailable and perhaps because they do not know the danger. Mr. 
Wedgworth has done one good deed. Finally, last season, he raised the 
eligible age of those who could work in his celery fields to 17. Before 
this, children were bending, cutting and pulling celery, a painful, 
back-breaking task. 

With this personal record of benevolence, Mr. Wedgworth comes 
here today to defend the growers against the documentary. Perhaps he 
will show the subcommittee a portfolio of housing for migrants and 
other individuals which he has been showing around in behalf of the 
growers' association. Those who know this booklet make some telling 
points : 

First, much of the housing is for other individuals, since it is beyond 
the reach of the seasonal farmworker and especially the migrant. 

Second, some of the housing depicted in the photographs gives a 
false picture of the true state of the housing shoAvn. For example: 

One picture shows Baskins Camp, in Boynton County. The pictures 
are taken from a distance and make the place look adequate. Up close, 
the viewer would see that the camp contains single concrete rooms, 
no longer than 10 feet by 12 feet, with one window and one door, 
with no cooking facilities, no heating, no water, no indoor toilets. 
Legally, the camp can hold 600 persons but there are more there 
during the harvesting season. While intended for single men or maybe 
couples, at the height of the season, large families live in single rooms 
there. 

Another picture shows Flower Growers Camp, owned by a Mr. 
Mazzoni. The pictures look nice but show only the concrete housing, 
leaving out the shingle shacks right behind the concrete buildings. 

There is a picture of the Farmers Motel on Highway 441, in Del Ray 
Beach. This camp, like Baskins Camp in Boynton, contains large 



6015 

concrete units with no cooking facilities, heiitino:, indoor toilets. Often 
eight people live in two tiny rooms with only two twin beds. The camp 
is owned by Fred Mims, who also owns Fred's Motel. Xot only is 
Mr. Mims getting rent otf both of these facilities but he also gouges 
the occupants by running a commissary at each location. For example, 
I am told milk which sells for 49 cents a half gallon in a retail outlet 
sells for 75 cents at the commissary. Bread, which sells for 33 cents 
outside the camp, sells for 50 cents at the commissary. And, by the 
way, Ellis Lewis, who lived at Farmer's Motel, and testified about 
being out of work on the NBC documentary, has been evicted since 
apiiearing on the show. 

There are also pictures of Osceola and Okeechobee camps. What the 
pictures do not show is that the latter is for blacks and the former for 
whites. It is segregated housing. 

Finally, there are pictures of the Pompano Beach Farm Labor 
Camp, rebuilt by the Pompano Beach City Housing Authority in 
1969. These are rebuilt shacks. The houses are concrete, look adequate, 
but are verj- small inside. Each building contains four units. There 
is no grass, no street lights, poor garbage collection. The typical unit 
is one room serving as a living room, kitchen, and bedroom. If a worker 
wants a separate bedroom, he has to rent a separate unit. Each unit 
rents for $12 to $16 a week. There are constant complaints about over- 
charging. A tenant might be confronted with a paper saying he owes 
$100 or $150 in back rent. So many complaints were lodged that HUD, 
which put money in the project, lias recently conducted an investiga- 
tion. The results have not been disclosed. The camp is run with a tight 
hand by a board, consisting of two farmers and four businessmen. A 
promise to appoint a representative from the tenant community has 
never been honored by the city. Evictions are common yet there is 
no formal grievance mechanism. Moreover, though this housing serves 
1,500 persons, it is no way meets the housing needs in the area. Sur- 
rounding camps, in decrepit conditions, and filled during the har- 
vesting season, exemplify this point. And while this may be new 
housing, it does not mean that there is an increase in housing. Old 
houses are being torn down and replaced with new on about a 1 to 1 
basis and may even decrease the amount of housing for the farm 
workers since some of the new housing is beyond the means of the 
migrant. 

Rmming a building for workers without a permit and waving 
pictures which falsely depict housing conditions in Florida for the 
migrant, Mr. Wedgworth screams bias at NBC as his mother did 
10 years ago about "Harvest of Shame." More than scream, Wedg- 
worth has threatened. As the Pompano Beach Post points out on 
July 15, 1970, the growers' association threatened to seek license 
revocation of any station airing the NBC documentary. The threat 
worked in Dallas-Fort Worth, Tex., where WBAP did not air the 



6016 

show last Thursday. Was Mr. Wedgworth concerned about bias or 
that the truth would be aired ? 

It is my understanding that the growers' association has asked NBC 
for equal time to answer the documentary. Whether this is granted 
or not by NBC, the association, in the person of Mr. Wedgworth, 
is here today to present its side of the story. It will tell its version 
of the truth. NBC has told its version of the truth. In my opinion, 
neither really presents the truth, that is, the simple fact that the 
conditions of the migrants in Florida are worse than described in the 
documentary and perhaps worse than conditions prevailing 10 years 
ago : Real wages are down because of inflations, fewer jobs are avail- 
able because of mechanization, outward mobility because of the age 
of technology is almost impossible. 

Gentlemen, we could talk about all of the accidents that occur to 
the migrants — both on the job and on the road ; accidents not covered 
by liability of workmen's compensation insurance. But you have heard 
about this. We could talk about the children who should be in school 
but who instead work in the fields because their income is needed. But 
you have heard this. We could talk about inadequate health, sanitation, 
and welfare. But you have heard this. That is not why I am here today. 

My only reason for being here today is to set the record straight : 
To insure that equal time does not mean "whitewash." In my opinion, 
it is really the migrant who needs equal time — and more than that, 
equal opportunity in the form of collective bargaining rights, re- 
sponsible government programs for housing, health, education, work- 
men's compensation and all the other benefits most of us take for 
granted. But why go on? This is known by you, it is contained in 
countless hearings and documents. It echoes in my ears. All that is 
real is that the migrant continues to be denied equal protection under 
law and the opportunity to shape his own destiny. The question 
I leave for this committee is : When are things going to change ? Be- 
cause until they do, this hearing amounts to more sound and fury, 
signifying nothing. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Senator Mondale. In view of the testimony we have received in the 
past 3 days of hearings on whether conditions of farmworkers have 
changed in the past 30 years, I order printed in the record a copy of 
reports on farmworkers, including the Tolan Committee on Interstate 
Migration of 1941, the President's Commission on Migratory Labor of 
1951, and a followup report made by a member of that Commission. 
William Noble Clark, and comments of historical importance from 
Prof. Paul Taylor, who has long studied the problem. 

(The information referred to follows :) 



6017 



76th OoNaREsa 

5d Session ( 1 No. 3113 



INTERSTATE MIGRATION 



Janxtabt 2, 1941. — Committed to the Committee of the Whole House 
on the state of the Union, and ordered to be printed 



Mr. ToLAN, from the Select Committee to Investigate the Interstate 
Migration of Destitute Citizens, submitted the following 

PRELIMINARY REPORT 

(Pursuant to H. Res. 63, 76th Cong., 3d sess.l 

The select committee of five members of the House, appointed pur- 
suant to House Resolution No. 63, to inquire into the interstate migra- 
tion of destitute citizens, to study, survey, and investigate the social 
and economic needs, and the movement of indigent persons across 
State lines, obtaining all facts possible in relation thereto which would 
not only be of public interest but which would aid the House in enact- 
ing remedial legislation, submits the following preliminary report: 

Introductory Statement 

House Resolution No. 63 was enacted by unanimous consent on 
April 22, 1940. 

Under authority of the foregoing resolution, Speaker William B. 
Bankhead appointed the following committee to conduct the inquiry 
provided for by said resolution: Messrs. John H. Tolan of California, 
chairman; Claude V. Parsons, of Illinois; John J. Sparkman, of Ala- 
bama; Carl T. Curtis, of Nebraska; and Frank C. Osniers, Jr., of New 
Jersey; the first three beine members of the Democratic Party and the 
last two being members of the Republican Party, the two major politi- 
cal divisions of the House of Representatives. 

The resolution provided as follows: 

Resolved, That the Speaker appoint a select committee of five Members of the 
House, and that such committee be instructed to inquire into the interstate 
migration of destitute citizens, to study, survey, and investigate the social and 
economic needs, and the movement of indigent persons across State lines, obtain- 
ing all facts possible in relation thereto which would not only be of public interest 
but which would aid the House in enacting remedial legislation, and shall have 
the right to report at any time. In the event the committee transmits its report 
at a time when the House is not in session, a record of such transmittal shall be 
entered in the proceedings of the Journal and Congressional Record of the House 
on the opening day of the next session of Congress and sliall be numbered and 
printed as a report of such Congress. 

That said select committee, or anv subcommittee thereof, is hereby authorized 
to sit and act during the present Congress at such times and places within the 



6018 



United States, whether or not the House is sitting, has recessed, or has adjourned, 
to hold such hearings, to require the attendance of such witnesses and the pro- 
duction of such books, papers, and documents, by subpena or otherwise, and to 
take such testimony as it deems necessary. Subpenas shall be issued under the 
signature of the chairman and shall be served by any person desicnated by hina. 
The chairman of the committee or any member thereof may administer oaths 
to witnesses. Every person who, having been summoned as a witness by author- 
it v of said conmiittee, or any subcommittee thereof, willfully makes default, or 
wlio, having appeared, refuses to answer any question pertinent to the investi- 
gation heretofore authorized, shall be held to tne penalties provided by section 
102 of the Revised Statutes of the United States (U. S. C, title 2, sec. 192). 

Pursuant to said resolution, a comprehensive investigation in respect 
to such matters was conducted by said select committee. Public 
hearings were begun on July 29, 1940, in New York City. 

Twenty-four days of hearings were held, 352 witnesses were heard, 
the work of the committee was conducted without using the subpena 
power conferred on it, and testimony was taken in seven regions oi the 
country as follows: On July 29, 30, and 31, the committee heard testi- 
mony in New York City; on August 14, 15, and 16 in Montgomery, 
Ala.; on August 19, 20, and 21 in Chicago, 111.; on September 16, 17 
in Lincoln, Nebr.; on September 19 and 20 in Oklahoma City, Okla.; 
on September 24 and 25 in San Francisco; and on September 28 in 
Los Ajigelcs, Calif. ; on November 29 and on December 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 
10, and 11 in Washington, D. C. 

In the course of the investigation conducted by the committee a 
record of more than three million words of testimony, oral and \vritten, 
was received, and printed volumes of the testimony are now appearing, 
the first four regional hearings having been completed to date. A 
final report of the committee and a lengthy technical supplement are 
now in process of preparation, and it is for the completion of this 
report that the committee is reauesting an extension of time, not to 
exceed 3 months. Testimony taken at the Washington hearings alone 
was equal in volume to that received in any three regional hearings. 
The last day of Washington hearings was December 1 1 . The commit- 
tee is impressed with the necessity of further analyzing this great 
volume of material and especially with the need for study of the recent 
Washington hearings. This is the basis for its request for an extension 
of time before making its final report. 

The House of Representatives on May 21, 1940, pursuant to House 
Resolution 491, appropriated the sum of $20,000 to provide for the 
expenses of the investigation. On November 18, 1940, after the com- 
mittee had held 16 days of field hearings throughout the country, but 
before it began its series of 8 days of Washington hearings, the House 
of Representatives, by House Resolution 629, authorized an additional 
appropriation of $3,000 to provide for further expenses of conducting 
the investigation and study authorized by House Resolution 63. 
Approximately one-third of the second appropriation is available and 
would provide for any expenses contmgent upon the continuation of 
the committee for the requested 90-day period. 

COMMITTEE WITNESSES 

At the New York City hearing the committee heard 42 witnesses, 
including experts on migration, administrators dealing with the 
problem, and persons who were victims of diflSculties resulting in 
migration. With the exclusion of migrants the witnesses are listed 



6019 



below in the order of their appearance: Fiorello H. LaGuardia, Mayor, 
New York City^ and chairman, United States Conference of Mayors; 
Dr. Frank Lorimer, professor of population studies, the American 
University, Washington, D. C; Bertha McCall, general director, 
National Travelers Aid Association, New York City; C. George 
Krcuger, deputy commissioner of labor and chairman of New Jersey 
Conference of State Departments on Migratory Labor, Trenton, 
N. J.; William H. MacDonald, State department of health, Trenton, 
N. J. ; Maj. Charles F. Schoeflfel, deputy superintendent of New Jersey 
State Police, Trenton, N. J.; Russell C. Eldridge, director, New 
Jersey State Employment Service, Trenton, N. J.; H. J. Lepper, 
administrative assistant. New Jersey State Employment Service, 
Trenton, N. J.; Jos6 M. Vivaldi, chief, Puerto Rican Office, Depart- 
ment of Labor, New York City; Glen Leet, administrator of public 
assistance, Rhode Island State Department of Social Welfare, Provi- 
dence, R. L; James J, Wadsworth, assemblyman from Livingston 
County, N. Y., and member of State joint legislative committee on 
interstate cooperation, Geneseo, N. Y.; Frank W. Goodhue, director, 
division of aid and relief, Massachusetts State Department of Public 
Welfare, Boston, Mass.; James Hill, farmer of Mercer County, 
Hightstown, N. J.; Clayton S. Squires, director of State aid, Con- 
necticut State Department of Welfare, Hartford, Conn.; Ralph 
Astrofsky, director, division of shelter care. Department of Welfare, 
New York, N. Y. ; Benjamin Sprafkin, chairman of section on un- 
attached and homeless, welfare council. New York, N. Y.; David C. 
Adie, commissioner of social welfare. State of New York, Albany, 
N. Y.; James C. Ewart, president of State board of agriculture, 
Cranbury, N. J,; Ruth Taylor, commissioner of welfare, Westchester 
County, Valhalla, N. Y.; Gladys Dickason, director, research depart- 
ment. Amalgamated Clothing Workers, New York, N. Y.; Edith E. 
Lowry, executive secretary. Council of Women for Home Missions, 
New York, N. Y. ; Hon. Caroline O'Day, Representative at Large from 
the State of New York, Rye, N. Y.; Nathaniel A. Snyder, consultant 
on residence, department of public assistance, Philadelphia, Pa.; 
J. Fletcher Agnew, director, Confidential Bureau, Salvation Army, 
New York, N. Y.; Howard A. Lett, director. Urban League of New 
Jersey, Newark, N. J.; Robert LafTerty, assistant director of attend- 
ance, board of education, Philadelphia, Pa.; Arthur J. Edwards, 
chairman, subcommittee on migratory child labor, Congregational 
and Christian Churches, Montclair, N. J. 

At the Montgomery, Ala., hearings the committee took testimony 
from 40 witnesses including experts, administrators, and victims of the 
conditions which cause interstate migration. The expert and adminis- 
trator witnesses in the order of their appearance were: Dr. Luther N. 
Duncan, president of the Alabama Polytechnic In.<?titute, Auburn, 
Ala., representing Gov. Frank Dixon; Howard Gray, president, Ala- 
bama Farm Bureau Federation, New Market, Ala.; Dr. Rupert B. 
Vance, professor of sociology. University of North Carolina, Chapel 
Hill, N. C; P. 0. Davis, chairman, extension service, Alabama Poly- 
technic Institute, Auburn, Ala.; Prof. T. M. Campbell, field agent. 
United States Farm Extension Ser\nce, Tuskegee, Ala.; Dr. Harold 
HofTsommer, Louisiana State University, University, La.; A. Frederick 
Smith, chief, department of research and statistics, Florida Industrial 
Commission, Tallahassee, Fla.; Clarence R. Bitting, president. United 



6020 



States Suger Corporation, Clewiston, Fla. ; John Beecher, supervisor, 
Florida Migratory Labor Camps, Farm Security Administration, 
Montgomery, Ala.; John A Dulaney, mayor of Pahokee, Fla.; Dr. 
William H, Weoms, county physician, Palm Beach County, West 
Palm Beach, Fla.; Read Dunn, secretary-manager, Delta Council, 
Stoneville, Miss.; James Hand, Jr., president of Delta Council, Stone- 
Hie, Miss.; Homer C. McNamara, superintendent, Delta Experiment 
Station, Stoneville, Miss.; H. L. Mitchell, secretary, Southern Tenant 
Farmers Union, Memphis, Tenn.; Dr. F. D. Patterson, president, 
Tuskegee Institute, Tuskegee Institute, Ala.; Loula Dunn, commis- 
sioner, public welfare. State of Alabama, Montgomery, Ala.; John E. 
Bryan, State administrator, National Youth Administration, Birming- 
ham, Ala.; Myron Falk, technical assistant, bureau of public assist- 
ance and child welfare, Baton Rouge, La.; E. S, Morgan, regional 
diiector, region V, Farm Security Administration, Montgomery, Ala.; 
L. S. Fluker, Alabama State Agrii^ultural Adjustment Administra- 
tion; Sam Morgan, area conservationist. Soil Conservation Service, 
Montgomery, Ala.; Gerald Harris, vice president, Alabama Farmers 
Union, Green Pond, Ala.; Dr. H. H. Chapman, director, bureau of 
business research, University of Alabama, University, Ala,.; Preston 
Valien, department of social science, Fisk University, Nashville, Tenn.; 
E. M. Norment, district manager, Tennessee StateEmployment Serv- 
ice, Memphis, Tenn.; Joseph F. Gelders, acting executive secretary, 
Southern Conference for Human Welfare, Trussville, Ala. 

At Chicago, 111., the committee in the course of its hearings had 
before it 49 witnesses including experts, administrators, and destitute 
migrants. Appearing as experts, administrators, or concerned public 
officials were: Hon. Edward J. Kelly, mayor of the city of Chicago; 
Neil H. Jacoby, chairman, Illinois Emergency Relief Commission, 
also representing Gov. Henry Horner; Leo M. Lyons, commissioner, 
Chicago Rehef Administration, Chicago, 111.; Edward Schils, depart- 
ment of sociology, University of Chicago, Chicago, 111.; Harry C. 
Nail, Jr., research consultant, attorneys general section. Council of 
State Governments, Chicago, 111.; Dorothy B, de la Pole, staff asso- 
ciate, National Travelers' Aid Association, New York, N. Y.; Joel D. 
Hunter, general superintendent, United Charities of Chicago, Chicago, 
lU.; Ben Deming, State supervisor, field-office operations, unemploy- 
ment compensation division, Indianapolis, Ind. ; William G. Murray, 
professor of agricultural economics, Iowa State College, Ames, Iowa; 
W. A. Rowlands, professor of land economics, University of Wisconsin, 
Madison, Wis.; M. W. Torkelson, executive officer, Wisconsin State 
Planning Board, Madison, Wis.; Raphael Zon, director, Lake States 
Forest Experiment Station, St. Paul, Minn.; Charles B. Marshall, 
director, aivision of general administration, Indiana Department of 
Pubhc Welfare, Indianapolis, Ind.; Howard David Gould, director 
of industrial relations and research, Chicago Urban Lcarrue, Chicago, 
lU.; Frayser T. Lane, director of social and civic department, Chicago 
Urban League, Chicago, 111.; H. W. Morganthaler, administrative 
assistant, State department of public welfare, Columbus, Ohio; W. R. 
Sullinger, farm placement supervisor, Ohio State Employment Service, 
Columbus, Ohio; P. G. Beck, director, region III, Farm Security 
Administration, Indianapolis, Ind.; Edith Abbott, dean, School of 
Social Service Administration, University of Chicago, Chicago, 111.; 
Paul L. Stanchfield, chief, research statistics and planning section, 



6021 



Michigan Unemployment Compensation Commission, Lansing, Mich.; 
George Friday, farm owner from Berrien County, Mich,; Marguerite 
Dwan, Benton Harbor, Mich.; M. C. Henderson, representative, Beet 
Growers' Employment Committee, Saginaw, Mich.; G. B. Osborne, 
farmer, Superior, Wis.; Dr. P. NX. Koppa, director of division of 
tuberculosis, Michigan Department of Health, Lansing, Mich. 

At the hearing in Lincoln, Nebr., the committee heard 44 witnesses, 
including experts, administrators, and victims of conditions resulting 
in migration. The expert and administrative witnesses who appeared, 
listed in the order of their appearance, were: Gov. R. L. Cochran of 
Nebraska; W. H. Brokaw, director, Nebraska Agricultural Extension 
Service, College of Agriculture, Nebraska; Donald Hay, area leader, 
division of farm population and rural welfare. Bureau of Agricultural 
Economics, Lincoln, Nebr.; E. A. Willson, executive director, pubhc 
welfare board, Bismarck, N. Dak., representing Gov. John Moses; 
on a panel concerning Farm Seciunty Administration, Cal. A. Ward, 
director, region VII, Lincoln, Nebr.; and C. H. Willson, director, 
region X, Denver, Colo.; Paul D. Benner, director, bureau of pubUc 
assistance. State Department of Social Yelfare, Topeka, Kans., 
representmg Gov. Payne H. Ratner; Harry J. EJnisz, general manager, 
Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, Lincoln, Nebr.; John A. Hopkins, 
associate professor. Iowa State College, Ames, Iowa; John C. Page, 
Conmiissioner, Bureau of Reclamation, Department of the Interior, 
Washington, D. C; E. B. Debler, hydraulic engineer. Bureau of 
Reclamation, Denver, Colo.; E. H. Aicher, Chief, Institutional Ad- 
justments Division, Soil Conservation Service, Lincoln, Nebr.; 
Willkie Collins, Jr., assistant regional geologist. Soil Conservation 
Service, Lincoln, Nebr.; H. E. Engstrom, State Coordinator, Soil 
Conservation Service, Lincoln, Nebr.; Glenn A. Bryant, assistant 
vice-president. Union Central Life Insurance Co., Cincinnati, Ohio; 
B. G. DeWeese, director of form management. Union Central Life 
Insurance Co., Cincinnati, Ohio; Alfred R. Barnes, chairman, South 
Dakota Agricultural Conservation Committee; C. E. Alter, farmer 
and businessman. Alma, Nebr.; Clyde Johnson, U. C. A. P. A. W. A. 
representative, Denver, Colo. ; T. J. Howard, county attorney, Greeley, 
Nebr.; W. F. Kumlein, professor of rural sociologv, South Dakota 
State College, Brookings, S. Dak.; and Dr. H. E. Glatfelter, retired 
physician and farmer. Central City, Nebr. 

At the Oklahoma City, Okla., hearing 50 witnesses appeared before 
the committee including a panel of 13 experts who were in attendance 
in connection with the testimony of Gov. Leon C. Phillips, who pre- 
sented them to the committee as coauthors of his prepared statement. 
Other expert or administrative witnesses who testified were: Edwin 
R. Henson, coordinator. Southern Great Plains, Department of 
Agriculture, Amarillo, Tex.; J. H. Bond, assistant director, Texas 
State Employment Service, Austin, Tex.; E. H. Banks and Robert N. 
McKinley, farm placement supervisors, Texas State Employment 
Service, Austin, Tex.; M. C. Gonzales, counselor to the consul-general 
of Mexico, San Antonio, Tex.; Mrs. VaJ M. Keating, assistant director, 
Division of Unemployment, Work Projects Administration, San 
Antonio, Tex.; C. M. Evans, regional director. Farm Security Admin- 
istration, Dallas, Tex.; T. J. Caulev and G. S. KHemmedson, Soil 
Conservation Service, Fort Worth, 'tox.', C. O. Brannen, department 



6022 



of rural economics, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Ark. ; Wil- 
liam H. Metzler, College of Agriculture, University of Arkansas, 
Fayetteville, Ark.; Brooks Hays, regional attorney, Farm Security 
Administration, Little Rock, Ark.; J. C. Rapp, representative of 
Agricultural Council of Arkansas, McGehee, Ark.; Gov. Leon C. 
Phillips of Oklahoma; C. B. Bee, special counselor. State corporation 
commission, Tulsa, Okla.; Dr. Henry G. Bennett, president, Okla- 
homa Agricultural and Mechanical College, Stillwater, Okla.; O. D. 
Duncan, professor of rural sociology, Oklahoma Agricultural and 
Mechanical College, Stillwater, Okla.; H. H. Champlin, banker and 
oil operator, Enid, Okla.; Milton B. Williams, manager, southwestern 
loan department, Aetna Life Insurance Co., Oklahoma City, Okla.: 
Otis Nation, State director, Oklahoma Tenant Farmers Union, 
Oklahoma City, Okla.; Mrs. G. H. Waddy, United Provident Associa- 
tion, Oklahoma City, Okla. ; Wheeler Mayo, editor, Sequoyah County 
Times, SaUisaw, Okla.; Clarence Roberts, editor, Oklahoma Farmer- 
Stockman, Oklahoma City, Okla.; C. D. Walker, acting adminis- 
trative officer, Agricultural Adjustment Administration, Stillwater, 
Okla.; J. D. Wrenn, Social Security Board, Kansas City, Mo.; 
Phyliss Osbom, regional representative and public assistant, Social 
Security Board, Kansas City, Mo.; Glen Brockaway, regional repre- 
sentative for unemployment security, Social Security Board, Kansas 
City, Mo.; Tom W. Cheek, president, Oklahoma State Farmers Union, 
Oklahoma City, Okla. 

At the San Francisco, Calif., hearmg the committee heard 32 wit- 
nesses including experts, administrators, and migrants. The follow- 
ing were the expert and administrative witnesses: Phillip H. Heman- 
des, labor contractor, Hayward, Calif.; Gov. Culbert L. Olson, 
Governor of California; Vard en Fuller, associate agricultural economist. 
Bureau of Agricultural Economics, Berkeley, Calif.; Dr. WilHam S. 
Hopkins, Department of Economics, Stanford University, Palo 
Alto, Calif.; Mrs. Helen Gahagan Douglas, Holly\vood, Calif.; 
Frederick Arpke, Bureau of Agricultural Economics, Department of 
Agriculture, Berkeley, Calif.; Mrs. Walter A. Knapp, representing 
California Congress of Parents and Teachers; Dr. William P. Shepard, 
president Western Branch American Public Health Association; 
Harrison S. Robinson, C. B. Hutchison, Alfred J. Lundberg and J. R. 
Benedict, representing the California State Chamber of Commerce; 
Harold Pomeroy, executive director. Housing Authority of the city 
and county of Sacramento, Sacramento, Calif.; Dr. Karl Schaupp, 
representing the Medical Association and the Agricultural Workers' 
Health and Medical Association, San Francisco, Calif.; Carey Mc Wil- 
liams, chief of the division of immigration and housing^, department 
of industrial relations. State of Cahfornia, Los Angeles, Calif. ; Cather- 
ine Bauer, secretary, California Housing Association; L. C. Stoll, 
director, Oregon State Employment Service, Salem, Oreg. ; L. I. 
Hewes, regional director, Farm Security Administration, San Fran- 
cisco, Calif.; Walker R. Young, supervising engineer, Central Valley 
water project; Walter Duffv, regional director. Farm Security Admin- 
istration, region XI, Portland, Ore^.; E. N. Torbert, Reclamation 
Service, Epl^ata, Wash.; Marion Clawson, field coordinator, United 
States Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, Spokane, 
Wash.; Roy M. Pike, farmer, El Solyo ranch, Stanislaus County, 
Calif. ; Edward Howden, California Housing Administration. 



6023 



Meeting at Los Angeles, Calif., the committee heard 18 witnesses 
who were competent to testify on various phases of the problem of 
miration. Mayor BowTon was represented by his administrative 
assistant, Arlin E. Stockbm-ger, who, with the following, completes 
the Ustof the expert and administrative witnesses: Robert B. Robert- 
son, assistant director of industrial relations, Lx)ckheed Aircraft Co., 
Burbank, Cahf.; Rt. Rev. Msgr. Thomas J. O'Dwyer, general director 
of Catholic Charities, Los Angeles, Cahf.; H. B. Huxley, United States 
Employment Service, Los Angeles, Cahf.; Richard G. VVagenet, Cah- 
fomia Employment Service, Los Angeles, Cahf.; S. G. Rubinow, 
administrator, Cahfornia State Rehef Administration; LawTcnce 
Schreiber. chief deputy superintendent, Department of Charities, Los 
Angeles County, Los Angeles, Cahf.; Dr. Wendv Stewart, Council of 
Social Agencies, Los Angeles, Cahf.; Rev. Clarence Wagner, Los 
Angeles, Calif. Two papers prepared to accompany a statement from 
Gov. H. H. Blood, of Utah, were presented for the record because the 
Governor was unable to appear. Under similar circumstances a state- 
ment was entered for the record from the Honorable Harry R. Sheppard, 
Representative from the Nineteenth California Congressional District. 

At its Washington, D. C, hearings, Mrs. Frankhn D. Roosevelt; 
Secretary of Agriculture Claude R. Wickard; Secretary of Labor 
Frances Perkins; Defense Commissioner Chester C. Davis; Prof. 
Carter Goodrich, of Columbia University, outstanding expert on 
migration, and 72 other witnesses, exclusive of migrants, appeared 
before the committee. The other expert and administrative witnesses, 
in the order of their appearance before the committee are hsted below: 
J. Russell Yoimg, Commissioner, District of Columbia; Hon. Jennings 
Randolph, Representative, West Virginia, chairman, committee on 
the District of Columbia; and Miss Mabel Haller, assistant clerk for 
that committee; Phdip E. Ryan, former executive secretary. Council 
on Interstate Migration, director. Inquiry and Information Service, 
American National Red Cross; Robert E. Bondy, director, Public 
Welfare Board, District of Columbia; David G. Linden, Assistant 
Director for Non-Resident Service, District of Columbia, Public 
Assistance Department; Dr. George C. Ruhland, health officer, Dis- 
trict of Columbia; William H. Stauffer, commissioner, Virginia Depart- 
ment of Public Welfare, representing Gov. James H. Price, Richmond, 
Va. ; Mrs. John J. O'Connor, chairman, transient committee, Washing- 
ton Council of Social Agencies; Mrs. Frank A. Linzel, chairman, 
Family Welfare Division, Coimcil of Social Agencies; Miss Alice E. 
Jones, executive secretary, Washington Travelers Aid Society; Maj. 
Charles H. Dodd, divisional conmiander, the Salvation Army; Charles 
Houston, associate comisel. National Association for the Advancement 
of Colored People; C. R. Tolley, Chief, Biu-eau of Agricultiu-al Eco- 
nomics; Rudolph ^I. Evans, Administrator, Agricultural Adjustment 
Administration; Dr. Paul S. Taylor, professor of economics. University 
of Cahfornia, Berkeley, Calif.; Dr. Walter E. Packard, consultant, 
United States Department of Agriculture, Berkeley, Calif. ; Col. Philip 
B. Fleming, Admmistrator, Wage and Hour Division, Department of 
Labor; Ralph Hetzel, Jr., Director of the Unemployment Division, 
Congress of Industrial Organizations; Fred K. Hoebler, director Amer- 
ican Public Welfare Association, Chicago, 111.; Hubert R. Gallagher, 
assistant director. Council of State Governments, Chicago, 111.; Msgr. 
John A. Ryan, National CathoUc Welfare Conference; Miss Jane Hoey, 



6024 



Director, Bureau of Public Assistance, Social Security Board; Jack 
Tate, General Counsel, Federal Security Agency; Glenn E. Jackson, 
Director of public assistance, New York State Department of Social 
Welfare, Albany, N. Y.; Ewan Clague, Director, Bureau of Employ- 
ment Security, Social Security Board; Dr. E. R. Coffee, United States 
Public Health Service; Henry S. Alves, United States Office of Educa- 
tion; Mrs. Roberta C. Williams, staff associate of the National 
Travelers Aid Association, New York, N._ Y.; Rev. Dr. John Car- 
ruthers, visiting minister for national service. Covenant First Pres- 
byterian Chmch; Fred R. Ranch, acting commissioner, Federal 
Works Agency, Work Projects Administration; Miss Dorothy C. 
Kahn, assistant executive secretary of the American Association of 
Social Workers, New York City; Benjamin C. Marsh, executive secre- 
tary, the Peoples' Lobby; Boris Shishkin, director of research, American 
Federation of Labor; Isador Lubin, Director of Bureau of Labor 
Statistics, Department of Labor; Charles William EUot, Director of 
the National Resources Planning Board; Dr. Carl T. Schmidt, profes- 
sor of economics (on leave from Columbia University) ; John P. Ferris, 
Director of the Commerce Department of the Tennessee Valley 
Authority, Knoxville, Tenn.; David Lasser, president, American 
Security Union; Leifur Magnusson, chairman, legislative committee, 
Washington Monday Evening Club; Dr. Mark A. Dawber, Home 
Missions Council of North America, New York, N. Y.; Ernesto 
Galarza, Chief, Division of Labor and Social Information, Pan 
American Union; C. F. Preller, business representative, Local No. 
26, Liternational Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, American Fed- 
eration of Labor; Millard W. Rice, legislative representative, Veterans 
of Foreign Wars; Channing Dooley and Dr. Will Alexander, National 
Defense Advisory Commission; Henry Epstein, solicitor general of 
New York State, Albany, N. Y. ; Morris Shapiro, attorney. New York, 
N. Y.; Katherine Lenroot, Chief, Children's Bureau, Department of 
Labor; Rev. F. Bland Tucker, rector, St. John's Church, Georgetown, 
D. C, representing Rev. Almon R. Pepper, executive secretary, 
department of social relations. National Council Protestant Epis- 
copal Church; and David Whatle'y, attorney. 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

In connection with the issuance of this preliminary report, the 
committee wishes to acknowledge the generous assistance furnished 
by officials of pubUc and private agencies, National, State, and local. 
In all of its regional hearings, as well as in its recent Washington 
hearings, the aid rendered by these agencies and individuals was of 
great value to the committee. Educators, students, and leaders in 
pubhc thought also have given the committee the advantages of the 
studies and research they have carried on in this field. 

The thorough coverage of the hearings by the press and radio has 
been a source of gratification to the members of the committee, and 
they feel that it constitutes an important part in the task of making 
the public aware of the Nation-wide scope of the migration problem. 

Problems of Migration 

Moving people built America. It is only within the last ^^';f^*'' 
however, that the press and public have begun to speak of tne 



6025 



problem of migration." It is this peculiar circumstance which ac- 
coimta for the existence of this committee. At the committee's New 
York hearing, Prof. Frank Lorimer said : 

Migration is a conspicuous feature, and alwavs has been, of American life. 
In 1930, 22,000,000 native whites, and 3,000,000 Negroes, nearly a quarter of 
all of our native-born population, were found living in States outside the State 
In which they were born. 

Something fundamental has occurred to render the haphazard shifts 
of residence by the average American family a matter for national 
study and investigation. This change seems to have occurred first 
in the communities which were the destinations of large numbers of 
migrants. It is noteworthy that an outcry arose in regions on the 
Pacific coast and other areas in which popular belief held the greatest 
economic opportunity to be available, ^loreover, widespread concern 
over the lowering of Uving standards aod the drain on public treasuries 
occasioned by the necessity of aid to the migrants did not command 
national attention untU the Federal Government had abandoned its 
program of aid to transients." The Federal transient program was 
itseu a byproduct of the lack of available private aid for increased 
moving population. 

All this reflects the fact that migration became a "problem" when 
the economic decHne set in after 1929. It may well be asked why 
similar migratory tides have not run in this country during previous 
periods of depression. The answer would seem to be that in the past 
such movements have taken place but in response to the development 
of new economic opportunities in regions of expanding economy which 
were sufficient to absorb the majority of the moving people. More- 
over^ in previous periods of depression, the Atlantic Ocean served as a 
bamer to stem the tide of inmiigration. A notable feature of the 
present-day migrant population is its native origin; many migrants 
who have gone to the Pacific coast are descendants of the oldest whrte 
families in the Southeastern and Eastern States. 

Students of the problem say that the "push" has displaced the 
"pull" as the dommant factor making for migration. Those who 
move now are moving "to get away" from an increasingly insecure 
situation over which they have httle or no control. It has become 
customary to consider that the great majority of immediate origins of 
these people are agricultural. 

On the contrary, aU studies indicate that the greater number of 
migrants originate in urban communities. Those who leave home for 
the first time, whether that home is rural or urban, are predominantly 
normal, worth-while American people. They possess, usually, more 
than the average amount of initiative. They are searching for useful 
employment. The vast majority of them are anxious to avoid being 
supported at public or private expense. 

It is important, in this connection, to point out that these people 
are not necessarily destitute, just because they are migrants. Insofar 

« Excerpt from statement of Governor Olson, of Call/ornla. to committee, San Francisco hearing: "How 
important this service (Federal Transient Service) was In California is Indicated by the fact that although 
Call/ornla, according to the Census of 1930. had only 4.7 percent of the total population of the Nation, It 
was found that the California case load of the Federal Transient Service accounted for about 13.5 percent 
Of »11 transients aided by the service. At times during this period the Federal Transient Service was caring 
for ae many as 38,81S transients in California. 

"The abrupt cessation of this service in the fall of 1935 once again created an emergency In California. So 
grave did the situation become that the then chief of police of the city of Los Angeles established a border 
patrol at some 16 border stations at which, throughout the months of November and December 1935, and 
January, February, March, and April 1936, some 125 policemen io the city of Los Angele« were on duty io 
an effort to turn back all Incoming migrant!." 

36-513 O - 71 - pt. 8C - 13 



6026 



as they avoid destitution, of course, they stand outside the direct sur- 
vey of this committee. Necessarily, however, the committee has Ijccn 
engaged in the study of migratory movements of people in general, in 
order that it might understand the ways in which moving people be- 
come destitute. This study has led the committee to investigate both 
the miCTants who move in search of permanent situations and those 
who follow seasonal occupations. 

RECENT EFFECT OF DEFENSE PROGRAM ON MIGRATION 

At the beginnmg of the year 1941 the country finds itself engaged 
in a great effort to strengthen its national defenses. When this com- 
mittee entered upon its investigations in the late spring of 1940, the 
problem of migration was something to be studied against the back- 
ground of the decade just closed Today this has been altered by the 
efforts on behalf of national defense. New streams of migration have 
been set in motion toward defense projects of all kinds. Populations 
dammed up in rural areas during the 1930's for lack of expanding 
opportunities in urban conmiunities are now added to these streams 
of migration. They are being joined by those who have been unem- 
ployed and on relief in cities. In this connection, Miss Jane Hoey, 
director, Bureau of Public Assistance, Social Security Board, testified 
at the Washington hearing: 

Today, with the defense industries, and with camps being set up in almost 
every State, every one of those States has a migrant problem. 

So I believe that now there will be a recognition that some people who come 
in from the outside may be an asset and desirable, and may be necessary in order 
to have a proper labor supply in connection with the defense industries. 

It seems to me, as a matter of fact, a little more sympathetic attitude on the 
\,aTt of the States toward this problem is necessary because it now affects, on so 
wide a scale, all of the States. 

. In the programs which had been developed, both the Federally administered 
programs and the Federal grants-in-aid programs, I believe we must recognize 
that all of those together have never met the total needs of the people in distress- 
that the W. P. A. appropriations have never been large enough to take care of 
even all of the able-bodied employable people who could not find jobs in private 
industry; that there was another group of people where there was no employable 
person in the family or where through some handicap they could not qualify for 
these programs. There was a large group of both employables and uncmploy- 
ables, and families with no working member who have not had anything except 
very inadequate provision made for them, nor none at all. It was left entirely 
to the localities. 

The committee is not prepared in this preliminary report to dis- 
cuss at length effects of defense preparations upon the problems of 
migration. Most of the testimony taken on this subject was heard 
at its Washington sessions, held in December 1940. It has become 
apparent, however, that the final report of this committee must devote 
considerable attention to the subject of defense. 

A related problem of no less importance will arise when the ex- 
panding economic activities set in motion by defense industries begin 
to settle down, especially if this occurs at a point short of full employ- 
ment. An even more important problem, perhaps, and one less 
predictable at this time was defined by the representative of the 
American Federation of Labor at the Washington hearings as "the 
problem of the aftermath." During the testimony of Boris Shishkin, 
Director of Research of the American Federation of Labor, the follow- 



6027 



ing exchange occurred, showing what Mr. Shishkin meant in his pre- 
pared statement by his reference to the "problem of the aftermath": 

Mr. Shishkin. ♦ * ♦. Earlier in my statement I said that labor migration, 
as such, under the present system and organization, is normal, and with the 
developments in industry such as have taken place, some substantial measure of 
mieratory labor will continue, and it is clearly a thing to be expected. 

Mr. Parsons. Not only in agriculture, but in industry also? 

Mr. Shishkin. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. We are being faced with that right now. In the national-defense 
prograin, in finding the necessary type of skilled workers to go into high-speed 
production immediately, that will naturally dislocate a large number of families in 
the United States. Then, if that should be suddenly stopped, there would be a 
further dislocation, and they would redistribute themselves, or migrate to their 
original homes, or somewhere else. So we are having and will continue to have a 
thorough test of that, to meet the needs of an industrial program. 

Mr. Shishkin. This will probably extend further than tliat, because at the 
end of defense production there will be a return flow, which will provide a further 
dislocation and will have a tremendous effect on workers and on the communities. 
That is one of the most vital things to give attention to at tliis particular time. 

These hypothetical considerations of the future of the migrant 
problem under the defense program and afterward will be examined 
m more detail in the committee's final report. 

Meanwhile, problems which preceded the advent of the defense 
program formed the basis for the committee's field hearings held in 
six different regions of the country from the end of July to the first 
of October. Circumstances impellmg the migration of rural and urban 
peoples in this last decade cannot be expected to disappear overnight 
durmg the expansion of the defense program. Many of these circum- 
stances will, no doubt, be changed for the better, many for the worse. 
Distortion of economic activity, as between different producing areas, 
or different industries, is bound to create movement of population, if 
only temporarily. Testimony received by the committee indicates 
that rising prices would tend to set in motion an increase in mechaniza- 
tion of agriculture, dislodge more farmers, and close employment to 
more agricultural laborers. 

Migration induced by the defense program will encounter, moreover, 
diflBculties of the same sort as those met by depression-induced migra- 
tion. An outstanding cause of such difficulties is the trend through- 
out the country, participated in by State after State, to raise the settle- 
ment law requirements so that longer and longer periods are required 
before a settlement and the right to public assistance can be gained by 
a newcomer, and shorter and shorter periods elapse before his absence 
from a State has made a former resident there lose his rights. This 
point was illustrated during the Chicago hearings by a question from 
Mr. Osmers directed to Paul L. Stanchficld, Chief of Research Statis- 
tics and Planning Section, Michigan Unemployment Commission, 

Mr. Osmers. Mr. Stanchficld, with respect to these rigid settlement laws that 
apply in nearly every State in the Union, do you think, in the long run, they will 
have an adverse effect upon the national-defense set-up by having a tendency to 
freeze people into their native States? 

Mr. Stanchfield. The defense program is going to require in the long run — 
that is, regardless of the fact there are no shortages now, there probably will be 
ahortagcs of labor in the next year or 6 months. That is going to require much 
more fluidity of movement of workers from one State to another. If we are going 
to make it possible for workers to move from one State to another to take a job 
they are needed in, we ought to give them the same rights in the new community 
that they would have had in the old community. 



6028 



I do foresee quite a danger, both -with, respect to relief and unemploTmcnt com- 
pensation, that a worker might move to a new job, more or less in answer to a 
direct request from tlie Government, in some activity necessary for defense, and 
when the job ends, which may be only a few months, he will be turned loo?e' nnd 
he will not have acquired unemplojTnent compensation rights in the new State. 
He haa been away from the old State too long to retain any riglits ho would havo 
had there. He gets caught right in the middle. He also has no right to public 
assistance of any kind in the new community. 

AGENCIES CONCERNED WITH MIGRATION DURING LAST DECADE 

Throughout the last decade the troubles of the movmg population 
have been sufficiently severe to overtax the existing agencies, public 
and private. Many of these agencies were brought face to face witli 
the migrant for the first time. They were not equipped to meet the. 
demands made upon them. Only the Federal transient program under 
the Federal Emergency Relief Admmistration, between 1933 and 1935, 
was directly aimed at aiding the migrant, and it was originally designed 
to care for unattached homeless individuals, and only later came to 
handle the moving family group. 

Widespread public resistance arose in areas where Federal assistance 
to transients was thought to exceed the relief available for local 
residents. This, together with the charge that migration was being 
encouraged and a new class of transient people bemg created, weighed 
heavily with many who moved to abolish the emergency program. 
Testimony given to this committee by qualified administrators from 
all fields of relief and pubHc assistance contradicts the popular im- 
pression. It was regularlv testified that the great majority of mi- 
grants today are in search of a new beginning, and ready to work 
hard and sacrifice much to secure it. ^ ^ 

Notable among other Federal agencies which are, in part or in an 
incidental way, concerned with tnese moving people is the Farm 
Security Administration. This agency arose from the report of the 
President's Committee on Farm Tenancy and its primary purpose was 
to assist the poor-farmer group, especially the tenant. Onlv inci- 
dentally did it develop a program of relief for the agricultural laborer 
or the person seeking a new settlement. 

The Farm Security Administration^ from the time of its creation, 
ori^ally as the Resettlement Admmistration, has been active in 
various ways in dealing with the migration of rural people. Its pro- 
eram of rural rehabilitation loans has enabled many thousands of 
families to receive necessarjr credit to become reestablished in new 
locations. These rehabilitation loans have been even more important 
as a means of holding families on the land who otherwise would have 
been forced to migrate. Direct relief grants in limited number have 
been made to migratory agricultural workers. 

Similarly, but more remotely, the Bureau of Reclamation became 
aware of the problem of migration in its effort to adjust land uses to 
human needs. The Pacific Northwest is the chief region where the 
Bureau of Reclamation has encountered the migrant problem. Like- 
wise, the Farm Security Administration first encountered migi'ants in 
region XII, which comprises the States of Cahfornia, Arizona, Nevada, 
and Utah. 

Even today, after 5 years of development. Farm Security Ad- 
ministration camps for migrants in California and Arizona can handle 
a maximum capacity of only about 8,500. Estimates vary, but it is 



6029 



generally believed that at the peak of the season California apiculture 
alone has a, demand for well over 100,000 laborers and has an available 
supply estimated as high as 250,000 people, counting men, women, 
and children.' 

Clearly, the housing facilities provided by the Federal Government 
serve more as an example to others who provide housing than as an 
adequ. -upply of housing for the migrant population. However, 
some additional numbers are reached through the Farm Security 
Administration grants-in-aid to migrants and the Agricultural \York- 
ers' Health and Medical Association, which is privately operated, but 
has Farm Security Administration representation. 

.The camp program of the Farm Security Administration is now 
being demanded by employer groups and others in the States of Texas 
and Florida, and in these States, as well as in Arizona and California, 
migrant camps are being established. Surveys show, however, that 
the group of about 50,000 or more Florida migrants do not all remain 
within the State, but an increasing number follow the crop seasons 
north along the Atlantic coast and tend to create the usual serious 
problems in the communities where their labor is needed. A similar 
movement of seasonal agricultural laborers is developing between the 
Appalachians and the Ozarks, on the one hand, and the States of 
Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin, on the other hand. These 
are native, white American workers harvesting fruits and vegetables, 
and they are not to be confused with the earher estabUshed migration 
of sugar-beet workers, Mexican in origin, most of them residents of 
Texas who move to Michigan and Colorado each year. 

These groups of agricultural migrants create problems for several 
agencies in the Department of Labor, including the Children's Bureau, 
the Division of Labor Standards, and, insofar as they work in the 

? recessing of agricultural products, the Wage and Plour Division. 
*he Federal Security Agency is involved at many points through the 
Bureau of Employment Secm"ity and its United States Employment 
Service, which supervises the farm placement services in the various 
States; the Public Health Service, the Office of Education, and 
indirectly, the National Youth Administration, and the Civilian 
Conservation Corps, to which the children's group among these 
migrant families presents a definite problem. 

The interstate truck transportation of migrants comes under the 

i'urisdictiou of the Literstate Commerce Commission. Serious abuses 
lave grown up during the last decade in the transportation of these 
workers and measures for avoiding Federal control of such transporta- 
tion have been devised by certain employers and labor contractors. 
These will be described m detail in the committee's final report. 
In addition to the agencies which have concerned themselves 
directly with the problem of migration of rural and urban people, 
there are a number wluch are active in the study of a problem which 
the committee has come to regard equally as serious as that of cur- 
rent migratory- movements, namely, the problem of potential mi<^ra- 
tion. With the growing industnalization of agricultural production, 
nearly half the Nation's farm operators have dropped out of effective 
participation in the commercial markets. It is from the ranks of 

• The California State Chamber of Commerce Report, p. 191, Migrants, a National Problem — And Its 
Impact on California shows a chart Indicating 140,000 workers needed In September of each year. The 
"low" In March shows less than 30,000 workers required. 



6030 



this lower one-half of our farm operators that the growing body of 
landless agricultural laborers are being augmented, as explained in 
the report of the President's Commission on Farm Tenancy for 1937. 
Both tenant farmers and agricultural laborers move frequently within 
a State, especially in the Southeast, in search of new farming oppor- 
tunities. This intrastate movement is often merely one step removed 
from interstate migration. It is with these groups in all parts of 
the country that the Farm Security Administration is expected 
primarily to concern itself, and for them that its rehabilitation program 
IS designed. 

Other programs of the Department of Agriculture supplement the 
work of the Farm Securitv Administration, on the side of its aid to 
migrants, or to potential migrants. The Bureau of Agricultural 
Economics is charged with studying effects of departmental programs 
as worked out in the field. In addition to its studies of what is hap- 
pening to resident farmers, it has undertaken to find the causes of 
agricultural migration and to forecast probable future migratory 
movements awav from areas of surplus population. Notable among 
these studies is that of the Berkeley (CaUf.) office, described by Varden 
Fuller to this committee at its California hearings, showing that 
three-fourths of all migrants who entered California during the 1930's 
went to urban areas, and that only 22 percent of them were of agri- 
cultural background. The entire movement to California in the 
1930's is estimated at 1,250,000, as against 2,000,000 in the previous 
decade. The concern aroused by the impact of this smaller influx 
on California communities suggests the fundamental difference in 
the effect of population movements in the two decades. 

Other bureaus of the Department of Agriculture concerned with 
one or another aspect of migration include the Farm Credit Adminis- 
tration, the Forest Service, the Soil Conservation Service, the Federal 
Surplus Conmiodities Corporation, the Office of Land-Use Coor- 
dination, the Sugar Division, and the Agricultural Adjustment 
Administration. 

Certain other problems of migration receive attention from the 
United States Housing Authority and the Work Projects Adminis- 
tration. 

There are in fact at least 40 Government agencies which in some 
way are involved in the problems of migration. Their work will be 
examined in the final report. Under the national defense program, 
agencies not ordinarily involved now find that the problems of migra- 
tion impinge upon their work. For example, the national defense 
involves the War and Navy Departments in large-scale migrations to 
defense plants, navy yards, arsenals, and cantonments. The problem 
of males, ages 21 to 35, who are without even temporary residence is 
important to the Selective Service Administration. Within the 
National Defense Advisory Commission, the Labor Division and the 
Agricultural Division are especially concerned with labor mobility. 

Finally, no listing of Federal agencies concerned" with migration 
would be complete without reference to the Bureau of the Census in 
the Department of Commerce; indeed, the work undertaken by this 
committee will require future supplementation on an extensive scale 
by some agency equipped to analyze the returns from the 1940 census, 
which will provide for the first time certain national figures on moving 
population. Earlier studies of the sort which will be included in the 



6031 



committee's final report have been executed by the Division of Sta- 
tistical Standards of the Bureau of the Budget and the National 
Resources Planning Board, both parts of the Executive Office of the 
President. The Interdepartmental Committee to Coordinate Health 
and Welfare Activities has, of course, made extensive recommendations 
to the President on the problems of migratory labor as recently as 
July 1940. -^ J 

It is beyond the limitations of this preliminary report to present the 
comprehensive fist of the representatives of private agencies who 
testified before this committee and to analyze m detail their recom- 
mendations for dealing with migration. It should be pointed out 
here, however, that until 1930 it was the private agencies which were 
■ forced to assume the major responsibifities for relieving or correcting 
many diflBculties arising from migration of the destitute. Mr. Phihp 
Ryan in Migration and Social Welfare writes: 

Since the problems connected with population movement make themselves 
felt throughout the entire scope of social interest and practice, an exhaustive 
listing of the voluntary agencies concerned would include practically all national 
organizations devoted to social welfare, health, housing, labor, and similar subjects. 
In addition to the National Travelers Aid Association and the local travelers aid 
societies, whose major concern is with the needs of "moving" people, such a list 
would include: 

Family and child welfare agencies, such as American National Red Cross, 
particularly in relation to its welfare services in rural areas; Child Welfare League 
of America, Family Welfare Association of America. 

Health agencies, such as American Public Health Association, American Social 
Hygiene Association, National Tuberculosis Association. 

Agencies concerned with education, such as American Vocational Association, 
National Congress of Parents and Teachers, National Education Association of the 
United States. 

Agencies providing shelter facilities, such as the Salvation Army, Volunteers of 
America, youth-serving agencies (such as the Young Men's Christian Associations 
and Young Women's Christian Associations) having shelter facilities as part of 
their larger programs. 

Agencies concerned with public administration, such as American Public 
•Welfare Association, Council of State Governments, Public Administration 
Clearing House, United States Conference of Mayors. 

Regional and national planning agencies, such as American Planning and Civic 
Associaaon, American Society of Planning Officials, National Economic and 
Social Planning Association, Regional Planning Association of America. 

Agencies concerned with research, such as Population Association of America, 
Social Science Research Council, foundations devoted to social and economic 
research. 

Agencies concerned with recreation, such as National Federation of Settlements, 
National Recreation Association, group work agencies. 

Agencies concerned with labor standards, such as American Association for 
Labor Legislation, American Federation of Labor, Congress of Industrial Organi- 
lations. National Child Labor Committee. 

Social agencies of denominational or racial character, such as American Friends 
Service Committee, Council of Jewi.sh Federations and Welfare Funds, Council 
of Women for Home Missions, National Catholic Welfare Conference, National 
Urban League, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. 

Agencies concerned with delinquency and crime, such as American Prison 
Association, National Jail Association, National Probation Association. 

Agencies concerned with civil liberties, such as American Civil Liberties Union. 

Agencies concerned with community organization, such as Community Chests 
and Councils, Inc. 

Agencies concerned with the advancement of social work, such as Community 
Chests and Councils, Inc. 

Agencies concerned with the advancement of social work, such as American 
Association of Schools of Social Work, American Association of Social Workers, 
National Conference of Social Work, National Social Work Council. 



6032 



. Agencies concerned with immigrant welfare, such as Foreign Language Infor- 
mation Service; International Migration Service, American Branch; National 
Council of Jewish Women. 

Agencies having an interest in the legal aspects of population mobility, auch as 
American Bar Association, National Associations of Attorneys General, National 
Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. 

In nearly all the fields represented in the above list there are many local and 
State organizations which also have an interest in the problems of the migrant. 
Much has been done by local transient committees, usually appointed by councils 
of social agencies, to study local conditions with respect to transiency and to 
develop better service for the nonresident. 

Many experts connected with these private agencies testifying 
before the committee acknowledged the inability of these agencies 
to cope with the present nroblem miaided. They also testified that 
the action of the Federal Government in providing a coordinated 
solution would facilitate their own work materially. 

Scope of the Problem 
national aspects of the problem 

It has been indicated that the causes underlymg the mass migration 
of millions of our citizens — aptly termed "a great, disorganized gold 
rush" by a writer on the subject — spring from the changing economy 
and the changing face of our country. The problem is pervasive 
and complex; no easy single solution presents itself. The many expert 
witnesses who testified, however, offered a mass of recommendations 
and suggestions for specific remedial legisration. Varied as these are, 
a single thread runs throughout them aU: That the problem of depres- 
sion-mduced and now, also, of defense-induced migration, is national 
in scope. All agree that its dimensions are so vast, its specific sources 
so varied, and its incidence so uneven that neither local units of 
government nor the States are capable, within their limited resources 
as well as their necessarily hmited contact with and grasp of the 
problem, of applying adequate measures of alleviation, not to speak 
of far-reaching, long-range remedies. 

It is significant that there was unanimity of opinion on this point 
by all expert witnesses who testified, b^ persons in academic life as 
well as by officials of governmental agencies, representatives of private 
welfare organizations, employer and civic groups, by migrants and 
Other individuals victimized by the difficulties attendmg the problem 
of migration. Succinct expression was given to the general view by 
the Honorable Fiorello LaGuardia, mayor of the city of New York, 
during the course of his testimony. Mayor LaGuardia said in part: 

Mr. Chairman, I consider it fairly timely and helpful that the House of Rep- 
resentatives should give this matter of transients, or migration, attention at this 
time. It is a problem which concerns the whole country, and every city in the 
United States, in one way or another, is afifected and vitally interested. 

Mayor LaGuardia's characterization of the problem as a national 
one was amplified throughout the course of the committee's hearings. 
Expert witness after expert witness stressed the national approach 
and the need for a coordinated national attack on the problem. A few 
representative expressions of this generally held view serve to illus- 
trate. For example, Alfred J. Lundberg, president, California 
Chamber of Commerce, stated: 

In coming here, you have acknowledged what we, too, have been Insisting; 
that the migrant problem Is a national problem, with a particular impact upon 
Calif omia. " "^ 



6033 



Harnson S. Robinson, also representing the California State Cham- 
ber of Commerce, amplified his colleague's statement in this connec- 
tion and said: 

And 80 I think pretty generally over California it is recognized that something 
of a national origin has plumped down upon them, and while they mu5t do their 
local part to the limit of their ability and in a decent and kindly fashion, iilso, it is a 
burden which is partly national in character, and only help from a national pro- 
gram can bring these things into approximate balance and make it po^^sible to 
assimilate these newcomers in a wholesome way and get them on their uay to 
earning their living. 

Another witness, A. Frederick Smith, of the Florida Industrial Com- 
mission, had this to say concerning the national aspects of the problem: 

• Migration is not a local situation nor a State-wide situation but is a multi- and 
inter-state problem. The various local governmental units cannot financially 
bear the cost that would fall upon them to give even adequate medical treatment, 
subsistence, or other needs to the needy migrants. 

John E. Bryan, State Administrator of the National Youth Adminis- 
tration for the State of Alabama, in the course of his testimony at 
Montgomery laid emphasis on the manner in which youth suffered 
disabilities as a result of migration, pointing out the need for Federal 
action in this sphere. Mr. Bryan said in par t : 

As it appears from the viewpoint of youth of the Southeast, the migrant problem 
can be solved only by the application of adequate measures initiated by the Federal 
Government to improve in a fundamental way the conditions of life physically, 
economically, educationally, and culturally of the youth population in the areas 
from which the migrants originate. 

Another mayor of a great citv echoed Mayor LaGuardia's statement 
on the national character of the problem. During the course of his 
testimony, Mayor Edward J. Kelly, of Chicago, stated: 

I feel that the problem of migration is not an issue which confronts Chicago, 
New York, Los Angeles, or other isolated areas on our maps, but it is a problem 
which encompasses the entire United States, and for this reason I am strongly 
inclined to the belief that the solution of the problem lies in some form of Federal 
aid and supervision. 

Paul D. Benner, director, bureau of public assistance in the State 
Department of Social Welfare of Kansas, and representing Governor 
Ratner, was emphatic in his declaration that the problem was national 
not only in its implications, but also in its practical aspects. Relevant 
portions of Mr. Benner's testimony on this point read as follows: 

Mr. Curtis. You think, then, that this is a national problem? 

Mr. Benner. Definitely. 

Mr. Curtis. It transcends all county and State lines? 

Mr. Benner. Definitely. I don't think there is any question about it. 

Mr. Curtis. And that they are all citizens, as the chairman has said, of the 
48 States, and he is just as much a citizen if he leaves Kansas and goes to California 
as he is if he leaves Illinois and goes to New York? 

Mr. Benner. That is right. 

Mr. Curtis. And it's a national problem? 

Mr. Benner. And there are many, many people on the road that are desperately 
needing the bare necessities of life, which they are not receiving, and it seems to 
me that that is the immediate concern of this committee — to get something worked 
out whereby there will be care provided somewhat uniformly in the 48 States for 
the individual that is without a country or county or State. 

The testimony quoted above makes clear in a general way the need 
to regard migration as a matter of national concern and consequently 
a matter of concern to the Congress. The consensus among the 
expert witnesses who testified was that the specific hardships and 



6034 



disabilities borne by the migrant and the particular economic influences 
making for migration are almost invariably susceptible of correction 
or alleviation only through Federal action, or at least Federal aid to 
the States. So unanimous was this view, that it is unnecessary to 
weigh the alternative of local action. The States, cities, and counties 
have demonstrated — and concede — their inability within the past few 
years to initiate and administer measures adequate to deal with even 
the temporary aspects of the problem. 

The implications behind the recommendations of expert witnesses 
that migration be dealt with nationally are clear. Unlike the west- 
ward migration of the latter half of the last century and the farm-to- 
city migration of the early decades of this century, present-day 
migration is neither altogether beneficent nor a phenomenon of the 
moment. Earlier migration was induced by the hope and possibility 
of economic betterment; present-day migration is movement induced, 
in large part, by desperation. Further, our population is on the move 
not solely as a result of the depression but, as has been set forth above, 
as a result of far-reaching dislocations in our economy. It is a 
problem to which there is no single ready answer and one that will 
continue in its insistence upon a solution national in character. A 

Sroblem here to stay in one form or another, it must, perforce, be 
ealt with on a contmuing long-range basis rather than by piecemeal 
emergency measures. Study of the problem by the committee and 
the testimony of many expert witnesses underscores the fact that an 
imperative first step is the initiation of a coordinated Federal program 
both on the legislative and fact-finding fronts. 

Imphcit in much of the expert testimony as to the national character 
of the problem of migration is the fact that the Congress, as well as 
the country as a whole, must revise many of its preconceptions both 
as to the nature and consequences of the haphazard and, in far too 
many instances, tragic movement of its citizens. The point was 
made frequently during the hearings that while the regulation of the 
transportation of goods in interstate commerce has long been a con- 
cern of the Federal Government, it has done little in the direction of 
regulating the flow of people from State to State in search of employ- 
ment. It is only logical that the movement of its inhabitants be of 
as much concern to the Federal Government as the movement of 

foods. With this thought in mind, Chairman Tolan, in discussing 
)r, Rupert Vance's prepared paper at Montgomery, said : 

I have one observation that I would like to make and then possibly some of 
the other members of the committee would maybe like to ask you some questions. 
I think in your paper the most powerful statement that you made, and one that 
the country should realize now, is this: 

"Migration is not only a constitutional right of every American citizen; it ia 
an economic necessity in the American economic system. This country is an 
economic unit with a predominantly national market. Industries, investments, 
goods, and labor respond to this economic and legal fact by crossing State lines 
At will." 

That is one of my pet hobbies. In other words, we have 4,000,000 migrants 
annually going from State to State, and after they arrive there they have no status 
of any kind or character. One-third of these are children; we have the health 
problem; the educational problem always enters into it. Now, in 150 years, 
and I think that you will agree with me on this, we have spent billions of dollars 
through the courts and through the Congress to protect the free flow of steel, 
iron, and coal, and commodities — that is the dollar, we watch that jealously, 
but in the 150 years wo didn't expend a dime where humans enter into that 
commerce. That ia just what this committee ia trying to do — to recommend 



6035 



■omething to Congress along that line, and I want to say to you that your paper 
ia going to give us a great deal of information and assistance, and I thank you 
personally for it, Doctor. 

The chairman's observation in this connection leads inevitably to 
expression of the need for a broadening of our concept of Federal 
responsibility in this field. If we view our people as a part of the 
resources of our Nation, we are led naturally to the conclusion that, 
as in the field of the conservation of natural resources, it is impera- 
tive to take immediate and effective steps toward conserving our 
human resources. Wc can no longer, and especially in the hght of 

. the present-day defense cfTort, afford to waste and dissipate the skills, 
the energies, and, perhaps most important of all, the spirit, of our 
people. As in our efforts to conserve our land, our water, and our 
other resources, where we have found it wise and expedient to look 
into the problem over a long period of years from a broad national 
point of view; we must hke\nse deal with the problem of migration 

through a similar Federal program. We must come to the reaHza- 
tion and see the logic of dealing with this problem as scientifically as 
we have sought to check the loss and deterioration of our physical 
and natural resources. 

> SIZE OF THE MIGRANT POPULATION 

The number of persons migrating from State to State seeking em- 
ployment or opportunities for economic betterment has always been 
large. EarUer, due to the depression and attendant economic dis- 
tress, and now as a result of the expansion of industry under the defense 
effort, the volume of migration of the destitute has assumed greater 
proportions than heretofore. This increase has been noted in recent 
years by scholars in the field of population, and warnings as to its 
consequences frequently have been sounded. Most experts are in 
■ agreement that distress migration has increased at a rate far beyond 
a normal and desirable level. 

Nevertheless, while the general trend has been noted, precise 
measurement of the size of our migrant population has not been 
undertaken. We have no knowledge of exactly how many people 
in this country are on the move. 

Available information in this connection is scarce, not only because 
we are without an adequate svstem by which such information could 
be secured, but also because of the confusion as to the term "migrant" 
itself. Yet if an enumeration of persons who cross State lines alone 
were to be made, thus eliminating many who leo^itimately might be 
classified as migrants, and whose problems are identical with those 
of the interstate migrant, the job of determining numbers would 
remain. It is clear to the committee that before action can be taken 
on this problem, there must be devised a system for counting the 
toigratory population. 

The census data furnish some indication of the volume of interstate 
migration. The 1930 census shows that at the time of that census 
more than 23 percent of our native-bom population were hving in 
States in which they had not been born. In other words, 22,000,000 
native whites and 3,000,000 native Negroes had moved from the 
States of their origin for one reason or another. Figures on the 
movement to and from farms indicate that about 3,000,000 persons 



6036 



migrate from farms to towns and cities, and from towns and cities tc 
farms each year, and that over a miUion farm families annually leavf 
one farm for another.' 

Although there has been no operating system for securing Nation- 
wide information on the size of our migrant population, information on 
tliis point gained by the committee during the course of its hearings 
and from published sources gives an indication of the size of the 
problem. 

It is the popular view that migration is primarilv an agricultural 
problem. Against this impression should be placed figures showing 
the proportions of urban migration. This is emphasized by figures 
published by the Social Security Board recording individuals with 
wnges taxable for old-age and survivor's insurance. These show that 
in 1937, 2,300,000 persons, or 7 percent of the total of all claimants in 
this category, moved across State lines. ^ It is important to remember 
that these workers were wholly engaged in manufacturing, lumbering, 
mining, or service occupations, since the act in question excludes agn- 
cultural workers and certain other designated groups from its benefits. 
A large portion of these more than 2,000,000 people were themselves 
near the line of destitution, more than half of tnem receiving less than 
$700 in taxable wages. In the hght of these indications as to the ex- 
tent of urban migration, the estimate made by the Interdepartmental 
Committee on Health and Welfare that there are currently some 
4,000,000 migratory workers, both urban and agricultural, seems to 
be no exaggeration. It is highly significant that, according to the 
testimony of Miss Katharine Lenroot, of the Children's Bureau of the 
Department of Labor, the migrant child population of the country is 
between one and two millions. 

An indication as to the size of our shifting agricultural population 
is to be gained from the testimony of Walter A. Duffy, regional director, 
Farm Security Administration, region XI, which comprises the 
Pacific Northwest States. Mr. Duffy stated that — 

Reliable studies indicate that over 450,000 people have migrated to the north- 
western States of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho since 1930. This movement of 
population in itself is not alarming. Similar heavy movements of people have 
taken place in previous decades. But the circumstances surrounding the recent 
migration have been, and are, ones which cause destitution, disillusionment, and 
sharply increased competition for jobs and farms. 

C. M. Evans, also of the Farm Security Administration, in the 
course of his testimony at Oklahoma City gave some indication as to 
the size of our migratory population as he knew it in Texas. Mr. 
Evans stated that — 

No one knows definitely how many migratoiy workers there are in Texas. 
Estimates made vary from 300,000 to 400,000 persons. 

Harrison S. Robinson, representing the California State Chamber 
of Commerce, testified in San Francisco as to the extent of migration 
into his State. He said, in part: 

Studies of the committee revealed that during the past 5-year period, inter- 
state migration has increased the population of California by 850,000. A sub- 
stantial portion of this new population has been destitute farm families from the 
Great Plains and Southern States, particularly Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and 
Missouri. 

• Taylor, Carl C, Wheeler, Helen W., and Klrkpatrlck, E. L., Disadvantaged Classes In American Agri- 
culture. Department or Aericulture, p. &. , 



6037 



The committee referred to by Mr. Robinson was a committee of 
the State chamber of commerce appointed by that organization to 
inquire into all aspects of the migratory problem. 

Contrary to the popular impression, not all of these migrants 
entering California sought work in the vast farming enterprises of 
the State. Nearly half of them came to California looking for work 
in the trades and factories of the State. Mr. Robinson further testi- 
fied that — 

Since the middle of 1935, over 390,000 members of migrant families wfiose 
breadwinners were in search of manual employment, have entered the State by 
autos through the border checking stations. In 1939 the number was 63,291. 
During the first 8 months of 1940 the number has been 40,160, or slightly more 
than the influx during the same months of 1939. 

Since that time it may be assumed that the influx into California if 
again on the increase due to the expansion of the aircraft and other 
defense industries. 

Reinforcing Mr. Robinson's assertion that not all migrants into 
California came to seek agricultural work, is the testimony of Varden 
Fuller, associate agricultural economist of the United States Bureau 
of Agricultural Economics. Testifying in San Francisco, Mr. Fuller 
replied, in response to a question as to what occupations were repre- 
sented among the persons coming into California, as follows: 

All occupations are represented. The occupational structure of the people 
coming west corresponds very closely to the occupations that are represented in 
the entire population and within the particular States from which the people are 
coming. They are also represented in about the same proportion. 

At a later point in his testimony in this connection, Mr. Fuller, in 
reply to a question by Congressman Sparkman as to whether the 
migrants coming into California were skilled workers, said: 

Yes; they are skilled workers. For instance, from the southern Great Plains 
we have lots of former oil workers. We have people who have developed skills 
in manufacturing industry coming around from the Great Plains area and in from 
Ohio and Iowa. 

Mr. Sparkman. There is a great defense program being carried on in California, 
particularly in the aviation industry. Are many of them absorbed in that, or 
are many of them capable of being absorbed? 

Mr. Fuller. I think many of them are being absorbed and many more of 
them are capable of being absorbed. One indication of that is a very large pro- 
portion of the recent migrants into California have located in the vicinity of Lo8 
Angeles and been absorbed there in manufacturing industries which have been 
expanding. 

The fact that the migration of agricultural workers is by no means 
confined to the far West was made clear by the testimony of numerous 
witnesses. For example, John Beecher, supervisor of the Florida 
migratory labor camps of the Farm Security Administration, testified: 

We are not yet sufficiently informed to make even a good guess about the 
number of persons involved in farm migration over the entire Southeast and can 
only roughly estimate the numbers in certain areas. At the peak of the harvest 
there are at least 50,000 farm workers and members of their families in lower 
south Florida, the great majority of whom are migrants. When strawberry 
picking is on in southeastern Kentucky 20,000 pickers are at work within a 20-mile 
radius of Paducah, many of whom are one-crop migrants from the delta country 
of Missouri and Arkansas. The strawberry fields at Chadbourne, N. C., require 
about 6,000 pickers for the harvest, 5.000 of whom must be assembled from else- 
where. 



6038 



Prof. C. O. Brannen, chairman of the department of rural 
economics at the University of Arkansas, asserted that Arkansas 
depended largely on nonresident, migratory labor during the harvest 
season in that State, He estimated that there were about 15,000 
nonresident agricultural workers employed in the State at the peak 
of the harvest. In Arizona, according to Dr. William P. Shcpard, 
there are approximately 70,000 migratory people entering the State 
each year for seasonal employment in September and June. It is 
significant also that witnesses testifying as to conditions along the 
Atlantic seaboard stated that there was a discernible growing utiliza- 
tion of migratory agricultural laborers in States of destination. 

The migration of urban workers, the committee learned, has been 
greatly accelerated as a result of the national-defense program. Wit- 
nesses declared that States where important defense industries were 
getting imder way, more specifically those places where aircraft plants, 
shipyards, Army and Navy estabhshments, and other activities iden- 
tified with defense are located, were beginning to experience new floods 
of migration. 

Certain areas naturally have lost considerable population as a result 
of large-scale migration. Paul D. Benner, director of the bureau of 
pubhc assistance of the State Department of Social Welfare of Kansas, 
testified that Kansas has lost over 82,000 residents in the last decade, 
a decrease in the population of the State of nearly iji percent. One 
county in the State, he testified, lost 46 percent of its population. 
This coimty was in the southwest section of Kansas, a portion of the 
drought-stricken region. Nebraska also lost a considerable number of 
its residents. Governor R. L. Cochran stated during his appearance 
before the committee that Nebraska experienced a net loss of about 
64,000. He ascribed a large percentage of this loss to the drought. 
Donald Hay, the area leader of the Division of Farm Population and 
Rural Welfare of the Department of Agriculture, reported in his testi- 
mony that prehminary releases from the Census Bureau indicate that 
Wyoming, Nebraska, and the two Dakotas show a net decline in 
population of some 132,000 persons between 1930 and 1940. 

TYPES OF MIGRANTS 

Unfortunately, in the mind of the American public, the traditional 
picture of the rnigrant has been the cartoonist's conception of the 
"tramp" — the itinerant whose reason for keeping on the move is 
primarily to keep work at arm's length. There is the nobler, but now 
obsolete, conception of that other migrant — the pioneer moving west- 
ward to lands of new opportunity. Neither of these pictures portrays 
the migrant as the committee found him. Whether he be driven 
from his land to become a farm laborer or whether he move from city 
to city in search of employment, the migrant is an average American 
but with more than his share of the ill effects of the depression. He 
gives, moreover, a demonstration of fortitude and enterprise which 
Americans are accustomed to commend. As one witness, a repre- 
sentative of a regional office of the Farm Security Administration, 
told the committee: 

• * • I want to enter in this record an emphatic, unqualified expression of 
confidence in the migrant families who are taking the impact of this problem. 
Our experience in the Northwest haa uniformly supported the idea that these are 



6039 



intelligent, vigorous Americans, who will put to constructive use any fair oppor- 
tunity to make farms and homes. These people have hope, and they continue 
to strive for a better iiving when they really have cause to despair * * *. 

From the committee's study of the problem, certain recognizable 
types of population movement or mip-ation emerge. In a Depart- 
ment of Labor study entitled "Migration of Workers", migrants have 
been put into two categories, "constant" and "removal": 

Seasonal and casual workers who move continually from job to job will be 
referred to as constant migrants,* 

As the term suggests, the constant migrant is the person who 
makes his livelihood (^vhether by choice or compulsion) by casual or 
seasonal labor. As the study referred to just above states: 

Migration is sometimes mistakenly discussed as if this were the only group of 
migrants. Even more fundamental, presenting at times extremely serious 
problems is the group of removal migrants, who move in response to a fairly 
permanent relocation of their work * * *. Frequently the removal migrants 
fall into the class of constant migrants. Thus, the drought refugees who are 
clearly removal migrants in origin have often become seasonal workers moving 
from job to job when they have been unable to reestablish themselves perma- 
nently in any one community. Much migration during the recent depression also 
belongs to an intermediate class. Numerous depression migrants took to the 
road because of lack of work or relief at home and not usually \s-ith the intention 
of moving constantly. Some have returned to their former homes so that their 
migration was special and temporary. Some have resettled and thus become 
removal migrants. Others have continued to search for work on the road and 
80 become constant migrants recruited from the relocating forces of the depression.' 

The migrants who move to relocate their families, the so-called 
removal migrants, far outnumber the habitual or constant migrants. 
Studies of migrants frequently tend to overemphasize the problems 
attending constant migration, probably because of the more dramatic 
character of this type of migration. 

The largest proportion of persons entering into the stream of mi- 
gration today, as has been indicated, is composed of those who seek 
to relocate in an effort to gain economic rehabilitation. Driven off 
the land or denied employment opportunity, they give up one home 
to seek another with the hope that it will become unnecessary for them 
to migrate farther. From the testimony of many e.xpert witnesses 
the committee learned that, before 1930, the expectation that migra- 
tion would culminate in a relatively quick and satisfactory relocation 
was usually fulfilled in practice. Following that year, however, and 
unquestionably as the result of the impact of the depression, increasing 
mechanization, and natural disasters such as drought and soil erosion, 
there has occurred a more frequent failure on the part of the migrants 
to find employment suflficiently stable to enable them to estabhsh 
permanency of residence. 

With the promise of permanent relocation unfulfilled, the initial 
migration has led to another, with the objective still that of permanent 
location. That this normal human craving to obtain a home seldom 
disappears altogether is revealed in an account of a migrant family 
which came to the Farm Security migrant camp at Belle Glade in 
Southern Florida. John Beecher, supervisor of the Farm Security 
Administration's migratory camps in Florida, submitted during the 
course of his testimony in Montgomery an account of this family 
which reads in part: 

«U. 8. Department of Labor, Mlcratlon of Workers. PreUmlnary Report of the SecretsryofLAbor, 
porraut to &. Bee. 398 (74tb Coag.). 



6040 



• This family is driven back and forth across the vast length and breadth of the 
land by no sense of high adventure or love of the open road but by the stubborn 
belief that somewhere waiting is a stake for them — a home — a piece of land they 
can raise a living on — something they can tie to. For, like most of the farm 
migrants, they are not following the crops because they like to — they are doing it 
because they have to live. 

The plight of the migrant agricultural laborer has been impressed 
upon the public consciousness by the novel and the screen. Un- 
questionably this migration, either self-induced or resulting from 
factors beyond the control of the individual, was an outgrowth of an 
insufficiency of income in the locality from which the seasonal laborer 
originally came. Both expert and migrant witnesses who testified 
before the committee presented a picture of blind efforts by the mi- 
grants to find employment. Thrown into an overstocked and dis- 
organized labor market, the migrant's chances of obtaining steady 
seasonal or casual work, undesirable as this may be from many points 
of view, are exceedingly low. 

Numerous experts, including Dr. William S. Hopkins of Stanford 
University; Miss Loula Dunn, commissioner of public welfare of the 
State of Alabama; S. G. Rubinow, administrator of the California 
State Relief Administration, and others, testified concerning the 
inadequacy of existing facilities for the efficient placement of migratory 
workers in available jobs. The general conditions which make for 
intermittent employment, oversupply of labor, and growing numbers of 
migrant workers, hold also for urban or industrial workers. Many of 
those who migrate from city to city in search of industrial or service 
employment are confronted by a woeful lack of information or direc- 
tion in regard to the labor market. Much of their movement, like 
that which takes place among agricultural workers, is ill advised, and 
consequently fails to bring worker and job together. 

It is imperative, aside from purely himaanitarian considerations, 
that the whole problem of decasualizing the labor market be tackled 
if we are to draw fuUy upon our available man-power in the national 
defense effort. The need for such action was well stated by several 
witnesses who testified at the Washington hearings upon the subject 
of the defense program. 

A rather special aspect of migration is the problem of unattached 
youth from rural areas. Historically, the cities have tended to pro- 
vide job opportunities for younger members of farm families who were 
not needed at home. Since 1930 there have been more unemployed 
youth in the cities than could be absorbed, with the result that in 
several years of this decade 200,000 more youths were left idle on the 
farms than heretofore. As one expert put it: 

Making a conservative estimate, one can say farms today have 2,000,000 more 
youth than are needed to grow our agricultural products.' 

Similarly, young Americans in the cities, who faced widespread 
imemployment in the depression years, moved in large numbers 
across the country in vain efforts to gain employment. 

DISABILITIES SUFFERED BY MIGRANTS 

Perhaps the most serious disability suffered by the migrant is his 
irregular, discontinuous, and uncertain emplovment. It will be re- 
membered that the majority of migrants seek to find employment 

• Baney, Howard, American Youth Oommlsslon, titled "How Fare Americaa Yoath?" 1937, p. 10& 



6041 



which will give a continuous and productive income, thus enabling 
them to settle do\\'n. The agricultural migrant, seeking an opportunity 
for self-employment, finds himself in an even more diflicult situation 
than the urban migrant. Free land is no longer available, at least 
free land which can support a family even on a subsistence level. 
Moreover, under the conditions of widespread local unemployment, 
tlie destitute rural or urban migrant is of^en looked upon as an 
"outsider" in the community in which he n^^cs to take up permanent 
residence. However, further movement offers little reasonable expec- 
tation of employment. Finally, when his resources arc exhausted, the 
migrant is forced to apply for either public or private assistance. 

In seeking relief the migrant encounters difficulties and disabihties 
far greater than those suffered by the settled relief client. The local 
community naturally feels Uttle or no responsibility for aiding the 
mi^ant. A complexity of legal barriei-s to the granting of public 
rehef confronts him; the funds of private welfare organizations are 
limited and he faces the general feeling that the primary responsi- 
bility of the community is to aid needy local residents. In addition 
to the distress arising out of the migrant's lack of legal claim to general 
rehef, the coverage afforded by Federal social-security legislation is 
frequently incomplete or nonexistent, especially for those in agri- 
cultural pursuits or domestic service. Old-age insurance and em- 
ployment-compensation legislation specifically omits workers in these 
categories. Even those covered by social-security legislation fre- 
quently gain few or none of its benefits, because, in the process of 
moving about, they fail to attain sufficient credits or periods of 
employment to quafify for these benefits. In addition, protection 
of the National Labor Relations Act and the Fair Labor Standards 
Act does not extend to agricultural workers. 

The migrant also suffers from a lack of adequate hospital and 
medical care. The Surgeon General of the United States, Dr. Thomas 
Parran, in his testimony before the committee in Washington, made 
clear that the migrant presents a special and extremely pressing 
problem in this respect. The need of the miCTant and his family for 
medical care and advice cannot be met by the umited medical facihties 
of most American communities. Qualified witnesses testified that 
local medical facihties are inadequate in most cases to meet the needs 
of all destitute local residents, let alone nonpaying transients. A 
warning in connection with the health of the migrant was sounded 
at several of the committee's hearings, namely, the danger of the 
unhospitalized migrant transmitting communicable diseases. The 

Erogram which has aroused the most interest among experts in this 
eld, according to testimony before the committee, is the hospital and 
medical program sponsored by the Farm Security Administration. 
However, this service, caring only for a small segment of agricultural 
migrants, falls far short of meeting the whole problem. 

Much information was furnished the committee concerning the 
housing of migrants, serving to reinforce previous studies made by 
Federal agencies, one witness told the committee that — 

Bad housing facilities are a rule where the migrants congregate. In rural areas 
the ditch-banks shack, the tent camp, or the worse type of "tourist camp" provide 
most of the shelter within the means of this low-income group. In urban areas, 
the "ahack town" at the edge of the city is frequently the only resort of the needy 



36-513 O - 71 - pt. 8C - 14 



6042 



nonresident. Low income and short stays make the migrant an unprofitable and 
undesirable tenant.^ 

Testimony relating to the housing facilities of migrant workers 
furnished considerable evidence that, with some notable exceptions in 
the field of private migrant camps, the Farm Security Administration 
program for providing housing facilities was an outstanding achieve- 
ment. Again, however, it was stated by witnesses that the need for 
exceeded existing facilities. 

Another disadvantage suffered hy our migrant population was 
reported as the inadequate education of the children of migrant 
families. Testimony conclusively showed that educational oppor- 
tunities were extremely limited for thousands of children of migrant 
families, particularly those of migrant agricultural workers. Even 
when the children of migrants are able to avail themselves of local 
school facilities the uncertainty and short duration of their residence 
seriously hamper their educational progress. 

The entire situation confronting migrants must be viewed against 
the background of their extremely low annual earnings. When the 
average annual earning of a migrant family vary anywhere from $300 
to $700, as latest available figures seem to indicate, it is obvious why 
-so many migrants become destitute during the season of slack em- 
ployment. After the harvest seasons the agricultural migrant is 
imemployed for the remainder of the year. At best, the migrant farm 
laborer is fortunate in obtaining 6 months work in the year. Most 
reports indicate a much lower average period of employment. Annual 
income for the migrant agricultural family on the west coast has been 
reported to be as low as $200, seldom higher than $600. The agricul- 
tural migrant family averages four persons; thus, the per capita income 
seldom exceeds the meager figure of $150. A casual knowledge of 
the cost of living is evidence that a family income of $700 annually for 
nonsettled persons is close to destitution. 

Low incomes and other adverse conditions facing migratory workers 
were prevalent before the depression. Literature on this subject 
shows that even in prosperous years it was the fate of migrant and 
casual workers to exist at subnormal standards. The earnings of 
migratory workers naturally were driven downward by the impact of 
the depression. 

Another conspicuous hardship suffered by the mi^ant, especially 
the agricultural migrant, is his hazardous method of transportation. 
Unable to afford train or bus fare, most migrants travel throughout 
the country in old, unsafe trucks and automobiles. Truck transpor- 
tation supplied by labor contractors is frequently in violation of State 
and Federal laws. In several cases reported to the committee no 
financial responsibility for accidents could be fixed. 

It is clear that the disabilities thus summarily set forth bring ills 
not only of the body but of the spirit. Most telling for the future is 
the effect of migration as a way of life upon migrant children. John 
Beecher, of the Farm Security Administration, in the committee's 
Montgomery hearings aptly said: 

What sort of Americans are migrant children growing up to be? Their way 
of life is completely alien to the traditional American way of life. We may very 
well be breeding aliens out of the descendants of pioneers. 

'Lswson, William R., memorandum to W. P. A. Administrator Col. F. O. HarTlncton. March 3, 1930. 
In Congressional Record March 20, 193fl, pp. 8008-8010. 



6043 



Causes of Migration 

The preceding section has been concerned with the question of what 
happens to people who move, and related questions as to the number 
of migrants within our borders, how manjr move seasonably, what 
proportion of all migrants are rural or urban in origin, what disabilities 
they have as compared with resident people, and how many potential 
migrants there mav be at the points ol origin,waiting for something to 
start them along the same road. 

This committee has been deeply concerned with these millions of 
migrants who have to move on account of circumstances over which 
they have no control find who, like Americans, refuse to starve stand- 
ing still. Directly or indirectly, this movement of people is connected 
with every economic dislocation in our national life. It is obvious, 
therefore^ that no single solution to this problem is possible. 

Assummg, as the committee has, that the American people desire 
to encourage migration, there will remain situations in which movo- 
ment mav not be the best solution for the individual or the family 
group. Unconsidered movement to certain areas may serve to aggra- 
vate an already serious situation. Migration from certain areas may 
be desirable, if not imperative, but existing or proposed migration from 
those areas may not provide a desirable solution. For example, 
farms in the Southeast can . rovide work for only a fraction of the 
oncoming generation of farm population. It does not necessarily 
follow, however, that the migration of whole families is more desirable 
than the continued migration of youth which has been characteristic 
of that region for generations. . . i 

The causes of migration may be divided into two pnncipal categones: 

1. Economic causes, especially those arising from depression conditions — 

(a) General unemployment, causing migration to other urban areas in search 
of Jobs or to the land for security; ^ ,, , , 

(6) Regional differences in employment, wage levels, and patterns of seasonal 
labor requirements; ... . ., , 

(e) High rates of natural population increase In areas of low economio oppor- 
tunity: 

P Seasonal demands of agriculture for workers; 
Mechanization of industry and agriculture; 
Belated flight from stranded areas as national recovery develops. 
Natural causes in areas subject to drought hazards, soil erosion, plant disease, 
and insects. 

The causes of migration have been found by the committee to be 
primarily economic. Migration is symptomatic of economic disloca- 
tion and, in more serious situations, of economic decline or disintegra- 
tion. Extreme examples of the latter are to be found in stranded 
mining or mill towns, cut-over forest areas and certain rural areas 
where natural forces, such as drought or erosion, have worked the 
greatest hardships. In the case of these latter rural areas the com- 
mittee realizes that neither drought nor soil erosion is automatically 
attended by the permanent decline of the affected rural areas. Adjust- 
ments in such areas are, however, usually accompanied by some 
temporary migration. , 

Urban migration throughout the last decade has been a byproduct 
of the general unemployment problem. The study now bemg con- 
ducted by the group attached to the National Resources Flannme 
Board investigating general relief should form a valuable backgrouna 



6044 



to any future studies of migration. It is from the ranks of those at 
or near the relief level that the bulk of migration arises. Witnesses 
before the committee have regularly testified, however, that manv 
of the migratory group dislike to accept relief and that this in itself 
has often led them to migrate either to other urban areas in search 
of jobs or back to the land in search of security. 

Migration from country to city in good times has been, in all 
countries, the classic example of migration. In fact, to carry this 
a step further, the European immi^ation to this coimtry before 1920 
originated largely in rural communities. A strong case could be made 
for the assertion that the advent of the industrial revolution in country 
after country produced a steady flow of population not only from 
European countryside to European cities, but also from rural Europe 
to urban America. One of the outstanding factors behind this is the 
failure of urban populations, in all modern industrialized communities, 
to reproduce itself. Replacements, characteristically, have been de- 
rived from rural areas. Until very recently, the population increase 
in nu-al areas in all countries has exceeded local economic opportu- 
nities. As a consequence, migration from the countryside to cities at 
home or abroad has flowed freely. With the closing of our gates to 
immigration, except on a highly restricted basis, such replacements 
for urban United States population were bound to be drawn from rural 
areas in the United States. It was in this connection that the South- 
east was characterized by Prof. Rupert B. Vance at the committee's 
Montgomery hearings as "the seedbed of the Nation." 

Mechanization of industry after 1920 led to expanding employ- 
ment opportunities in manufacturing establishments. In contrast to 
those aosolute increases, however, the relative numbers employed in 
manufacturing had already begun to decline by 1920. Yet it was 
not until the decade just ended that it became generally apparent 
that job seekers must look elsewhere than to industry for expandmg 
employment opportunities. The impact of mechanization on indus- 
trial job seekers during the decade 1930-40 has overtaken agricul- 
tural labor also. Continued mechanization of agriculture will reduce 
further the total number of jobs to be done on farms. As a result 
of this mechanization, and the natural population increase, it may 
be expected that for several decades to come the number of job 
seekers in agriculture, as well as in urban industry, will rise. This 
situation produces areas of surplus population and declining job op- 
portunities, and stimulates migration in search of new jobs. For 
many migrants whose job qualifications are limited, these new jobs 
are nonexistent. 

From areas of surplus population the majority of migrants have 
been, and continue to be, drawn from the youthful group. With the 
improvement of educational opportunities throughout the country, 
the horizon of youth has been broadening, while the local job oppor- 
tunities in many areas have been stagnating or actually declining. 
At the same time, oncoming numbers of young men and women have 
not appreciably slackened. This group of migrants has been char- 
acterized above as indispensable to the maintenance of urban popu- 
lation. The committee is not concerned with cutting off the move- 
ment of such a group but is interested in its guidance, the alleviation 
of unnecessary hardships it encounters, and especially the improve- 
ment of its preparation for the role which its members will have to 
play as the urban dwellers of the next decades. 



6045 



During the early years of the decade of the 1930*3, the net flow of 
population from country to city was checked and for the first time 
in many years, if not in the Nation's history, the number returning to 
the farm exceeded in one year, 1932, the number leaving the farm. 
In view of the fact that population pressures, not only in the South- 
east but throu|;hout the entire farming regions of the country, are 
customarily reheved by out-migration from these areas, very severe 
''• Ins were imposed on rural localities. In many places tlie already 
substandard levels of rural health, housing, and education were further 
reduced. Meanwhile, the fall of agricultural prices and the collapse 
of farm credit forced new thousands of! their farms. Contempo- 
raneous with the decrease in number of these small farms, there was 
an accompanying increase in the number of largo farms, mechanization 
of ^riculture, particularly on large farms, and the rise of industrialized 
agriculture. Agricultural distress occasioned demands for Federal 
assistance, and when this was forthcoming in the form of payments for 
restriction of production, small farmers complained that they obtained 
little benefit from this program. 

Those family migrants from areas of rural distress joined the army 
of followers of seasonal crops with the consequent break-down of any 
organized pattern of migration that may have existed previously. 
Seasonal agricultm-al demands for labor, especially in industrialized 
agriculture, have created these patterns in various parts of the country. 
Cotton growing in Texas, Arizona, and California is an industry based 
upon the use of seasonal wa^e laborers, rather than upon the traditional 
sharecropper sj^stem in the Southeast. In Texas this demand i.s 
largely for Mexican laborers, but in Arizona and California in recent 
years many workers of Mexican origin have been rcuatriatcd and their 

S laces taken by native white Americans, mainly from the States of 
Iklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas. The lon^-standing use by the Colo- 
rado sugar-beet industry of laborers from Nicxico, or their descendants, 
has recently been paralleled by a migration of these beet-field workers 
from Texas to Micniean. In Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin, 
as well as along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, the la!)or requirements 
of new and growing areas of largo-scale vegetable production are being 
supplied, for the most part, by native white American laborers. 
Migration of Negroes engaged in agriculture, originating in Florida 
and moving with the crops as far north as Now Jersey, seems to be 
assuming a new importance. 
As business indexes rose from their lows in 1032, there was an 

' accompanying increase in migration and a change in its constituency 
from a preponderance of unattached homeless men and boys to that 
of famity migration. The movement of large numbere of Negroes 
from the South, which had been a distinfjuishin^ feature of the early 
1920's, was resumed on a somewhat smaller scale. It was sufficient, 
however, to aggravate already serious conditions among the Negro 

# populations of northern cities. With the advent of economic re- 
covery the out-migration of rural whites also approached its 1920-30 
proportions. The automobile industry in Detroit and other industrial 
areas in the North saw a marked influx of people from the border 
States of West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee, and also from the 
Ozark region. Stranded communities in the Northeast nmd elsewhere, 
especially mining and textile-manufacturing towns, did not benefit 
by this recovery. Instead of a revival of their customary industries, 



6046 



new shops moved in to take advantage of the cheap lahor of the 
women and girls of their families. Out-migration from these areas 
remains smaU, however, perhaps because of the lack of flexibility and 
the limited skills of this population. 

To this flight from economic dislocation, decline, or in some cases 
actual disintegration of particular communities, must be added the 
migration out of regions suffering from disasters such as drought and 
soil erosion. Once certain developments have occurred, such as over- 
cropping in the Southeast or the use of land for wheat and similar 
crops in regions normally suited only to grazing, natural forces take 
then- course. In the drought area unusually severe water shortages 
occurred in addition to these man-made causes, and disaster began. 
In both types of situation the out-mieration, not only of farm popula- 
tions, but of neighboring rural nonfarmer dwellers followed. Some 
restricted parts of affected areas are now considered to be beyond 
repair. Most of the land in these regions, however, is believed bjjr 
experts to be fit for some form of agriculture if a new balance is 
acnieved between population and the land. Many of the witnesses 
before this committee urged that such Federal intervention as that 
now being carried out by the Bureau of Reclamation in the drought- 
staicken regions and by the Soil Conservation Service in areas which 
are badly eroded will be indispensable to the restoration of a healthy 
regional agriculture. 

Summary of Recommendations by Witnesses 

In closing its preliminary report, the committee presents in sum- 
mary form a hst of the principal recommendations made to it by 
witnesses in the course of its nearings. In connection with these 
recommendations the committee wishes to emphasize that it does not 
appear at this time as sponsor for any of these recommendations, but 
believes that a useful purpose may be served by presenting the views 
of others as a frame of reference to precede the committee's final report. 
It will thus be possible for those who are following the work of this 
committee to understand the types of problems which experts and 
administrators find important. The committee intends to use any 
extension of time granted it for the completion of its report in an 
analysis of these recommendations. As the result of this analysis the 
committee ejects to arrive at a limited number of recommendations 
of its own. One further explanation should probably accompany the 
pubhcation of this summary of the recommendations oj others: In the 
committee's final report the full text of these recommendations made 
by witnesses before the committee may be expected to require more 
than 50,090 words of text. It is important, therefore, that the word 
"summary" should be underscored in this presentation. 

LABOB CONTRACTINO AND TRANSPORTATION 

The general picture furnished the committee in this field is one of 
irresponsible methods of hiring and transporting migrants. With 
high fees and low wages forming twin adjuncts of the labor contrac- 
tor's business, the system, in practice, permits great abuse of the mi- 
grant, the committee was told. Among the several witnesses dis- 
cussing this subject before the committee, L. C. Stoll, director of the 
Oregon State Employment Service, had this to say: 



6047 



. The evils of the agricultural labor contractor Bystem of handJing migratory 
tabor are well knowD to aU. Such methods disrupt the best-laid plans of the 
tederal-btate employment service. Too many workers are frequently l>iought 
into the work areas by the contractors. This lessens the amount of work avail- 
able per person and often beats down the wage rate. Even more vicious practices, 
short weights, and irresponsible contractors leaving wages and bonuses unpaid, 
and causing large groups of stranded workers to become countv or Government 
relief cases, are examples too well-known to need further detailing. • * • 

Trucks used in transporting migrants, witnesses informed tlie com- 
mittee, often are in poor repair and arc without cither State or 
Federal licenses for transportation of persons. When accidents 
occur, establishment of financial responsibility is difficult. 

PRIVATK EAy»LOYMENT SERVICES — ADVERTISING 

Closely related to the subject of labor contracting, this phase of the 
problem of migiation, namely, the work of private employment 
agencies and the advertising wnich is placed to secure workers, re- 
ceived detailed consideration at the committee's hearings. ^Iany 
witnesses designated this type of advertising as "irresponsible" and a 
factor in establishing an over-supply of labor at points of demand. 
Other experts informed the committee that such "irresponsible" ad- 
vertising frequently results in "waste" migration, since it is undirected 
and based in many cases on misinformation. Throughout the Nation- 
wide series of hearings, experts were practically unanimous in their 
designation of this type of advertising as an evil. Some individuals 
linked the regulation of this sort of advertising and stringent policing 
of labor contracting as desirable steps toward reducing undirected 
and purposeless movement of people. Extension of the present system 
of Federal-State employment services was advocated by many wit- 
nesses. State Relief Administrator S. G. Rubinow, of the State of 
California, declared: 

States of origin, States of destination, and the Federal Government should be 
given the opportunity of participating jointly in a highly efficient farm placement 
service which will direct the flow of farm migrants in a rational manner and which 
will maintain its operations in line with actual needs of farm operators for farm 
labor. 

Neil H. Jacoby, 'chairman of the Illinois Emergency Relief Com- 
mission, told the committee at Chicago: 

A man who moves to another State merely because of rumors of well-paid 
employment that are baseless is not bettering his own condition, or that of 
society. 

Even migration based on knowledge of the best available facts leaves room for 
risk and misfortune. But it raises the probability of advantageous migration far 
above aimless movement in ignorance of the relevant facts. It would appear to 
be a proper function of government to make all facts available regarding em- 



ployment opportunities to potentially migrant people." This seems to be an ele- 
ment in an intelligent policy. 

MIGRANT CAMPS 

During its investigations in various sections of the country, the 
committee paid close attention to the migrant camps established by 
both public and private agencies. . 

The migrant camps established and managed by the Farm Security 
Administration received highly favorable comment at the cornmittee 
hearings. In general, witnesses stated that it had been their expe- 
rience that establishment of a Farm Security Administration unit in 



6048 



a particular locality usually was followed by improvement of stand- 
ards in private camps. Neariy every witness recommended the 
migrator}^ camp program and urged its extension. The committee 
was informed by witnesses that these camps provide a minimum of 
shelter and sanitation for migratory workers and their families. 
Witnesses testifying at the New York and Montgomery hearings 
stated that they had observed a few good private camps in New 
Jersey and Florida. 

MEASURES CONCERNED WITH IMPROVING SOCIAL CONDITIONS 

Education, Health, and Housing. 

On the questions of education, health, and housing for migrants, 
the committee received a variety of suggestions from witnesses, repre- 
senting a wide range of social and economic activity. A majority of 
the witnesses thought that extension of the Federal agency in a par- 
ticular field was warranted, accompanied by increased Federal funds. 
Summarized, the suggestions receiving the widest support were: 

1. Federal aid to the States for educational purposes. 

2. Federal funds for the improvement of rural health and housing. 

3. Increased emphasis on vocational training. 
Some of the recommendations made follow: 

Dr. William P. Shepard, president, Western Branch, American 
Public Health Association, urged that the public health work of the 
Children's Bureau, Department of Labor, and the United States 
Public Health Service be expanded. Countv health departments 
are generally understaffed and underfinanced, the committee was 
informed by several witnesses. 

Mrs. Walter A. Knapp, California Congress of Parents and Teachers, 
endorsed a program of increased Federal aid through distribution of 
surplus food products. 

Mayor La Guardia of New York also recommended care of migrants 
by the United States Public Health Service under the Federal Com- 
municable Disease Act of 1893. 

SOCIAL-SECURITY LEGISLATION 

The extension of existing social-security legislation to agricultural 
workers, at present excluded from provisions of those laws, was recom- 
mended by many witnesses. Among those sponsoring such recom- 
mendations were Secretaryof Labor Frances E. Perkins; Gov. Culbert 
L. Olson, of California; William Green, president of the American 
Federation of Labor; Phillip Murray, president of the Congress of 
Industrial Organizations; Prof. Paul S. Taylor, of the University of 
California; Mrs. Val M. Keating, Assistant Administrator of Work 
Projects Administration, San Antonio, Tex., and others. Testifying 
at the committee's Oklahoma City hearing, Mrs Keating said, in part: 

Social security legislation largely overlooks the interstate migrant. Agricul- 
tural workers have been excluded frona the unemployment compensation laws 
so far enacted, and from Federal old-age annuities. Nonresident workers are 
inadequately covered in most State social security laws. Many workers now 
stand to lose whatever compensation they may have accumulated if they migrate 
from one State to another, unless special arrangements to cover such cases are 
Buccessfully established by future interstate agreements. 



6049 



fAIB LABOR STANDARDS ACT 

With respect to the relation of the problem of migration and the 
Fair Labor Standards Act, the testimony of nearly a dozen witnesses 
at the hearings conducted by this committee called for the inclusion 
under this act of workers engaged in industrialized agriculture and in 
agricultural processir'^ • here they are now exempt. Regulation of 
the wages and hours oi labor of these workers, several witnesses held, 
was desirable both from social and economic standpoints. Col. 
Philip B. Fleming, Administrator of the Wa^e and Hour Division, 
Department of Labor, told this committee he beUeved there was 
precedent for wage reg dation of commercialized farming operations 
in the Sugar Act of 1937. 

NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS ACT 

A study of the committee's hearuigs discloses that, on the whole, 
the same witnesses who recommended the extension of social security 
legislation and the Fair Labor Standards Act to migratory workers 
also favored the coverage of migrants by the National Labor Relations 
Act. Boris Shishkin, of the i\jnerican Federation of Labor, told the 
committee at its Washington hearings: 

No preventive remedies can be effective unless the economic pressure forcing 
migration is removed. Reducing inequities in income by increasing the pur- 
chasing power of low-income workers is fundamental if the goal is to be achieved. 
Extension of coverage of the minimum wage and maximum hour standards of the 
wage and hour law and extension of safeguards of collective bargaining rights to 
workers now excluded from protection against substandard labor conditions and 
unfair labor practices are strongly urged by labor as bringing into operation long- 
range stabilizing forces. 

FARM SECURITY ADMINISTRATION — REHABILITATION — COOPERATION 

Many expert witnesses recommended the extension of the rehabihta- 
tion proCTam of the Farm Security Administration as an important 
aid in checking much aimless wandering and possible starvation. 
These efforts, however, in the opinion of some witnesses, were said 
to constitute primarily stop-gap measures. Rehabilitation keeps 
people on the land and eliminates pointless migration, but certain 
autnorities feared that this poUcy also threatened a future of sub- 
sistence agriculture for a large minority, or possibly even a majority, 
of American farmers. Hence, it was contended, over the longer period 
the work may run counter to the traditional American ideal of a 
"better future." 

The great majority of the witnesses who dealt with this program, 
however, favored an increase in the present appropriation for rehabili- 
tation purposes, and called for a reduction in the case loads of super- 
visors nandling the program, so that individual farmers might receive 
more attention than is now possible. 

Testifying at San Francisco, Walter A. Duffy, regional director of 
the Farm Security Administration in region 11, Pacific Northwest, 
related some of the facts in connection with rehabihtation work in the 
territory for which he is responsible. He stated : 



Reliable studies indicate that over 450,000 people have migrated to the north- 
western States of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho since 1930. This movement 
oi population in itself b not alarming. Similar heavy movements of people have 



6050 



taken place in previotis decades. Bui the circumstances sutroundlng the recent 
migration have been, and are, ones which cause destitution, disillusionment, and 



Bharply increased competition for jobs and farms 
Along with city public relief agencies, the Fa 
borne the brunt of a demand to help remedy economic and social problems attend 



Along with city public relief agencies, the Farm Security Administration has 



ing this migration. About 190,000, or 41 percent, of the people who have come to 
the Northwest since 1930 are people of farm background and experience. They 
want farms and farm work. In general, the supply of farms and farm work has 
been far short of the demand. 

♦ * * In view of this situation, the Farm Security Administration in the 
Northwest has launched and operated a relocation program in an attempt to give 
guidance and financial assistance to migrating farmers who would otherwise be 
victimized by prevailing conditions. This activitv has been carried forward 
mainly through our standard rehabilitation loan and grant program. * * ♦ 

Several witnesses praised the cooperative phases of the work of the 
Farm Security Administration. The Farm Security Adpainistration 
has instituted several degrees, or levels, of cooperative activity 
ranging from cooperative ownership of machinery, blooded stock, and 
other facilities to full-time cooperative farms. Among the experts 
favoring this latter type of production cooperative the view is held 
that further and widespread industrialization of agriculture is inevi- 
table. By the cooperative device, proponents have urged, it will be 
possible for large numbers of small farmers to utilize technological 
improvements without loss of ownership of the land for large numbers 
of people. 

OTHER PROPOSALS FOR COOPERATIVE ACTIVITY 

On the subject of cooperatives in general, Walter E. Packard* 
economic consultant of Berkeley, CaUf., stated before the committees 

Cooperation, if considered within its broad horizon, can be a tremendou! 
factor in creating new opportunities for employment and in increasing the national 
income. There is no physical reason why the low income and destitute farm 
population cannot find, along with others in like circumstances, a place of security 
on a relatively high standard of living. But not wholly on the land by any 
means. There are more people now engaged in agriculture than can be main- 
tained on the land at an acceptable standard. The problem goes to the root of 
our economy. To accomplish the desired ends, our way of doing things must 
be geared to the requirements of machine production. The logic of technology 
is a high standard of living for all. And the necessary adjustment requires 
cooperation on a broad front and in many lines, 

BOIL CONSERVATION 

One of the many activities imdertaken at present by the Federal 
Government to assist the farmer is the program of soil conservation, 
for which responsibility rests with the Department of Agriculture. 
During the hearings, extension of soil-conservation policies now in effect 
was advocated by several witnesses. Other experts who appeared 
presented detailed analyses of soil-conservation practices a,nd their 
relation to migration. By conserving and improving the soil, it was 
argued, some of the economic factors that have driven people from 
the land, among them soil erosion, are removed or at least halted. A 
eeneral strengthening of soil-conservation work, then, would assist 
m preventing destitute migration. As a supplement to their remarks 
in this connection, some of the experts suggested a rural public-works 
program to be undertaken with a long-range objective of soil con- 
servation. As pointed out in the testimony of experts from the Soil 



6051 



Conservation Service at Lincoln, Nebr., the work of this agency is of 
considerable variety: 

The Secretary of Agriculture — 
these experts noted — 

bas placed upon the Soil Conser\'ation Service responsibility for the management 
of the departmental land-use proprams that involve the Department's participa- 
tion in operations on agricultural lands, including erosion control, submarginal- 
l&nd purchases and development, the agricultural phases of flood control, water- 
facilities development, farm forestry, and drainage and irrigation. 

The scope and obicrtivea of the Soil Conservation Service have thus been 
greatly broadened. What was formerly an agency concerned primarily with the 
conservation of soil and water resources is now an agency concerned with promot- 
ing adjustments to achieve better land use, permanent systems of farming, 
long-time tenure, owner-operated units, and discouragement of migratory 
tendencies. 

RECLAMATION AND MIGRATION 

The testimony bearing on the issue of reclamation and migration 
brought into the record a ^eat body of opinion, dealing principally 
with two points : The question of how people who have already become 
migrants may become settled, and to what extent a program of water 
conservation and irrigation may act as a factor retarding potential 
miration from areas of low rainfall. 

Regarding the Great Plains area in particular, some experts noted 
that the drought was the prime cause of the uprooting of thousands 
of farmers in this area. Aiiy reclamation program must, it was held, 
take into consideration the question of irrigation and saving of 
available water supply. 

Some witnesses suggested that reclaimed land be used to resettle 
agricultural migrants. Ranged alongside these proposals were the 
problem to which it was stated this move would give rise, namely, the 

{)roblem of obtaining capital on the part of the migrant, the type of 
and policy to be followed, and the extent to which such a program 
would absorb the numbers of farm families now on the road. 

The testimony of Marion Clawson, principal field representative of 
the Department of Agriculture, in the Pacific Northwest, presented 
at San Francisco, contains a discussion of some of the points enumer- 
ated above. 

On the whole — 
this witness told the committee — 

resettlement on a reclamation project represents one of the best opportunities 
open to the migrant with limited capital resources and with agricultural back- 
ground and experience. Reclamation projects offer such migrants an oppor- 
tunity to convert labor into income and into wealth. This opportunity has 
serious limitations, however, and the destitute or near destitute migrant settler 
on a reclamation project is faced with many hardships. Settlement on reclama- 
tion projects is a form of modern pioneering and, like pioneering of earlier periods, 
hardship is unavoidable. At best the settler requires some capital in order to 
improve his farm and to provide a living for his family until the farm is in a 
productive state. The amount of this capital varies considerably, depending 
upon the circumstances of the area, but exceeds $3,000 under practically all 
conditions. The interstate migrant who settles on reclamation projects is 
generally faced with a new type of agriculture and with new problems to be 
solved. He requires special technical guidance and assistance in order to make 
the most effective use of the opportunity ofTtred to him. 

Although there are Federal and State agencies which can and do assist inter- 
state migrants who locate upon reclamation projects, none of these agencies has 
the authority or funds to provide adequate assistance to the migrant. These 



6052 



agencies are willing to assist migrants not only by means of their regular pro- 
gram but also by means of any special programs which they have the authority 
to initiate, but they are not equipped to perform all the services needed by the 
migrant. Moreover, the migrant is forced to make contacts with a large number 
of agepcics and this is always a bewildering and unsatisfactory experience for 
him. 

AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ADMINISTRATION 

Policies of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration and the 
system of benefit payments prevailing under the program being admin- 
istered by this agency received detailed consideration at the com- 
mittee's hearings. Almost without exception, the experts who came 
before the committee agreed that the benefit payments have generally 
been converted into capital with which to further mechanized farming 
operations. There was criticism of some aspects of the Agricultural 
Adjustment Administration policies, especially the size of benefit 
payments. 

Among the witnesses who recommended drastic reduction in the 
upper limit of an Agricultural Adjustment Administration benefit was 
E. A. Willson, executive director of the public welfare board of North 
Dakota. In response to a question from the committee, Mr. Willson 
suggested that the limitation should be — 

less than a thousand dollars, to encourage help to the family-size farm and 
discourage the larger operator. 

The testimony of Alfred R. Barnes, chairman of the South Dakota 
Agricultural Soil Conservation Committee, during the Lincoln, Nebr., 
hearing contained praise for activities of the Agricultural Adjustment 
Administration. Mr. Barnes credited the benefit payments with 
lessening the migration of people in the Great Plains area and strength- 
ening of farm tenure in the region. In addition, he said, the numerous 
dams built under the Agricultural Adjustment Administration 
program — 

have done a great deal to lessen the effect of water shortage in case of serious 
drought. 

Uniform Settlement Laws and Federal Aid to General Relief 

The recommendations made with respect to uniform settlement 
laws and the need for Federal provision for general relief, either di- 
rectly administered by the Federal Government or of the type of 
Federal grants-in-aid, are treated in a separate section because this 
group of recommendations developed more differences of opinion 
among witnesses than those listed above. 

Ten or more expert witnesses recommended to the committee that 
an attempt be made to secure uniform settlement laws in the various 
States. / 

The abolition of settlement laws was recommended by Glen Leet, 
administrator of public assistance, Rhode Island State Department 
of Welfare; and by Frank W. Goodhue, director of the division of 
aid and relief, Massachusetts State Department of Public Welfare. 

In addition, some of the witnesses who recommended uniform 
settlement laws felt that abolition would be desirable, but diflScuIt 
to attain. 

Gov. Culbert L. Olson, of California; David C. Adie, commissioner 
of welfare, New York State; James J. Wadsworth, New York State 



6053 



assemblyman; and Ralph Astrofsky, director of division of shelter 
care, Department of Public Welfare, New York City, were among 
those who recommended that settlement laws should be so phrased 
that an individual once having gained a settlement would not lose it 
until he had succeeded in acquiring another. 

The opinion that adequate care for migrants could not be achieved 
without a general strengthening of the entire relief program was ex- 
pressed by Miss Loula Dunn, commissioner of welfare for the State 
of Alabama; Joel D. Hunter, general superintendent, United Charities 
in Chicago; and Neil H. Jacoby, chairman of the Illinois Emergency 
Relief Administration. 

This group was joined by representatives of the welfare councils of 
the City of New York in expressing the belief that changes in settle- 
ment laws might be brought about as a condition of Federal grants-in- 
aid to the States. 

Several witnesses, including Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins; 
Paul D. Benner, director of the bureau of public assistance, Kansas 
State Department of Social Welfare; and E. A. Willson, executive 
director of the Public Welfare Board of North Dakota recommended a 
Federal poUcy of grants-in-aid to the States to provide relief for 
migrants, transients, and unsettled persons. 

Of the broad group of witnesses who discussed this problem more 
than half recommended as did Miss Jane Hoey, director of the Divi- 
sion of Public Assistance of the Social Security Board, that a fourth 
category of general relief be added to the Social Security Act to take 
care of all individuals not now provided for. 

In opposing this poinfof view, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, of New 
York City, and Miss Edith Abbott, dean of the School of Social 
Work, Chicago University, advocated complete governmental respon- 
sibility. Mayor La Gunrdia stated that the program should be 
entirely a Federal one with Federal funds administered by Federal 
oflBcials, and Miss Abbott said: 

My plan is that we should hnve a Federal agency that is more comprehensive in 
its BOop« than W. P. A. That is, it should be an uiH>niployment work and assist- 
ance agency, so that this agency would take c^ro of providing either work or 
maintenance or retraining or transference to another area, or whatever the 
unemployed needed; but tnat the unemployed people, instead of being left to all 
of these local authorities all over, would be the responsibility of a Federal agency. 

The Secretary of Labor and Miss Katharine F. Lenroot, of the Child- 
ren's Bureau, Department of Labor, advocated tlie extension of 
Federal aid to child-welfare services under the Social Security Act 
and the expansion of existing health services. 



6054 



Migratory 
Labor in 

AMERICAN AGRICULTURE 

Report of the Presidents Commission 
on Migratory Labor 




I 



6055 



The President's Commission on Migratory Labor 



Maurice T. Van Hecke, Chairman 

Noble Clark 

William M. Leiserson 

Robert E. Lucey 

Peter H. Odegard 

Varden Fuller, Executive Secretary 



6056 

Letter of Transmittal 

March 26, 1951. 
The President, 
The White House, 
Washington, D. C. 

Dear Mr. President: 

Your Commission on Migrator)' Labor created June 3, 1950, submits 
herewith its report. 

This report deals primarily with migratory labor in agriculture; 
migratory labor in industry is referred to only incidentally. 

May we take this occasion to call your attention to some of our major 
recommendations? 

In the present emergency, first reliance should be placed on using 
our domestic labor force more effectively. No special measures should 
be adopted to increase the number of alien contract laborers beyond 
the number admitted in 1950. Future efforts should be directed 
toward supplying agricultural labor needs with our own workers and 
eliminating dependence on foreign labor. 

Foreign-labor importation should be undertaken only pursuant to 
the terms of intergovernmental agreements. The conditions and stand- 
ards of employment should be substantially the same for all countries. 
The administration of foreign-labor recruiting, contracting, transporta- 
tion, and agreements should be made the direct responsibility of the 
Immigration and Naturalization Service. This should be the principal 
contracting agency and private employers should secure their foreign 
workers exclusively from the Immigration and Naturalization Service. 

Legislation is needed to make it unlawful to employ aliens who have 
entered the United States illegally. Legalization and contracting of 
aliens illegally in the United States should be discontinued and forbidden. 

The economic aspects of domestic migratory farm labor are dealt 
with in recommendations relating to : 

{a) improvements in labor management and personnel policies, job 
standards and job rights, and employee-employer relations; 

( b ) more orderly methods of bringing men and employment together, 
a more effective use of the local labor supply, more continuous employ- 
ment for the workers, and a stable labor supply for farm employtrs; 

(c) improved housing; 

{d) a minimum wage for agricultural workers. 

To aid in carrying out our recommendations, to coordinate the 



6057 



agencies of the Government in their activities relating to migrators' 
farm labor, and to cooperate with the States, there should be estab- 
lished a Federal Committee on Migratory Farm Labor, appointed by 
and responsible to the President. The Committee would be composed 
of three public members, one of whom would serve full time as chair- 
man, and of one member from each of the following agencies: the 
Departments of Agriculture, Labor, and State, the Immigration and 
Naturalization Service, and the Federal Security Agency. 

During the last fifty years migratory labor has been dealt with in 
many investigations and reports by Federal, State, and private agencies. 
Not much has been accomplished. We earnestly hope that this report 
will enable you to initiate changes in administration and legislation that 
will lead to the correction of the fundamental causes of the various 
problems, with resulting benefits to the migratory farm workers, to the 
farm employers, and to the public. 

We want to thank you for the privilege of working on this project. 
We await your further instructions. 
Respectfully submitted, 

(Signed) Noble Clark. 

WlLLL\M M. LeISERSON. 

Robert E. Lucey. 

Peter H. Odegard. 

Maurice T. Van Hecke, Chairman. 



IV 

36-513 O - 71 - pt. 8C - 15 



6058 



Acknowledgments 



The Commission wishes to acknowledge the able and devoted work 
of its Executive Secretary and of the other members of its staff, namely : 

Varden Fuller, Executive Florence A. Irle 

Secretary Robert C. Jones 

Harold E. Benson Samuel Liss * 

Barbara J. Berglund Edwin C. Pendleton 

Max a. Egloff Willl\m C. Porter 

Jerry G. Foreman Evelyn S. Randall, Secretary to 
Seymour G. Gresser the Chairman 

Eleanor M. Hadley 

The Commission appreciates the special work of the following, on 
loan for varying periods of time, from the agencies and institutions 
named : 

Glen T. Barton, Bureau of Agricultural Economics 
Alan Bruce, California State Department of Industrial Relations 
Harlan B. Carter, Immigration and Naturalization Service 
Hugh Carter, Immigration and Naturalization Service 
lone L. Clinton, Bureau of Labor Standards 
Louis J. DucofT, Bureau of Agricultural Economics 
James G. Gray, Jr., United States Employment Service 
William H. Metzler, United States Employment Service 
William J. Rogers, Wage and Hour Division 
Arthur Ross, University of California 
Paul S. Taylor, University of California 
The Commission also desires to acknowledge the cooperation of the 
various divisions of the Departments of Agriculture, Labor, and State, 
the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Federal Security 
Agency, and the Bureau of the Budget, in consultations, in the prepara- 
tion of special memoranda, in loaning members of their stafTs, and in 
other services. 

And the Commission records its indebtedness to the representatives of 
the foreign, State, and local governments, the workers, labor organiza- 
tions, employers, social workers, health authorities, educational leaders, 
and religious groups. Their testimony, statements, and suggestions pro- 
vided opportunity for first-hand knowledge of the many different facets 
of the complex problems encountered. 

* On full-time loan from the Farm Home Administration. 



6059 



The Commission's Hearings, Conferences, 
and Studies 

During the summer and early fall of 1 950, the Commission held twelve 
public hearings in Brownsville, Tex.; El Paso, Tex.; Phoenix, Ariz.; 
Los Angeles, Calif.; Portland, Oreg.; Fort Collins, Colo.; Memphis, 
Tenn.; Saginaw, Mich.; Trenton, N. J.; West Palm Beach, Fla.; and 
two in Washington, D. C. These hearings were regional in coverage. 
The witnesses who testified included representatives of farmers, growers, 
processors, employees, labor organizations, officers of the Federal, State, 
and local governments, social workers, health authorities, educational 
leaders, religious groups, and numbers of the migrant workers themselves. 
The verbatim transcripts of these hearings constitute an important public 
record of fact and opinion relating to migrant farm labor. 

In connection with most of the hearings, the Commission made field 
trips for observation of actual conditions and for talks with workers, 
employers, and others on the ground. 

The Commission has held two general conferences in Washington 
with representatives of the interested Government agencies, namely, the 
\arious divisions of the Departments of Agriculture, Labor, and State, 
the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and the Federal Security 
Agency. The first conference, in June, was to enable them to brief the 
Commission on the problems incident to migratory labor; the second, 
in November, was for discussion of their specific recommendations. 
There have been many conferences between representatives of the Com- 
mission and officers of the Government concerned with particular 
aspects of migrant labor. 

Other Commission conferences deserve special mention: Those with 
the State agencies established to deal with migratorv' labor, including 
the California, Colorado, New Jersey, and New York Commissions and 
a number of State interagency committees; those with representatives of 
the Governments of Mexico and Puerto Rico; and those with the Amer- 
ican Farm Economics Association and the Directors of the State Agri- 
cultural Extension Services. In addition, a member of the Commission, 
by invitation, attended, as an observer, a conference between the De- 
partment of State and representatives of the Government of the British 
^Vest Indies, a hearing and a conference conducted by the Farm Labor 
Subcommittee of the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Repre- 
sentatives, and a conference of the Advisory Council to the United States 
Employment Service. 

VII 



6060 



Members of the Commission's staff have made a number of special 
studies of particular problems. Other memoranda on various technical 
subjects have been prepared for the Commission by the responsible Gov- 
ernment agencies. It is hoped that a selected group of these may be 
published separately. 



6061 



Contents 

Chapter Page 
I. Why Do We Have Migratory Workers and Who Are 

They? 1 

What Does Migratory Labor Contribute to the Nation's 

Agriculture? 6 

More Food, Fewer Workers, Less Dependable Employment . 8 

Prospects for Mechanizing Stoop Labor Tasks 13 

Labor Service, Not Jobs With Standards 16 

The Issue of Pubhc Policy 22 

The Federal Committee on Migratory Farm Labor .... 24 

IL Migratory Farm Labor in Emergency 25 

Farm Production and Labor Requirements for the Emer- 
gency 25 

Our Farm Manpower Experience in World War II . . . 27 

Postwar Changes in Utilization of Farm Labor 30 

Experience as a Guide for the Present Emergency .... 31 

Recommendations 35 

in. Alien Contract Labor in American Agriculture .... 37 

World War II Emergency Importation of Foreign Workers . 37 

Puerto Ricans Not Used in World War II Emergency ... 39 
Areas of Employment of Imported Foreign Workers During 

W^orld War II 39 

Contract Aliens as Proportions of the Wartime Farm Labor 

Program 40 

Foreign Agricultural Labor Importation and Contracting 

Continued Through Postwar Years 41 

Mechanics of Postwar Foreign Labor Importation and Con- 
tracting 42 

Puerto Ricans in the Postwar Farm Labor Force 49 

Problems in the Negotiation of the Mexican International 

Agreement 49 

Postwar Mexican Farm Labor Program as a Mechanism for 

Legalizing Wetbacks 52 

Number and Proportions of Foreign Workers in Postwar 

Farm Employment 54 

Has Importation of Foreign Labor Been Detrimental to 

Domestic Labor? 56 



IX 



6062 



Chapter Page 

III. Alien Contract Labor in American AgricuIture^-Con. 

Is Importation of Foreign Farm Laborers Consistent with 

National Immigration Policy? 64 

Recommendations 66 

IV. The Wetback Invasion— Illegal Alien Labor in American 

Agriculture 69 

Pressures and Deals Not To Enforce the Law 75 

Mechanics of the Wetback Traffic 76 

Consequences of the Wetback Traffic: Wages 78 

Consequences of the Wetback Traffic: Labor Competition and 

Displacement 80 

Border State Farm Employers Who Do Not Get Wetbacks 

Protest Discrimination 83 

Problems Encountered in Enforcing Immigration Law ... 86 

Recommendations 88 

V. How Migratory Workers Find Employment 89 

Practices of Labor Contractors and Crew Leaders 91 

State Legislation to Regulate Employment Middlemen ... 92 

Transportation 94 

Work Seeking and Direct Employer Recruitment 95 

Recruitment and Placement by Public Employment Agen- 
cies 97 

Recommendations 103 

VI. Employment Management and Labor Relations .... 105 

Farm Employers' Organizations for Management of Labor 

Problems 106 

Pooling Labor Needs and Lengthening Employment .... 108 
Employment Terms for Contract Workers Not Extended 

to Domestic Labor Ill 

An Exception — Terms of Employment for Domestic Workers 
Comparable to Those Extended Puerto Rican and Foreign 

Workers 113 

Collective Bargaining 114 

Recommendations 118 

VII. Employment, Wages, and Incomes 119 

Farm Wages: A Widening Inequity 129 

Area Inequities in Farm Wages 132 

Recommendations 134 



6063 



Chapter Page 

VIII. Housing: "Reasonable Protection Against the Weather". 137 

Housing While on the Job 138 

Labor Camp Codes 139 

Housing — An Aspect of Labor Supply 140 

Housing at the Home Base 144 

Government Low-Income Housing 146 

Migrants and Public Housing 146 

Housing as a Factor in the Reduction of Migrancy ... 147 

Recommendations 150 

IX. Health, Welfare, and Safety 153 

Migratory Labor and the Public Health 154 

More Machines, More Accident Hazards 158 

Recommendations 159 

X. Child Labor 161 

Child Labor Laws and Their Enforcement 163 

State Child Labor Laws 164 

Recommendations 165 

XL Education 167 

Local Schools Do Not Serve Nonlocal Children 167 

Experimental Efforts 169 

Migratory Adults Need Education and Training 170 

Recommendations 171 

XII. A Coordinated Policy and Program for Migratory Farm 

Labor 173 

Assumption of Responsibility by Private Groups 174 

Assumption of Responsibility by Local, State, and Federal 

Units of Government 174 

Integrating General Programs and Specific Needs 176 

The Commission's Recommendations 177 

Appendix — The Executive Orders 187 



XI 



6064 



Charts 

Chart Page 

I. Changes in Farm Output and Required Man-Hours of Farm 

Work 9 

II. Changes in Output per Man-Hour and Total Farm Employ- 
ment 9 

III. Changes in Seasonal Employment of Hired Farm Workers 
(Month by Month 1931 and 1949 — Four Regions) .... 11 

IV. Farm Output 1940-1 950 (With Estimates for 1951 and 1952) . 26 

V. Changes of Employment of Farm Workers (Family Workers — 

Hired Workers) ' 28 

Vl. Changes in Farm Labor Requirements and Farm Employ- 
ment 29 

VII. Changes in Average Wages for Cotton Picking (War and 

Postwar Employment of Mexican Contract Labor) .... 57 

VIII. Deportations and Voluntary Departures of Illegal Mexican 

Aliens 70 

IX. Changes in Wages per Hour (Farm — Factory) 131 

X. Farm Wages (as a Percentage of Factory Wages) 131 



XII 



6065 



Chapter 1 

Why Do We Have Migratory 
Workers and Who Are They? 

In the Executive order, this Commission was directed to investigate 
the following: 

(a) Social, economic, health, and educational conditions among 
migratory workers; 

{b) Problems created by the migration of workers into the United 
States for temporary employment; 

{c) Responsibilities assumed by Federal, State, and local authorities 
for alleviating conditions among migrator)' workers; 

{d) Agricultural labor needs, sufficiency of domestic supplies, extent 
to which foreign workers may be required ; 

{e) Problems created by illegal entry of foreign workers and means 
of strengthening law enforcement to eliminate such illegal migration. 

A migratory farm laborer is a worker whose principal income is earned 
from "temporary farm employment and who in the course of his year's 
work moves one or more times, often through several States. We do 
not regard as a migratory worker one who is employed at temporary 
jobs within daily driving distance of his home, nor one who moves his 
household from one place to another and thereafter remains more or 
less permanently. In either of these cases employment could be the 
same as that performed by migratory workers. Whether a person is 
a migratory worker depends not primarily on the kind of work he does 
but rather on whether he maintains a stable home the year round. 
Seasonal and temporary farm work is done by both migratory and 
nonmigratory workers. As we shall see later, more nonmigratory than 
migratory workers are employed at seasonal and temporary farm work. 

We do not find that people become migrants primarily because they 
want or like to be migrants. Nor do we find that any large portion 
of American agricultural employment necessarily requires migrant 
workers. The economy of this Nation has a great deal of seasonal 
employment other than that in farming. Yet it is only in agriculture 
that migratory labor has become a problem of such proportions and 
complexity as to call for repeated investigations by public bodies. 

Among the reasons for migrancy, the foremost is that many people 
find it impossible to make a living in a single location and hence have 
had to become migratory. Technological displacement, business reces- 



6066 



sion and consequent unemployment in industry, drought and crop 
failure, radical changes in the sharecropper system, lack of education 
and vocational training — these are among the basic factors responsible 
for migrancy. The migratory workers themselves, and their employers 
as well, testified at our hearings that migrants want steady jobs and 
that, given the opportunity to settle down, they do so. It is true 
that, for some, repeated moving has become a habit. There are 
undoubtedly many who, in trying to make a living at unreliable jobs, 
have become unreliable people. On the other hand, many who are 
considered by some to be unreliable are praised by others as good 
workers. Time after time we were told that domestic migrants are 
"unreliable," "unwilling to work," "no good." For example, Texas 
farm employers told us that Texas-Mexicans were "no good," but farm 
employers in Arizona, Colorado, and other States told us with equal 
emphasis that the same Texas-Mexicans are good and reliable workers. 

No large group of migrants has remained permanently migratory. 
This probably is the best evidence that people are not migrants by choice. 
Prior to the immigration law of 1917, we dep)ended on European immi- 
grants for temporary and seasonal farm work. Many years ago, farm 
employers of the West Coast thought they had a permanent migraton' 
labor force in the Chinese, Japanese, and Hindus. However, none of 
these remained migrants. Perhaps the "bindle stiff" and the "hobo" 
of the 1 9 1 0's and 1 920's were the nearest approach to professional mi- 
grants this country has ever had. But they, too, have settled down 
and no longer count significantly in our migratory work force. 

In the thirties the largest element in our migratory labor group was 
the "Okie," the collective name applied to displaced people of the farms 
and service trades of the "dust bowl" area including Oklahoma, Arkansas, 
Missouri, and Texas. Many of these people were migratory workers 
through the thirties but they resettled whenever the opportunity ap- 
peared. This "settling down" of the Okie group was accelerated by 
the more favorable economic climate of the past decade. No longer 
does this group remain the principal element in the Nation's migratory 
work force. 

"Texas-Mexicans," the term commonly applied to those Texans of 
Mexican or other Latin American origin, have emerged in the past 
decade as the largest group in our Nation's domestic migratory work 
force. In previous years, this group was migratory within Texas and 
from Texas into the Mountain and Great Lake States. But recendy 
its migrancy has increased both in scale and in the area through which 
it moves. The primary reason for this increase of migrancy is pressure 
from the great influx of illegal Mexican aliens which has made it increas- 
ingly necessary for Texas-Mexicans to leave their homes annually in 
search of better wages and greater employment opportunity elsewhere. 

In the past two decades, there has developed another clearly identified 



6067 



migratory group made up almost exclusively of Negroes who have their 
home base in Florida. Many of these are ex-sharecroppers or their 
descendants from other Southern States. They spend the winter in 
Florida and in the spring and summer follow a northward course along 
the Atlantic shore reaching through the Carolinas, Virginia, New Jersey, 
New York, and even into Maine. These workers are now being de- 
scribed as professional migrants. Yet there is evidence that they, too, 
will setde down when the environment is favorable. 

Within the past decade there is much evidence that, with the oppor- 
tunity to do so, the migrants of today, like their predecessors, drop out 
of migratory life. In 1940, there were an estimated 1 million domestic 
migrant workers. As employment opportunities were improved during 
the war, the number was reduced to 600,000. In the postwar years, 
it has grown again to a million. However, of this total number, domes- 
tic migrants represent only about one-half. The other half is made up 
of approximately 1 00,000 Mexicans legally under contract, a relatively 
small number of British West Indians and Puerto Ricans, and, by far 
the most important, illegal Mexican workers who in recent years have 
amounted to an estimated 400,000. 

Migrants are children of misfortune. They are the rejects of those 
sectors of agriculture and of other industries undergoing change. We 
depend on misfortune to build up our force of migratory workers and 
when the supply is low because there is not enough misfortune at home, 
we rely on misfortune abroad to replenish the supply. 

Migratory Farm Laborers and the Community 

Migratory farm laborers move restlessly over the face of the land, but 
they neither belong to the land nor does the land belong to them. 
They pass through community after community, but they neither claim 
the community as home nor does the community claim them. Under 
the law, the domestic migrants are citizens of the United States but 
they are scarcely more a part of the land of their birth than the alien 
migrants working beside them. 

The migratory workers engage in a common occupation, but their 
cohesion is scarcely greater than that of pebbles on the seashore. Each 
harvest collects and regroups them. They live under a common con- 
dition, but create no techniques for meeting common problems. The 
public acknowledges the existence of migrants, yet declines to accept 
them as full members of the community. As crops ripen, farmers 
anxiously await their coming; as the harvest closes, the community, 
with equal anxiety, awaits their going. 

The migratory labor force in agriculture has long been an object 
of uneasy concern among those bearing responsibility for the public 



6068 



well-being. Half a century ago the United States Industrial Com- 
mission quoted one of its agricultural experts as saying: 

* * * the annual inundation of grain fields in harvestime, hop 
yards in picking season, fruit picking in districts of extensve market 
orchards, and similar harvest seasons requiring large numbers of hands 
for a short time, has a demoralizing effect on farm labor, reducing its 
efficiency in those lines. Such employments demand little skill; the 
requirements of each are simply and easily satisfied. They constitute 
a low order of farm labor, if worthy to be classed with it at all, and 
are excrescences upon its fair face. 

The evil that the Industrial Commission perceived has grown. In 
the past 50 years there has been much social progress for virtually all 
Americans, but for migratory workers depressed conditions still prevail. 

Migrants generally are easily identified as outsiders. Their faces are 
those of strangers and, for many of them, differences of color and other 
physical characteristics serve as badges of identification. Their heavily 
laden cars or trucks, packed with beds, cooking utensils, and furniture 
are easily distinguished from those of campers on vacation. Even their 
work clothes by material, style, or cut seem to indicate an outside 
origin. All along the way are those who take advantage of the migra- 
tory worker's helplessness. Professional gamblers, prostitutes, and 
peddlers of dope follow the work routes to obtain, each in his own way, 
a share of the migrant's money. 

Residents tend to separate migrants from themselves in domicile and 
law, in thought and feeling. They assign special places to migrants 
seeking shelter, or leave them to go where their poverty and condition 
force them. Here they encamp in tents or simply under canvass 
supported by a rope strung between two trees or from the side of the 
car to the ground. They sleep on pallets, or on bedsprings or folding 
cots which some of them carry. Where rains are frequent during work 
season they find shelter in crude shacks. On farms they use what 
shelter their employers may provide. 

The lines of segregation arc further sharpened, particularly for 
Negroes, Mexicans, and Puerto Ricans by differences of skin color, 
stature, and language. For several years the Mexican Government 
declined to allow its citizens to go to Texas under the Mexican-United 
States International Agreement because of the flagrant social discrimi- 
nations under which they had to live. 

Customs, codes, and laws, like plants, take root, grow, and endure 
best in soils that stay in place. The customs of migratory farm laborers 
rarely find their way into codes and laws, at the close of the season when 
the people scatter, their ways vanish with them. 

Established residence is the primary qualification for exercising the 
right to vote. By the very nature of their occupation, migratory workers 
find it difficult to qualify. In some States an additional obstacle is the 



6069 



poll tax. It is not surprising under these circumstances that the interests 
of migrants are easily slighted in the laws. 

Take, for example, the laws governing education, relief, health, and 
other social benefits. Migrants work in communities where they do not 
live. Since it is not working in a community but living in it that confers 
a legal right to such benefits, the migratory worker is usually excluded. 
During the great distress migration of the 1930's, some State legislatures 
increased these residence qualifications. The migrator\- worker was 
adversely affected by this in two ways : ( 1 ) It became more difficult 
for him to acquire legal residence in the State into which he moved, and 
(2) the State from which he migrated took steps to bar claims based 
on former residence. These barriers remain generally on the statute 
books today. 

State barriers are compounded and reenforced by those set up in the 
county. "Willful absence from the county" for more than 6 months is 
one device used to deprive returning migrants of their rights. Adminis- 
trators find residence requirements a convenient reason for denying basic 
rights to migrants. Thus State by State, county by county, township by 
township, nearly every unit of government seeks to evade responsibility 
for these migraton,' workers. 

These characteristics have been discussed as relating primarily to 
domestic migratory farm workers, i. e., to those who are United States 
citizens in name, but who, because they migrate, fail to share the rights, 
privileges, and full benefits of our citizenship. Many of the same charac- 
teristics apply equally to migrant workers who come from abroad. All 
migratory farm workers, citizen and alien alike, perform similar work, 
serve the same employers, and are segregated in some degree from the 
communities in which they work. Yet in some important respects, their 
situations are different. 

Domestic migratory farm workers not only have no protection through 
collective bargaining but employers as a rule refuse to give to them the 
guarantees they extend to alien contract workers whom they import. 
These include guarantees of employment, workmen's compensation, 
medical care, standards of sanitation, and payment of the cost of trans- 
portation. As these protections can be extended to alien contract 
migrants, it ought to be feaisible to extend them also to domestic 
migratory workers. 

Domestic farm migrants do, however, have one security which alien 
contract labor does not have : Whether they quit or are discharged, they 
cannot be deported. Last in order of security and first in order of exclu- 
sion from the community is the illegal Mexican alien, commonly 
referred to as a "wet back." Under constant threat of apprehension 
and deportion, his life is one of furtive insecurity. In the hands of 
employers inclined to make use of the wetback's disabilities, the result 
is virtually peonage. Moreover, the ramifications of the wetback traffic 



6070 



spread to the community at large. Those of the community who oppose 
the wetback system and would be rid of it come to live in fear of reprisals 
from those who seek its perpetuation. 

What Does Migratory Labor Contribute to 
the Nation's Agricuhure? 

In recent decades, the Nation's agriculture has year by year needed 
successively less manpower. Mechanization and continuously improved 
techniques of production are the main reasons forthis. In consequence, 
agriculture is overcrowded and there is a persistent though irregular 
movement of population out of agriculture which carries along both 
farm families and hired workers. If this movement were abrupt, those 
"belonging" to agriculture could be clearly identified. However, it is 
not abrupt or clean-cut. Rather, the separation is partial and gradual, 
in the sense that many hang on and eke out an existence at extremely low 
levels of income. This "hanging on" occurs with farmers and with hired 
labor as well. Farm economists estimate that half of the Nation's 6 mil- 
lion farms could supply the needed food and fiber. That is to say, the 
less productive half of our farms add little to the total commercial prod- 
uct. From an economic point of view, these farm operators might better 
be employed at other occupations. 

There are now roughly 4^4 million wage earners who depend prin- 
cipally on farm employment for their incornes. Most of these will find 
employment in September when farm work is at its peak. When farm 
work is slack in December and January, less than 1 million are employed. 
If hired workers are grouped according to the farm employment they 
receive, the numbers by amounts of employment are approximately : 

Year-round (250 or more days' employment 600 thousand 

Regular ( 150 to 250 days' employment) 400 thousand 

Seasonal nonmigratory (under 150 days' employ- 
ment) 2^4 million 

Migratory 1 million 

It is evident that the majority of those supplying labor to agriculture 
are part time and temporary employees. They serve but they do not 
really "belong." Their jobs are tenuous and insecure. Migratory 
laborers are at the bottom of this heap of insecurity and sufTer from 
chronic underemployment and poverty. 

Most of the Nation's farm work is done by working farmers and mem- 
bers of their families, embracing approximately 1 million workers. For 
every hired agricultural laborer, there are between two and three farm 
family workers and of the hired farm laborers less than one-fourth of 
them are migratory. In terms of the total farm work force of the 
Nation — family and hired workers together — migrants number only 
1 in 14. 



6071 



Migratory workers receive less employment than any other farm 
workers. Consequently, their contribution to the Nation's farm work 
is not in proportion to their numbers. Primarily because of underem- 
ployment, migratory laborers supply only 3 to 4 percent of the man- 
days of work that are used to produce the Nation's farm output. 
Although their contribution in total is not great, it is most significant 
at the critical periods of crop production. 

Migratory labor is employed principally in cotton, fruits, vegetables, 
and sugar beets. Dairy farms, livestock farms, poultry farms, and 
diversified general farms hire virtually no migratory labor. The work 
on the latter type of farm is done almost exclusively with family workers 
and regularly hired or year-round wage hands. 

Not all farms producing cotton, fruits, vegetables, and sugar beets 
employ migrants. In fact, migratory farm workers are primarily em- 
ployed on a comparatively small number of farms which use large quan- 
tities of labor, i. e., 250 man-days ol- more per year or more. There 
are approximately 125,000 such farms. They amount to 2 percent of 
the farms of the Nation and produce crops equal to approximately 7 
percent of the value of all farm products. 

A small proportion of the Nation's migratory labor force is employed 
on small farms and family farms. This occurs in areas and on farms 
which specialize in the production of crops having a short but high 
seasonal labor demand. When important seasonal activities occur at 
about the same time, the labor needs become intense and many farms 
in the area may then become dependent on migratory labor. In many 
cases, these small farms are in a sense "captive farms" because they are 
dependent upon large-scale food processors or sugar-refining companies 
to supply them with their seasonal labor and to buy their crop. This, 
for example, is the problem in Michigan where farms are not generally 
large-scale or industrial but are specialized in producing truck crops, 
fruits, and sugar beets. Nevertheless, small and family farms which need 
seasonal labor are generally able to meet their labor needs with t"^m- 
porary workers from within their own communities. 

In substance, then, the role of migratory labor in the Nation's agri- 
cultural economy comes to this: 

( a ) Migratory workers are 7 percent of the Nation's farm manpower ; 
they perfonn less than 5 percent of the man-days of work. 

[b) The farm employers who depend to any significant extent on 
migratory labor and who are the principal employers of migratory labor 
amount to only approximately 125,000 or 2 percent of the Nation's 
farmers. These farms produce less than one-tenth of the value of the 
national farm output. 

{c) Small farms in areas where production is specialized in crops 
having highly seasonal labor demands also use significant amounts of 
seasonal labor, some of which is migratory. Here the contribution of 



6072 



migrants is secondary, however, because it serves mainly to supplement 
family and local labor. 

From the standpoint of the total agricultural labor supply, migratory 
labor is not, therefore, a problem on most of the Nation's farms. It is 
primarily a special concern of a small number of large and highly special- 
ized farm employers. 

Notwithstanding that farm migrants are only 7 percent of the Nation's 
farm manpower and do less than 5 percent of the Nation's farm work, 
migratory farm labor cannot be dismissed as having little significance. 
To the migrants themselves the problem is of great and pressing impor- 
tance. Moreover, in addition to the human problems involved, the sys- 
tem of migrant labor has implications for our economy and for our 
culture which we should no longer neglect. 

More Food, Fewer Workers, Less 
Dependable Employment 

Past decades have witnessed revolutionary changes in labor pro- 
ductivity in American agriculture. These changes are significant when 
manpower needs and employment opportunities are considered. Though 
the developments are general throughout all agriculture and apply to 
all types of agricultural manpower, certain of them are of special 
significance to the problems of migratory and seasonal labor. These 
changes in productivity and their relation to labor requirements are 
graphically set forth in charts I and II. 

Farm output in the past decade greatly expanded, but this expansion 
was achieved without increasing the labor needed on the Nation's farms. 
On the contrary, the total labor required has declined as productivity 
per man-hour of work has increased. It is notable that productivity 
per man-hour of labor continued to rise consistently through World 
War II. 

This greater productivity has been achieved through using more and 
improved machines and better farming practices. In 1 949 we produced 
27 percent more than in 1940, but our labor requirement was 5 percent 
less than in 1940. As the United States Department of Agriculture 
reported with respect to the economic outlook for 1951, "The big 
supply of power and machines now on farms means not only that less 
time is needed for farm work but also that farmers are better equipped 
than ever beforfe for an emergency." 

Along with the reduction in man-hours of labor needed, the total 
number of workers in agriculture also has declined. Employment of 
hired workers, working farmers, and unpaid members of farm families 
decreased by 8 percent between 1940 and 1949. 

Mechanization and improved farm technology have helped us to pro- 
duce more with less labor. The national diet has become more bounti- 

8 



6073 

CHANGES IN FARM OUTPUT 
AND REQUIRED MAN-HOURS OF FARM WORK 



A 








FAR 


M OUTPU 


y1 




^ 


— 






^ 


^ 


/ 






^ 


*=== 




t^ 












: I : 1 1 


MAN-HOURS OF / 
FARM WORK REQUIRED 

1 1 




1 



1940 41 42 '43 44 45 46 47 48 '49 

CHANGES IN OUTPUT PER MAN-HOUR 
AND TOTAL FARM EMPLOYMENT 



ifBBMW 








OUTPUT PER 


/ 


1 — 


<^ 


-^miit^ 


^ 


^y^ 


/ 











^ 














^x 


















TOTAL FAR^ 
EMPLOYMEK 


P^^^ 






LJ 




^ 


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'43 "44 45 '46 ' '47 '48 '49 1950 



36-513 O - 71 - pt. 8C - 16 



6074 



ful in quality, quantity, variety, and nutritional value. . But in contrib- 
uting to this bounty, machines have had a disproportionate impact on 
various types of farm work. By replacing horses and mules, machines 
have greatly reduced the workstock that is kept on American farms. 
The winter employment that formerly was involved in caring for work 
stock and equipment has now been largely eliminated. Mechanization 
of the preharvest phases of crop production has gone further than in 
harvesting operations, although mechanization of the wheat, corn, and 
hops harvests are notable exceptions. Many of the major harvests 
remain yet unmechanized. Moreover, the acreages of many crops 
requiring hand harvest have expanded in recent years. In consequence 
of these various developments, the seasonal character of the Nation's 
farm labor demand has become more extreme. The active work season 
has been shortened and the brief harvest period is yielding less employ- 
ment for the workers. 

The drastic changes in patterns of annual farm employment are seen 
by making comparisons of seasonal variations in farm employment for 
hired workers now with those of approximately two decades ago. These 
comparisons are graphed for four regions in chart III. 

The charts for the East North Central and West North Central States 
are significant in that they show a tremendous drop in employment 
during the winter months and no increase in summer employment. In 
both areas the work season was greatly shortened. 

The charts for the Southern States show some reduction in labor use 
during the winter, but the outstanding change is in the piling up of 
labor demands during the summer. This increase is partially due to 
the substitution of seasonal wage hands for sharecroppers. The change 
again is toward a larger proportion of workers who have only a short 
season of employment. 

Two decades ago, almost one-half of the Nation's hired farm workers 
could get employment 12 months in the year; now, less than one-fifth 
can get a full year of employment. In 1 949, the number of workers who 
could get a full year's work was 800,000 less than in 1931. In 1931, 
70 percent of all workers could get work for 8 months or more; by 1949 
only 40 percent could get that much employment. 

The above figures are based on the amounts of employment which 
actually occurred, as reported by the United States Department of Agri- 
culture. Because of the loss of time between jobs and competition among 
workers for such jobs as are available, the employment experience of 
individual workers would be even less favorable. In other words, be- 
cause of loss of time in moving from one job to the next, the average 
amount of work actually received per worker would be less than the 
charts indicate. This is especially true for migratory workers. Region 

10 



6075 



<'*^ 1 Changes in Seasonal Employment of 

HIRED FARM WORKERS ^ 

Month by Month 1931 and 1949 \' 

Four Regions 
ThMi«n4a a> 





EAST SOUTH CENTRAL 






J 


F M 







N 





1000 






SOUTH ATLANTIC 






- 


•00 


- 






\ 






- 




- 


1931^ 




k 


\ 




- 




^T'^^y 


•"' 


) 


'..{ 


^^=^ 


> 

f 


s 


I 


200 


"^^^i?^^^^ 




_L 




■■^■^-^.. 1 1 


_i_ 


-L. 


_^ 



JFMAMJJASOND JFMAMJJASONO 



11 



6076 



by region, the changes in the proportion of all workers needed for the 
full year are as follows : 



Regie 



New England 

Middle Atlantic 

East North Central 

West North Central 

South Atlantic 

East South Central 

West South Central 

Mountain States 

Pacific States 

Average for all regions 



Proportion needed 
12 months 



1931 


1949 


Percent 


Percent 


55 


31 


45 


31 


.46 


26 


48 


15 


52 


22 


37 


12 


39 


11 


38 


19 


52 


16 



On the other hand, we find at the present time that one-fourth of all 
hired farm labor is needed for 2 months or less. These figures, for all 
hired farm workers and not for the migratory workers alone, are as 
follows : 



Region 



New England 

Middle Atlantic 

East North Central 

West North Central 

South Atlantic 

East South Central 

West South Central 

Mountain States 

Pacific States 

Average for all regions 



Proportion of workers 
needed for 2 months 
or less 



1931 


1949 


Percent 


Percent 


5 


25 


11 


11 


12 


13 


16 


21 


4 


25 


20 


47 


13 


34 


13 


10 


7 


17 



27 



Obviously, the economic status of the majority of farm workers is 
more precarious as their employment base becomes narrower. In con- 
sequence, the economic status of the majority of farm workers is becom- 
ing similar to that of the migrant. Continuously shorter periods of 
employment opportunity explain why so many of our farm workers have 
had to take to the road in an effort to lengthen their period of employ- 



12 



6077 



ment and thus earn enough to obtain the bare necessities of Ufe. These 
facts about employment give a foundation to the stories that have 
recently spread across the Nation of the poverty and hunger of migrant 
farm families. 

Prospects for Mechanizing "Stoop" Labor Tasks 

The mechanization that has contributed so much to increasing produc- 
tivity of agricultural labor in general has been particularly important 
in cultivation and preharvest operations and in general farming. The 
hand tasks in fruits, vegetables, and other intensively cultivated crops 
have not been proportionally mechanized. However, progress is being 
made in the mechanization of some of these "stoop" labor tasks, partic- 
ularly in sugar beets and cotton. 

In California, the Commission found far-reaching changes in such 
mechanization already under way and in prospect. The effect of such 
changes on seasonal labor needs in sugar beets was reported to us by 
the executive manager of the California Beet Growers' Association: 

We have used, as I have said, great numbers of the so-called "stoop 
labor" class of labor throughout the years prior to the war. Today we 
don't use so much. We have gone through the whole gamut. We 
have used Chinamen, Japs, Hindus, Filipinos, Mexican Nationals, Mex- 
ican wetbacks, if you please, Indians, Negroes, Bahamians, prisoners of 
war and what-have-you. * * * We have always been willing to 
take any kind of labor that we could get when we needed them ; domes- 
tic labor when it was available. When it wasn't we had to get what 
we could to get our crops harvested. * * * Today sugar-beet 
farmers are using very few Mexican Nationals because of our smaller 
requirements for stoop labor. 

As implied in the foregoing testimony, sugar beets have in the past 
been heavily dependent on migratory labor. The effective application 
of mechanization is recent. In 1945, 30 percent of California's sugar- 
beet crop was harvested by machines; by 1950, the extent of machine 
harvesting had increased to between 85 and 90 percent, which is now 
believed to be the full extent of mechanization of the harvest. The 
sugar-beet industry' of California, heretofore one of the State's major 
users of seasonal migratory labor, has thus reduced its harvest labor needs 
to such an extent that they are no longer of much significance. Labor 
requirements for preharvest handwork are being reduced, although this 
is being achieved primarily through changes in seeds and in planting 
and cultural practices rather than through mechanization. The con- 
tinued need for preharvest handwork does not, however, aggravate sea- 
sonal labor requirements in California because it occurs at a time when 
other seasonal work is slack. 

In contrast, the 100,000-acre sugar-beet crop in Michigan is at present 
much less mechanized. Here, less than 1 percent of the acreage was 

13 



6078 



harvested mechanically in 1945. Since then, mechanization has pro- 
gressed rapidly and it is estimated that 60 percent of the acreage was 
harvested by machines in 1950. Farm leaders in Michigan estimate that 
95 percent of the sugar-beet acreage will be harvested by machines 
within 3 or 4 years. There remains a comparatively large need of 
seasonal hand labor for preharvest cultivation; in 1950, the estimate was 
that 15,000 seasonal workers were needed for spring work as compared 
with 5,000 for harvesting work. As in California, mechanization of 
preharvest handwork has been comparatively slow, but a mechanical 
beet thinner has already been proved experimentally practical and new 
cultivation methods are also in an advanced experimental stage. 

Cotton stands alone in the magnitude of its dependence on migratory 
labor and in its association with Mexican contract labor and with the 
wetback traffic. But even here there is promise of change. From the 
manager of the Arizona Cotton Cooperative Growers' Association, we 
have this significant statement : 

Now, on the cotton-picking machines, we believe that we can see the 
time in the very near future when cotton-picking machines will elim- 
inate most of the problems caused by migrant labor in Arizona. At the 
present time we have enough machines in this State to pick approxi- 
mately 25 percent of this year's crop, if they are used full time. The 
machines must have careful operators and skillful operators. They 
cannot all be trained to use those overnight, but machines apparently 
are taking over the biggest part of the total. I think it is entirely possi- 
ble that the problems which are created by this great influx of labor 
may be to a large extent removed or solved, and the grower will gain 
more economical harvesting of his cotton at a time when he wants to 
do it, making it unnecessary for him to worry much about the labor 
supply. 

However, machines will never replace all of the labor. Early in the 
season cotton must be picked by hand. Some growers will prefer to 
pick by hand. Even last year we had machines standing idle because 
there were hand pickers available. 

Greater progress toward mechanization of the cotton harvest has been 
made in California than elsewhere. In the San Joaquin Valley, cotton 
is a major crop which at present employs 40 percent of all seasonal 
labor required in the valley. In 1945 less than 1 percent of the Cali- 
fornia cotton crop was picked by machines. Mechanical cotton pickers 
began to be introduced significantly in the postwar years; by 1948, 9 
percent of the crop was picked by machine; in 1949, 17 percent; and 
it is estimated that 35 percent of the 1950 crop was picked mechanically. 
Qualified experts say that ultimately 90 percent of the crop in California 
will be harvested mechanically, and, moreover, that it is quite possible 
that this level of mechanization will be reached in less than a decade. 
This estimated level of mechanization will reduce seasonal labor needs 

14 



6079 



to incidental amounts and will mean that only a few of the present 
90,000 seasonal workers in the San Joaquin Valley cotton crop will 
any longer be needed. 

On the other hand, mechanical cotton picking in the South has not 
yet developed far. The Yazoo-Mississippi Delta, for example, which 
produces about the same quantity of cotton as the San Joaquin Valley 
of California, harvested only about 5 percent of its cotton by machines 
in 1 950. This proportion of machine picking, compared with 35 percent 
in California, is particularly notable because there are actually more 
picking machines in the Delta than in the San Joaquin Valley. 

There are evidently several reasons why mechanical pickers in 
the Delta are not in full use and for the slowness in mechanization. 
Adaptations to climate and environment have been more difficult. Wet 
weather, high humidity, rank growth of the cotton plant, and weeds 
are all serious problems. Lower wages are undoubtedly an additional 
and significant reason. With wage rates for cotton picking at present 
levels, there is little incentive to turn to machines because costs of hand 
picking and machine picking are too nearly equal. 

The Commission was told, nevertheless, that mechanization of cotton 
picking in the Delta was only a question of time. Growers and agricul- 
tural experts are convinced that obstructions to mechanization can and 
will be removed. It is estimated that eventually 90 percent of the cotton 
on farms having 100 acres or more will be mechanized on both pre- 
harvest work and picking. This will include two-thirds of the cotton 
acreage of the Delta area. 

It is notable also that experimental progress is being made toward 
mechanizing some hand work which is commonly thought not to be 
adaptable to mechanization. For example, in response to the question, 
"Is there any conceivable way of harvesting asparagus by mechanical 
equipment?", the executive secretary of the California Asparagus 
Growers Association, said : 

We have such a machine in the field this year. It is the second year 
of research into the development of mechanical harvesting. We feel 
that eventually we will develop a harvester that will handle the har- 
vesting of asparagus. It is the aim of the industry. 

Similarly, a spokesman for the California citrus fruit industry reported : 

We have in the research laboratories machines which will eventually 
take care of much of the need of additional labor in the citrus industry. 
Given another 3 or 4 years, assuming we can go along on normal pro- 
duction by using the inventive skill that we have, I don't think the 
citrus industry will be in need of this migrant labor. We will have 
machines to take their place. Of course, if we have to put that in- 
ventive capacity to war production, it might be postponed for a few 



15 



6080 



years, but in the citrus industry, I don't think we will be asking for the 
importation of labor for too long. 

As we saw in the preceding section of this chapter, mechanization 
and other changes in agricultural technology have had the effect of 
aggravating the seasonality of farm employment. Ultimately, parallel 
mechanization of hand tasks may restore greater balance to the seasonal 
distribution of farm employment. However, the facts above related 
only indicate the possibilities; they are not a comprehensive survey estab- 
lishing probable occurrences. Notwithstanding the achievements 
already made and the prospects of further advances, it would be unwise 
to suppose that machines will soon entirely replace seasonal hand labor. 
Many fruit and vegetable harvests — cherries and green beans, for exam- 
ple — will be difficult to mechanize. Meanwhile, the plight of those who 
are trying to make a living from the short-term employment ofTered in 
agriculture remains a challenge to the Nation. 

Labor Service, Not Jobs With Standards 

The basic dilemma faced by farm employers, particularly those with 
farm operations requiring seasonal hands in large numbers, is this : They 
want a labor supply which, on the one hand, is ready and willing to meet 
the short-term work requirements and which, on the other hand, will 
not impose social and economic problems on them or on their com- 
munity when the work is finished. This is what is expected of migra- 
tory workers. The demand for migratory workers is thus essentially 
twofold : To be ready to go to work when needed ; to be gone when not 
needed. 

To avoid the complications involved with domestic family migrants 
who find it difficult to be gone when not needed, many farm employers 
prefer alien labor. An employer of migratory labor from New Mexico 
testified : "One big advantage in using these alien laborers is that there 
is no social or economic problems during slack seasons as these men 
return to their homes in Mexico during such periods." And, similarly, 
from Connecticut : "* * * we have been able to meet our problems 
face to face and work out a program where, in the various periods of 
increased labor needs, we have been able to get a type of labor [alien 
men without their families] that is available during that period without 
having large numbers of persons to stay behind and become public 
charges. We consider that important." 

Beyond wanting migrants to be available when needed and to be 
gone when not needed, they are expected to work under conditions no 
longer typical or characteristic of the American standard of life. In a 
period of rapidly advancing job and employment standards, we expect 
them to work at employment which, for all practical purposes, has no 
job standards. In saying this, we refer not alone to such matters as 

16 



6081 



bad housing, poor sanitation, lack of medical facilities, and the problems 
of feeding, rearing, and schooling children. These are conditions which, 
over the years, have received condemnation, yet despite some improve- 
ment, for the most part they remain unsolved problems and there is 
little organized effort to deal with them. 

In speaking of standards and conditions, we emphasize those sur- 
rounding the work itself. First among these is wages. To farm labor 
generally, and to migrants as well, we pay wage rates that are a little 
over one-third but well below one-half the average wage paid in manu- 
facturing. To be sure, farm workers receive some perquisites, such as 
housing, which increase their real wages. But when the value of these 
perquisites for migratory farm workers was investigated by the United 
States Department of Agriculture in 1945, the average was about 36 
cents a day. There is no reason to believe that any substantial change 
in perquisites has occurred since 1945. Migratory farm workers receive 
only about 100 days of employment per year; consequently, the average 
annual value of perquisites would be around $36 and certainly not 
over $50. By contrast, the perquisites furnished to industrial employees 
in the form of sickness benefits, pensions, welfare plans, paid vacations, 
and paid holidays now average approximately $120 per year. 

Farm wages as compared with wages of workers in industry have been 
both better and worse than they are now. Going back to the years of 
1910-14, which is the base period for determining parity prices of farm 
products, farm wages were two-thirds the wages of factory workers. 
Perquisites for farm workers were greater then, too, because the "hired 
man" often lived with the farm family. In the depression years, farm 
wages dropped to one-fourth the level of wages for labor in factories. 
During World War II, the ratio of farm wages to the wages of labor 
in manufacturing rose to 44 percent, but since 1946, this ratio has 
decHned each year, reaching 37 percent in 1950. 

It may be noted that while the drop in comparative wages during the 
depression was caused by oversupply — through unemployed industrial 
workers returning to farms — the present decline comes at a time when 
farm employers complain of labor shortage. Normally, if there were 
a labor shortage, wages would rise. Since on the contrary they have 
declined, it seems reasonable to infer that the supply of illegal alien 
labor, plus the contract labor the Government has admitted or imported, 
has helped to depress farm wages relative to factory wages. 

Low wages, well below prevailing standards, are thus a major barrier 
to farm employment whether for migratory or nonmigratory workers. 
Next to wages, job security is an important condition of work. While 
security for most industrial workers is steadily broadening and improving, 
farm labor generally has only a minimum of job security and migratory 
labor virtually no security whatever. Comparatively few migrant farm 
workers return each year to the same farm employer; hence, very few are 

17 



6082 



able to have dependable employment relationships. They do not have 
the job rights that are conferred through the principle of seniority now 
widely accepted in industry, or through the protection of Federal and 
State laws. 

For the migrant, there are few elements of stability in his work. What 
the employer of migratory farm-labor hires is usually not a man to fill 
a job, but rather labor service such as picking hundredweights of cotton, 
hoeing acres of beets, and picking hampers of beans; and the wages are 
usually piece rates. The employment relationship is highly impersonal. 
Often the employer maintains no payroll and he does not know the names 
of his employees nor how many on any given day are working for him. 
When the work is ready, such matters as experience, prior employment, 
or residence in the area count for little or nothing. Hiring is on a day- 
by-day basis. Labor turn-over in a harvest crew may be 100 percent 
within a week or less. The work will be divided among those wanting 
it up to the maximum that the field will accommodate. Members of this 
Commission inspected a cucumber field in Colorado where 10 pickers 
could have done the work and earned a fair day's pay. But there were 
40 pickers in the field and each was able to earn but a pittance. 

The insecurity and obscurity of the employment relationship are 
aggravated when labor contractors are used. Workers testifying in 
California told us that it was difficult and often impossible to obtain a 
job directly from the farmer; instead, they were referred to labor con- 
tractors. Parallel with the obscure relationship of the individual worker 
to the farmer when a labor contractor stands between them is that intro- 
duced in some but not all instances when growers' or processors' asso- 
ciations undertake, on behalf of the individual farmer, many of the 
functions performed by the labor contractor. As we were told in Michi- 
gan by the president of such an association, "We have lost, through 
that set-up, the personal relationship between the grower and his 
employee * * *." 

Obscurity and insecurity in the employment relationship are not the 
only consequences of the labor-contractor system. In the typical ar- 
rangement the contractor makes his profits out of the worker's wages. 
When the labor contractor is used, he recruits and furnishes the crew; 
the farm employer turns a given task over to him and pays an agreed- 
upon piece rate. The farmer pays the contractor and the contractor 
in turn pays the workers. The workers are paid less than the contractor 
receives, for it is out of this difference that the contractor makes his 
profit. The workers may be paid a wage rate that is quite independent 
of the rate paid by the farmer. Or the amount retained by the con- 
tractor may be a fixed percentage of the total compensation as in the 
case of a labor contractor in California who testified that his margin 
was 12 percent. Further, the contractor may provide certain services 
such as transportation, food, shelter, for which the workers must pay 

18 



6083 



him at whatever charges the contractor may decide to assess. When 
we asked a labor contractor in New Jersey how much he charged for 
board, he repHed: "If I pay them good, I charge them good." For 
the migratory farm worker the contractor system has all of the evils 
of the sweatshop system that disappeared long ago from American 
industry. 

The work which migrants perform is undependable. Sudden changes 
in weather or crop conditions often mean that the work expected or 
promised is delayed or is not available. In industry workers are com- 
monly protected against such work delays or failures by provisions allow- 
ing "showup time," "down time," or "stand-by pay." Such provisions 
are rare in American agriculture. In losing work time through these 
uncertainties, the worker bears the full insecurity of the job. Though 
the employer may undertake the risk in producing the crop, there is 
little sharing of the risk of employment uncertainties. 

Finally, the migratory laborer has virtually none of the social 
protections we commonly extend to industrial workers. He has no 
unemployment insurance, no minimum-wage standards (except in the 
inadequate provisions of the Sugar Act), no old-age and survivors 
insurance, no disability insurance, and in most States he is not pro- 
tected by workmen's accident insurance. 

Unreliable Jobs, Unreliable Workers 

Standards and conditions for farm laborers have not on balance 
improved much in the past half century. For the progressively smaller 
proportion that are employed the year round, living conditions are 
undoubtedly better. For the increasing majority temporarily employed, 
except for minor and isolated improvements in housing and sanitation, 
conditions have become worse because employment is more brief and 
uncertain. For those farm employers who rely on migratory workers, 
the problem of a labor supply is today almost identical with that of 
40 years ago. In 1909 President Theodore Roosevelt's Country Life 
Commission found that — 

There is a growing tendency to rely on foreigners for the farm labor 
supply, although the sentiment is very strong in some regions against 
immigration. It is the general testimony that the native American 
labor is less efficient and less reliable than much of the foreign labor. 
This is due to the fact that the American is less pressed by the dire 
necessity to labor and to save, and because the better class of laborers 
is constantly passing on to land ownership on their own account. 

In almost every region in which we held hearings some of the farm 
employers or their representatives who testified told us that the domestic 
labor supply was inadequate or unreliable, and that they must, there- 
fore, have foreign labor. The following statements are representatixe 



19 



6084 



of this position. They were all made to this Commission at hearings 
held in the summer and autumn of 1950. It must be emphasized that 
the spokesmen we quote do not represent the agriculture of the Nation 
or even a major portion of it. Indeed, they do not represent a majority 
of the Nation's farmers who are employers of labor. They do, how- 
ever, represent that portion of the employers of migrator)- labor which 
has come to rely on foreign labor as a supplement to or substitute for 
domestic labor. Some of the statements by such employers are the 
following : 

Arkansas. — As I said there a while ago, cotton is a slave crop, nobody 
is going to pick it that doesn't have to. Now these Texas-Mexicans 
have found out that there are many other things that they can do, 
that they are ready to do, than pick cotton, and the [Mexican] 
national is about the only reservoir of labor that we know of that 
really wants to pick cotton, because he gets more money than he 
ever saw in his life before, or ever expected to see, and people that 
can get anything else to do, don't want to pick cotton. 

California. — Of all the groups tried, excepting the locals, the Mexi- 
can national is by all standards the best suited to this work. By 
temperament and aptitude, he seems especially adapted to farm em- 
ployment. He, as a farmer, likes to work with living plants and 
trees. Mexico is one of the few remaining states which is still largely 
agrarian. 

Colorado. — Now the reasons why I take that position are: First, 
that this Mexican farm labor will and can do the type of work here 
required of foreign labor in a satisfactory way to the employer; sec- 
ondly, the proximity of Mexico to this area is a big argument eco- 
nomically and otherwise; thirdly and lastly, the laborer from Mexico 
himself profits extraordinarily by accepting employment of the kind 
we are talking of. I said "lastly," but I want to put in another element. 
From a national point of view, I conceive, and I am convinced by my 
thought in the matter, that any nation is very fortunate if that nation 
can, from sources near at hand, obtain the services on beck and call 
of labor, adult male labor, on condition that when the job is completed 
the laborer will return to his home. That is exactly the situation 
of this area. 

Connecticut. — The Jamaicans have sold themselves to the com- 
munities there in Connecticut to a much greater extent than any other 
type of foreign labor, and particularly to a much greater extent than 
most of your [domestic] migratory labor could ever do. 

Florida — Naturally, the Association makes an efTort through all 
possible sources to obtain such personnel from domestic sources, but 
since 1943 a sufficient number of domestic personnel ready, wilfing, 
and able to work has not been available. Hence the Association has 
continued to obtain the necessary authorization from the United States 
Employment Service and the Immigration and Naturalization Service 
to recruit and employ British West Indians. 

British West Indians employed by any member of Florida Sugar 
Producers Association have not at any time presented a social, eco- 
nomic, or health problem to any welfare organization or community 
in which they have been used. 

New Mexico. — The time has come when farmers along the southern 

20 



6085 



border of the United States must stand up for their rights and demand 
that either the historic free movement of necessary seasonal labor from 
Mexico be permitted, * * * [or] that farmers be given, not a 
"new deal" nor a "fair deal," but a good, honest "square deal" in the 
use of Mexican seasonal labor. 

Texas. — Because of the shortage of local labor we are absolutely 
dependent upon Mexican labor to do the necessary grove work, like- 
wise we are dependent upon Mexican labor for the harvesting of the 
fruit. 

Although the labor supply problem of this group of farm employers 
has changed little in 40 years, there is a striking contrast in the changes 
that have taken place in the labor-supply problem of nonagricultural 
employers who at one time claimed that they, too, had to have immigrant 
labor. The Country Life Commission, 1909, reported the common 
problem of industry and agriculture : 

There is a general, but not universal, complaint of scarcity of farm 
labor. This scarcity is not an agricultural difficulty alone, but one 
phase for expression of the general labor-supply problem. 

This parallel between agriculture and industry in getting a satisfactory 
labor supply soon changed, however. After World War I, immigration 
was greatly restricted by application of the 1917 Immigration Law. 
Thereafter, industry was no longer able to rely on immigrant sources for 
its labor supply. Manufacturing, construction, and other nonagricul- 
tural industries in the early twenties sent representatives to the House 
and Senate Immigration Committees to urge that in view of their de- 
pendence on foreign labor, the immigration laws be modified. The 
statements made 30 years ago on behalf of these industries are remark- 
ably like the testimony this Commission has heard from agricultural 
employers in 1950. For example, in 1921, the Senate Committee on 
Immigration was told by the chairman of the National Federation of 
Construction Industries that: 

The greatest shortage in this country is unskilled or common labor. 
The American-born youth aspires to something better than unskilled 
labor and the only supply to keep the ranks of common labor full is 
through immigration. 

In 1923, the National Association of Sheet and Tin Plate Manufac- 
turers told the House Committee on Immigration that the same was 
true of the skilled trades : 

But you cannot get American boys to take up trades. In' the first 
place, the social atmosphere of a trade is what they object to, and they 
rather resent the fact that they cannot mingle with everybody else, 
if they are a plumber or a tailor or a carpenter. 

The following quotation from the New York Journal of Commerce 
was submitted to the House Committee on Immigration in 1923: 

A certain class of worker is necessary to the progress of our industries 
and the present immigration law has practically eliminated this class. 

21 



6086 



The hearings of the House and Senate Committees on Immigration 
in the early twenties reflected this commonly held opinion among non- 
farm employers. The statements made then by nonfarm employers are 
similar to those made to this Commission by farm employers in 1950. 
Those who employ seasonal or migratory labor today are in a position 
on labor supply similar to that of nonfarm employers three decades ago. 
Industrial employers, however, were not permitted to have the immi- 
grant labor supply that they demanded in the early twenties and such 
demands are no longer heard. Why do farm employers still demand 
importation of foreign labor while nonfarm employers, excepting the 
railroads during World War II, have long since abandoned such 
demands? 

At least a partial answer to this question may be suggested : When in- 
dustrial employers were denied the immigrant workers they demanded, 
they were compelled, among other things, to develop working conditions 
and job standards compatible with the expectations of American work- 
ers. Farm employers of migratory labor, on the other hand, continue 
to offer jobs and working conditions that are no better and in many 
respects are worse than those offered three and four decades ago. Hav- 
ing failed to move forward on employment standards and finding that 
domestic labor does not respond readily to the working conditions of- 
fered, farm employers now ask for foreign laborers willing to accept the 
low standards they offer, or who are compelled to do so by "dire neces- 
sity," to use the words of the Country Life Commission of 40 years ago. 

In considering the problem of a reliable labor supply for agricul- 
ture, the Country Life Commission did not believe that the solution 
was to import foreign labor. Rather, the recommendation of that 
Commission was as follows: 

There is widespread conviction that the farmer must give greater 
attention to providing good quarters to laborers and to protect them 
from discouragement and from the saloon. The shortage of labor 
seems to be the least marked where the laborer is best cared for. It 
is certain that farming itself must be so modified and organized as to 
meet the labor problem at least halfway. While all fanners feel the 
shortage of help, the Commission has found that the best farmers 
usually complaint least about the labor difficult. [Emphasis added.] 

Unfortunately, the advice of that Commission has not been heeded, at 
least so far as migratory farm workers are concerned. Save for excep- 
tional instances, employers of migratory workers have not met the prob- 
lem halfway. 

The Issue of Public Poliq^ 

The issue we face as a matter of national policy is this : Shall we con- 
tinue indefinitely to have low work standards and conditions of employ- 
ment in agriculture, thus depending on the underprivileged and the 

22 



6087 



unfortunate at home and abroad to supply and replenish our seasonal 
and migrator\' work force? Or shall we do in agriculture what we have 
already done in other sectors of our economy — create honest-to-good- 
ness jobs which will offer a decent living so that domestic workers, with- 
out being forced by dire necessity, will be willing to stay in agriculture 
and become a dependable labor supply? As farm employers want able 
and willing workers when needed, so do workers want reliable jobs 
which yield a fair living. 

We ha\'e long waivered and compromised on the issue of migratory 
labor in agriculture. We have failed to adopt policies designed to insure 
an adequate supply of such labor at decent standards of employment. 
Actually, we have done worse than that. We have used the institutions 
of government to procure alien labor willing to work under obsolete and 
backward conditions and thus to perpetuate those very conditions. This 
not only entrenches a bad system, it expands it. We have not only 
undermined the standards of employment for migratory farm workers, 
we have impaired the economic and social position of the family farm 
operator. 

The operator of a family-type farm is a capitalist but one whose income 
is derived primarily from his own labor. In this sense, he is also a 
laborer. He aspires to an income adequate to maintain an American 
standard of living. He is, therefore, in a poor position to compete with 
the foreign worker who is willing to accept lower wages, who leaves his 
family at home, and who makes no demand on his employer or the 
communities after the crop season's work is done. 

An example of how imported foreign labor displaces working farmers 
is found in the Midwest and the Great Lakes States which have long 
been the cradle of independent family farming. In past years canners 
and processors of vegetables have acquired their raw products prin- 
cipally by purchasing them from family farmers. In recent years some 
of these canners and processors have begun to rent land and to grow their 
own crops. Just as the steel industry established "captive mines" from 
which to get their coal, so now do canners turn to "captive farms" for 
their vegetables. To get the labor needed to operate their large plant- 
ings of vegetables, these canners turn to Government, and Government 
assists them in getting a supply of foreign workers. 

Cheap foreign labor is advantageous to the owners of the large-scale 
farms which employ "stoop" labor in great quantities. Such farms 
are only 2 percent of the Nation's farm units, approximately 125,000, 
and only a fraction of this small number employs most of the alien farm 
workers. This cheap labor is in competition with the great group of 
family-type farms. It is hardly consistent for our Government to en- 
courage a family type of agriculture and at the same time give direct 
assistance to the operators of large-scale farms in recruiting and em- 
ploying low-wage foreign workers whose products compete with those 
of the family-type farms. 

23 



6088 



There is nothing wrong or immoral in employing foreign workers in 
American agriculture when there are mutual advantages in doing so. 
Employment of foreign workers is really not the issue. The point is 
that our Government has an obligation to make certain that these foreign 
workers do not reduce still lower the wages of domestic farm workers 
and the incomes of family-farm operators. 

The issue then is job standards. We must raise the standards and 
conditions of work in migratory farm employment and thereby eliminate 
the dependence by farm employers on poverty at home and misfortune 
abroad as the foundation of the recruitment of their labor supply. 

Fundamentally, this means that public policy must encourage farm 
employers to build reliable jobs for reliable people, not to maintain 
obsolete and intolerable standards. The management of our farms 
must learn to do what management in industry and commerce have 
done to conserve human resources and increase the efficiency of its 
workers. We must build toward an agriculture that will yield a decent 
American income for those who provide labor. 

Achieving this will take time. It will take continuous cooperative 
efforts of farm employers, farm workers, private organizations, and 
institutions of government at all levels, united in support of a public 
policy consistent with our national aims and ideals. 

The Federal Committee on Migratory Farm Labor 

To promote this cooperation we propose the establishment of a 
Federal Committee on Migratory Farm Labor to coordinate the activities 
of the different levels of government and private groups concerned 
with problems of migrator)- farm labor in the United States. Discussion 
of the need for such a committee, its composition, and role will be found 
in chapter XII, A Coordinated Policy and Program for Migratory Farm 
Labor. This chapter also includes a recapitulation of all of our recom- 
mendations. Recommendations on specific subjects will be found at 
the end of each of the following chapters. 



24 



6089 



Chapter 2 

Migratory Farm Labor 
in Emergency 



Among the questions we were directed to investigate was : 

* * * whether sufficient numbers of local and migratory work- 
ers can be obtained from domestic sources to meet agricultural labor 
needs and, if not, the extent to which the temporary employment of 
foreign workers may be required to supplement the domestic labor 
supply. 

We have examined this question in the context of the present defense 
emergency. Whether and to what extent we will need foreign labor 
depends on two important factors: (a) What level of farm production 
may be anticipated in the present emergency and how much labor will 
be needed to produce it; {b) how large our domestic labor force will be 
and how effectively we use it. 



Farm Production and Labor 
Requirements for the Emergency 

At our request, the United States Department of Agriculture has esti- 
mated prospective farm output for 1951 and 1952. In preparing its 
estimates, the Department took account of emergency food and fiber 
needs and the ability of the agricultural plant, within its biological and 
resource limits, to respond to those needs. The Department's recom- 
mended cotton-production goal of 1 6 million bales has already received 
much attention. Cotton, however, is but one of the farm commodities 
of which increased supplies are needed; other urgent additional needs 
include wool, feed grains, and livestock. Farm-production goals must be 
considered in total. To appraise the emergency on the basis of any one 
crop or commodity is to distort perspective. If we are to produce a great 
deal more of one commodity, it may be necessary to curtail production of 
other commodities, but the Department advises us there are no important 
farm products in which reductions are in order. Consequently, the 
urgently needed increases must come as net additions to the total output, 
which automatically puts limitations on the amount of increase we can 
expect in any particular farm product. 

The prospect of a 1951 cotton crop of 16 million bales has been cited 
in support of demands for additional alien farm labor. While this 

25 



6090 



does represent a sharp increase from the 9.9 million bale crop of 1950, 
it is well to recall that we produced a 16.1 million bale crop as recently 
as 1949 and a 14.9 million bale crop in 1948. The 1950 cotton crop 
was abnormally small mainly because of Federal production controls. 
A 16 million bale cotton crop is more "normal" than was the 9.9 
million bale crop of 1950. 

Estimates of farm output in 1951 and 1952 were made by the Depart- 
ment of Agriculture as projections of its "index of farm production," 
which is the statistical way of measuring the Nation's total farm produc- 
tion. These production estimates are possible maximum outputs on the 
assumption of favorable weather and growing conditions. The esti- 
mates for 1951 and 1952 are shown in relation to output during the past 
decade in chart IV. From the perspective of our progressively mounting 
production record of the past 10 years, the recommended emergency 
farm output of the next 2 years apf>ears to involve no break with the 
past. On the contrary, it is normal expansion alohg well-established 
lines. 

In emergency, there is not occasion for as much change in agriculture 
as in many other industries. Food needs are not deferrable like auto- 
mobiles and refrigerators. In emergency, our food and fiber needs are 
much the same as in "normal" times except that we need more. Conse- 
quently, emergency for agriculture means the maintenance of "normal" 
production with as much acceleration as possible of the most urgently 
needed products. 



FARM OUTPUT 1940-1950 

with Estimates for 1951 and 1952 




6091 



What the situation may be after 1952, we do not attempt to guess. 
However, it is to be noted in chart IV that farm production during 
World War II, though somewhat above the trend for the entire decade, 
was nevertheless no great departure from that trend. This suggests that 
even if the emergency is more intense by 1953 and thereafter, we need 
anticipate no marked change in the trend of agricultural production. 

How much labor will 'be needed to produce the expected farm output 
of 1951 and 1952? The number of man-hours required for the ex- 
pected production will depend largely on whether we continue to increase 
the productivity of farm labor. In chapter I, we noted that output per 
man-hour rose just as rapidly during World War II as in the years 
preceding and following. Increasing attention is being given to 
mechanization of hand tasks. In view of the results so far achieved, 
it is realistic to believe that progress in this area alone will be sufficient 
to sustain the established trend of increasing labor productivity. There 
are two contingencies which could upset this trend: (a) that the emer- 
gency situation becomes so intense that materials for new machines will 
be less available than during World War II; (b) that hand or "stoop" 
labor supply will be kept so large and wage rates consequently so low 
that it will not pay farmers to mechanize. (The latter, incidentally, has 
been one of the obstructions to mechanizing the cotton harvest. ) 

The next question to which we must turn is : how many workers will 
be needed to provide the required man-hours of labor? The answer 
here depends on how effectively we use our labor supply. The evidence 
in chapter I makes plain that human resources, particularly those of 
hired labor, have not been used to the best advantage. During World 
War II, we used our farm labor supply more effectively than before or 
since. 

Our Farm Manpower Experience in World War II 

Changes in the size of our agricultural labor force in the past decade 
are graphed in chart V. The number of farm family workers remained 
almost constant during the World War II emergency. At the peak 
of the war effort in 1945, farm family workers were only 4 percent less 
than in 1940. In contrast, the number of hired workers declined 
sharply. Hired farm workers in 1945 were approximately a half a 
million — almost 20 percent — below 1940. Yet, at this stage of the 
war emergency, we were producing more crops and livestock than ever 
before. 

Our attack on wartime agricultural manpower shortages was multi- 
fold. Importation of foreign workers was only one of many approaches. 
We also instituted programs to mobilize volunteer workers and to bring 
high school students, housewives, and townspeople temporarily into farm 
employment. These recruits replaced some of the workers who had 

27 



6092 



CHANGES OF EMPLOYMENT OF FARM WORKERS 

• Family Workers • Hired Workers 




gone into the Armed Services and into war industries. We helped 
farm people in the areas of low productivity to move so they could be 
more effectively employed. Information services about farm labor 
needs were greatly strengthened, and farm employers were encouraged 
to estimate more accurately the timing and amounts of their labor needs. 
In order more effectively to utilize the limited labor available, farm 
employers were encouraged to enter into group pooling arrangements 
whereby their joint labor needs could be met with a smaller number 
of workers. Methods of simplifying work and working procedure were 
also given much attention. 

The contribution to the Nation's farm work made by foreign labor 
was comparatively small, although considerable sums of Federal money 
were spent to import these workers. In 1945, we were employing 
92,700 foreign workers. At the peak, foreign workers were 2.7 percent 
of our hired farm labor employment. Of total farm employment, in- 
cluding hired, as well as farm family workers, foreign labor at the peak 
was only yio of 1 percent. Since many of the foreign workers were 
here only for a portion of the year, their work contribution was below 
the average for all workers — family and hired. Therefore, the pro- 
portion of the nation's farm work performed by foreign workers was 
probably less than /2 of 1 percent. Moreover, the foreign workers 
were not generally used throughout the Nation but rather were con- 
centrated in a few areas. The largest group of fgreign nationals was 
made up of Mexicans who were employed principally^ in California 
and in the Northwest. California alone got 63 percent of the Mexicans 



28 



6093 



CHANGES IN FARM LABOR REQUIREMENTS 

AND FARM EMPLOYMENT chortm 




in 1945. California together with Washington, Oregon, and Idaho 
had 78 percent of all Mexican nationals for that year. 

In 1944 and 1945, we used prisoners of war in slightly larger numbers 
than foreign workers. The contribution to the Nation's agricultural 
work by prisoners of war was approximately equal to that of foreign 
workers for the years 1944 and 1945. Prisoners of war were geo- 
graphically more widely scattered than foreign workers. 

As before, working farmers and members of their families were the 
backbone of the Nation's agricultural work force all through the war. 

As chart VI shows, the amount of labor required (in man-hours) has, 
with the exception of the years 1942-44, gradually declined throughout 
the decade. Total farm employment, principally because of the losses 
of hired labor, declined more rapidly and consistently from 1940 through 
1945. These comparative changes in labor required and in total em- 
ployment after 1940 demonstrate that a successively smaller labor sup- 
ply did a larger amount of work. How did we get a larger number of 
man-hours from a smaller work force? 

One might well expect that longer hours per day was the method of 
maintaining the work output from a shrinking labor force. However, 
hours per day for both family and hired workers increased very little and 
then only in the very early years of the war period. Primarily, we got 
more efficient use of our labor supply by getting more days of employ- 
ment per year. 

In replacing regularly hired workers who had left farm employment 
with volunteers and part-time workers, it might be thought that the over- 
all average days of work per person would decline. Notwithstanding 



29 



6094 



this substitution in the labor force, however, the average rose significantly. 
The short periods of work by volunteers were more than offset by in- 
creases in the number of days of employment of regular workers who 
remained in the hired labor force. On the average, farm family and 
hired workers together worked 1 days more a year at the height of the 
war emergency than they had in 1 940. 

These increases in employment per worker are not difficult to explain. 
During the thirties and into 1940 and 1941, we were using much of our 
farm labor ineffectively. We were spreading the available farm work 
over a larger number of workers than actually was needed. As the labor 
supply diminished, better labor management practices were necessary. 
These were utilized, as described above, as part of the over-all emergency 
program for farm labor. And they produced results. 

Our programs and activities for conserving and efficiently utilizing 
labor resources on the home front produced far bigger results than did 
foreign labor importation or the use of prisoners of war. Because of the 
loss of over half a million hired farm workers, a shortage would have 
occurred if nothing had been done. 

For the nation at large, farmers and members of their families, by work- 
ing more days per year, contributed more to avoiding a possible farm 
labor shortage during the war than did all other phases of the emergency 
program combined. Hired farm workers also, by working more days 
per year, contributed more than was gained by the total contribution of 
both foreign workers and prisoners of war. The foreign labor program 
on which the bulk of the emergency appropriations was spent, contributed 
the least to the nation at large, but it obviously contributed much to the 
small number of farm employers in those few States which got the major- 
ity of the imported foreign workers. The domestic hired labor force, by 
working more days per year, contributed about three times as much to 
avoiding a possible labor shortage as did all the foreign workers. 

Postwar Changes in Utilization of Farm Labor 

Since 1945, our farm labor force has been employed less and less 
effectively. From 1945 through 1948, we employed a continuously 
larger hired labor force even though our work requirement (total man- 
hours) was gradually declining. In other words, we have been using 
more workers to achieve the same or slightly less work, and have thereby 
been reducing the work contribution per worker. This fact is strikingly 
reflected in the amount of employment received per hired farm worker : 

Days of farm work 
Year per farm worker 

1946 113 

1947 106 

1948 104 

1949 90 

30 



6095 



By using our work force less and less effectively each year since 1945, we 
have now arrived at a level of labor utilization approximately as low as 
that which prevailed in 1940. 

These facts indicate that there is ample room in which to apply and 
push forward those programs which will contribute to the greater 
effectiveness of our domestic farm labor force. There is opportunity and 
challenge to get more farm work done by making the domestic labor 
supply go further in work accomplishment. In the migratory labor 
group particularly, we are wasting many more days than we are using. 

Experience as a Guide for the Present Emergency 

In the past decade we not only learned how to produce more food 
and fiber with less labor, we bridged a world war emergency in doing so. 
We know from experience that it is possible to use our domestic labor 
force with greater efficiency than we did before the war or than we have 
done since. We are profligate in our use of the human resource in 
agriculture. The migratory worker gets so little work that for him, em- 
ployment is only incidental to unemployment. We ought not to be 
misled into a policy of importing foreign workers on a large scale. In- 
stead, we need to correct our present inefficiencies in the utilization of 
domestic workers. 

Estimated farm output for 1951 is 3.6 percent above 1949. (We 
use 1 949 for comparison instead of 1 950 because 1 949 was a more normal 
year — several crops were reduced by Federal production controls in 
1950.) If this additional output were to require an equal percentage 
increase in man-hours, then we would need approximately 700 million 
additional man-hours to produce the 1951 output. These additional 
man-hours could be supplied by the present domestic labor force, in- 
cluding farm family labor, if each worker put in 6/2 more days per year. 
And even at that they would be working 3 days less per year than in 1945. 
The average hired farm worker who in 1949 was getting only 90 days 
of farm work — 23 less than in wartime — would be willing, if given the 
opportunity, to contribute this amount and more. 

Actually, the above calculation overstates the additional labor needed 
because it makes no allowance for continued improvement in pro- 
ductivity through mechanization. The changes in the past 2 years 
will have considerable effect on the need for hand labor in 1951. Unless 
the emergency becomes extreme, mechanization will proceed and will 
undoubtedly further reduce the need for hand labor. 

Another aspect of prospective farm labor needs deserves attention. 
Aside from restoring our cotton production for 1951 to the 1949 level, 
emphasis will be placed on expanding wool, feed grains, and livestock. 
None of these depends on migratory labor to any significant extent. 
In none of them, with the possible exception of wool, has the employ- 

31 



6096 



ment of foreign nationals ever been of any consequence. Most foreign 
nationals who could be brought here for temporary employment are 
inexperienced in handling machinery or taking care of livestock. Hence, 
to suppose that foreign labor importation would solve any labor prob- 
lems for these types of farming seems unwarranted. 

Still another aspect of prospective farm labor need should be antici- 
pated. Since we have mechanized our farming operations, more 
workers are needed who are experienced in the use of machinery. 
Workers with such mechanical experience will be among the first to 
leave the farms for industrial employment, if defense plant activities 
expand. We cannot import workers of this type for temporary employ- 
ment. They will have to be developed from within our domestic labor 
supply. 

It is more difficult to estimate prospective labor supply than to esti- 
mate farm labor needs. The difficulty arises from the fact that basically 
agriculture must rely not upon its own hired labor supply, but upon 
whatever is left over from other employments. Moreover, this is true 
largely because agriculture does not compete on equal terms with other 
major industries for its labor supply. Agricultural employment is largely 
accepted only by those who cannot find nonfarm jobs or farms of their 
own. Consequently, when nonfarm employment is stagnant, as in the 
thirties, agriculture has too many workers; when industrial jobs are easy 
to get, workers tend to leave farm employment and there is a farm labor 
shortage. To know the prospective farm labor supply, it is first necessary 
to know the expected level of nonfarm employment. 

At the present state of the emergency, the answers to these basic 
questions are not available. So the best that can be done is again to 
project the experience of the last war emergency. During World War 
II, as chart V shows, our losses from the force of working farmers and 
their family members were slight. Our losses from the hired farm 
labor force, on the other hand, were great. Even so, the average net 
loss of hired farm workers per year from 1940 to 1945 was approximately 
100 thousand. At the level of ineffectiveness at which we are now using 
our hired farm labor, it would take only a few days more work per year 
by those remaining in the farm labor force to offset emergency period 
losses of 1 00' to 200 thousand workers per year. It is doubtful, under 
present circumstances, if a faster rate of loss of farm labor should be 
anticipated. 

We Know How To Use Labor More Effeaively 

In a sense, farm labor is always an emergency. The fact that we have 
imported and contracted more foreign workers in the past 4 years than we 
did in World War 11 is ample evidence in itself that "emergency" is not a 
matter of wartime. Even when our national farm labor supply is more 

32 



6097 



than abundant, there are local complaints of labor shortage. Our use 
of human labor in agriculture is inefficient whether under "normal" or 
emergency conditions. 

Our failure to build orderliness in farm employment, and particularly 
in employment of migratory labor, is more a lack of will to do so than a 
lack of knowing how to do it. Under pressure of emergency, the Depart- 
ment of Agriculture and the Agricultural Extension Ser\ices, which were 
responsible for most of the domestic farm labor program in World War 
II, developed management practices in the use of labor. Yet when the 
pressure was off, these acti\ities and programs were nearly all discon- 
tinued. 

On the whole, farm employers, particularly those employing hand 
workers in large numbers, have gi\en little thought to developing modern 
practices for managing labor with the objective of conserving it and 
making its use more efficient. In our hearings, we asked many questions 
on this topic. In some instances, the employer witnesses seemed not to 
understand our questions. In other instances, the questions were under- 
stood but the responses were negative. Nevertheless, a growing number 
of farm employers know they have a task before them. In fact, many 
farm employer leaders appear to be more alert in this respect than is the 
leadership in some Federal and State agencies which presently have 
responsibilities for administering farm labor programs. 

Most farm employers are well organized and have many avenues 
through which to express their desires. One of the best of these channels 
of expression is an organization called the Special Farm Labor Commit- 
tee. Its members are farm employers or representatives of farm em- 
ployers' organizations from every State. Its primary purpose is to advise 
the Farm Placement Service of the United States Employment Service 
on farm manpower programs. Though this Committee naturally speaks 
only for the interests of farm employers, it has clearly acknowledged that 
there are many basic management jobs to be done. 

Proposals along these lines were made by the Special Farm Labor Com- 
mittee which met in Washington, D. C, January 1950, 6 months before 
the Korean crisis. Although at this meeting, the Committee requested 
that the foreign labor program be continued in 1950, it also made other 
recommendations. For example, its subcommittee on factors in recruit- 
ment reported that program planning required "better evaluation of 
figures on crop acreages and labor requirements based on normal crop 
seasons," also that the Employment Service should make "greater use of 
temporary or seasonal offices or greater use of volunteer farm placement 
representatives, whichever was most practical based on individual State 
and local conditions." The report of this subcommittee concluded with 
this statement : 

As a general conclusion, it was felt that careful selection, adequate 
wages, reasonable housing, and other factors are desirable and neces- 

33 



6098 



sary, but are not sufficient of themselves in creating the successful 
placement of a satisfied worker, that it is of equal importance to see 
that the worker or the worker and his family are brought into the full 
life of the community. 
At the same meeting of this Special Farm Labor Committee, the sub- 
committee on factors in employment reported : 

This group feels that a large preponderance of the difficulties arising 
from relationship with migrant workers is due to lack of training, lack 
of supervision, and lack of work planning. 

And further: 

The committee recommends to the Employment Service that, at the 
national level, they determine what has been done by the State Exten- 
sion Services in the way of either employer or employer education, and 
then proceeds to work out, in conjunction with their State Advisory 
Councils, at State level, programs to furnish, augment, or complete 
such programs. 
These were some of the suggestions made by the Special Farm Labor 
Committee in January 1950. When the Committee met again in Sep- 
tember 1950, emphasis was still placed on the desire for foreign labor, 
yet the Committee found many improvements to be made in the manage- 
ment of the domestic labor supply. Among points covered by recom- 
mendations at this meeting were : 

(a) Farm Placement should seek the advice of appropriate agri- 
cultural agencies or departments and of agricultural organizations in 
appraising prospective agricultural labor requirements as a means of 
obtaining realistic estimates of needs ; 

(b) Agricultural labor users and organizations should be encouraged 
to organize agricultural labor users associations where they do not now 
exist; these associations to act as liaison between Farm Placement and 
individual users, to provide or arrange for needed housing or other 
facilities, and to aid in the placement of agricultural labor in the area ; 

(c) We recommend to all agricultural labor users and user groups 
that they provide and maintain good housing facilities. This will 
result in better working relationships between workers and employer. 
Every effort should be made to see that adequate educational, recrea- 
tional, and health facilities are available to the worker. 

The committee further recommended educational and training 
programs : 

Each year new employers hire farm workers and each year many new 
workers enter the farm labor force. Effective labor management, su- 
pervision, and training are of increasing importance to assure efficient 
utilization of an increasingly limited labor force. It is therefore 
strongly recommended that steps be taken now to develop and put into 
force needed educational programs in each local area hiring consider- 
able numbers of workers. In planning such a program, consideration 
should be given to facilities available through private agencies and in- 
stitutions. For example, implement dealers should be encouraged to 



34 



6099 



conduct training schools for the training of workers in the operation of 
mechanical equipment, similar to those which have been conducted for 
years in the care and maintenance of equipment. Local organizations 
and cooperatives should be encouraged to assist in the planning and 
conducting of educational and training programs; employers should 
be impressed with the need for such programs and encouraged to assist 
in every possible way. Steps should be taken to include in the courses 
of instruction now being conducted for farm people more * * * 
material * * * relating to labor information, supervision, and 
training. Land-grant colleges should be encouraged to give more em- 
phasis to problems incident to the hired labor force in the courses of 
resident instruction. 

During World War II much valuable training material was devel- 
oped and widely distributed to employers and workers. It is recom- 
mended that a review be made of these materials, and that supplies of 
those still adaptable be again made available for distribution. 

The USES should obtain the cooperation of the Extension Services 
and other agencies of the Department of Agriculture in carrying out 
these recommendations. 
These recommendations, it must be remembered, originated exclu- 
sively with farm employers. They are constructive ideas and their adop- 
tion would contribute much to meeting the current emergency. Yet 
there is little evidence that either farmers or governmental agencies are 
actively applying these recommendations. W^hen the Employment Serv- 
ice called the Special Farm Labor Committee to Washington for another 
meeting on January 18 and 19, 1951, the Secretary of Labor predicted 
a farm labor shortage of 400 thousand. Thereupon, the discussions and 
recommendations of the Special Farm Labor Committee centered on 
how to get enough foreign labor to meet the shortage. 

Our investigations of the present farm labor problem and our analysis 
of this country's experience during the years of World War II and since, 
point to certain conclusions which to us seem inescapable in the present 
emergency. 



RECOMMENDATIONS 

We recommend that: 

(1) First reliance be placed on using our domestic labor force more 
eflfectively. 

(2) No special measures be adopted to increase the number of alien 
contract laborers beyond the ntmiber admitted in 1950. 



35 



6100 



(3) To meet any supplemental needs for agricultural labor that may 
develop, preference be given to citizens of the offshore possessions of the 
United States, such as Hawaii and Puerto Rico. 

(4) Future efforts be directed toward supplying agricultural labor needs 
with our own workers and eliminating dependence on foreign labor. 



36 



6101 



Chapter 3 

Alien Contract Labor in 
American Agriculture 



The Executive Order directs that we inquire into several aspects of 
the employment of foreign labor in the United States. There are both 
legal and illegal aliens in our farm labor force, the latter being several 
times the larger. Illegal aliens — their extent and the consequences of 
their employment — will be discussed in the next chapter. Here, we 
shall be primarily concerned with legal aliens imported and employed 
under contract. 

World War II Emergency Importation of Foreign Workers 

Mexicans have been the principal foreign group in our farm labor 
supply for several decades. The 1917 immigration law established 
administrative controls excluding many aliens on the basis of personal 
qualifications. Previously, there was comparatively free movement 
across the Mexican-United States border. But the movement was never 
very great. The immigration law of 1917 had hardly become effective 
when we waived it as an emergency measure during World War I to 
admit Mexican workers for temporary employment in agriculture, rail- 
roads, and mines. Between 1917 and 1921, 73,000 came in under this 
emergency waiver. 

Mexican immigration during the twenties was governed by the 1917 
law and subsequent immigration legislation. However, inasmuch as 
the legislation was administered leniently, there was considerable in- 
movement, both legal and illegal. Though the illegal traffic was fairly 
large, it was but a fraction of the illegal traffic of today. The favorable 
employment opportunities in the Southwest and in California, which 
were the foundation of the movement of the twenties, were quickly re- 
versed in 1929. Whereas in the twenties we absorbed a Mexican popu- 
lation of about a milion, in the thirties we disgorged almost half a million 
people of Mexican origin. Great numbers of these, becoming disem- 
ployed in the United States, were repatriated in destitution. 

During the forties, the northward flow started again. Months before 
Pearl Harbor, farm employers in the Southwest and in California initiated 
demands that administration of the immigration law be adjusted to allow 
entry of Mexican workers. As other fields of employment attracted 
workers from the domestic farm labor supply and the prospects of local 

37 



6102 



farm labor shortages appeared in the spring of 1942, farm employers' 
demands for foreign labor became more urgent. Our Government re- 
sponded and again, as in World War I, we turned to Mexico. The first 
intergovernmental agreement providing for World War II emergency 
importation of Mexican nationals was signed in August 1942. This 
agreement and its later amendments were supplemented by Public Law 
45 of April 29, 1943. This legislation, subsequendy amended several 
times, was concerned with domestic as well as foreign aspects of farm 
labor in the war emergency. Among other things, the Congress deter- 
mined general policies of importation and authorized the expenditure of 
public funds for recruitment, transportation, placement, and supervision 
of foreign workers. 

The wartime emergency farm labor program extended through 1947. 
Throughout this period foreign workers were recruited, transported, and 
were placed by agencies of the United States Department of Agriculture 
and the affiliated State Agricultural Extension Services. In the years 
1942 through 1947, the Government, at public expense, brought some 
219,500 Mexican agricultural workers to the United States. 

In addition to Mexicans, we imported farm workers from other sources. 
Intergovernmental agreements similar to the one with Mexico were nego- 
tiated with a number of other neighbor governments. From 1943 
through 1947, we imported 50,598 Jamaicans, 18,423 Canadians, 15,- 
241 Bahamians and small numbers from Newfoundland, British Hon- 
duras, and Barbados. At the peak period of employment in each of the 
years of the wartime program, foreign nationals from the various prin- 
cipal sources employed in farm work under contract in the United States 
were as follows : 



Year 


Mexican 
nationals 


Bahamians 

and 
Jamaicans 


Others 


Total 


1943 


32, 278 
63, 432 
61, 687 
41, 044 
31,331 


13,114 
24,312 
25, 991 
19,668 
9,553 


3,823 
5,063 
8,698 
7,421 


45, 392 


1944 


91, 567 


1945 


92, 741 
69, 410 


1946 


1947 


48, 305 





Although the emergency farm-labor legislation extended through 
December 31, 1947, the Department of Agriculture discontinued impor- 
tation early that year. Only 19,000 Mexicans were imported in 1947, 
but since some of those imported io previous years had stayed over, 
31,000 were legally here and employed during the year. However, a 
new type of activity appeared in 1947, namely, the process of "legalizing 
of illegals," and this was to be the dominant feature of the Mexican 
alien farm-labor program not only for 1 947 but also in the years since. 



38 



6103 



In the war-emergency program, the Mexican Government had refused 
to supply its nationals to any State in which there was discrimination. 
Texas had been excluded from the Government program on this ground. 
In lieu of legal aliens under contract, a large number of Mexican illegal 
aliens had accumulated in Texas. When the Department of Agricul- 
ture indicated its intention to terminate the importation program in the 
spring of 1947, the Governments of the United States and Mexico agreed 
to legalize the status of some of the illegal aliens. Under this agreement, 
approximately 55,000 illegal Mexican aliens in Texas were thus legal- 
ized in the summer of 1947. This was separate from the program of 
the Department of Agriculture. The further growth and ramifications 
of this process of legalizing illegal aliens by putting them under contract 
will be discussed later. 

Puerto Rico Not Used in World War II Emergency 

One of the outstanding features of the wartime labor program was 
the neglect of Puerto Rico. Puerto Ricans were available in large 
numbers and received some consideration in the early emergency man- 
power proposals. Puerto Ricans were, however, not utilized and it may 
be that the reason for this neglect, notwithstanding that Puerto Rico 
suffered large-scale unemployment, was the reluctance of farm employers 
to accept Puerto Ricans. One basis of a preference for other than 
Puerto Ricans was expressed by the president of a Florida growers 
association to the Secretary of Agriculture as follows : 

The vast difference between the Bahama Island labor and the do- 
mestic, including Puerto Rican, is that labor transported from the 
Bahama Islands can be diverted and sent home if it does not work, 
which cannot be done in the instance of labor from domestic United 
States or Puerto Rico. 

In postwar years, Puerto Ricans have entered the farm labor force of 
the mainland. The characteristics and circumstances of their employ- 
ment will be discussed later. 

Areas of Employment of Imported Foreign Workers 
During World War II 

The wartime Mexican labor program of 1943-47 placed farm workers 
in 24 States. At the peak of the Mexican program in 1945, California 
had 63 percent of the total Mexican workers employed during the year. 
But this inadequately states the proportion concentrated in California 
because, from January through April, California had as much as 90 per- 
cent of the total. Even in these slack months, California had more than 
20,000 Mexican contract workers. 

The other principal recipients of the wartime Mexican farm labor 
program were Washington (6 percent), Idaho (5 percent), Oregon (4 

39 



6104 



percent). These three States plus CaHfomia accounted for 78 percent 
of the Mexican nationals employed in 1 945 . Of the 1 6 other States par- 
ticipating in the Mexican program at its peak, the following States had 
from 1,000 to 3,500 workers: Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, 
Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Utah, and Wisconsin. 

The work performed by the Mexican contract workers, though prin- 
cipally hand labor, covered a fairly wide range of farm products. Their 
employment was primarily in fruits, vegetables, sugar beets, and cotton. 
They were scarcely used in livestock, dairy, poultry, or diversified general 
farming. 

Though we imported over 50,000 Jamaicans through the years 1943- 
47, the maximum employment at any one time was 21,000. At 
the peak of their employment, the Jamaicans were scattered widely over 
21 States— New York had 3,000; California 2,700; and other States 
had smaller numbers. The peak employment of Bahamians was 5,700. 
The largest concentration of Bahamians was in Florida, and after finish- 
ing seasonal work there, they were moved along the Atlantic Coast 
and ultimately were scattered over 25 States, including the South, the 
North Central States, and as far west as Wyoming. The employment of 
both of these British West Indian groups was principally at hand work in 
fruits, vegetables, and sugar cane. 

Contract Aliens as Proportions of the Wartime 
Farm Labor Force 

In terms of the national farm labor force, the contract alien program 
was of little significance. Contract aliens in the peak year of the war- 
time program amounted to 2.7 percent of the Nation's hired farm labor 
force. Of the total farm work force, including farm family workers 
as well as hired workers, foreign contract workers at the maximum were 
^10 of 1 percent. Foreign contract labor each year, in proportion to 
the total labor force, was as follows: 



Year 


Contract 
foreign 
labor 


All hired 
labor 


Total farm 

workers 

family and 

hired 


Percentage, con- 
tract foreign 
workers of 


Hired 
workers 


Total 

farm 

workers 


1943 


45, 392 
91,567 
92, 741 
69,410 
• 48, 305 


4, 383, 000 
4, 1 48, 000 
3, 487, 000 
3, 654, 000 
4,017,000 


15,428,000 
15,339,000 
14,208,000 
14,638,000 
15, 116,000 


1.0 
2.2 
2.7 
1.9 
1.2 


3 


1944 




1945 




1946 




1947 









Does not include wetbacks who were given contracts. 



40 



6105 



Foreign Agricultural Labor Importation and Contracting 
Continued Through Postwar Years 

The World War II emergency foreign labor program for agriculture 
was handled entirely under Government administrative machinery and 
with appropriations for that purpose. In effect, the Government was 
the labor contractor. The basic statutory authority for this program 
was the ninth proviso to section 3 (the clause excluding aliens generally) 
of the 1917 immigration law which is as follows : 

That the Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization with 
the approval of the Attorney General shall issue rules and prescribe 
conditions, including exaction of such bonds as may be necessary, to 
control and regulate the admission and return of otherwise inadmissible 
aliens applying for temporary admission. 

Also, under the authority of the ninth proviso, the Railroad Retire- 
tirement Board and the War Manpower Commission facilitated the 
importation of Mexican nationals for nonagricultural employment, 
principally on railroad maintenance-of-way. The imf>ortation of Mexi- 
can nationals for railroad employment was terminated at the end 
of 1945. Importation of alien farm labor, unlike the ahen labor pro- 
gram for the railroads and most other wartime emergency measures, 
was not terminated at the end of the war. 

Use of contract alien farm labor has not only continued but has 
expanded to a maximum, in 1949, much bigger than the maximum of 
the wartime emergency. The supplementary legislation contained in 
Public Law 45 and its subsequent amendments expired at the end of 
1947. The importation and contracting of alien farm workers from 

1948 and thereafter has rested on the statutory authorization in the 
ninth proviso to section 3 of the 1917 Immigration Law. 

Supplementary to the above statutory authorization, the postwar 
importation and contracting program for Mexicans has been handled 
under a series of revised international executive agreements dated March 
10 and April 2, 1947, February 21, 1948, and August 1, 1949. The 
Mexican farm labor program of 1950 was under the terms of the August 

1949 Agreement. The intergovernmental agreements with the islands 
of the British West Indies lapsed at the termination of the emergency 
program. The importation of Jamaican and Bahamian labor since 1 947 
has occurred entirely on the basis of work contracts negotiated between 
private employer interests of the United States and the island govern- 
ments or their agents. Bahamian and Jamaican labor imported into the 
United States since 1947 has not been protected by government-to- 
government agreement. 

The Immigration and Naturalization Service, the United States Em- 
ployment Service and its Farm Placement Service, and the Department 
of State have all rendered assistance to private employers contracting 
otherwise inadmissible aliens for temporary farm employment. 

41 

513 O - 71 - pt. 8C - 18 



6106 



Mechanics of Postwar Foreign Labor Importation 
and Contracting 

The International Agreement with Mexico establishes standards and 
conditions under which Mexican nationals may be employed temporarily 
in the United States. Also, there is an intergovemmentally negotiated 
Individual Work Contract which further determines employment rela- 
tions and working conditions on the job. In addition, there are the fol- 
lowing documents relating to the Mexican program : 

(a) An information bulletin issued jointly by the Commissioner of 
Immigration and Naturalization and the Director of the United States 
Employment Service. 

(6) A joint interpretation of the International Executive Agree- 
ment by the Governments of Mexico and the United States. 

(c) A joint interpretation of the Individual Work Contract condi- 
tions of employment by the Governments of Mexico and the United 
States. 

The employer and the Mexican contract worker both sign the Indi- 
vidual Work Contract. The employer, in addition, signs an Application 
for Permission to Retain and/or Import Mexican Agricultural Labor. 

For Bahamian and Jamaican workers, there is no counterpart of the 
International Agreement or any of its supplements. The "Work Agree- 
ment" for Bahamian agricultural workers and the "Agreement for Em- 
ployment of Jamaicans in Agricultural Work" are both negotiated 
directly between private farm employers in the United States and the 
Bahamian or Jamaican Governments or their agents. The employer, 
the worker, and the agent are the parties to these agreements. 

The bringing of foreign labor into the United States, whether under 
the terms of governmental agreement or privately negotiated agreement, 
is contingent on official certification of need for foreign labor. The con- 
ditions governing certification of need for foreign labor are set forth in 
the Information Bulletin on the Mexican labor program issued jointly 
by the Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization and the Di- 
rector of the United States Employment Service. The Information 
Bulletin states that Mexican nationals will be admitted for temporary 
employment as agricultural workers when : . 

(a) the need for their services is conclusively established following 
investigation and certification by the Immigration and Naturalization 
Service and the United States Employment Service, respectively, and 

(b) the admission of such Mexican nationals will not result in dis- 
placement of American farm workers or otherwise detrimentally affect 
such labor in this country. 

With reference to the Mexican labor program, the determination of 
whether a labor shortage exists commences with the farm employer's 
application to the local employment service office, his request being 
made, incidentally, in terms of Mexicans as such. If the local employ- 

42 



6107 



ment service finds that domestic workers are not available, the em- 
ployer's application for Mexicans is sent forward to the State 
Employment Service and if the State office cannot supply domestic 
workers, the application is referred to the regional office of the United 
States Employment Service. Concurrent with the application being 
sent from the State office to the regional office, the employer is advised 
to file the "Application for Permission to Retain and/or Import Mexican 
Agricultural Labor" with the Immigration and Naturalization Service. 
If, subsequendy, the request for Mexican workers is approved by the 
regional and national offices of the United States Employment Service, 
all that remains to be done is to get the approval of the Immigration 
and Naturalization Service and of the Government of Mexico. 

When these necessary approvals have been obtained and when the 
appropriate arrangements for recruitment have been made with Mexico, 
the selection of the workers begins at a recruitment point designated 
by Mexico as a recruiting center. At the recruiting and contracting 
center, the parties present are : the employer or his representative who 
selects the workers; officials, and medical examiners of the Mexican 
Government who oversee the recruitment and give the worker his physi- 
cal examination; representatives of the United States Public Health 
Service who assist in the physical and health examinations; representa- 
tives of the United States Employment Service who assist in recruitment 
and selection of workers and in signing the Individual Work Agreements; 
representatives of the Immigration and Naturalization Service who 
process the papers required to fulfill immigration laws and regulations. 

Workers recruited in interior Mexico then proceed northward to the 
border in transportation facilities supplied by the employer and approved 
by the Mexican Government. At the border, the workers' persons and 
credentials are again briefly examined by the Immigration and Natural- 
ization Service and the United States Public Health Service. The con- 
tract is reviewed and noted by the representatives of the Mexican con- 
sulate who also inspect the transportation in which the employer pro- 
poses to convey the contract workers to their place of employment. This 
inspection of transportation equipment covers safety and comfort 
features. Thereafter, on approval of transportation, the contract workers 
are conveyed to the place of employment at employer expense. 

Responsibility and supervision over the contract and behavior of the 
contracting parties is assigned by the International Agreement as follows: 

The United States Employment Service, in cooperation with the 
Immigration and Naturalization Service, will make periodic inspections 
to ascertain that the terms of the Agreement and the Individual Work 
Contract are being complied with. 

In practice, we find that jurisdiction over the performance of the con- 
tract for the United States Government is assumed to be the responsibility 



43 



6108 



of the United States Employment Service while jurisdiction over the body 
of the alien is assumed to be the role of the Immigration and Naturaliza- 
tion Service. The Mexican consulate for its Government shares in 
both. To discharge its obligation to make periodic inspections to ascer- 
tain that the terms of the International Agreement and the Individual 
Work Contract are being complied with, the United States Employment 
Service has maintained a maximum of nine insp>ectors or "Compliance 
Officers" in the United States who are assigned as needed to the various 
regional offices of the United States Employment Service. State em- 
ployment services, beyond their role in certifying labor shortage, have 
no responsibility for the work contracts. Nevertheless, the State offices 
are expected to pass along complaints or observed violations. The Im- 
migration and Naturalization Service, though charged with cooperative 
responsibility to enforce the contract, concerns itself with the contract 
worker principally when it is time for him to return home or when he 
has been reported as having deserted his contract. 

A provision for conciliation of employer-worker disputes is contained 
in the International Agreement. The Individual Work Contract con- 
tains no such provision but does contain a reference to the conciliation 
procedure in the International Agreement. Mexican contract workers 
and employers are given copies of the Individual Work Contract, which 
is in both Spanish and Enghsh. Workers and employers are not always 
given copies of the International Agreement, which is only in English. 

Complaints alleging violation of the Individual Work Contract may 
be initiated in three ways: Officially by the United States Employment 
Service or privately by either worker or employer. If an officially initi- 
ated complaint is not adjusted, the Mexican consulate is called in for a 
joint investigation. Complaints from workers may be received by the 
United States Employment Service or submitted through the appropriate 
Mexican consulate. Complaints by employers are received by the 
United States Employment Service. On all types of complaints the 
Mexican consulate may be called in for joint investigation and deter- 
mination. 

As a matter of practice, we find that while employers may refer some 
complaints to the United States Employment Service, workers' com- 
plaints are ordinarily referred initially to the Mexican consulate. Let it 
be borne in mind that this conciliation procedure is contained in the Inter- 
national Agreement (in English, which the typical Mexican worker can- 
not read ) but is incorporated only by reference in the Individual Work 
Contract ( where the Spanish-reading Mexican worker finds out in Span- 
ish that there is a conciliation procedure available to him if he could 
read English ) . 

Again in the International Agreement, but not in the Individual Work 
Contract, there is the following provision : 



44 



6109 



Workers admitted under this Agreement shall have the right to 
elect their own representatives from among members of their groups, 
to maintain contact between the Workers and the Employers. 

The Joint Intergovernmental Interpretation of this provision says that 
the designation of such representatives is "for the purpose of discussing 
with the employer any question arising under the Individual Work 
Contract, but not for the purpose of changing its terms or conditions. 
* * * this article does not, however, have any reference to union 
memberships or collective bargaining activities." 

For the farm employer or association of farm employers, the concilia- 
tion provision may be somewhat more adequate than it is for the foreign 
workers with a language handicap in a strange land. To expect the 
Mexican contract worker to locate one of the nine United States Em- 
ployment Service inspectors or to relay his complaint to them through 
the State employment service is to expect more than is within his capa- 
bility. Consequently, if he can get in touch with the Mexican consulate, 
that is about the best he can do. This cumbersome and complicated 
procedure, involving several government agencies in general and none in 
particular, encourages desertion in place of making a complaint because 
every^ complaint has the potentiality of being lost or ignored. 

Farm employers, as well as workers, have apparently found diflficulties 
in living with the work agreement. An employer of contract workers 
from New Mexico told us of employers' difficulties in the following 
words : 

When * * * the Commissioner of Immigration, proposed a 
contract, I was very delighted and very pleased, because I thought 
it would be a solution, and then, when the contract was presented to 
us, it was absolutely one-sided, only protection for the worker and no 
protection whatever for the employer, and I was very much disap- 
pointed. However, we have contracted quite a few men under this, 
and I know that we can't live up to the contract 100 percent. It is 
just a piece of paper. If we get along with the men and are able 
to satisfy them and they don't go to the Mexican consul and kick, we 
get by. If they go to the Mexican consul and kick, we can get into a 
lot of trouble, and I think after my several years' experience with it, 
that the farmer is in very desperate need whenever he will sign a con- 
tract with a foreign nation, where he hasn't got a chance as an indi- 
vidual to put his side of the c&se, or anything else. It is very arbitrary 
on the part of the Mexican consul and the Mexican Government in 
taking his men away from him or what not, if he makes any infraction 
of the rules or makes a mistake. 

From the evidence available to us, it appears the conciliation pro- 
cedure is little used. Rather, the Mexican contract worker simply takes 
flight from a situation which he finds unsatisfactory or intolerable. 
The lack of an appropriate way of resolving employer-worker differences 
is one of the main reasons for a large proportion of Mexican nationals 
returning home before the completion of their contracts or simply 

45 



6110 



deserting or "skipping" their contracts. In the one region in which 
we have information, desertions from contract were 20.8 percent in 
1948 and 20.2 percent in 1949. Of the Mexican nationals under 
contract in the United States on August 31, 1950, one-third were in 
illegal status, primarily by deserting their contracts. Desertions from 
individual contracting employers range from as low as 4 percent to as 
high as 50 percent. Moreover, it is noted that there is a tendency for 
those employers having a high desertion rate in one year also to have a 
high desertion rate the next. We interpret this to mean that desertions 
from contract vary with individual management and working con- 
ditions. Where these are good, the desertions are low. 

Under the terms of the August 1, 1949, International Agreement, 
contracts for work in sugar beets may be for a period of not less than 
6 weeks; employment in cotton may be for not less than 3 months; for 
all other employment, the contract period is not less than 4 months. 
No contract may be for more than 6 months. However, with the con- 
sent of the Mexican consulate, the worker, the United States Employ- 
ment Service, and the United States Immigration and Naturalization 
Service, workers may be contracted for additional periods provided that 
the worker shall remain in the United States no longer than 1 year. 

The contracting of Bahamians and Jamaicans is much simpler than of 
Mexicans. The only governing instruments are the privately negotiated 
work agreements and United States Immigration Law. After having 
received the necessary certification of labor shortage from the United 
States Employment Service and having posted the required bonds with 
the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the farm employer or his 
agent proceeds to the Island and recruits his workers. Recruitment is 
under the general supervision of the Island Government. Physical ex- 
aminations are made by the medical staffs of the Island Governments. 
The employer arranges transportation and makes advances when needed 
for transportation and other expenses. After clearing through an im- 
migration station, the workers are conveyed to their employment in 
transportation arranged by the employer but paid for by the worker. 

No procedure for handling complaints is set forth in the Bahamian 
or Jamaican work contracts. Each government maintains agents who 
supervise their performance. Apparently, communicating his com- 
plaint to this agent of his government is the only recourse a worker has 
under either of those contracts. The rights and responsibilities of the 
agent are not defined in either case. In the instance of the Jamaicans, 
and the procedure evidently is parallel for the Bahamians, the agent in- 
vestigates the complaint and decides for or against the worker. But 
apparently the employer is to share in any final decision because the 
Jamaican contract provides that "if the Employer and the Agent deter- 
mine that the Worker is unwilling to work in accordance with the terms 
of this Agreement or determine that the Worker has committed an act of 

46 



6111 



misconduct or indiscipline, or if the Worker engages in work at any time 
for other than the Employer to whom he is assigned, or if the Worker vio- 
lates any law of the United States of America, this Agreement may forth- 
with be terminated and upon such termination the Worker shall immedi- 
ately be returned to Jamaica at his own expense." 

Both the Bahamian and Jamaican agreements permit withholdings and 
deductions from the worker's pay. For the Bahamian worker, the per- 
missible and mandatory deductions from pay are as follows : 

( a ) Against advances for transportation and subsistence expenses the 
employer may recover at a rate not exceeding $5 per week from all earn- 
ings in excess of $ 1 2.50 per week. 

(b) A sum not exceeding $25, under the same deduction limitations 
as above, may be withheld and retained by the employer to pay deporta- 
tion or repatriation costs of a worker who is required by urgent personal 
affairs to return to the Bahamas prior to the expiration of his agreement 
or becomes subject to deportation because of law violations or unwill- 
ingness or inability to work under the agreement as interpreted by the 
employer and the agent. 

( c ) The employer is required to withhold 25 percent of gross earnings, 
of which 2 percent is retained by the employer "to cover administrative 
expenses." The remaining 23 percent is sent to the Bahamas Govern- 
ment to be placed to the worker's credit. 

(d) For meals and living accomodations, when furnished, the em- 
ployer may charge not in excess of $1 .40 per day. 

Provisions for withholding and deducting from pay in the Jamaican 
agreement are generally similar. Advances may be recovered at the 
maximum rate of $7 per week. For meals and housing furnished, the 
employer may charge a maximum of $ 1 .60 per day. The employer is 
to withhold 20 percent of gross earnings and remit the same to the British 
West Indies Central Labour Organisation in Washington, D. C. (agent 
for the Jamaican Government). Of this 20 percent deduction, 5 per- 
cent is retained by the above agent for administrative expenses and insur- 
ance, and the other 15 percent is placed to the credit of the worker in 
the Government Savings Bank of Jamaica. The agreement further 
requires that, after payment of dependents' allowances, and when a 
balance of $250 has been reached, the minimum amount to be re- 
tained in the worker's account shall be $250. If the worker absents 
himself without leave from his employment, and hence becomes deport- 
able, the employer may recover any deportation expenses incurred from 
the worker's balance, or as much thereof as the worker's balance wiU 
permit. 

Inasmuch as authorized and required deductions from the pay of 
Bahamian and Jamaican workers are considerable, a look at what is 
guaranteed the Worker is of interest. Both contracts guarantee $25 for 
each 2 weeks in which the worker was willing and able to work. If less 

47 



6112 



than the minimum is earned, the employer is obUgated to pay a "sub- 
sistence allowance" in the amount of the deficiency. 

It may be noted that a Bahamian worker earning only the guaran- 
teed minimum, if provided with meals and housing by his employer, 
would be in this situation : 

Guaranteed earnings $25 

Required withholding, 25 percent $6. 25 

Board and lodging, 14 days at $1.40 19.60 

Total 25. 85 

Since no other deductions are admissible under these circumstances, the 
Bahamian would have a deficit of 85 cents in his savings allotment of 
$5.75. True, the savings allotment ultimately belongs to the Bahamian 
or his dependents but, on deposit with the Bahamas Government, it is 
of little use to the Bahamian who is in the United States without a cent 
in his pocket from his 2 weeks of work. Under parallel circumstances, 
the deficit of the Jamaican would be $2.40. 

The withholdings permitted under the Bahamian and Jamaican agree- 
ment contrast sharply with the deductions permitted and specifically 
denied under the Mexican cantract. Deductions permitted under the 
Mexican Individual Work Contract based on the August 1, 1949, Inter- 
national Agreement are limited to legal deductions, advances against 
wages, articles of consumption voluntarily purchased from the employer 
and meals which may not exceed $1.75 per day. The sharp contrast 
between the Mexican and British West Indian deduction allowances Ls 
that the Mexican contract prohibits the withholding of forced savings out 
of which the deportation costs of the alien may be recovered if he leaves 
his contract or otherwise becomes deportable. 

Bonds Required Under Ninth Proviso 

Under the ninth proviso, the Commissioner of Immigration and 
Naturalization is required to exact such bonds as are necessary "to 
control and regulate the admission and return of otherwise inadmissible 
aliens * * *." 

These bonds, for British West Indians, have been as high as $500 
per head. For Mexicans, the bond is now $25 per head. For 
Bahamians, it is $50; for Jamaicans, $100. In 1950, the bond for 
Mexicans was set at $50, but under pressure from employers, the amount 
was reduced to $25. 

Experience shows that British West Indians desert from their con- 
tracts much less than do Mexicans. . This undoubtedly is to be ex- 
plained in large part by the vulnerability of the British West Indian 
workers to financial discipline, as provided for in their agreements. 
Mexican workers are subject to no such discipline. 

48 



6113 



It must be noted that the purpose of the bond is to guarantee the 
maintenance of status of the alien as a temporary agricultural worker 
and his ultimate return. While these objectives are well realized with 
British West Indians because of the withholding of forced savings as 
provided in their contracts, the bonding of Mexicans is not fully success- 
ful in either of its purposes. 

Puerto Ricans in the Postwar Farm Labor Force 

Puerto Ricans are citizens of the United States and are free to enter 
and leave the mainland as they choose. From the standpoint of citizen- 
ship, it is inappropriate to discuss Puerto Ricans in a chapter dealing 
with contract aliens. However, since Puerto Ricans were excluded from 
the war emergency program in favor of alien labor and since they now 
find themselves in competition with alien labor, there is obviously a 
functional relationship which requires their being considered in this 
context. 

Beginning on a small scale in 1946 and 1947, Puerto Ricans have been 
drawn increasingly into the domestic seasonal farm labor force, reaching 
a peak in 1950 of 8,500 or more. Before 1950, the Puerto Rican con- 
tract workers were located mainly in the Northeast; in the 1950 season 
some 5,300 were contracted for sugar beet work in Michigan. 

By a memorandum in February 1949, the Bureau of Employment 
Security of the United States Department of Labor specifically acknowl- 
edged the Puerto Ricans to be part of the domestic labor force. This 
implies that they should be given preference of employment over alien 
labor. 

Technically, the movement of Puerto Ricans, either seasonal or perma- 
nent, does not require negotiation of work contracts or prior certification 
of labor shortage. Nevertheless, in its desire to protect its citizens as 
much as possible, the Puerto Rican Government has insisted on both 
work contracts and certification of labor need before approving recruit- 
ment of its people. The Puerto Rican work contract is negotiated 
directly between farm employers on the mainland and the Puerto Rican 
Department of Labor. 

Problems in the Negotiation of the Mexican 
International Agreement 

From the discussion above, a significant fact is clear: The Government 
of the United States has been willing to admit, under the authority of the 
ninth proviso, contract aliens for farm employment under the terms of 
work agreements negotiated between private employers and the appro- 
priate foreign governments or their agents. If the foreign government 
demands the minimum protection of a govemment-to-government 

49 



6114 



agreement, as does Mexico, then our Department of State undertakes to 
negotiate such an agreement. Otherwise, the worker is largely unpro- 
tected by any standards set by the Federal Government. The inequity 
of treating our neighbor countries differently and the hazards to the spirit 
and purpose of our immigration laws are both, unfortunately, much too 
obvious. 

Many spokesmen for farm employers who use Mexican labor criticize 
the Department of State openly and severely for its handling of the 
negotiation of the International Agreement. They say it is one-sided 
and does not represent their desires or needs and that it is discriminatory 
because it provides better conditions for the imported nationals of Mexico 
than those enjoyed by domestic farm labor. 

In effect, the negotiation of the Mexican International Agreement is 
a collective bargaining situation in which the Mexican Government is 
the representative of the workers and the Department of State is the 
representative of our farm employers. The criticisms of farm employers 
would imply that in this arrangement the Department of State is out- 
negotiated. The following is the opinion of the president of the Imperial 
VzJley Farmers' Association : 

Negotiations with Mexico have always been settled with favor to 
the Mexican at the expense of the American farmer. The agencies 
negotiating for the farmer have given concessions to the Mexican 
above and beyond the conditions given to the American farm worker. 
These concessions are made under the excuse that Mexico will take 
no less. It seems to us that when these workers are coming over our 
borders to work regardless of agreements that common sense on the 
part of the United States agencies will show that we must have a 
program that is practical and workable without excessive red tape 
or the farmer is not going to use it. If Mexico's demands are unten- 
able they should be told so and left without an agreement until we can 
have a fair arrangement, even though our State Department feels such 
conditions would be worse than a bad contract for the American 
farmer and even if such a contract does cause the present "Wet Mexi- 
can" problem and continued evasion by American farmers of a pro- 
gram that is unsatisfactory to them. 

The Mexican and United States representatives do not approach 
negotiations with equal freedom for bargaining. Mexico, by law, 
prescribes minimum standards in several respects for her nationals leaving 
for employment abroad whereas we, by law, prescribe virtually no mini- 
mum standards for domestic agricultural workers. Herein lies the basic 
difficulty in the International Agreement with Mexico. If we had 
legislative standards for farm workers equal to those we have for indus- 
trial labor, most of the obstacles corrfronted in its negotiation and 
administration would vanish. 

The inherent conflicts in this situation are quite apparent. If the 
Department of State negotiates with respect to the general interests of 
the Nation and of amicable international relations, it can scarcely be 

50 



6115 



expected that the private interests of farm employers will, at the same 
time, be fully satisfied. Conversely, if the State Department, in these 
negotiations, were to represent farm employer interests exclusively, the 
general interests of the Nation and of amicable international relations 
might well be neglected or jeopardized. 

In preparing for negotiations on the International Agreement, the 
State Department is handicapped by not being able to consult, in an 
orderly way, all interested groups. Farm employers are well organized 
and articulate. Farm workers, on the other hand, have virtually no 
organization and are not in a position to present their views. Never- 
theless, worker organizations which do exist have clear views on the 
Mexican agreement. For example, the research director of the National 
Farm Labor Union testified at our Los Angeles hearing : 

Now we take this p)osition » * « that in California every condi- 
tion which represents a problem in the relation of the worker to his 
employer — I say every condition — which already existed in the form of 
a problem, is aggravated by the importation, the contracting or the 
use of these three types of labor (illegals, contract nationals, and 
legalized wetbacks) . 

In further testimony, this union representative spelled out his state- 
ment in detail with respect to wage levels, wage differentials based on 
race, and the right of workers to organize and to bargain collectively. 

Because they lack the channels for doing so, the interests of domestic 
labor and of the American pubUc are not brought before the State 
Department in an organized way. It is not strange that, under these 
circumstances, the State Department, when negotiating the International 
Agreement, is hardly in a position to give the same consideration to the 
interests of labor and of the general public as it gives to the interests of 
employers. 

Another observation needs to be made on the negotiation of the Mex- 
ican International Agreement and the role of the State Department. As 
noted above, Mexico is the only country which requires an intergovern- 
mental agreement; by coincidence, Mexico is the country which is osten- 
sibly least interested in having its nationals do farm work in the United 
States. The greater concern of the British West Indies and of Puerto 
Rico to allow their people to enter into farm employment is reflected 
in the terms of their agreements, all of which are somewhat less costly 
to employers in one respect or another than is the Mexican agreement. 
All agreements depend on "prevailing wages" being paid, but they differ 
materially in minimum employment guarantees, in employers' obligation 
to pay transportation, and to provide medical care, and in the worker's 
potential obligation to finance his own deportation. One of the important 
cost items is transportation on which the differences are as follows : The 
Mexican agreement, as required by Mexican law, obligates the employer 
to pay all transportation both ways, including subsistence. The Ba- 

51 



6116 



hamian and Jamaican contracts provide that transportation be paid one 
way; the Puerto Rican pays his own transportation. 

Another complication in the negotiation of the Mexican agreement 
is the dual burden that has been placed on it. As we noted earlier, it 
has been used as a basis for admission of contract aliens and also for the 
contracting of aliens already illegally in the United States. This compli- 
cation is considered next. 

Postwar Mexican Farm Labor Program as a 
Mechanism for Legalizing Wetbacks 

Wetbacks are Mexicans illegally in the United States. The request 
to contract wetbacks in the United States was made by the Government 
of Mexico. From the viewpoint of Mexico, this request had merit. 
With large numbers of its citizens already in the United States illegally, 
there was occasion to be critical of the request of the United States that 
additional Mexicans be recruited and imported under contract. More- 
over, Mexican employers were reluctant to have still more of their labor 
supply taken away. Farm employers in the United States, too, favored 
legalizing wetbacks as an alternative to contracting in the interior of 
Mexico because they could thereby contract experienced workers and 
also save in transportation costs. 

As described earlier, the first Mexican-United States agreement to 
legalize illegal aliens by putting them under contract was made in 1947. 
Under this agreement some 55,000 illegal aliens had their status made 
legal in 1947. The number imported directly from Mexico in 1947 was 
only 19,632, which, together with those remaining from previous years, 
gave a total ( nonlegalized ) contract employment of 31,000. Hence, 
the bulk of the Mexican farm-labor program in 1947 consisted of legal- 
ized wetbacks. 

In 1 948, no wetbacks were placed under contract but when contract- 
ing of workers from the interior did not function as expected, a large 
number of Mexican workers accumulated at the border. In October, 
several thousand breached the border patrol lines in the vicinity of El 
Paso and entered illegally. Instead of deporting the illegally entered 
Mexican workers immediately, they were, by unilateral action of the 
United States, "paroled" to farm employers who wanted their services. 
This was the so-called "October incident" or "El Paso incident" of 1948. 
Thereafter, Mexico abrogated the International Agreement that had 
become effective February 21, 1948. During the effective period of the 
1948 agreement, 35,345 nationals were imported from the interior of 
Mexico. 

The current agreement, dated August 1 , 1 949, acknowledges the illegal 
traffic and binds both Governments "to take all measures necessary to 



52 



6117 



suppress radically the illegal traffic of Mexican workers." But this 
agreement itself provides for the contracting of wetbacks who entered the 
United States before August 1, 1949. Such illegal aliens were given 
preference of employment over workers from Mexico who had not vio- 
lated the United States immigration laws. In 1949, 19,625 Mexican 
farm workers were contracted in interior Mexico; in the same year, 
87,220 wetbacks were legalized. 

For the 3 years, 1947-49, the Mexican farm-labor program in sum- 
mary amounts to this : 74,600 Mexican nationals under contract were 
brought from the interior of Mexico; 142,200 wetbacks already in the 
United States were legalized by being put under contract. Legalization 
of wetbacks occurred again in 1950. Meanwhile, the accelerated wet- 
back traffic continued unabated. 

When the contracting of wetbacks was proposed by Mexico, the Immi- 
gration and Naturalization Service saw it as a threat to enforcement of 
the immigration law and opposed it. To be prevented from deporting a 
deportable alien is, in effect, to be prevented from enforcing the law. A 
technique more insidious than ingenious was devised and put in efTect 
by the agencies of the United States Government having responsibility 
for law enforcement and procurement of labor. In this improvisation, 
the Immigration and Naturalization Service would be allowed to 
"deport" the wetback by having him brought to the border at which 
point the wetback would be given an identification slip. Momentarily, 
he would step across the boundary line. Having thus been subjected 
to the magic of token deportation, the illegal alien was now merely alien 
and was eligible to step back across the boundary to be legally contracted. 

In fairness to Government officials participating in the practice of 
contracting wetbacks, it needs to be noted that some limits and qualifi- 
cations were imposed. These were apparently expected to make the 
legalization program a substitute for, rather than an accelerator of, the 
wetback traffic. The limits apply to eligibility of the wetback to be 
contracted and also to the eligibility of the employer to contract Mexican 
aliens. In the hope that the possibility of being contracted would not 
encourage further wetback entries, the August 1949 agreement gave 
preference of employment only to those who had entered prior to the 
effective date of the agreement. Likewise, when the contracting of 
wetbacks was again agreed to on July 27, 1950, under an interpretation 
of the 1949 agreement, only the wetbacks entering prior to July 27, 1950, 
were eligible to be contracted. However, since wetbacks were con- 
tracted in 1947, 1949, and 1950, and were "paroled" to employers in 
1 948, it is doubtful if this sort of limitation, if ever effective, will be so any 
longer. If this process is continued, the wetbacks will almost certainly 
be encouraged to enter illegally in the hope of being legalized later on. 

The limitation on employer eligibility to contract Mexican workers 

53 



6118 



is contained in section 23 of the International Executive Agreement of 
August 1949: 

Permission to contract Workers under this Agreement shall not be 
granted to those Employers who continue to use Mexican workers who 
are illegally in the United States. Any authority granted for the 
employment of Workers under this Agreement shall be canceled in 
the case of any Employer who, after such authority is granted, engages 
Workers who are illegally in the United States. 

We found little evidence of effort to enforce this provision. Certainly, 
neither this limitation nor the eligibility limitation on the wetback have 
made the contract procedure a substitute for the wetback traffic. 

Number and Proportions of Foreign Contract Workers in 
Postwar Farm Employment 

The foreign agricultural labor program, including the contracting of 
wetbacks, reached its maximum at over 100,000 in 1949. The ratio 
of foreign workers to total farm employment was about the same as at 
the peak of the war emergency program. Foreign workers under con- 
tract at the peak of 1949 were 2.6 percent of the total hired workers in 
the Nation and were Vio of 1 percent of total agricultural employment, 
including farm operators and family members as well as those hired for 
wages. 





Mexicans » 


British 

West 

Indians 


Total for- 
eign on 
contract 


Foreign workers 
as a percentage of 


Year 


All 

hired 

workers 


All 
employ- 
ment 


1947 


86, 331 
» 37, 331 
100, 476 

90, 005 


9,553 
6,055 

> 8, 176 

> 4, 394 


95, 884 

43, 386 

108, 652 

94, 399 


2.4 
1.0 
2.6 
2.7 


0.6 


1948 


.3 


1949 


.7 


1950 


.7 







' Includes wetbacks contracted. 

« Docs not include wetbacks "paroled" to farm employers. 

* Estimates. 



Areas Served by Postwar Foreign Labor Program 

As we reported above, the Mexican war emergency farm-labor pro- 
gram was concentrated in California and the Northwest. During post- 
war years, the concentration shifted to Texas, New Mexico, and Ar- 
kansas. In contrast, the areas of concentration of Bahamian and Ja- 



54 



6119 



maican labor were much the same in both the war emergency and the 
postwar phases. 

Postwar, Bahamians have been contracted principally by the Florida 
Fruit and Vegetable Association and Jamaicans principally by the Flor- 
ida Sugar Producers Association (actually the United States Sugar Cor- 
poration ) . Most of both groups work in Florida during the winter. 
Following the winter season, when work in Florida is slack, many of 
these workers are recontracted and others imported by vegetable growers 
and processors in the North Central States, principally in Wisconsin, 
Illinois, and Minnesota and in Connecticut. 

The contrasting shift in the Mexican program is this : California which 
in 1 945 received 63 percent of the Mexican workers had only 8 percent 
in 1949. The States of the Northwest, which with California, had 78 
percent of the Mexican program in 1945, had no Mexican workers in 
1949. Texas, which had no legally contracted Mexicans in wartime, 
had 46 percent of all Mexican nationals under contract in 1949. New 
Mexico and Arkansas, which had none of the Mexican workers in war- 
time, had 17 and 16 percent, respectively, in 1949. Together, Texas, 
New Mexico, and Arkansas had 79 percent of the 1949 Mexican labor 
program. 

For convenience, and because it graphically summarizes what has been 
said above, the areas principally served by the war emergency and the 
postwar phases of the Mexican farm labor programs are summarized : 



State 



California . . 
Washington . 

Idaho 

Oregon .... 

Texas 

New Mexico 
Arkansas. . . 



Percentage 


Percentage 


of contract 


of contract 


Mexican 


Mexican 


workers in 


workers in 


1945 


1949 


631 


8 


?h 


None 


None 


4 


None 


None 


461 


None 


17 [79 


None 


16j 



Two matters of considerable significance in this connection deserve 
attention : 

(a) The areas served by the war emergency program were high- 
wage States which had been gaining population by in-migration during 
the preceding decade. 

(b) The areas served by the postwar program are low-wage States 
that disgorged population during the decade of the thirties. 



55 



6120 



Has Importation of Foreign Labor Been Detrimental 
To Domestic Labor? 

Under the rules and conditions issued by the Immigration and 
Naturalization Ser\'ice and the Attorney General in exercising the dis- 
cretion of the ninth proviso to section 3 of the Immigration Law of 1917, 
the United States Employment Service has had the responsibility, before 
certifying the need of foreign labor, of determining that sufficient domes- 
tic workers were not available. Further, in the Information Bulletin 
issued jointly by the Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization 
and the Director of the United States Employment Service relative to 
the August 1, 1949, International Agreement with Mexico, the state- 
ment is specifically made that the ninth proviso authority will be invoked 
only when "the admission of such Mexican nationals will not result in 
displacement of American farm workers or otherwise detrimentally affect 
such labor in this country." The same conditions are also supposed to 
apply to importation of contract aliens from the British West Indies. 

Has this safeguard to the welfare of domestic workers been observed? 
The testimony to the Commission by farm employers and farm workers 
was conflicting. Farm employers testified that foreign labor importa- 
tion could not possibly have had a detrimental effect on domestic labor 
because domestic labor was said not to be available for the work required. 
Farm workers, on the other hand, testified that foreign labor had dis- 
placed domestic workers and had adversely affected wages. 

It is difficult to determine the answer to these conflicting views. The 
sharp difference of view, as reported to this Commission, related prin- 
cipally to the areas in which Mexican labor was employed, both legally 
and illegally. As is apparent from the facts above related, the Mexicans 
are the largest group and the most concentrated geographically. Cali- 
fornia, in which the war emergency program centered, has cotton picking 
as one of its principal hand-labor employments. Texas, New Mexico, 
and Arkansas in which the postwar program has been centered have also 
cotton picking as the principal employment for Mexican contract workers. 
If the presence of contract workers is associated with or related to changes 
in wages, such relationship should logically show up in the principal em- 
ployment of contract aliens which is common to the various areas of their 
concentration. Accordingly, we have compared changes in wage rates 
for cotton picking during the wartime and also during the postwar 
phases. 

The comparisons are shown in chart VII. These are based on piece 
rates for picking cotton as compiled by the United States Department 
of Agriculture. 

In California, which received the overwhelming majority of the Mexi- 
can nationals imported during the wartime program, the wage for cotton 
picking increased 136 percent from 1940 to 1945 as compared with a 

56 



6121 



CHANGES IN AVERAGE WAGES FOR COTTON PICKING 

War and Post -War Employment of Mexican Contract Labor 

Chort sn 

1940 «I00 ■ 



WAGES- 1945 Compared with 1940 335% 



Bp=r^r3 



MAJOR USERS 



-^^-- 



1945 US AVERAGE WAGE 
J i 308% 



TEXAS NEW MEXICO ARKANSAS 

I947M00 



WAGES- 1950 Compored with 1947 

115% 




CALIFORNIA 



TEXAS NEW MEXICO ARKANSAS 



36-513 O - 71 - pt.sC - 19 



57 



6122 



Nation-wide average increase of 21 1 percent. Cotton picking wages in 
other States not participating significantly in the wartime Mexican 
importation rose in varying amounts between 166 percent and 236 
percent. 

In the postwar phase of the program when the concentration shifted 
from California into Texas, New Mexico, and Arkansas, the com- 
parative changes in cotton-picking wages again were reversed. In 
California, which got very few Mexican nationals after 1947, cotton- 
picking wages rose by 15 percent; Nation-wide there was no change. 
In Texas and New Mexico, each of which got significantiy large numbers 
of Mexican nationals from the postwar program, cotton-picking wages 
dropped 1 1 and 4 percent, respectively. In Arkansas the cotton-pick- 
ing wage increased, but here the increase was only 2 percent. 

Taking the two principal States in which the wartime and postwar 
Mexican contract programs were centered, California and Texas, the 
relations between wage changes and the presence of alien laborers in 
large numbers can be summarized as follows : 

Wartime Program: 

California got 63 percent of the contract Mexicans (1945); raised 
its cotton wages 1 36 percent, 

Texas got no contract Mexicans; raised its cotton wages 236 percent. 

Postwar Program: 

California got 8 percent of the contract Mexicans ( 1949) ; raised its 
cotton wages 15 percent. 

Texas got 46 percent of the contract Mexicans (1949) ; lowered its 
cotton wages 11 percent. 

Changes in wages in the principal areas of employment and in the 
principal crop of employment have been inverse to the numbers of 
contract Mexicans. Obviously, from what was said earlier, legal 
Mexican contract labor and wetback labor are in close relationship, 
particularly in 1947 and thereafter. Consequently, the above wage 
changes would seem to be influenced by the wetback traffic as well as 
by contract labor. However, taking the influence of the wetback traffic 
into account does not alter the results of the wage comparison. In 
1940-45, Texas undoubtedly had a somewhat greater proportion of 
wetbacks in its farm labor supply than did California. But the wetbacks 
notwithstanding, cotton-picking wages rose in Texas far more than in 
California. For the comparison of 1947 to 1950, the wetbacks and 
the contract workers were yet more closely interrelated in Texas because 
of the large amount of contracting of wetbacks there. The comparison 
amounts to this: Texas, with its large supply of wetback and contract 
labor, reduced its wages 1 1 percent; California, with little contract labor 
and a relatively smaller wetback saturation, raised its wages 1 5 percent. 

The association between wage changes and foreign labor supfdy as 

58 



6123 



here indicated is consistent with the national picture for all farm wages. 
Elsewhere, we are reporting that farm wages generally in dollar terms 
have stayed substantially constant in the past 4 years. In view of the 
fact that other wages and the cost of living have risen, this means that 
farm wages have declined in comparative terms and in purchasing 
fKDwer. 

When we find that there was little change in the Nation-wide average 
of farm wages, and as a glance at the chart will show, that wages by 
States were inversely related to the supply of alien labor, it would seem 
that foreign labor has detrimentally affected the wages of domestic labor. 

It is our conclusion that the evidence demonstrates that the agencies 
of Government responsible for importing and contracting foreign labor 
have not been successful in protecting domestic farm labor from detri- 
mental effects of imported contract alien labor. We find alien labor 
has depressed farm wages and, therefore, has been detrimental to 
domestic labor. 

The "Prevailing Wage" 

AH foreign labor agreements, and the Puerto Rican agreement as well, 
provide for the payment of a stipulated minimum wage or the "prevail- 
ing wage," whichever is higher. The stipulated minimum wage is a 
nominal rate which varies from one agreement to another, but, with some 
exceptions, ranges from 40 to 60 cents an hour. Ordinarily, the so-called 
prevailing rate is the effective rate. The "prevailing rate" is not officially 
set or determined by any Government agency. 

We endeavored, without much success, to find out what the prevailing 
wage is and how it is determined. Neither Government agency people 
nor employers or workers could give much enlightenment. 

As best we could determine, the "prevailing wage" in seasonal employ- 
ment in agriculture is arrived at somewhat in this manner: Farm em- 
ployers meet in advance of the season and decide on the wage they intend 
to pay. It is set at an amount they hope they won't have to exceed 
during the season. Whether the wage agreed upon is sufficient to at- 
tract the labor supply needed is apparently not usually considered an 
important factor in making the decision. 

The president of the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau can- 
didly described the method of setting the "prevailing wage" as follows: 

The prevailing wage is really set by the farmers for the various types 
of jobs on the farm, and it will vary, depending upon the type of work 
the man does * * ♦ We have a meeting at the beginning of the 
season ; the farmers have a meeting and they determine, roughly, what 
they are going to pay. It doesn't mean that they will hold to it; it 
will vary, as a matter of fact. 

This wage, as decided upon by farm employers, usually weeks in 
advance of the work period, is accepted by the public employment 

59 



6124 



services as the going wage until the season opens and employment 
actually gets under way. If a labor shortage is certified and importation 
contracts are signed, the wage rate, thus decided in advance, is applied 
in the contract. If, as usually occurs, the "prevailing wage" is set too 
low to attract the desired number of workers, and has to be increased 
after the season opens, one would expect, under the language of the 
foreign agreements, that the revised higher wage would be paid. None- 
theless, from the evidence available to us, it appears that Mexican 
workers under contract are occasionally paid less than the wages at 
which domestic workers are employed. 

We do not, however, wish to advance the interpretation that imported 
labor is commonly paid less within a given area than domestic labor. 
Rather it appears that the same wage rates generally are paid to both 
foreign and domestic workers. The point we do wish to emphasize is 
that the "prevailing wage," as currently in vogue in seasonal and 
migratory farm employment, is in some respects worse than meaningless. 
The recruitment of the labor supply prior to the opening of seasonal 
work obviously requires some sort of a wage quotation. When this 
wage quotation is set by agreement among farm employers alone and 
with little or no regard to whether it is a sufficient wage to attract 
workers, it cannot very well serve as the price to equate the supply of 
and demand for labor. 

This is especially true when contract foreign workers are brought 
in at the arbitrary wage rate which then inevitably tends to set the 
pattern of wages in the locality. Consequently, it is useless to pretend 
that this "prevailing wage" has either the fairness or the precision of 
a wage developed b\ employers and workers meeting on an equal footing. 

The concept of the "minimum prevailing wage" is sometimes used in 
nonagricultural employment. For example, it is contained in the Walsh- 
Healey Act covering public contract work. As used there, however, the 
term has a meaning entirely different. The first big difference is that, 
in nonfarm employment, the wage is usually bargained collectively and is 
not set by unilateral action of employers. The second difference is that 
it is a wage for actual employment — a wage which attracts the labor 
supply needed, whereas for farm employment the word "prevailing" is 
misused to apply to a situation where the work has not yet commenced; 
hence, there is no way of knowing in the latter instance if it is a sufficient 
wage. Third, in nonfarm employment there is an official and formal 
determination of the amount of the minimum prevailing wage for the 
job in question; in agriculture there is no such official determination. 

In the normal competitive market, prices, including the price of labor, 
are determined by the forces of supply and demand. Accordingly, if 
there is a labor shortage, the price of labor should rise. Yet the opposite 
of this actually has occurred with wages of migratory farm workers. 
During the past 4 years of alleged "labor shortage" in agriculture, as we 

60 



6125 



report in chapter 7, farm wages in real and comparative terms have 
declined. A labor shortage with falling wages is difficult to understand. 
The wage practice in agriculture and the demand for alien labor are 
directly associated. Alien labor importation cannot be divorced from 
the practice of fixing an arbitrary wage which does not attract a sufficient 
number of workers. The wage at which we declare a farm labor short- 
age to exist is the result of a one-sided wage bargain made by associations 
of farm employers. 

Certification of Need for Foreign Labor 

As we said earlier, foreign workers cannot be imported and the move- 
ment of Puerto Ricans to the mainland is not approved unless the United 
States Employment Service has certified that a domestic labor shortage 
exists. Notwithstanding that certificates of shortage have been issued 
in great numbers, there is no method of knowing with reasonable exact- 
ness whether a shortage of domestic labor would exist if some other wage 
rate were offered. One of the difficulties in knowing whether a labor 
shortage does exist or may come to exist is the effect of the present prac- 
tice for determining the "prevailing wage." The rate agreed to in 
advance is typically lower than the rate actually paid when the season 
is under way. At the low rate initially offered, it is quite conceivable 
that insufficient domestic labor is attracted; therefore, a "labor shortage" 
can be said to exist — at that price. 

There is another dilemma in the process of certifying a domestic labor 
shortage. Domestic workers are not offered the minimum employment 
guarantee or workman's compensation insurance and other benefits that 
foreign workers and Puerto Ricans secure under their contracts. This 
question must therefore be raised: How is it f)ossible to know if a 
labor shortage exists until domestic workers have been offered at least 
those standards and conditions that have to be offered in order to get 
foreign labor or Puerto Ricans? 

Finally, there is the question of whether we do what needs to be done to 
make effective use of our domestic labor supply. In the previous chapter, 
we reported that since 1945 more hired workers are being employed to 
do continuously less work. We have also discussed the many imperfec- 
tions in the employment structure of American agriculture which result in 
poor use of our labor resources. Notwithstanding these imperfections 
and obstacles to effective use of labor, we are convinced that, by better 
recruitment and placement of domestic labor, we would have eliminated 
most if not all of the occasion for the certifications of labor shortage 
during the years 1947 to 1950. 

On paper the employment service structure — Federal and State — has 
an elaborate set of procedures which are supposed to guarantee that need 
for foreign workers will not be certified until the domestic labor supply is 

61 



6126 



fully used. Nevertheless, the Commission received evidence that in 1 950 
domestic workers had been removed from employment — principally 
cotton picking — in order to accommodate contract Mexican aliens. The 
background of most such displacements appears to be this: Farm em- 
ployers, having convinced themselves and the Employment Service in 
advance of the harvest season of an impending labor shortage, ordered 
foreign labor. In the early stages of the crop harvest and prior to the 
arrival of the contract nationals, local workers (of whom more than 
expected were available ) were put to work. On arrival of the Mexicans, 
and contrary to the regulations governing employment of foreign workers, 
the zdready employed domestic workers were displaced so that the Mexi- 
can nationals could have the work they had been contracted to do. 

In large part, this sort of disorder will be reduced if not eliminated by 
separating the employment service function for domestic workers from 
the administrative responsibilities for contracting and importing foreign 
labor. When the agency which certifies a labor shortage also is the 
agency which fills that shortage by importation, it is much too easy to 
offset an ineffective recruiting and placement job at home by importing 
more workers from abroad. This is a structural handicap under which 
the Employment Service has been operating. 

The authors of the Wagner- Peyser Act of 1933, which is the authority 
for Federal participation in the public employment service system, fore- 
saw that the service might be subject to pressure and might have difficulty 
in maintaining impartiality in its actions and programs. Accordingly, 
the act contained the following provision (sec. 11 (a) ) : 

The Secretary (of Labor) shall establish a Federal Advisory Council 
composed of men and women representing employers and employees in 
equal numbers and the public for the purpose of formulating p>olicies 
and discussing problems relating to employment and insuring impar- 
tiality, neutrality, and freedom from political influence in the solution 
of such problems ♦ * *. The Secretary shall also require the 
organization of similar State advisory councils composed of men and 
women representing employers and employees in equal numbers and 
the public. 

As required by the statute, the Federal Council is a functioning entity. 
It currently consists of 15 representatives of the general public and 9 each 
of employers and employees. It meets several times a year. 

Following the transfer in 1948 of the farm placement program from 
the Department of Agriculture, where it was put during World War II, 
to the United States Employment Service, an advisory group, to which 
we referred in the preceding chapter, called the "Special Farm Labor 
Committee," was appointed. This committee advises the Farm Place- 
ment Service of the United States Employment Service on matters per- 
taining to farm labor recruitment and placement. The committee is 
composed exclusively of farm employers or their representatives. The 
membership, one from each State, is primarily from those farm interests 

62 



6127 



which hire migratory labor. To give its advice to the Farm Placement 
Service on their programs and on prospective legislation, this Special 
Farm Labor Committee is requested to convene, in Washington, D. C, 
twice or three times each year, the transportation and expenses of the 
members being paid from pubHc funds. In its meetings, this committee 
concerns itself with policies affecting the recruitment, placement, and 
employment of all types of hired farm labor, but also, it concerns itself 
to a great extent with foreign labor — the need for foreign workers, and 
the terms and conditions under which they might be procured. 

A year ago, this "Special Farm Labor Committee" and the statutory 
Federal Advisory Council differed in their views as to the necessity for 
importation of foreign labor for the 1950 season. The position of the 
Federal Advisory Council was expressed in the following resolution 
passed at its December meeting in 1949 : 

Resolved, That the United States Employment Service advise all 
agencies of the Ck)vemment that there are sufficient numbers of 
American citizens available for farm work to meet any anticipated 
requirements for manpower on the Nation's farms during the coming 
year, and there is no longer any need for importation of foreign labor. 

We therefore recommend that no international agreements be nego- 
tiated or any other arrangements be made during the coming year for 
recruitment of foreign workers and further, that the United States 
Employment Service withdraw all pending certifications of need for 
foreign agricultural workers and order the return to their native homes 
of all foreign agricultural workers now employed in the United States, 
upon completion of their present contracts. 

The Special Farm Labor Committee met 1 month later in January 
1950 and adopted the following resolution : 

Whereas, the extent to which qualified farm workers will be avail- 
able from domestic sources during the year 1950 for the planting, 
cultivation, and harvesting of field crops is dependent upon many un- 
foreseeable and uncontrollable factors; and 

Whereas, the assumptions contained in said resolution of December 
16, that adequate qualified farm labor will be available to meet all 
needs in all areas at the time when such labor is needed was not then 
and cannot now be supported by any facts or data to substantiate such 
assumptions ; 

Now, therefore, be it resolved, that this Special Farm Labor Ad- 
visory Committee, meeting in Washington, D. C, on January 17 and 
18, 1950, urges the United States Employment Service that, to the 
extent that it is necessary to assure that qualified farm workers will be 
available to meet farm labor requirements in this country during the 
year 1950, it shall continue arrangements for supplementing the do- 
mestic farm labor force; 

And be it further resolved, that the United States Employment 
Service is commended for its appreciation and understanding of the 
farm labor problems and the measure of success it has achieved in 
meeting these problems. 



63 



6128 



Inasmuch as we had a foreign labor program of considerable propor- 
tions during 1950, it is evident that the advice of the nonstatutory Special 
Farm Labor Committee made up of employer representatives alone, was 
followed rather than the recommendation of the tri-partite statutory 
council. 

Is Importation of Foreign Farm Laborers Consistent 
With National Immigration Policy? 

Congress has enacted a body of laws defining this Nation's policy to- 
ward admission of foreigners. It began by excluding Chinese "coolie" 
laborers in 1882. Since that time, Congress has spelled out the national 
interest by declaring a policy that American living and working stand- 
ards, particularly of wage earners, are not to be undermined by foreign 
labor competition. Congress has taken various measures to make this 
policy effective, including prohibition of contracting laborers abroad to 
work in the United States and severe restriction on the number of immi- 
grants to be admitted. 

The farm labor importation program that began in World War II 
provided for temporary admissions only, for official certifications to limit 
the number admitted, for governmental negotiation of contracts and for 
official supervision of the terms of the contracts. On the surface, these 
met the requirements of national immigration policy, provided they were 
effectively enforced, and assuming that there was justification for admit- 
ting foreign laborers at all. If contracting of foreign labor was per- 
mitted, at least it was to be contracting by government, not by private 
employers or their agents as forbidden by the Contract Labor Law. 

But official vigilance for the protection of living and working standards 
of alien farm laborers was largely abandoned in the postwar phase. Re- 
sponsible United States administrative agencies practically ceased to 
exert efTective effort to preserve the requirements of national immigration 
policy. The same ineffectiveness or laxity that undermined protective 
standards in the contract spread also to the official scrutiny of the number 
of foreign laborers that employers claimed they needed. Thus, tem- 
porary foreign laborers passing in and out of this country with litde 
restriction have come to substitute for a supply subject to stringent nu- 
merical restrictions, thereby furnishing the very competition to American 
labor that it is the purpose of the immigration law to prevent. 

This undermining of national policy stands out more clearly in that 
it has been the negotiators for foreign governments, notably of Mexico, 
rather than our own representatives, who have secured reasonable limita- 
tion of numbers and some protection to labor standards. While their 
motive is primarily to protect the standards of their own nationals work- 
ing in the United States, the effect of their concern, fortunately, is also to 
help sustain the tenets of American policy. The contrast in this curious 

G4: 



6129 



difTerence of attitudes is heightened by the fact that through the negotia- 
tions of their governments, foreign laborers have actually achieved, in 
most instances, better living and working conditions than domestic work- 
ers whose protection is a main concern of American immigration law. 

Step by step, during the last decade, there has been a constant eroding 
of immigration law. These are the principal stages in the erosion: 

(a) Public Law 45 enacted on April 29, 1943 provided: 

No part of the funds * .* * shall be used directly or indirectly 
to fix, regulate, or impose minimum wages or housing standards, to 
regulate hours of work, or to impose or enforce collective bargaining 
requirements or union membership, with respect to agricultural labor, 
except with respect to workers imported into the United States from 
a foreign country and then only to the extent required to comply with 
agreements with the government of such country. 

Under this statute, we could enforce standards required by foreign 
governments for their workers but we could not establish or enforce 
standards for our own. 

( b ) During the wartime program the United States Government was 
the labor contractor and operated within the confines of negotiated 
government-to-govemment agreements. Following the war, we aban- 
doned these protections in two ways: For the Mexicans, who still insisted 
on a government-to-govemment agreement covering the general terms 
of contracting and importation, we virtually abandoned effective 
scrutiny and enforcement of the Individual Work Contracts to which 
private employers and individual Mexican aliens were the parties. For 
the Jamaicans and Bahamians, whose governments did not insist on 
intergovernmental agreements after those of World War II terminated, 
we have given no oflftcial scrutiny to the terms of the work contracts or 
to their enforcement. In these instances, our authorities have permitted 
the entry of contract alien labor on whatever terms these foreign govern- 
ments were able to secure in negotiation with private employers of the 
United States. 

{c) The latest and probably worst stage in this erosion of immi- 
gration law was when, under the authority of the ninth proviso, Mexican 
wetbacks were legalized and placed under contract. The ninth proviso 
allows the temporary admission and return of otherwise inadmissible 
aliens — under rules and conditions. In the contracting of Bahamians 
and Jamaicans without government supervision of terms, we have seen, 
for all practical purposes, the abandonment of rules and conditions. 
In the contracting of wetbacks, we see the abandonment of the concept 
that the ninth proviso authority is limited to admission. A wetback 
is not admitted; he is already here, unlawfully. We have thus reached 
a point where we place a premium upon violation of the immigration 
law. 



65 



6130 



RECOMMENDATIONS 

We recommend that: 

(1) Foreign labor importation and contracting be under the terms of 
intergovernmental agreements which clearly state the conditions and 
standards of employment under which the foreign workers are to be 
employed. These should be substantially the same for all countries. No 
employer, employer's representative or association of employers, or labor 
contractor should be permitted to contract directly with foreign workers 
for employment in the United States. This is not intended to preclude 
employer participation in the selection of qualified workers when all 
other requirements of legal importation are fulfilled. 

(2) The United States-Mexican intergovernmental agreement be in 
terms that will promote immigration law enforcement. The Department 
of State should negotiate with the Government of Mexico such a work- 
able international agreement as will assure its operation as the exclusive 
channel for the importation of Mexican nationab under contract, free 
from the competition of illegal migration. 

(3) Administration of foreign labor recruiting, contracting, trans- 
porting, and agreements be made the direct responsibility of the Immi- 
gration and Naturalization Service. This should be the principal con- 
tracting agency, and private employers should secure their foreign 
workers exclusively from the Immigration and Naturalization Service. 

(4) The Farm Placement Service of the United States Employment 
Service certify to the Immigration and Naturalization Service and to 
the Federal Committee on Migratory Farm Labor when and if labor 
requirements cannot be filled from domestic sources and the numbers 
of additional workers needed. On alien contract labor, the United 
States Employment Service and the various State employment services 
should be advised by the tripartite advisory council provided for in 
the Wagner-Peyser Act, or by tripartite subcommittees of the council. 
However, no certification of shortage of domestic labor should be made 
unless and until continental domestic labor has been offered the same 
terms and conditions of employment as are offered to foreign workers. 
After certifying the need for foreign workers, the United States Employ- 
ment Sevice should have no administrative responsibilities in connection 
with any foreign labor program. 

(5) In accordance with the policies of the Federal Conmiittee on 
Migratory Farm Labor, the Immigration and Naturalization Service 
arrange, subject to the terms of the intergovernmental agreements then 
in force, for the importation of the number of qualified foreign agri- 
cultural workers certified as needed by the United States Employment 
Service, and transport them to appropriate reception and contracting 
centers in the United States. 

(6) The Immigration and Naturalization Service deliver the imported 

66 



\ 



6131 



workers to the farm employers who have submitted the necessary appli- 
cations and bonds, and who have signed individual work agreements. 
Employment should be under the general supervision of the Immigration 
and Naturalization Service. An adequate procedure for investigating 
and resolving complaints and disputes originating from either party 
should be negotiated in the international agreements and should be in- 
corporated in the standard work contracts. The Immigration and Nat- 
uralization Service should be authorized to terminate any contract of 
employment and remove the workers, and to refuse to furnish foreign 
workers to any employer or association of employers when there has been 
repeated or willful violation of previous agreements, or where there is 
reasonable doubt that the terms of the current agreement are being 
observed. The Immigration and Naturalization Service should, in the 
discharge of its obligations, receive such assistance from the United States 
Employment Service as it may request. 

(7) Puerto Rico and Hawaii, as possessions of the United States, be 
recognized as part of the domestic labor supply, and workers from these 
territories be accorded preference over foreign labor in such employment 
as they are willing and suited to fill. 

(8) Where a government-to-government agreement provides for the 
payment of the prevailing wage to foreign contract workers, this wage 
be ascertained by public authority after a hearing. The policies, pro- 
cedures, and responsibilities involved should be determined by the Federal 
Committee on Migratory Farm Labor. 



67 



6132 

Chapter 4 

The Wetback Invasion- 
Illegal Alien Labor in 
American Agriculture 



We were directed to investigate : 

* * * the extent of illegal migration of foreign workers into the 
United States and the problems created thereby, and whether, and in 
what respect, current law enforcement measures and the authority and 
means possessed by Federal, State, and local governments may be 
strengthened and improved to eliminate such illegal migration. 

In recent years, literally hundreds of thousands of Mexican agricul- 
tural workers, known as wetbacks, have illegally entered the United 
States in search of employment. The wetback is a Mexican national 
who, figuratively, if not literally, wades or swims the Rio Grande. 
Whether he enters by wading or swimming, crawls through a hole in a 
fence, or just walks over a momentarily unguarded section of the long 
land border, he is a wetback. Since he enters by evading the immigra- 
tion officers, he is, in any event, an illegally entered alien. The term wet- 
back is widely accepted and is used without derision; hence for 
convenience it is used here. 

Before 1944 the illegal traffic on the Mexican border, though always 
going on, was never overwhelming in numbers. Apprehensions by im- 
migration officials leading to deportations or voluntary departures before 
1944 were fairly stable and under 10 thousand per year. Although the 
exact size of the wetback traffic is virtually impossible to determine, the 
number of apprehensions by immigration officers is a general indicator 
but far from a precise means of measurement. The same individual 
may be apprehended several times during the season and therefore would 
be duplicated in the apprehension count. On the other hand, large 
numbers, enter and leave without being apprehended and hence would 
not be in the deportation or departure figures at all. 

The magnitude of the wetback traffic has reached entirely new levels 
in the past 7 years. The number of deportations and voluntary de- 
partures has continuously mounted each year, from 29 thousand in 1944 
to 565 thousand in 1950 (see chart VIII). In its newly achieved pro- 
portions, it is virtually an invasion. It is estimated that at least 400 
thousand of our migratory farm labor force of 1 million in 1949 were 
wetbacks. 

69 



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The wetback traffic formerly was limited primarily to the areas near 
the border. Recently, it has spread, though with diminishing intensity 
at greater distances from the border, to virtually all States of the Union. 
Before 1944 employment of wetbacks was largely at hand labor in agri- 
culture; now they are infiltrating a wide range of nonfarm jobs and 
occupations. 

Mexican nationals employed under contract are not permitted to bring 
their families with them. Wetbacks, on the other hand, often bring or 
acquire families. Many social complications are intensified by the 
presence of families. It must be noted, moreover, that a child born in 
the United States, though of Mexican illegal alien parents, is a citizen 
of the United States. The parents of such a child, if apprehended by 
immigration authorities, may file a petition for stay of deportation on 
the grounds of hardship. 

A comparison of more than incidental interest is the volume of the 
wetback traffic as contrasted to our admissions of displaced persons from 
Europe. In 1949, when we admitted 1 19,600 displaced Europeans, our 
apprehended wetback traffic was almost 300,000; in 1950, when we ad- 
mitted 85,600 displaced Europeans, our known wetback traffic was 
between 500 and 600 thousand. 

The newly developed magnitudes of wetback traffic have brought 
their inevitable consequences. Foremost among these consequences is 
the severe and adverse pressure on wages in the areas nearest the border. 
A second consequence of the wetback is competition for employment 
and displacement of American workers. This is particularly aggravated 

DEPORTATIONS AND VOLUNTARY DEPARTURES 

OF ILLEGAL MEXICAN ALIENS c.o.™ 

1935 - 1950 Tiwaf«it«* ; 



'400 



1935 '36 "37 '38 '39 1940 '41 '42 '43 '44 *45 '46 '47 'At '49 I9S0 

70 



6134 



in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Furthermore, there are other de- 
velopments which, although not directly and entirely consequences of 
the wetback influx, are nevertheless inevitably associated with it. These 
include the astoundingly high disease and death rates in the counties 
lying next to the border. 

To understand the wetback traffic, it is essential to know somethmg 
of its foundations and the forces that produce it. Essentially, its foun- 
dations lie in a combination of factors that "push" the Mexican national 
northward within his own country and "pull" him across the border 
in violation of immigration law. 

The "Push" Forces in Mexico and Their Relations 
to the Wetback Traffic 

Of first importance among the "push" forces in Mexico is population 
pressure in relation to resource development. Mexico, not yet with 
the economy to provide its citizens with a standard of living approaching 
that of the United States, is experiencing a very rapid population in- 
crease. Population grew from 16.5 million in 1930 to 19.6 million in 
1940, and to 25.5 million in 1950, making a population increase in the 
past decade of 30 percent. 

Both birth and death rates are high in Mexico. Compared with the 
United States birth rate of 25.3 per thousand of population, the Mexican 
birth rate is 45.4 (both rates as of 1949). The death rate of Mexico 
is 17.9 per thousand population compared with the United States death 
rate of 9.7 ( 1949 ) . The birth rate in Mexico is declining but the death 
rate is falling faster, which means that net survivals are increasing. 

The excess of births over deaths in Mexico, as compared with the 
United States, means that it has a large potential for internal popu- 
lation growth. The economy of Mexico is still largely agricultural. 
Crop land is severely restricted in amount and production methods for 
the most part are primitive. As a result, the pressure of population on 
the food supply and the developed income-yielding resources of Mexico 
is great and is becoming more intense. The difTerential in income level 
is reflected in the 1949 per capita income in the United States of $1,453 
as compared with $ 1 1 4 in Mexico. 

Inflation is next in importance to population pressure as a factor 
motivating search for employment in the United States. Since 1939, 
the cost of living in Mexico has risen much more than in the United 
States. By June 1950, the cost of living index in Mexico City based 
on 1939 was 354; comparatively, in the same period, the United States 
cost of living index was 171, or less than half as much. Inflation has 
meant that Mexican wages, already extremely poor, have become worse. 

Farm wages in areas of Mexico near the border, in December 1947, 

71 



6135 



were, in United States dollars, $1.10 a day. Through continued infla- 
tion, the wage in October 1949 was only 69 cents per day in United 
States money. In the interior of Mexico, the farm wage in October 1949 
was the equivalent of only 38 cents per day in United States money. 

Population is much less dense in the north of Mexico and wages are 
higher than in central and southern Mexico. As population continues 
its rapid increase, northward expansion is the only direction feasible in 
either geographic or economic terms. Moreover, the Mexican side of 
the Rio Grande Valley recently has undergone very marked economic 
expansion. For example, cotton production in the Matamoros area 
( Lower Rio Grande Valley ) is reported to have increased from 46,000 
bales in 1939 to over 300,000 bales in 1949. It is further expected that 
within the next 2 or 3 years irrigated acreage in the Matamoros district 
will more than double. 

Farmers in these northern areas of Mexico require seasonal labor for 
the cotton harvest just as do the farmers on our side of the Rio Grande. 
There is, accordingly, an internal northward migration for this employ- 
ment. Mexican farm employers in need of seasonal labor encourage 
northward migratory movements within Mexico. 

This rapid economic development in the areas immediately south of 
the border has accelerated the wetback traffic in several ways. An offi- 
cial in Matamoros estimates that 25,000 transient cotton pickers were 
needed in the 1950 season whereas the number coming from interior 
Mexico was estimated at 60,000. It is to be expected that many Mex- 
ican workers coming north with the anticipation of working in northern 
Mexico do not find employment there and ultimately spill over the border 
and become wetbacks. Additionally, the resident labor force at the 
border is expanding by leaps and bounds. 

What has been happening generally in the areas of Mexico immedi- 
ately south of the border is reflected by the phenomenal increase in popu- 
lation in the principal Mexican border towns and cities. This increase 
is shown in the following table : 



Per- 
centage 
increase 
1940 to 

1950 



Mexicali 

Tijuana 

C. Juarez . . . . 

Nogalcs 

Nuevo Laredo 
Matamoros. . 



63, 830 
59, 117 
121,903 
24, 692 
57, 488 
43, 830 



18,775 
16,486 
48, 881 
13,966 
28, 872 
15,699 



Percent 
240 
259 
149 
78 
99 
179 



72 



6136 



Thus, large reservoirs of potential wetbacks are accumulating at the 
border. It is difficult for the farm employer in the north of Mexico 
to get the labor supply he needs without contributing to the wetback 
traffic. Active seasonal employment in the Mexican areas near the 
border is about the same as in areas of the United States above the 
border. Consequently, laborers brought north to work for Mexican 
farmers discover that work is available at better wages on the other side 
of the border and they slip over. 

This involves an ever-widening and self-accelerating cycle. Mexican 
farm employers close to the border have to recruit more workers than 
they need because it can be expected that many of their recruits will be 
lost to the wetback traffic. By recruiting on this basis, they aggravate 
the wetback traffic because they get too many workers. 

The "Pull" Forces in the United States and Their Relation 
to the Wetback TraflSc 

Complementing the northward "push" forces within Mexico has been 
the expansion in unskilled hand labor requirements in the United States' 
Southwest. Much new land has been cleared and brought under culti- 
vation in recent years and, at the same time, irrigation has expanded. 
In the Lower Rio Grande Valley, there were less than 250,000 acres of 
cotton in 1945, but cotton acreage had expanded to over 600,000 in 
1949. Through the expansion of cotton acreage and also greater 
specialization in fruit and vegetable production, seasonal labor require- 
ments have become more intensive and concentrated in shorter periods 
of time. Farm employers of the Southwest have encountered difficulty 
in meeting their short-term seasonal labor requirements from the domestic 
labor force on the terms offered. 

Perhaps of greater importance than expansion in employment oppor- 
tunities is the increasing attitude of many farm employers near the 
border that they are entitled to Mexican workers. Although farm 
employers testified they preferred legal to illegal labor, their position 
comes to this: If Mexican labor cannot be obtained legally on terms 
satisfactory to the employers, they will obtain Mexican labor illegally. 
The manager of the Agricultural Producers Labor Committee said as 
much in his testimony at Los Angeles : 

If Government red tape and the inability of the two Governments 
involved prevent us from putting under contract the help we need 
during the peak harvest seasons, we will use wetbacks, because we 
are going to harvest our crops. We have wetbacks in our employ 
today. In fact, one of our association's representatives is in El Centre 
and Calexico today legalizing wetbacks. 

Farm employers near the border repeatedly testified thay had used 
Mexican labor for years and hence implied they had a peculiar right 

73 



6137 



to get Mexican workers. One of the members of this Commission asked 
this question of a Texas farm employer spokesman who had submitted 
a statement which was said to have the approval of several farm 
organizations : 

I would be interested in learning whether the farm organizations 
which have approved your statement are recommending this policy 
of easy entry of Mexican workers so as to provide plentiful and inex- 
pensive labor for farmers throughout the United States, or is there 
a desire that these Mexican Nationals be encouraged to avoid going 
more than a few hundred miles from the Mexican border? 

The reply to the question was this : 

* * * it is reasonable to assume that the farmers along the 
border would not object if the movement of Mexican Nationals were 
limited to a few hundred miles from the border, but I expect that 
those outside such areas would object. Some special requirements 
might have to be made for those going beyond strictly border States. 
I really don't know enough about the need in Northern States to 
discuss it at this time, but it seems to me that something could be 
worked out. I think that perhaps the border States need special 
consideration in this matter because their agricultural economy was 
largely developed by Mexican labor — a policy that was partly illegal, 
but yet condoned by our Government officials for many years. 

Not to be neglected in considering the "pull" forces of the United 
States is the encouragement to the wetback traffic that is inherent in 
the legalization of wetbacks under the Mexican-United States Inter- 
national Agreement. This was described in the previous chapter. As 
we noted, Mexico has opposed recruitment of contract workers from the 
interior of the country when large numbers of its nationals were already 
illegally in the United States. To meet this position on me part of the 
Mexican Government, we agreed to legalize wetbacks in 1947, 1949, 
and 1950. In fact, legalization of wetbacks has constituted the bulk 
of contracting activities since 1947. 

For infraction of our immigration laws, some wetbacks have been 
prosecuted in the courts and sent to prison, but most of those who were 
apprehended were simply allowed to make a voluntary' departure. 
Others, of no different offense and no less guilt, in numbers sufficient to 
meet all, or the majority of, legal recruiting needs have been given con- 
tracts after a token deportation to Mexico in lieu of a conventional de- 
portation or voluntary departure. Such wetbacks were given identifica- 
tion slips in the United States by the Immigration and Naturalization 
Service which entitled them, within a few minutes, to step back across 
the border and become contract workers. There was no way to obtain 
the indispensable slip of paper except to be found illegally in the United 
States. Thus violators of law were rewarded by receiving legal con- 
tracts while the same opportunities were denied law-abiding citizens of 
Mexico. The United States, having engaged in a program giving pref- 
erence in contracting to those who had broken the law, has encouraged 



74 



6138 



violation of the immigration laws. Our Government thus has become 
a contributor to the growth of an illegal traffic which it has responsibility 
to prevent. 

Pressures and Deals Not To Enforce the Law 

We find that there have been times when pressure has been success- 
fully exerted upon Washington to have the Immigration and Naturali- 
zation Service issue orders to field officers to go easy on deportations until 
crops have been harvested. The district director at El Paso testified as 
follows : 

* * * Over the years, from the time I came on the job as district 
director in March 1926, nearly every year at cotton-chopping or cotton- 
picking time, the farmers would send a complaint to the Secretary of 
Labor — we were in the Labor Department at that time — or to the 
Commissioner of Immigration, I am certain for no other purpose than 
to cause an investigation that would result in one of two things : Either 
I get word from some higher official to go easy until cotton-chopping 
time was over, or cotton-picking time was over ; or the men who were 
doing the work would be so upset by the investigation that they would 
go easy on their own. 

Now, in 1937, one of those complaints went to Washington, and 
Commissioner Houghteling sent it to me and said, "I want you to 
personally investigate this and make a report to me." I did make 
the investigation and I submitted the report. * * * The Com- 
missioner's answer to the complainants, * * * was in substance 
this: "I find that our officers are doing their duty and I hope they 
will continue to do their duty." That was the first time since I went 
on the job in 1926, that we had ever had any definite statement from 
any high-ranking official that they were going to stand behind us in 
our work of keeping "wetbacks" off of the farms, and from that time 
until about a year after we got in the war, we bored into them more 
and more, and kept it just as clean as we possibly could. And it was, 
at that time, a small percentage. 

Another Immigration and Naturalization officer explained the source 
of this pressure upon Washington in these terms: 

This pressure group is truck farmers and ranchers all over the country 
that have plenty of money, they are able to make a trip to Washington 
and to apply that pressure. The man that wants to apply it (immi- 
gration law) is the little man. He is the man who gets out there and 
does the work. He is the one that the wetbacks are taking the job away 
from. He doesn't have money to go to Washington. He can write a 
letter to his Representative or Congressman. On the other hand, your 
farmer or rancher goes up there, and he can call him by his first name. 
So I think that is the reason that the pressure group, even though it is a 
minority group, is so effective. 

Not only did we receive testimony that the Immigration and Natural- 
ization Service was susceptible to political pressure such as the foregoing 



75 



6139 



excerpts indicate, we found instances of deab between Government agen- 
cies. The 1 949 Idaho State Employment Service Report reads : 

The United States Immigration and Naturalization Service recog- 
nizes the need for farm workers in Idaho, and, through coof>eration 
with the State employment service', withholds its search and deporta- 
tion until such times as there is not a shortage of farm workers. 

The immigration officer for the Northwest district explained at our Port- 
land hearing: 

I might state that in 1949 representatives of the Federal Employment 
Service asked us not to send our inspectors into the field to apprehend 
"wet" Mexicans, for the purpose of deporting them, until aJter the 
emergency of harvesting the crops had been met. In that particular 
instance, we did not send the officers into the field as early as we 
would have otherwise. 

In Washington, D. C, in October 1950, we questioned the Assistant 
Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service on en- 
forcement of the immigration law on the Mexican border. Without 
denying that instructions not to enforce the law had gone out in earlier 
years, he replied as follows : 

I may say that the pressure here is considerable. I think I can answer 
your question very briefly by saying, during the past year, there has 
been no instruction issued to our field offices to refrain in any way 
from enforcing the law. 

Thirty years ago, nonfarm employers disliked the inmiigration law and 
wanted it changed. Congress and the Immigration Service both with- 
stood that pressure. The Commissioner of Immigration of that day 
stated his position to be: "The immigration laws, as they now stand, 
seem to me to express the thought of the country at large in favor of a 
high-wage scale, as being an accompaniment, I may say almost a requi- 
site, to better citizenship." 

Mechanics of the Wetback Trafl&c 

The hub of the wetback traffic is in the plazas of the Mexican towns 
and cities immediately below the border. Here, or in sections around 
the railroad which serve the same purpose, the wetback seeks information 
about jobs in the United States and how to get them. It is here that 
he encounters the first of many exploiters he will come to know well 
before he is once again in his homeland. The principal topic of con- 
versation in the plazas of the Mexican border towns for several months 
of the year is how to get into the United States and what crops and 
jobs promise employment once there. His urgent need of food and 
money makes him an easy mark for the smuggler, the labor contractor, 
or the agent of the farm employer. He is eager when any of these 
approach him and whisper that there is a way to get out of the vast 

76 



6140 



mob, all looking for a job and a chance to get into the United States 
where jobs seem plentiful and wages seem high. 

Although smuggling of wetbacks is widespread, the majority of wet- 
backs apparently enter alone or in small groups without a smuggler's 
assistance. In a group moving without the aid of a smuggler there 
usually is one who has made the trip before and who is willing to 
show the way. Not infrequently the same individual knows the farm 
to which the group intends to go and sometimes he has made advance 
arrangements with the farm employer to return at an appointed date 
with his group. Such wetbacks stream into the United States by the 
thousands through the deserts near El Paso and Calexico or across 
the Rio Grande between Rio Grande City and Brownsville. When 
employment on the farms adjacent to the border is filled, the wetbacks 
push northward into new areas following rumor or promise of 
employment. 

Often the wetbacks entering alone or in small groups have written 
to farm employers or friends in the United States and have made 
arrangements to be met at some cross road, gate, or other well-known 
place within a night's walk of the border. Some make two or three 
separate entries within a season, after having been apprehended, and 
head for the place where they were formerly employed. 

If the wetback makes a deal to be guided or escorted across the Rio 
Grande or some section of the land border, everything he is able to pay 
is usually extracted in return for the service which may be no more than 
being guided around the fence or being given a boat ride across the 
Rio Grande. Wetbacks who are without funds to pay the smuggler for 
bringing them in or to pay the trucker-contractor who furnishes trans- 
portation and direction from the boundary to the farm are frequently 
"sold" from one exploiter to the next. For example, the smuggler will 
offer to bring a specified number of wetbacks across the river for such 
an amount as $10 or $15 per man. The smuggler or boatman with his 
party in tow will be met by the trucker-contractor who will then "buy" 
the wetback party by paying off the smuggler. This trucker-contractor, 
in turn, will have a deal to deliver workers to farm employers at an 
agreed-upon price per head. 

There are other well-known and well-established practices to facilitate 
and encourage the entrance of wetbacks. They range from spreading 
news of employment in the plazas and over the radio to the withholding 
from wages of what is called a "deposit" which is intended to urge, if 
not guarantee, the return to the same farm as quickly as possible of a 
wetback employee who may be apprehended and taken back to Mexico. 

The term "deposit" requires some explanation. Members of this 
Commission personally interviewed wetback workers apprehended by 
immigration officers in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. These workers 
had been paid for the cotton they had picked during the preceding 2 or 

77 



6141 



3 weeks. However, their employers had withheld $10 to $15 from 
their pay. Such sums, we discovered, are known as "deposits." To 
redeem this deposit, the wetback was required to reenter illegally and to 
reappear on the farm employer's premises within 10 days. 

Once on the United States side of the border and on the farm, numer- 
ous devices are employed to keep the wetback on the job. Bzisic to all 
these devices is the fact that the wetback is a person of legal disability 
who is under jeopardy of immediate deportation if caught. He is told 
that if he leaves the farm, he will be reported to the Immigration Service 
or that, equally unfortunate to him, the Immigration Service will surely 
find him if he ventures into town or out onto the roads. To assure that 
he will stay until his services are no longer needed, his pay, or some 
portion thereof, frequently is held back. Sometimes, he is deliberately 
kept indebted to the farmer's store or commissary until the end of the 
season, at which time he may be given enough to buy shoes or clothing 
and encouraged to return the following season. 

When the work is done, neither the farmer nor the community wants 
the wetback around. The number of apprehensions and deportations 
tends to rise very rapidly at the close of a seasonal work period. This 
can be interpreted not alone to mean that the immigration officer sud- 
denly goes about his work with renewed zeal and vigor, but, rather that 
at this time of the year "cooperation" in law enforcement by farm 
employers and townspeople rapidly undergoes considerable improve- 
ment. 

Consequences of the Wetback Traffic: Wages 

The wetback is a hungry human being. His need of food and clothing 
is immediate- aftd-pressing. He is a fugitive and it is as a fugitive that 
he lives. Under the constant threat of apprehension and deportation, 
he cannot protest or appeal no matter how unjustly he is treated. Law 
operates against him but not for him. Those who capitalize on the legal 
disability of the wetbacks are numerous and their devices are many and 
various. 

Wage rates reflect graphically and dramatically the impact and con- 
sequences of the wetback traffic. In 1947, when daily wages for chop- 
ping cotton (thinning the rows of cotton plants) in the Lower Rio 
Grande Valley were $2.25 ( 10 hours), wages were continuously higher 
at points northward from the border : in the Sandy Lands of Texas, $3 ; 
in the Corpus Christi and Coast Prairie Areas, $4 ; in the Rolling Plains, 
$5; in the High Plains, $5.25. 

When the Commission held hearings in Texas in August 1950, wage 
rates for picking short staple cotton in the Lower Rio Grande Valley 
were ref>orted as low as 50 cents per hundredweight and as high as 
$1.75 per hundredweight. From the evidence presented, we conclude 

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6142 



that the bulk of the cotton in this area was picked in 1950 for approxi- 
mately $1.25 per hundredweight. Comparative wage rates for picking 
cotton elsewhere in Texas were not obtained in the hearings because no 
other area had yet commenced its cotton harvest. However, the State- 
wide average 1950 rate for Texas is now reported officially by the United 
States Department of Agriculture to have been $2.45 per hundred- 
weight. Thus, the Lower Rio Grande Valley cotton growers got their 
cotton picked for approximately one-half the wages paid by the average 
cotton grower of Texas. 

Wages for common hand labor in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, ac- 
cording to the testimony, were as low as 15 to 25 cents per hour. To 
the north and the west through El Paso Valley, we found a marked 
tendency for wages for similar work to rise. In southern New Mexico, 
the prevailing wages for the same type of work were reported to be 40 
to 50 cents per hour. Thus, New Mexico was paying twice as much to 
get its hand labor work done as was being paid in the Lower Rio Grande 
VaUey. 

Further west in Arizona, wages are still better. In 1950, the State- 
wide average for picking of short staple cotton in Arizona was officially 
reported to be $3.10 per hundredweight. Cotton chopping and com- 
mon farm labor wages were reported, in August 1950, to be $4 to $7 per 
10-hour day. 

The fact that wages in areas near the border tend to rise to the west- 
ward conforms to the general pattern in which State-wide average farm 
wages also rise to the westward. This is evident in the State average 
wages for all farm work as reported by the United States Department 
of Agriculture, which for 1 950 were : 

Cents per hour 

Texas 54 

New Mexico 54 

Arizona 64 

California 88 

Notwithstanding the strong and clear tendency for wages to rise as 
one moves westward, with California the highest of the group, we found 
wages in the Imperial Valley on the Mexican border to represent a 
complete reversal of this pattern. The going wage rate for common 
and hand labor in the Imperial Valley was 50 cents per hour. Thus 
Imperial Valley farm employers pay no more to get their farm work 
done than do farm employers in southern New Mexico, and probably 
less than do Arizona farm employers. Direct comparisons in wages paid 
in cotton cannot be made since Imperial Valley has no cotton, but the 
comparison in terms of wages paid to hand labor for other types of 
work leads to this conclusion. 

It is thus clear that the Imperial Valley, with its large wetback traffic, 
represents a substantial contradiction to an otherwise consistent general 
tendency for farm wages to improve toward the West. The force of the 

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6143 



Imperial Valley wetback traffic is strong enough to upset this well- 
established East-West wage pattern ; at the same time, it is strong enough 
to institute in one of the high farm wage States of the Nation, the same 
type of wage difTerential that is found on the Texas border. While 
common farm labor wages in 1950 in the Imperial Valley were 50 cents 
per hour, the going rate in the San Joaquin Valley was 85 cents per hour. 
That the wetback traffic has severely depressed farm wages is unques- 
tionable. We further inquired if the wetback, as an individual among 
others doing similar work, was paid a discriminatory, low wage. The 
testimony on this point was conflicting. In some cases, it was said that 
the wetback was paid the same rate as everyone else ; in other cases, it was 
claimed that the wetback was paid less. Apparently, the answer to this 
question is determined by the proportion which wetbacks are of the 
local labor force. In the Lower Rio Grande Valley, the wetback pro- 
portion is so high that the wages paid them largely determine the wages 
paid to everyone there. The wetback wage tends to become the pre- 
vailing wage. In comparison, the wetback appears to be proportion- 
ally less important in the Imperial Valley and, accordingly, there is a 
chance for discrimination to occur. This is reflected by the testimony 
of a Deputy Labor Commissioner of California : 

The Mexican wetbacks work for 40 cents an hour and a few of them 
work for between 25 and 30 cents an hour. In many of our com- 
plaints the employer will bring in records showing that the wetbacks 
didn't work the number of hours claimed, and I would say that, in the 
majority of cases, they finally settled for anywhere from 25 percent to 
75 percent of the original claim, which gives the farmer an opp>ortunity 
to make a little additional saving in his labor bill by just cutting it down. 

Consequences of the Wetback Traffic: Labor Competition 
and Displacement 

Soutli Texas with its large Spanish-American and Mexican-American 
population has long been a home base or winter quarters for migratory 
agricultural workers who in the summer season move northward prin- 
cipally into the Rocky Mountain States or the Great Lakes States. 
These people are citizens, some of two or three generations in the South- 
west. Out of Texa.s, they are commonly referred to as Texas-Mexicans. 
Parallel with the increase in the wetback traffic, the number of Texas- 
Mexican residents entering the migratory labor stream has greatly in- 
creased. An authority on Mexican- American affairs explained this 
phenomenon to the Commission in the following words : 

The free and easy dipping into the cheap-labor reservoir that is 
Mexico, has made it virtually impossible for the citizens of Mexican 
descent in this area to make a satisfactory living. They are pushed 
farther north by the competition of 15 and 20 cents an hour labor, 
and as they move north they complicate the economic-social situation 
all up the line. . . . 

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We have detailed statistics on the migration of the residents of 
Hidalgo County, in the period of two years, * * *. Of 16,000 
persons included in the survey, 8,000 migrated from Hidalgo County. 
Those 8,000 migrants u^ent to every single State in the United States 
in that migration during that period. They went out to do, primarily, 
agricultural labor, stoop labor, that they were prohibited from doing 
in their home county because of the competition of contraband labor 
that can be employed at 15, 20, and 25 cents an hour. 

Nelson and Meyers, of the University of Texas, commenting on the 
.same subject report that : 

The living standards which Mexican nationals are willing to tolerate, 
and the fact that so many of them are only temporary residents, have 
made it unnecessary for Valley farmers to provide housing, sanitary 
facilities, and other non-wage prerequisites adequate to retain a perma- 
nent resident farm population familiar with or educated to normal 
American standards. These two factors — low wages and poor living 
conditions — undoubtedly provide the incentive to movement from the 
Valley, about which so many Valley farmers complain, and upon which 
they rely in their argument for the necessity of continued unrestricted 
entry of Mexican nationals. 

In contrast to the observations of objective investigators and the ex- 
perience of workers v/ho earlier had made their livelihood in south Texas, 
Texas farm employers repeatedly told the Commission that their local 
resident labor supply had become unreliable and was no longer willing 
to do hard hand work in the fields. Most farm employers testified that 
the problem was not one of wages — that domestic labor could not be in- 
duced to work at any price. However, one farm employer spokesman 
from the Lower Rio Grande Valley testified that the wage rate was a 
factor in the availability of local labor, for he said : 

Q. You say that a citizen worker doesn't want to go out on a farm. 
In Illinois they work on the farm and it is stoop labor too. 

A. That is because they have a higher wage. 

Q. You think they will work on farms but they won't work for 40 
cents? Is that it? 

A. That is right, I think we could get them to work for 75 cents. 

The displaced Texas-Mexican, who has come to be considered un- 
reliable by farm employers in his home territory, is well regarded and 
welcomed elsewhere. Note the testimony of a cotton grower in Arizona : 

Q. You spoke mainly of Mexican workers and others? What is the 
race of the other workers that you employ? 

A. They are Mexicans. They are good Mexicans. Since the Cot- 
ton Growers Association went into a recruiting program here a couple 
of years ago, * * * they had never been around before, just been 
around I think it was Houston or San Antonio, and they are very good 
Mexicans. They send their money home and save their money. We 
have no trouble. 



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Q. Are those American citizens? 
A. Yes, all American citizens. 

Let the testimony of a Texas-Mexican worker who came to our hear- 
ing at Phoenix, Ariz., speak for itself: 

Q. Where is your home in Texas? 

A. Weslaco, Tex. (Lower Rio Grande Valley.) 

Q. Why don't you stay down around Weslaco and work down there? 

A. Well, I don't stay there because I can't make any money over 
there in that town. 

Q. What is the reason you can't make any money there? 

A. Well, because there is a lot of laborers in that town and they can't 
get any work. This year they promised us to pay 75 cents an hour. 
You can go anywhere to look for a job and you can't find any 
job. * * * 

Q. Who promised you 75 cents? 

A. Well, on the radio, I listen to the radio, and they took all the 
Nationals back to Mexico and so want to raise the price for us, but I 
and my brothers, my two brothers, was looking for a job all the way 
around the town and they couldn't find any, and myself started to work 
about 20 days after I got there, and I got started to get some people to 
get ready to come to Montana with me. 

Q. I wanted to ask Mr. F about these Mexican Nationals in 

Texas. You say that you couldn't make any money there and wages 
were too low, there weren't any jobs because there was an abundance 
of other workers? 

A. Yes. 

Q. Were those other workers Mexican Nationals that came across 
the river? 

A. Yes, sir; they crossed the river, and they worked for 3 or 4 days, 
dollar a day, two dollars and a half, and that is the reason we can't 
get jobs. 

Q. You mean they paid them two dollars or two and a half? 

A. Two and a half or three dollars. 

Q. For how many hours? 

A. Ten hours. 

Q. They are getting about 25 cents an hour? 

A. Yes. 

Q. You spoke about the Mexican Nationals. Do you happeri to 
know whether those are wetback Mexicans, or were those contract 
Mexicans that were brought in under the Government program? 
Which of those two was it that took most of the work around Weslaco? 

A. Well, it is Mexicans that is from Mexico. They just crossed the 
river, and that is the reason they got a lot of laborers there in that town, 
and they don't get any jobs for us on farm labor. 



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Labor competition and displacement by the wetback is not limited to 
farm work. Labor union representatives of several crafts testified that 
wetback workers were being widely employed in many nonfarm occu- 
pations. Immigration officers have apprehended wetback Mexicans 
engaged in nonagricultural occupations in many States. 

The representative of the Operating Engineers Union testified that, 
around the Brownsville area, it was universal practice for construction 
contractors to employ illegal alien labor. Wetback labor is also pene- 
trating into the highly skilled trades according to the testimony of the 
Iron Workers Union : 

We have been having here * * * a number of cases of I guess 
they call them the "wetbacks", migratory labor, taking over, I'll say a 
very high craftman's job, which is the iron worker of construction 
work. . . . 

I will say it makes it awfully hard on my organization, men that 
have spent their time in their apprenticeship and serving their time 
to do their work, of which we have spent so much time in negotiating 
agreements and making working conditions for our members, and to 
have our working conditions broken down in this manner of using 
"wetback" labor. 

Border State Farm Employers Who Do Not Get Wetbacks 
Protest Discrimination 

The intensity of the wetback traffic is not uniform along the border. 
Most intense in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, it lessens to the north 
and the west of Texas. The traffic is much more intense in the Imperial 
Valley than in Arizona or New Mexico. Of all the States offering the 
kind of employment in which wetbacks are found, Arizona evidently 
has the least wetback traffic. This unequal access to wetback labor 
causes resentment, as is well expressed in the testimony of the manager 
of the Arizona Cooperative Cotton Growers' Association : 

Our farmers for several years have had a continuous and loud com- 
plaint that their friends and acquaintances in other bordering States 
have a comparatively large supply of wetback labor, while in Arizona 
the border patrol very successfully and carefully enforces the law against 
illegal aliens on the ranches. We have never tried to exert pressure to 
have this enforcement relieved, but we do want to call the attention 
of high figures (officials) to the fact that the other States should be 
treated alike; that if enforcement is being relaxed in other States, it 
should be relaxed in Arizona; that if enforcement is going to be strict 
in Arizona, we want it strict in other States. 



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6147 



Death and Disease 

In the areas of wetback traffic, death and disease assume far more the 
characteristics of Mexico than of the United States. The foundations 
of these phenomena unquestionably predate the last few years in which 
the wetback traffic has achieved its present proportions. Consequently, 
the problems of death and disease cannot be exclusively attributed to 
the wetback traffic. Public health, sanitation, death, and disease in the 
border counties have long demanded attention. The wetback traffic 
inescapably postpones effective remedial measures and aggravates these 
problems. The wetback undergoes no health or physical examination as 
he illicitly enters the United States. The bringing in of disease and 
contagion cannot, therefore, be avoided. Moreover, while he is here as 
an illegal alien, the wetback will not ordinarily risk the chance of ap- 
prehension by seeking medical or health assistance. Reciprocally, the 
health and medical service agencies that might otherwise be ready to 
provide assistance for residents will ordinarily be foreclosed to the wet- 
back, even if he were to seek aid, because of residence ineligibility. This 
circumstance does not arise with legal foreigners for whom provision is 
made. 

One of the most sensitive indicators of the state of public health in 
any population is the rate of infant mortality. This is defined as the 
number of deaths under 1 year of age per 1,000 live births. For the 
United States at large, this rate in 1948 was 32. The state- wide average 
for Texas was 46.2; for the 28 counties of Texas on or immediately 
adjacent to the border, the average rate was 79.5. In the three counties 
commonly regarded as constituting the Lower Rio Grande Vallev. the 
infant mortality rates were as follows : 

Cameron 82. 5 

Hidalgo 107. 2 

Willacy 127. 6 

The only other counties in Texas with infant mortality rates higher 
than the lowest of the above are Brewster (86.4) ; Dimmit (93.0) ; Mav- 
erick (83.1); and Reeves (96.3). All of these counties are on the 
Mexican border or immediately adjacent except Reeves which is in 
Pecos Valley, lying in the narrow strip of Texas between Mexico and 
New Mexico. 

New Mexico and Arizona both have high rates of infant mortality, 
70.1 and 56.4, respectively, but the infant death problem in these areas is 
associated with large Indian populations rather than with Mexican- 
American people or with wetback traffic. In California, the state-wide 
infant mortality rate is 28.6 but the rate of 56.2 for the Imperial Valley 
is almost double. 

Dysentery, diarrhea, and enteritis loom disproportionately large in 
the picture of infant deaths. These are the diseases of filth and insanita- 

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6148 



tion. In California, the state-wide average infant death rate from diar- 
rhea, enteritis, and dysentery is 1.8; for Imperial County, it is 12.9. In 
both Texas and California an overwhelming proportion of infant deaths 
from these causes is known to be in families of Mexican origin. 

Disproportionate rates of death and disease are not confined to chil- 
dren alone. Reported diseases for the entire population in the areas of 
wetback traffic in Texas are unfavorably high as may be noted in the 
following comparison where the extent of those diseases listed is shown 
as a rate per 100 thousand population : 



Disease 


Texas— 

State-wide 

average 


Texas — 
28 border 
counties 


Tuberculosis 


76.4 
312.0 
199.8 

37.4 
3.7 


122.9 


Dysentery 


1,554. 1 


Syphilis 


332.3 


Malaria 


126. 1 


Typhoid 


6.5 







Housing 

A wetback is in no position when oflfered work to ask whether there is 
satisfactory housing or indeed whether there is any housing at all. Mem- 
bers of this Commission personally inspected wetback camps in the 
Lower Rio Grande Valley, in the El Paso Valley, and in the Imperial 
Valley. Where the wetback makes up the major proportion of the 
seasonal and migratory work force, virtually no housing, sanitary facili- 
ties, or other conditions of civilized living are supplied. Where the wet- 
back concentration is proportionately less, housing conditions tend to 
improve but even so, remain far below the level of decency. A witness 
testifying at Brownsville did not overstate the squalor of the housing and 
living conditions that are much too common in the Lower Rio Grande 
Valley when he said, "I have seen, with my own eyes, people living in 
these shacks and sheds, getting their water to use, drink, and cook with, 
out of irrigation ditches, no type of sanitary facilities, bathing or toilet 
facilities of any kind within sight; living in shacks that I wouldn't put a 
horse in." 

Speaking of the Imperial Valley, a Deputy Labor Commissioner of 
the State of California told us : 

The plight of the wetbacks I consider very serious there because the 
majority of them live on the ditch banks or in shed housing which is 
very, very poor. I would say that this is true mostly with the small 
farmers rather than the large growers as most of the large growers have 
facilities, but the small growers or the small operators get them to live 
on the ditch banks or a chicken house. I have seen lots cleaner and 
better chicken houses for chickens than I have seen for human beings 
in the Imperial Valley. 

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6149 



Problems Encountered in Enforcing Immigration Law 

The problem of immigration-law enforcement includes the Mexican 
national who secures employment and wages through unlawful entry, 
the smuggler who gains from conspiring in the unlawful entry, the 
farm employer who gains from the employment of the illegal alien 
at low wages, and finally the governments of both countries. In 
illegally crossing the border, the wetback violates the laws of Mexico 
just as much as he does those of the United States. If Mexican farm 
workers are to be permitted temporary legal employment in the United 
States, one of the urgent problems faced by both governments is to 
devise a legal farm-labor program that will be a decent and orderly substi- 
tute for the wetback traffic and not a means of accelerating it. Beyond 
this first obvious step, which must be principally a matter of intergovern- 
mental negotiation, the problems involved in taking affirmative measures 
against the respective participating parties require appropriate action 
by the United States. 

When legal action is taken against the wetback, which is done only 
in ver)' few cases and principally with repeated violators, there is little 
difficulty of prosecution and conviction. Here the problem is that great 
numbers make it impossible to proceed against each individual. While 
there is little difficulty of convicting the wetback, similar actions against 
those who assist illegal entry are not equally successful. Given the 
climate of local opinion in the areas of wetback traffic, it is extremely 
difficult and frequently impossible to prosecute and convict those who 
conspire to violate the immigration law. Here, as far as the smuggler 
is concerned, the problem is the enforcement of national law in an 
area which is unsympathetic to that law. The law against the intro- 
duction of excluded aliens is adequate; the problem is enforcement. 
Against those who harbor and conceal an illegal alien, the law is not 
adequate. The Supreme Court {U. S. v. Evans, 333 U. S. 483, Mar. 
15, 1948) held that, because of lack of a penalty in the statute, the Immi- 
gration Act does not make it a punishable offense to conceal or harbor 
aliens not entitled to enter the United States. New legislation is needed 
which will penalize the acts of transporting, harboring, and concealing 
of illegal aliens. 

Another obstacle in immigration law enforcement is the limited right 
of immigration officers to enter private property to search for illegal 
aliens. Many farm employers contest this and some have used arms and 
threats of bodily harm to resist inspection. Farm employers' objection 
to inspection of farm properties in search of illegal aliens was reported to 
us by the president of the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau as 
follows : 

Another p)oint that we would like to bring out is that farmers in New 
Mexico do not like the system now being used by the Immigration and 

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6150 



Naturalization Service under which immigration officers overrun our 
farms indiscriminately, and fly their planes at housetop level over our 
farms and homes looking for illegal Mexican workers. It may or may 
not be legal, but it is not democratic procedure. It is a violation of the 
rights of citizens and private property. No farmer, nor any decent 
citizen, approves of such tactics, and there is nothing the farmer would 
like better than to cooperate with Federal agencies in enforcing a legal 
system of obtaining alien labor. 

The authority is clear for an immigration officer to enter private 
property if he has a warrant; without a warrant he may enter if a de- 
jjortable alien is known to be on the property who is likely to escape. 
The authority is not clear, however, for immigration officers to enter 
upon farms, ranches, or other enclosed lands to inspect or search for 
illegal aliens. 

It must be noted that farms employing workers in significant num- 
bers are places of employment and therefore affected with a public 
interest. Should they not be open to inspection for the enforcement of 
law? Under safety and accident prevention laws, it was long ago 
acknowledged that factory inspectors had the right to enter places of 
employment. Likewise, Government officials inspect places of employ- 
ment to administer child labor, minimum wage, maximum hours, sani- 
tation and other laws. The farmer's home, whether on his farm or 
elsewhere, is a different thing from the farm property on which em- 
ployment occurs. Perhaps it is time we modernize our concept of the 
farm employing several workers, recognizing it ( apart from the farmer's 
home) as not a personal castle but rather a place of employment affected 
with a public interest and on which inspections may be made in the 
enforcement of law. 

Statutory clarification on the above points will aid in taking action 
against the conveyors and receivers of the wetback. These clarifications 
of the statute, together with increased funds and personnel for enforce- 
ment, are possibly all that are needed to deal effectively with the smug- 
gler and the intermediary. But this will not be enough. Something 
more needs to be done to discourage the employment of wetbacks and 
to take the profit out of it. It was repeatedly suggested to the Commis- 
sion that it recommend making the employment of a wetback a crime. 
This suggestion has merit since, if the risk involved in employing wet- 
backs were increased, the traffic would soon diminish. In addition to 
making employment of an illegal alien unlawful, much would be ac- 
complished by taking the profit out of such employment. It seems 
likely that if farm employers had to maintain a decent standard of 
minimum wages, irrespective of the nationality of the worker to whom 
the wages are paid, the advantages of wetback employment would 
disappear. 

The attack on the problem will have to be manifold. The wetback 
traffic has reached such proportions in volume and in consequent chaos, 



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it should not be neglected any longer. The techniques to be employed 
may be of various types but we believe the basic approaches are en- 
compassed in our recommendations. 

RECOMMENDATIONS 

We recommend that: 

(1) The Immigration and Naturalization Service be strengthened by 
(a) clear statutory authority to enter places of employment to determine 
if illegal aliens are employed, (b) clear statutory penalties for harboring, 
concealing, or transporting illegal aliens, and (c) increased appropriations 
for personnel and equipment. 

(2) Legislation be enacted making it unlawful to employ aliens illegally 
in the United States, the sanctions to be: (a) removal by the Immigration 
and Naturalization Service of all legally imported labor from any place 
of employment on which any illegal alien is found employed; (b) fine 
and imprisonment; (c) restraining orders and injunctions; and (d) pro- 
hibiting the shipment in interstate commerce of any produa on which 
illegal alien labor has worked. 

(3) Legalization for employment purposes of aliens illegally in the 
United States be discontinued and forbidden. This is not intended to 
interfere with handling of hardship cases as authorized by present 
immigration laws. 

(4) The Department of State seek the active cooperation of the Gov- 
ernment of Mexico in a program for eliminating the illegal migration 
of Mexican workers into the United States, by (a) the strict enforcement 
of the Mexican emigration laws, (b) preventing the concentration, in 
areas close to the border, of surplus supplies of Mexican labor, and (c) 
refraining from attempts to obtain legalization for employment in the 
United States of Mexican workers illegally in this country. 



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Chapter 5 

How Migratory Workers 
Find Employment 



Usually, a chapter on how men get work and how employers get labor 
would be titled something like: "Bringing Men and Jobs Together." 
We do not use such a title because with migratory farm labor it would 
falsely imply the existence of jobs as they are commonly known. Em- 
ployers of migratory farm labor have much employment to ofTer, but in 
filling that employment, workers typically render only a labor service 
without ever acquiring the rights and privileges that commonly attach 
to a job or the stability that is normally characteristic of the employer 
and employee relationship. 

The migratory farm worker seldom speaks of the work he docs as a 
"job." He does not say, " I had a job for Mr. Brown," or even, "I 
picked potatoes for Mr. Brown." Rather he says, "I worked in pota- 
toes." A migratory farm worker in California when asked what he did 
replied, "Well, cotton, peaches, apricots, and onions." 

This distinction was vividly, though unintentionally, implied by an- 
other farm worker from California who had previously done nonfarm 
work, but more recently had been employed in seasonal crop work. 
When asked, "What type of work have you done in Bakersfield?" he 
leplied, "My first job was a janitor at Pacific Fruit Express." A moment 
later when asked what type of agricultural work he was currently doing 
the same worker repHed : "In the beginning of the spring we usually start 
in peas * * * following the pea harvest are the potatoes." 

Although the questions were parallel, the answers were very different. 
In his work as janitor, this worker identified his employment as a job 
and he also was conscious of the name of his employer. In his agricul- 
tural work, he identified the product on which he worked, but he did 
not identify an employer nor did he call it a job. 

To the migrants, the employer is, for all practical purposes, cotton, 
peas, beans, carrots, or peaches; to the employers, the workers usually 
have no individuality but are grouped as Mexicans, Jamaicans, Puerto 
Ricans, Negroes, Texas-Mexicans, or Okies. The separation between 
migratory farm workers and their employers is at once geographic, psy- 
chological, social, and cultural. As a result of this separation, migratory 
farm labor is a field in which millions of man-days of labor are perfonned 
without the employer or the worker having a personal or individual 
identification one to the other. It is not surprising that this produces a 

89 



6153 



situation in which an intermediary can interpose himself between the 
employer and the worker and satisfy an unmet need of each. The needs 
of employers and of workers for the services of such a middleman arise 
out of their respective situations in the disorderly labor market : 

( 1 ) The enterprises employing the bulk of migratory farm workers 
are too large and employment is too brief to permit the development 
of a personal relationship between employer and migratory laborer. 
Yet, with minor exceptions, these enterprises have not installed modem 
personnel and employment practices. In consequence, most employers 
of migratory labor have neither the basis of personal acquaintance nor 
the basis of a Vvell-run personnel office on which to procure workers. For 
an enterprise which must recruit a new seasonal labor supply each year 
and probably more than one, this is to be ill-equipped for the task at 
hand. The crew leader or labor contractor is therefore useful in help- 
ing the employer to get a labor supply. 

( 2 ) Few migratory workers are able to establish firm reemployment 
rights based on services in prior seasons. Each time the typical migra- 
tory farm worker gets employment, it is a "new" employment. In con- 
sequence, the migratory farm worker must compete for available em- 
ployment irrespective of how many workers there are or how recently 
some have arrived on the scene. The worker who turns to a crew leader 
or labor contractor hopes thereby to gain an advantage of considerable 
value to him when there are too many workers and jobs are scarce or 
are far away. Moreover, transportation and housing are almost always 
problems confronting the migratory worker. Consequently, a labor 
contractor or crew leader who supplies these or assists in arranging them 
has further attractions for the worker. 

Employment Middlemen: The Crew Leader and 
the Labor Contractor 

The middleman system develops naturally in the kind of employment 
environment above described. It is common practice that one from 
among a group of laborers, who has the language ability or other par- 
ticular talent for doing so, "hustles up" work for the group and thus 
eventually becomes a leader. When his leadership has been established, 
he becomes a "crew leader" with a crew of perhaps 30 workers. He 
expands his services by providing urgently needed transportation and 
may also supply food, shelter, and other services as well. Such an indi- 
vidual may have assumed leadership merely as an act of friendship to 
his group of fellow workers, but as his operations and responsibilities 
expand, he levies a charge for services. 

In a parallel way, the employer finds it more convenient to deal with 
the crew leader than to deal with individual workers. It is the crew 
leader who comes to be substituted in the mind of the employer for 

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36-513 O - 71 - pt. 8C - 21 



6154 



what might be the migratory employees. In the next stage of this devel- 
opment, the employer discovers that instead of supervising and paying 
each of the workers separately, his management responsibilities would 
be simplified if he were to contract the job out to the crew leader and 
have him supervise and pay the workers. If he makes such an arrange- 
ment, the crew leader emerges as a labor contractor, though he may con- 
tinue to call himself a crew leader, as is common along the Atlantic 
coast. On the Pacific coast, such employment brokers are usually called 
"labor contractors." 

The labor contractor system has become thoroughly entrenched in 
many of the major areas employing migratory labor. In California, 
the testimony of several farm workers indicated they had found it im- 
possible to get employment directly from the farmer. Rather, they 
were referred to the labor contractor who had control of the farmer's 
employment. The environment which affords the opportunity to per- 
form services for both the worker and the employer also provides the 
opportunity to abuse relations with both. 

Practices of Labor Contractors and Crew Leaders 

The labor contractor system is essentially a means by which the 
employer of migratory farm workers avoids the responsibilities of obtain- 
ing and managing his labor. It is a system in which abuses may flourish 
and because of the multiple functions the contractor performs, the 
abuses take many forms. To the extent that a crew leader or labor 
contractor recruits labor, he is an employment agent. In this activity 
are to be found the well-known malpractices of private employment 
agencies, such as misrepresentation of work opportunities, the charg- 
ing of excessive fees, and sending workers to places where there are 
no jobs. These abuses have led many States to license and regulate 
private employment agencies, but the laws are rarely applied to the 
recruiters of migratory farm labor. 

For his services as an employment intermediary, whether as a sup- 
plier or as a supervisor of employment, the contractor or crew leader 
may extract a heavy financial toll. At the minimum, the crew leader 
may get no compensation beyond that which he earns as a working 
member of the crew plus the "help on the gas" which members of his 
crew contribute for transportation. Commonly, the crew leader, in 
return for bringing a crew to the farmer, will be given the contract 
to haul vegetables or fruit from the field or for weighing and hauling 
cotton to the gin. In such instances, the only compensation the crew 
leader gets is the earnings from his trucking. At the maximum, the 
crew leader may receive a fixed amount for performing a stipulated task. 
Out of this amount, he pays his workers. The net return to this type 



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crew leader (or labor contractor) depends on the difference between 
what he receives and what he pays the workers. 

The practices and rates for compensating crew leaders and labor con- 
tractors are so variable and diverse as to defy convenient classification. 
In some instances, the farmer pays for the middleman's services which 
are rendered on his behalf, but all too often the worker pays most of 
the costs, regardless of whether the services are useful to him or whether 
the intermediary is only parasitic. 

We received testimony that charges as high as $1 a day of employ- 
ment were made by contractors for supplying workers. For job super- 
vision, we were told by one contractor that his normal "take" was 12 
percent of the payroll. Regardless of the system of payment, the costs 
to the worker and to the employer for recruiting and contracting are 
undoubtedly high, but it is in the field of supplementary services sup- 
plied to the worker that the most serious evils develop. Some of these 
were frankly described for us at our Los Angeles hearing by a licensed 
labor contractor who testified that such practices were common among 
contractors. Examples of the practices cited by this witness were the 
following : 

Q. Do you know what prices these [contractors'] commissaries 
charge, whether it is reasonable with what the merchants would charge 
in the village? 

A. It invariably is unreasonable * * * they charge a man $2 
[or] $2.25 a day for room and board. * * * That board is really 
something terrible. I mean they really rob them. . . . 

[The labor contractor] is in a position to sway the general equilib- 
rium of honesty in any direction he wants * * *. There are many 
contractors and solicitors who have camps. * * * They supply 
the food, the women, the narcotics — of which there is a heavy traffic 
within these camps — and beer and wine and everything else, so they 
subsequently end up with a large proportion of the payroll. 

State Legislation to Regulate Labor Contractors 

Three States — California, Oregon, and Texas — make an effort to 
regulate the activities of farm-labor contractors. While the employ- 
ment-agency laws of a number of other States might be construed to 
apply technically in the farm-labor field, the fact is that they have not 
been so interpreted. For example, the Virginia law covers "any person 
who solicits, hires, or contracts with laborers, male or female, to be 
employed by persons other than himself," but so far as is known, the 
definition has not been applied to the agent dealing with agricultural 
laborers within the State. 

The California and Oregon laws regulating labor contractors, which 
are closely similar, are applied to farm-labor although they do not specifi- 
cally mention it. However, in California, most of the labor contractors 
in the State have managed to operate without licenses. 

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Recently, the Governor's Committee to Survey the Agricultural Labor 
Resources of the San Joaquin Valley (California) submitted a set of 
detailed recommendations which, if enacted into law, will go a long 
way toward effective and practical regulation of labor contractors' ac- 
tivities. These recommendations go beyond licensing persons who act 
as agents to supply labor. The term "labor contractor" is defined to 
include any individual "who hires workers in behalf of an employer or 
who, for a fee, provides in connection therewith one or more of the fol- 
lowing services: Furnishes board, lodging, or transportation to such 
workers; supervises, times, checks, counts, weighs, or otherwise directs 
or measures their work; or disburses wage payments to such workers." 

Having thus defined the labor contractor in terms of his variety of 
functions, the recommended legislation provides for bonds commensu- 
rate with the size of the payroll the contractor handles. In addition, 
various rules and regulations are proposed to remove the abuses of the 
contractor system, and to provide for effective enforcement. 

The proposed California amendments contain many provisions which 
might be included in legislation to protect not only migratory laborers 
but farm employers and the public as well. We are therefore recom- 
mending that all States where migratory workers are employed under 
the labor contract system adopt similar legislation, and that the Federal 
Government enact a law along these lines to license and control inter- 
state activities of labor contractors. 

It must be pointed out, however, that the proposed amendments to 
the California law, in common with the laws of most other States, fail 
to cover numerous employment middlemen of the crew leader type who 
do not receive a fee in the usual sense of the word. It is easy for crew 
leaders to avoid the appearance of charging fees for their services. The 
crews may merely "help on the gas" for transportation, or pay for camp 
lodgings or goods bought in commissaries, while the charges to employers 
may be for hauling or weighing or for supervision where the crew leader 
is not himself the employer. 

The Commission heard testimony that crew leaders definitely do not 
come under the Florida employment agency law which is limited to per- 
sons or agencies operating "for hire or profit." Even when the law 
specifically covers farm labor contractors, whether or not they receive 
a fee, as in Texas, it appears that crew leaders may go unregulated by 
operating through State employment services which are themselves ex- 
empt. In fact, the Texas State Employment Service, as an example, 
depends heavily upon unlicensed crew leaders to facilitate supplying 
farm labor. 

There are various other circumstances which tend to place farm 
employment middlemen, at the various levels, outside the scope of State 
employment agency laws. Well-established labor contractors may not 
have to engage actively in recruitment because workers voluntarily come 

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to them seeking employment, and in many instances the public employ- 
ment services refer migrator^' laborers to them. Many crew leaders 
make the procurement of labor incidental to their other operations, yet 
most State employment agency laws apply only to those who are in the 
business of labor procurement on a regular basis and at a fixed address. 
A special form of State regulation of private recruiting is the so-called 
"emigrant agent laws" which are particularly characteristic of the South- 
em States. These laws are designed principally to protect employers 
against having workers removed from the State rather than to protect 
the laborers against abuses of labor agents and contractors. Five States 
have special statutes of this kind; four have single laws covering both 
emigrant agents and ordinary employment agencies; three others merely 
prescribe special license fees for emigrant agents in their tax laws. Ala- 
bama has the most restrictive of the emigrant agent laws. It requires 
the emigrant agent to pay an annual fee of $5,000 for each county in 
which he operates, and also a similar fee for each county through which 
he or his representative accompanies workers to the State line. Texas 
also is among those States which, through imposition of special license 
fees on emigrant agents, endeavors to restrain soliciting for out-of-State 
employment. 

Transportation 

Although migratory farm workers travel long distances to get employ- 
ment, very few of them use the bus or train as a means of transportation. 
In the ordinary sense of the word, they do not travel ; most of them are 
hauled. And the mode of hauling is usually the truck supplied by 
employers, by labor contractors, or by crew leaders. 

Not infrequently, the labor contractor establishes control over trans- 
portation by requiring workers to ride on his truck, even if they have 
transjxjrtation of their own. Indefinite arrangements about charges 
to be made often place the workers at the mercy of the contractor for 
return transportation. It is not unusual for the contractor to add to the 
charges originally agreed upon and to deduct greater amounts from 
wages when settlement is made. 

Whether supplied by contractors or employers, the trucks used to carry 
migratory workers too frequently are old and dilapidated and generally 
unfit for carrying people. There have been many accidents to trucks 
loaded with migratory workers which would not have happened had the 
driver not been exhausted from continuous driving or had the truck been 
in proper mechanical repair. In many cases no rest stops are made even 
though the trip requires 36 hours or more. One reason why trucks car- 
rying workers come straight through from points of origin to points of 
destination is that there are no accommodations for rest stops en route. 
A survey of migratory farm labor in Indiana reveals that the most fre- 

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quent suggestion of workers from Texas was the need for "rest camps 
along the route of migration at which they might stop to clean up, rest, 
and cook." 

Much of the transportation of farm workers involves crossing State 
lines. But since it is mostly by private carrier, it is not subject to the 
jurisdiction of the Interstate Commerce Commission. The latter regu- 
lates interstate transportation only when it is conducted by rail or com- 
mon and contract motor carrier. As a result, the large traffic in migra- 
tory workers and their families is presently beyond the scope of public 
control, except as it is imposed by State vehicular and traffic laws. 

Transportation of domestic migratory workers is in sharp contrast 
to the conditions under which Mexican nationals are transported in the 
United States. The Mexican worker's contract provides for transpor- 
tation by common carrier or in approved equipment. Conditions which 
must be met if the vehicle is not a common carrier include: insurance 
to protect the workers against injury en route ; a vehicle with fixed seats 
to accommodate each worker and with covering against inclement 
weather; hours of travel limited to 12 per day, not to commence before 
4 a. m. and not to continue after 8 p. m.; 10-minute rest stops every 2 
hours with half -hour rest stops for meals; provision of overnight rest 
accommodation; and an experienced, licensed driver who agrees to 
observe the safety regulations of common carriers. 

Work-Seeking and Direct Employer Recruitment 

Many migratory workers try to find their own employment. In cur- 
rent jargon, such workers are called "free- wheelers," "self-starters," or 
"self-recruiters." It is estimated that perhaps as much as 40 percent of 
the migratory farm labor force in American agriculture belongs to this 
category. In some States which are major employers of migrator/ farm 
labor, the proportion of workers seeking jobs individually is estimated 
to be as high as 60 percent, in others as low as 10 percent. Many move 
into seasonal work areas without prior arrangement except the vague 
and tenuous promises contained in the publicity of farm-employers 
associations or in the general information issued by the public employ- 
ment services. The majority of those seeking their own employment 
undoubtedly do so on the basis of chance, or, at the best, on the hope 
of reemployment on the basis of prior service. 

Similarly, many employers of migratory labor procure their labor 
individually, either by doing nothing at all and passively expecting the 
labor to come, or by recruiting. Such employers often wait until the 
last minute and then, if the labor does not appear, they may turn in 
great anxiety to the public employment service or to a labor contractor, 
or private recruiter. 

The inadequacies of haphazard work -seeking by individual migratory 

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workers and family groups and the labor waste and loss of time involved 
are obvious. So also are the inadequacies of haphazard recruitment by 
individual employers. Strange as it may seem, farm employers made 
little systematic effort until recent years to organize for the purpose 
of orderly recruiting of migratory workers. About 50 years ago beet 
sugar companies began to recruit workers for their growers, but until 
World War II there were practically no organizations or associations of 
farmers which concerned themselves with recruiting seasonal and migra- 
tory workers for their members. Farmers depend on workers coming to 
their farms in response to newspaper stories advertising their needs, or 
on private labor agencies, and on such assistance as the Federal and State 
employment services can give them. 

As a representative of a larger employer association told us at our 
Saginaw hearing : 

The necessity for doing something about this [problem of labor 
supply] occurred early when Selective Service first came into the 
picture before the last war, and growers suddenly » * * took 
action on a thing they had long known — that there was a waste of 
manpower and a waste of money and a waste of time on the part of 
the workers through duplicating labor supplies. The sugar beet in- 
dustry annually went to their sources of supply and got the labor. At 
the same time, a crop which immediately followed sugar beets was 
making its plans independently for labor. During the years of labor 
plenty, from the point of view at least of the employers, that was not 
very serious. When labor began to get scarce and the cost of obtaining 
them rose, these employers, through prodding and guiding on the part 
of the Extension Service, which then had the responsibility for farm 
labor, formed this corporation. 

The farm labor program launched by the United States Govern- 
ment during the war stimulated the organization of farm-labor users' 
associations, especially that part of the program which involved importa- 
tion of alien contract labor. Individual farm employers found it neces- 
sary to join together to simplify administrative arrangements for employ- 
ing foreign workers and also to make it possible to meet the minimum 
employment guarantee which the contracts of foreign workers required. 
.AJthough organized primarily to handle foreign labor, these associa- 
tions were found also to be advantageous in the recruitment and employ- 
ment of domestic migrants. 

Although many of the wartime farm labor associations were dis- 
banded at the close of the war emergency, a number were retained. 
Moreover, many new ones on the same general pattern have been 
organized or, in lieu of a new organization, existing organizations de- 
signed for other purposes have taken on the labor recruitment function. 

By establishing controlled and supervised labor reservoirs, these em- 
ployers' labor associations provide a method by which their members are 
reasonably assured of labor supplies and by which workers may get more 



96 



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continuous work in a series of employments that are characteristically 
intermittent and are of short-term duration. It is also a way of eliminat- 
ing the abuses that are inherent in the system of crew leaders, labor con- 
tractors, and other private recruiting agents. 

Many of these associations have hired managers and field men to 
supervise employment. If these grower and processor labor associa- 
tions continue to grow and to develop, the middleman traffic in migra- 
tory farm labor is likely to diminish. Likewise, disorderly work-seeking 
and labor recruiting may also decline. Moreover, these group ap>- 
proaches to recruitment and hiring represent an opportunity for promot- 
ing better standards of employment for seasonal farm laborers and 
improved employer-employee relations. 

Recruitment and Placement by Public 
Employment Agencies 

The Government agencies designed to assist farm workers to find 
employment and to help farm employers to get labor are the Farm Place- 
ment Divisions of the United States Employment Service and of the 
State employment services, which receive financial grants from the 
United States Government. The Federal service is expected to coordi- 
nate the activities of the State services. Transfer of labor from one State 
to another is supervised by regional offices of the United States Employ- 
ment Service, the Farm Placement Division of which has the main 
responsibility for directing and controlling the movement of migratory 
farm workers across State lines. 

The services of the public employment offices are free to workers and 
employers in all industries. Among the reasons for creating the Nation- 
wide free public employment service were : ( 1 ) To eliminate the abuses 
of fee-charging private employment agencies; and (2) to supplant the 
haphazard methods of individuals searching for jobs while employers 
were unable to find workers. 

By organizing the market for labor in a systematic manner, it was 
hoped that the disorder on which labor runners, recruiters, and the rest 
of the middleman traffic thrive could be reduced or eliminated. Much 
of this hope has been realized in industrial employment, through the 
eflforts of the public employment services and by the systematic efforts 
of industrial employers to organize and control recruitment and hiring. 
The growth of union organizations among industrial employees has also 
contributed. Little has been accomplished, however, in the way of 
orderly organization of the farm labor market, especially in the recruit- 
ment and placement of domestic migratory farm workers. 

There are numerous obstacles which stand in the way of establish- 
ing an orderly and efficient system of recruitment and placement in 
so highly irregular a form of employment as seasonal farm work. 

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In addition, however, the procedures and methods followed by the 
Farm Placement Service in carrying out its program may be respon- 
sible for difficulties that have prevented it from achieving its goal 
of an "orderly and expeditious movement of migrant workers tb suc- 
cessive job opportunities." Certainly, the Commission's inquiries and 
observations do not justify a finding that much has been accomplished by 
the Service in the way of organizing an orderly and expeditious move- 
ment of workers to successive jobs with minimum loss of time between 
work opportunities. We are of the opinion, rather, that hardly a dent 
has been made in the disorder that accompanies the migration of domes- 
tic farm workers across the country, and that the Farm Placement Serv- 
ice has made little progress toward its goal. 

Much emphasis is placed by the Service on "providing current and 
reliable information regarding crop conditions and employment oppor- 
tunities." Numerous booklets and bulletins are published and distrib- 
uted giving estimates of conditions of crops from time to time, and 
general statements of how many workers are expected to be needed in 
certain areas. States, and counties. These estimates are supplied by farm 
employei-s or their associations, county agricultural agents, and similar 
sources. The information may be of some value to employment office 
officials, or to crew leaders and labor contractors, but for individual 
workers, it appears at best to be of little use and actually may be con- 
fusing and misleading. Even if it were accurately stated that in certain 
areas on certain crops 500 or 1 ,000 workers would be needed for a period 
of 2 or 3 weeks, the information is not directed to any particular group 
and consequently may attract double or more the number of workers 
needed. Moreover, such estimates do not say that any particular farm 
employer will give employment to a specified number of workers for 
any specified period of time. 

The spreading of such general information about possible labor needs 
in certain farming areas can hardly provide farm workers with reliable 
information about employment opportunities. To achieve this purpose 
it is necessary that farm employers register firm orders with the public 
employment offices for definite numbers of workers to begin work at a 
definite time at specified rates of pay. If the employment office had this 
information to give to individual workers applying for farm employ- 
ment, then it would be in a position to offer real opportunities for work 
with the employers who had placed the orders. But so far as the great 
mass of migratory farm workers is concerned, no such procedure is 
followed by the Farm Placement Service. 

In some instances, as in the States along the lower Atlantic coast and 
in Texas, the State Employment Services approach such a procedure 
by securing definite information from farm employers as to their specific 
needs and then arranging meetings with crew leaders to discuss filling 
those needs. It is the crew leaders, however, and not the employment 



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offices that recruit workers, though the employment offices sometimes 
help to fill out their crews. The testimony at our Florida hearing was 
that in these cases the employment offices took credit for placing the 
total number of workers in the crew which they refer to particular em- 
ployers. There are other instances of similar arrangements, but the vast 
majority of migratory workers are not registered as applicants for em- 
ployment and they are not referred to or placed with farm employers 
who have filed applications for help. 

The normal procedures of public employment offices in placing indus- 
trial and commercial workers, including seasonal, temporary, or casual 
laborers, require that employers shall file applications for the workers 
they want and that those seeking work shall file applications for employ- 
ment. The same procedures are also used by the employment offices in 
placing the smaller numbers of more regular or permanent hired farm 
hands. But the Farm Placement Division seems to be of the opinion 
that it is impractical to devise a method of taking applications for em- 
ployment from migratory workers and definite orders from farm em- 
ployers for the seasonal or migratory laborers they need. Yet public 
employment offices in many States have for years found such procedures 
quite practical in placing great numbers of casual and seasonal laborers 
on construction work, in railroad e.xtra gangs, lumber camps, tunnel and 
dam building, and similar operations. 

Except for the arrangements with crew leaders and labor contractors 
in Florida and Texas, the Farm Placement Service does little to register 
and mobilize the migratory workers and their family groups at their 
home bases for the purpose of controlling and directing the movement of 
the migrants to definite places of employment. Likewise, little is done 
to arrange with farm employers for successive employment of migratory 
groups. 

Instead, most of the efforts and energies of the Service are devoted to 
influencing the migratory movements after they have already begun by 
disseminating information as to the crop areas where work is expected 
to be available. This is done by spreading general information, by 
advertising, and by roadside information stations where the mi- 
grants who stop to inquire can get general directions. This dif- 
fers little from the mass advertising and publicity by which employers 
try to attract large supplies of labor to their neighborhoods when there 
is no effective employment service for bringing workers and employers 
together. 

Generally, the Farm Placement Service has been more successful in 
winning the confidence and cooperation of farm employers than of the 
migratory farm workers. This seems to be due to the fact that in prac- 
tice the Service places greater emphasis on its function as a recruiting 
agency for farm employers than it does on the equally important function 
of a work-finding agency for the migratory farm laborers. Indeed, it is 

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sometimes difficult to distinguish between the recruitment activities of 
the Farm Placement Service and those of the farm employers themselves. 
An employer or employers' association may finance in whole or in part a 
recruiting program undertaken by theService in behalf of the particular 
employer or association. In our Portland hearing, for example, we were 
informed by a representative of the Service that employers — 

* * * assisted us in financing [the advertising] campaign for 
workers. * * * In some instances, they [the employers] sent rep- 
resentatives into areas to work with other local officers for direct 
recruitment. 

An Arizona Employment Service representative further illuminated 
these joint recruitment operations as follows : 

The heavy demand for cotton pickers constitutes the major problem. 
This is resolved by the usual activities, such as positive recruitment by 
employers in supply States working in cooperation with the Employ- 
ment Service, radio publicity, newspaper advertisements paid for by 
growers, posters, and dissemination of information concerning wages, 
housing, and transportation. * * * 

Reciprocally, the employment service in some cases designates the 
employer or his representative to act as the recruiting agent. In this 
manner, the Arizona State Employment Service, for example, made ar- 
rangements to send farm employers to Texas, Oklahoma, and Idaho to 
recruit cotton pickers. Through this arrangement the employers "were 
able to forego the cost of a recruiting license in the State of Texas and 
[their] representative was able to work in any county rather than being 
limited to the one in which the license was purchased." Mississippi cot- 
ton growers were encouraged by the public employment system of that 
State to pool their requirements and to send a representative to Texas 
in 1949 to recruit cotton choppers. 

Although crew chiefs, labor contractors, and other private recruiting 
agents are competitors of the public placement service, nevertheless such 
recruiters are often patrons of the service, and it cooperates with them 
in their recruiting efforts. When a labor contractor at our Los Angeles 
hearing was asked where he got his labor, he replied that he got many 
workers from the public employment offices. In fact, the Farm Place- 
ment Service seems to be becoming increasingly dependent in many parts 
of the country on crew leaders and other types of labor solicitors in its 
recruiting activities, as indicated by the arrangements with these private 
recruiters in Florida and Texas mentioned above. Moreover, in many 
public placement offices where migratory laborers apply for work they are 
referred to crew leaders or labor contractors rather than directly to farm 
employers. 

These practices have convinced the Commission that the Employment 
Service conceives its functions as rather narrow and limited. Moreover, 
its activities are marked by a certain one-sidedness in favor of corralling 

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supplies of migratory farm workers to meet growers' labor demand re- 
gardless of eflfects on the workers. Thus, the Service has tended to dis- 
regard the effects on workers of attracting or directing oversupplies of 
labor into certain crop areas. 

The general attitude of the Farm Placement Service that impresses 
the Commission as one-sided is perhaps best illustrated by the "Special 
Farm Labor Committee" attached to the Service which we mentioned 
in a previous chapter. Despite the fact that Congress in establishing the 
United States Employment Service provided for a Federal Advisory 
Council representing workers, employers, and the public, and similar 
tripartite councils for each of the State Employment Services, the Farm 
Placement Division disregarded the principal of representing all interests 
affected by the operations of public employment offices. In organizing 
and depending for advice on the Special Farm Labor Committee com- 
f>osed wholly of farm employers and their representatives, it acted as if, 
in bringing together employment opportunities and seasonal and migra- 
tory farm workers, only the advice of employers was needed, and the 
public and the worker had no interest in the matter. Congress, how- 
ever, made no such distinction when it provided for representation of all 
interests on advisory councils for public employment services in all its 
operations. It plainly intended that labor and management in agricul- 
ture, industry, commerce, and all other forms of economic activity should 
be treated alike. 

It may be that a special farm labor committee is needed to advise 
the Service on the particular problems of agricultural employment. But 
we can find no justification for confining membership on such a com- 
mittee to farm employer representation only. Preferably the committee 
should function as a subcommittee of the statutory Advisory Council, 
and not as an independent body, for the functions of the Farm 
Placement Service are not confined to farming, but cover also "related 
industries." Moreover, many migratory farm workers are employed 
at other than farm work during some portion of the year. 

At present the activities of the Farm Placement Service are largely 
supplementary to the efforts of the migratory workers themselves to find 
work opportunities and to the numerous private recruiters, crew leaders, 
labor contractors, farm employers, and their associations to recruit labor 
for themselves. The basic need is to establish the Service as the main 
mobilizing agency for connecting the labor supply directly with the farm 
employers' labor demands, and eliminating as far as possible the middle- 
men traffic between the two. This basic need must include measures 
for lengthening periods of employment and reducing migrancy to a mini- 
mum by helping the migrants to establish their home base near the areas 
of large farm labor demand so that they can maintain normal family life 
by traveling to their work relatively short distances and return to their 
homes daily or at fairly frequent intervals. 

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In directing attention to the shortcomings of the present program of 
the Farm Placement Service, the Commission does not want to leave 
the impression that the Service is wholly responsible for the present un- 
satisfactory methods of adjusting agricultural labor needs and available 
farm labor supplies. Although Federal authority and responsibility for 
farm labor placement have existed for nearly two decades, the many 
administrative rearrangements within these years may have interfered 
with the development of a well-rounded program. In addition to trans- 
fers of the Farm Placement Service among the Department of Labor, the 
War Manpower Commission, and the Federal Security Agency, farm 
placement was divorced from the general employment service and placed 
in the Department of Agriculture from 1943 to 1948. When farm- 
labor placement was again brought back with the general employ- 
ment service in 1948, greater responsibility was allocated to the States. 
These numerous administrative changes and the brief life of the Farm 
Placement Service in its present form have not made for an administra- 
tive environment in which an effective farm labor program could easily 
develop. 

Nevertheless, the Farm Placement Service has made some constructive 
contribution toward mobilizing farm-labor supply and demand in an 
efficient manner. In some parts of the country there have been devel- 
oped with its aid and guidance "day haul" arrangements which enable 
local workers to circulate regularly during the seasons of labor demand 
between their homes and farms in nearby areas. Through the efforts 
of the public employment services along the Adantic coast and within 
Texas, the migratory pattern is being made more orderly and systematic, 
despite the fact that this program is still built in the main on the use of 
crew leaders who largely recruit their own crews. The New York State 
Employment Service is endeavoring, through a registration system, to 
find out more about its migratory crews and to improve their working 
programs, even though it is not yet in a position to license and regulate 
crew leaders coming into the State. 

Another constructive program is that of the Benton Harbor Employ- 
ment Service which operates in the fruit and vegetable area of southwest 
Michigan. The employment service in this area has followed a policy 
of referring workers for employment only when individual placement 
is assured. The city of Benton Harbor cooperates in the program by 
maintaining a modem sanitary camp for migratory workers. This camp 
not only provides temporary housing for workers moving from one place 
of employment to another but, under supervision of the local employment 
office, it serves as a supply center for labor which can be used by the public 
employment system to meet the labor needs of employers in the area. 



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RECOMMENDATIONS 

We recommend that: 

(1) Federal legislation be enacted to prohibit interstate recruitment of 
farm labor by crew leaders, labor contractors, employers, employers' 
agents, and other private recruiting agents except when such agents are 
licensed by the Department of Labor. The Federal Committee on Migra- 
tory Farm Labor should develop appropriate standards for regulating and 
licensing such private agents. 

(2) States enact legislation and establish enforcement machinery to 
regulate and license labor contractors, crew leaders, and other private 
recruiting agents operating intrastate, such legislation to include pri- 
vate solicitors or recruiters operating on a fee or nonfee basis, either 
part-time or year-round. The standards of regulation should at least 
equal those established by the Federal Committee on Migratory Farm 
Labor. The recommendations of the Governor's Committee of California 
suggest the form and content of such State legislation. 

(3) The United States Employment Service and the State employment 
services adopt a policy of refusing to refer workers to crew leaders, 
labor contractors, or private recruiting agents for employment. 

(4) The United States Employment Service adopt regulations and ad- 
ministrative procedures to safeguard interstate recruiting and transport- 
ing of workers by providing that: 

(a) Terms of employment be reduced to writing, such written terms 
to contain a provision for the adjustment of grievances. 

(b) Housiqg and transportation arrangements available to workers 
meet the minimum standards established by the Federal Committee on 
Migratory Farm Labor. 

(c) State employment services shall not recruit farm workers outside 
their States or assist in bringing farm workers in from other States un- 
less the United States Employment Service is assured that the State does 
not have the necessary labor available within its own borders. 

(5) Neither the United States Employment Service nor State employ- 
ment services join with employers, employers' associations, or other 
private recruiting agents in mass advertising for interstate recruitment. 

(6) In order to achieve better utilization of the national domestic farm 
labor supply, States having legislation restricting recruitment of workers 
for out-of-State employment (emigrant agent laws) undertake repeal of 
such legislation. 

(7) The Federal Committee on Migratory Farm Labor establish trans- 
portation standards of safety and comfort < including in-transit rest 
camps). The States should be guided by the transportation standards 
of the Federal Committee on Migratory Farm Labor as minimum condi- 
tions to govern intrastate transportation of migratory farm workers. 



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(8) The United States Employment Service and the State employment 
services be advised on farm labor questions by the tripartite advisory 
councils provided for in the Wagner-Peyser Act or by tripartite sub- 
committees of the councils. 



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6168 

Chapter 6 

Employment Management 
and Labor Relations 



As is evident from the discussion of preceding chapters, migratory 
farm laborers in the United States, both ahen and domestic, work under 
circumstances in which impersonal relations and insecurity are domi- 
nantly characteristic. Only the legal aliens and the Puerto Ricans, 
which together in recent years have comprised approximately one-tenth 
of all migrants, work under the stability and orderliness of employment 
contracts. The other nine-tenths, made up of some 400,000 wetbacks 
and 500,000 domestic workers, with only rare exceptions, do not have 
the stability of an employment contract on which workable employer- 
employee relations may be founded. 

When employment occurs under the contractual relationship which 
legal aliens and Puerto Ricans have, there is no occasion for the labor 
contractor or crew leader to introduce himself as an employment inter- 
mediary. In contrast, for a large proportion of the domestic migrants 
and also for some of the wetbacks, the obscurity and uncertainty of the 
employer-employee relationship are aggravated by the intervention of 
the labor contractor, whose role was discussed at some length in the 
preceding chapter. 

The outstanding features of the foreign and Puerto Rican work con- 
tracts which contribute to stability in the employer-employee relationship 
are the provisions establishing a minimum term for the contract and a 
guarantee of minimum employment or of minimum earnings within 
the term of the contract. Supplementary to these features, the contracts 
contain other provisions which reduce the uncertainty and the insecurity 
of employment relations which are all too common to the employment 
situation of the vast majority of migrants. 

Under the Mexican-United States International Agreement, Mexican 
workers are contracted for 3 to 6 months, and many are recontracted 
up to 12 months. In the New Jersey area, where most Puerto Ricans 
are used, the minimum Puerto Rican contract period is 3 months and 
a majority of the workers have 5- or 6-month contracts. The average 
term of the British West Indian contracts is 4 months. 

The Mexican worker is guaranteed employment for 75 percent of the 
working time of the entire contract period. Working time is defined 
on the basis of an 8-hour day and a 6-day week. On days when the 
Mexican worker is given only 4 hours or less of employment, his contract 
provides free subsistence or the cash equivalent. Similarly, the Puerto 

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Rican contracts guarantee 160 hours of employment in each 4-week 
period, which is voided only by an "act of God" or breach of contract 
by the worker. The minimum guaranteed earnings of Jamaicans and 
Bahamians are set at $25 in each 2-week period. 

The Puerto Rican, Jamaican, and Bahamian contracts limit the 
hours which an employee may be required to work — the first, to 8 per 
day; the other two to 10 per day. The Mexican contract prescribes only 
that the Mexican worker need not work different hours than those 
which prevail for domestic workers. 

Another common characteristic of the work contracts is limitation of 
the amount of money which may be charged for board and lodging. 
These charges range from $1.75 a day for meals in the Mexican con- 
tract, to $ 1 .40 a day for board and lodging in the Bahamian contract. 
At his option, the Mexican worker may prepare his own meals, but, 
in that event, must provide his own cooking facilities. The Jamaican 
and Bahamian, on the other hand, may be required to use the board 
and lodging furnished by the employer. Under all contracts, workers 
are free to purchase food and other articles of personal consumption 
wherever they wish. 

Since all four of these contracts are subject to supervision and inter- 
vention by Government agencies, there is, in all cases, a third party 
who, theoretically, can deal with the complaints of workers. The Mex- 
ican contract worker may take any complaint he may have to his consul 
or to representatives of the United States Employment Service. Ba- 
hamian and Jamaican workers may turn to agents of their respective 
governments who are maintained for the purpose of administering their 
contracts and adjusting complaints that may arise under them. The 
Puerto Rican contracts are supervised by the Insular Department of 
Labor. Further, these contracts specifically provide that, upon the 
worker's request, the Puerto Rican Commissioner of Labor may repre- 
sent him "for all purposes arising out of or in connection with this agree- 
ment." While it cannot be said that these various grievance procedures 
in the foreign and Puerto Rican contracts have the effectiveness of griev- 
ance machinery in a well-developed coUective-bargainingsituation, they 
do nonetheless represent an advance over the recourse that the typical 
domestic migrant has, which is to move on to something else, if he feels 
he has been treated unjustly. 

Farm Employers' Organizations for Management of 
Labor Problems 

To simplify the administrative problems of entering into work con- 
tracts, and to meet the obligation of minimum employment guarantees, 
farm employers have found advantage in organizing themselves into 
associations. For the most part, these employer associations are an 

106 



36-513 O - 71 



6170 



outgrowth of the World War II emergency period when their organiza- 
tion was encouraged and sponsored by the United States Department of 
Agriculture and the affiliated State Agricultural Extension Services. In 
addition to their convenience in the contracting of foreign labor, these 
associations were found to offer advantages in centralizing the procure- 
ment of labor from domestic sources, as described in the preceding 
chapter, and also in pooling the use of a labor supply. The number of 
such farm employer associations grew to about 400 by the end of World 
War II. 

With the pressure to conserve labor much reduced at the end of the 
war, some of the wartime organizations disbanded, but since the ad- 
vantages of such organizations had been demonstrated, many were main- 
tained. During the postwar years, new associations have been formed 
and a number of organizations which had disbanded after the war have 
recently been reactivated. 

To illustrate the nature and the types of activities of present-day farm 
employer associations, we describe some of the organizations whose repre- 
sentatives testified at our hearings. 

Michigan Field Crops. — Michigan Field Crops is a nonstock, non- 
profit corporation of some 19,000 farmers, the bulk of whom are under 
contract to the Michigan Sugar Co., and a few other large food proces- 
sors. The articles of incorporation state the purpose to be : 

The promotion of the production of field crops and other forms of 
agriculture ; the rendering of service and assistance in connection with 
the obtaining and employment by them of field labor; the regulation 
of the movement of field labor from one or more members of this 
organization to other members as seasonal requirements shall deter- 
mine. 

Indicative of the scale of operations of Michigan Field Crops is the fact 
that in 1950 it furnished about 11,000 workers to its farmer members. 
Among these workers were approximately 5,000 Puerto Ricans, 5,000 
Texas-Mexicans, and 1 ,000 from Michigan or nearby States. 

Garden State Service Cooperative Association. — The Garden State 
Service Cooperative Association is an outgrowth of an experiment under- 
taken by the Gloucester County Board of Agriculture in New Jersey 
vvhen in 1946 it contracted some 200 Puerto Ricans for agricultural 
labor. The experiment was successful and the organization grew in 
scope. In 1949, the Gloucester County Board of Agriculture with five 
other farm employer associations established the Garden State Service 
Cooperative Association. This association has no individual employer 
members but only association members. It is the recruiting and trans- 
porting agent for the association members. In the spring of 1950, the 
Gloucester County Board of Agriculture's farm labor project was super- 
seded by the Glassboro Service Association. The present membership 
of the Garden State Servite Cooperative Association is as follows : Glass- 

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boro Service Association of New Jersey; Farmers and Gardeners Asso- 
ciation of New Jersey; Brant Growers Cooperative of New York; Ulster 
Vegetable Growers Cooperative of Ntw York; and Wayne County 
Growers and Processors of New York. 

The operations of the Garden State Service Cooperative Association 
and its members are on a smaller scale than Michigan Field Crops. In 
1949, Garden State recruited and transported 3,928 Puerto Ricans for its 
members. In 1950, it recruited 3,452 Puerto Ricans — 2,196 directly 
from Puerto Rico and 1 ,256 from Michigan Field Crops. In addition to 
Puerto Ricans recruited from the island, others already on the main- 
land come of their own accord to the individual associations and are 
given contracts generally similar to those given the recruited workers. 
In 1950, Glassboro Service Association employed 4,600 Puerto Ricans, 
of whom 2,319 were recruited in Puerto Rico and 2,281 were "walk- 
ins." Glassboro's plans for 1951 call for 7,500 Puerto Ricans of whom 
the association anticipates 1 ,000 will be "walk-ins." 

Minnesota Canners Association. — Minnesota Canners Association is 
a product of the World War II period. It is made up of 19 canning 
companies operating 29 plants within Minnesota. Its canner member- 
ship in 1950 harvested about 100,000 acres principally in com and peas. 
The bulk of this acreage is on general farms which are under produc- 
tion contract to the canners. The association stated its maximum field 
labor requirement to be about 5,000 workers. In September at our 
Saginaw hearing, its representative reported 2,049 field workers as being 
then employed of whom slightly more than three-fourths were Puerto 
Ricans and foreign workers. The remaining one-fourth was principally 
Texas-Mexicans. 

Green Giant Company.— This is a food processing company which 
operates canning plants in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Wash- 
ington, Idaho, and Pennsylvania. The Minnesota Division alone esti- 
mates its harvest labor requirement at 2,000. The Wisconsin Division 
of the company processes the vegetables from 16,000 acres, while the 
Blue Mountain Division in the Pacific Northwest similarly handles 
25,000 acres. The different divisions of the company operate with some 
autonomy in procuring their labor supplies. 

Pooling Labor Needs and Lengthening Employment 

Employer associations have made it possible to improve the methods 
of managing labor, to the benefit of employers and employees alike. 
Employers have found associations helpful in securing more efficient 
utilization of their labor supply. At the same time, workers have re- 
ceived longer and more continuous employment. Pooling of labor 
needs makes more continuous employment possible because peak labor 



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needs of different farms, crops, and areas occur at somewhat different 
times, thus enabling the same workers to meet several peak needs. 

Testimony presented at our hearings indicated that pooling arrange- 
ments among employers take place in various ways. Some food-process- 
ing companies with large-scale operations operate intracompany pooling 
schemes. Even in this case, however, the units of these companies fre- 
quently find it to their advantage to pool labor needs with outside com- 
panies and growers in their own geographic area. We also found that 
employer associations often exchange workers between one another and 
with food-processing companies. In fact, the Garden State employer 
association in New Jersey is the only association coming to our attention 
which provides continuous employment over a period of several months 
without going outside its membership. 

Illustrative of intracompany pooling is the testimony of the representa- 
tive of the Minnesota Division of the Green Giant Company : 

* * * we * * * have our plants in these different locations 
in Washington, in Iowa, in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and so forth, 
and these places reach their peak at different periods of time. So, 
for example, this year we at our own expense shipped 100 men from 
Minnesota out to the State of Washington to meet their peak, and then, 
at our own expense again, we brought them back to meet our peak. 

Where a company is spread over so wide an area as is the Green 
Giant Company, participation in State or regional labor pools and ex- 
changes with other employer associations or processors within the various 
regions is also extensively used. The representative of the Wisconsin 
Division of the Green Giant Company told us : 

At the same time we made negotiations with the United States 
Sugar Corporation of Clewiston, Florida, and we were able to obtain 
some British West Indian workers from them, while some were recruited 
in Jamaica and flown to the States. * * * 

The Minnesota division got many of their workers from the Florida 
Vegetable Committee of Orlando, Florida, and they also recruited men 
directly from the Bahama Islands. These workers were transferred 
between our pool members as the crops developed and we were able to 
harvest all of our crops. All of the workers likewise were steadily 
employed. 

The Minnesota Division of this company described its outside pooling 
arrangements to us in these terms : 

We have worked it out with other people where we can ship these 
men to them for intermediate periods. For example, we shipped quite 
a few men to Pioneer Hybrid in Iowa in their com operation, and 

* * * Michigan Field Crops is another group that we worked 
with. We need more workers during the com operations than we do 
during the pea operations, so Michigan Field Crops no longer needed 
their Puerto Ricans at the end of the cultivating season and we took 
400 and some from them and used them in our corn operations. Now, 
they will need them back again about September 25, so we again will 
pay their way back to Michigan so they will get there in time for the 

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further beet operations. * * * By shifting around and working 
with these different people, we can keep them occupied most of the 
time, although there will always be. a few days when they will stay 
in the camp without any means of income. * * * 

Michigan Field Crops, with 19,000 grower members, is set up pri- 
marily to pool its own labor supply. However, at our Trenton hearing 
we learned of 1 ,200 workers being sent to Garden State Service Coopera- 
tive Association of New Jersey and in our Saginaw hearing we were told 
of 500 who had been sent to a Minnesota group. We asked : 

Q. * * * how does it happen you would have available out 
of your total of 5,000 roughly, Puerto Ricans, nearly 2,000 that you 
could loan, so to speak, to these distant areas in other parts of the 
country? 

A. Well, I think the explanation of that lies in the fact that we had 
to increase unexpectedly, at the last moment our Puerto Rican re- 
quirements because of the failure of Chicago* and the displaced per- 
sons, and we had to enter into contract with Puerto Rico for a specified 
period of time, whether we wanted to or not. In other words, Puerto 
Rico would not enter into a contract just for the length of time in our 
work in sugar beets. It was up to us to scramble around and find 
some users who would be willing under the contract terms, to take 
over all the surplus we had, that could not be absorbed in our own 
crops, here. 
The Garden State Cooperative Service Association and its member 
associations have two ways of pooling labor within the structure of 
their organization. First is the interfarm exchange of labor within 
each individual association. If this fails to meet the contractual guar- 
antees of the organization to its Puerto Rican workers, there is the second 
possibility of exchanging labor among the individual associations. The 
testimony indicated, however, that interfarm exchanges within the indi- 
vidual associations were usually adequate. There have been few inter- 
association exchanges of labor. 

That exchange of labor among farms within each association mem- 
bership has been adequate to meet the guarantee to the Puerto Ricans 
of 160 hours of employment in each 4-week period is probably largely 
attributable to the diversity of agriculture within the area. The details 
and results for the Glassboro Association are well described in the testi- 
mony of the manager : 

He [the typical Puerto Rican worker] comes back to the camp on June 
30 [after the end of the asparagus harvest which began around May 1], 
and he finds it will be necessary for him to live in the camp for a 3- or 4-week 
period until tomatoes. Now, during this time, he is employed on a variety 
of jobs on a day-haul basis — beans, pickles, onions, a variety of crops which 

•"Our plans in Chicago went awry • • • when the Immigration Service 
deported some 1,800 illegal Mexican entries and the balance of the Latin American 
population remained in the city hoping to obtain the industrial jobs vacated by 
these illegal aliens." 

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are harvested during the month of July. He may be employed a few days 
on this farm and a few days on that farm. We keep the boys busy. * * ♦ 
Tomato picking lasts until approximately October 1, depending on the 
frost. * » * The minute this boy is finished with tomatoes, he is re- 
placed on a sweetpotato farm to work out the balance of his contract until 
November 1. * * * It requires a great deal of coordination in place- 
ments. For example, last year we used 4,076 men. We placed those men 
an average of 2. 1 2 times, and they did the work of about 9,000 men. * * * 
In 1948 we had quite a problem of coordination. * * * And in order 
to keep all our people employed at all times, we had to place each man 
3.35 times in 1948. But through better knowledge of the situation, prob- 
ably better knowledge of our own farms and farming conditions in southern 
New Jersey, in 1949 we were able to cut that placement figure to 2.12 
times per man and still keep our men employed at all times. 

Employment Terms for Contract Workers Not Extended 
to Domestic Labor 

An important thing to note about the arrangements just described is 
that they apply to foreign and Puerto Rican workers. They do not 
apply to domestic labor. Continuous work opportunities over a 3- to 
5-month period are open to those workers for whom employers are under 
a minimum employment obligation. Only one case came to our knowl- 
edge of an association or company giving to domestic migratory workers 
a contract comparable to that offered foreign or Puerto Rican workers. 
The exception is that of the Blue Mountain Division ( Pacific Northwest ) 
of the Green Giant Company in the contract which it offers its Texas- 
Mexican workers. 

We were interested in the reasons why farm-employer associations, 
with this exception, had not entered into contract arrangements with 
domestic workers on terms similar to those on which they contracted 
foreign labor. At our Fort Collins hearing, we asked this question of the 
representative of the Great Western Sugar Company which employs 
both domestic and Mexican national labor but only the latter under 
contract. 

Q. Have the sugar companies of this area offered American workers 
contract provisions similar to those they have given to Mexican na- 
tionals? 

A. The answer is "No." 

Q. Why not? 

A. Oh, it involves a lot of bookkeeping. You have to do it if you 
want to get nationals. You don't have to do it if you engage the local 
laborers. * * * The laborers locally so far have been willing to 
accept employment on the basis of the terms that are offered, so I don't 
think or see that there is any obligation to offer to the local labor the 
premium price, you might call it, and advantages that you are obliged 
to offer to get the supplemental labor that you get from foreign sources. 

Ill 



6175 



Michigan Field Crops employs both continental domestic and Puerto 
Rican workers, yet it too excludes continental-workers from contract 
arrangements. Again we asked why continental domestic workers, in 
this instance, Texas-Mexicans, were not accorded contracts comparable 
to the ones extended to offshore workers. The representative of Mich- 
igan Field Crops replied : 

Well, I think the basic answer to that is any contract of that sort is 
entirely one-sided as to its responsibilities. The worker, if he feels 
that the grower has not kept his part of the contract asks us [Michigan 
Field Crops] if he can do anything in the courts of law against the man, 
who is a property owner and a responsible man, but if the worker him- 
self decides he does not like it, which he does in 50 percent of the cases, 
our effectiveness is only 50 percent on this, you have no recourse, be- 
cause the man, if he was silly enough to bring him into the court, would 
not have anything to collect against anyway. That to me is one of the 
basic causes of trouble in this whole labor contracting business. You are 
not dealing with a man who, if he is so minded, can be held to a con- 
tract, and the grower feels why should he be held to anything in the 
way of a contract if it does not mean anything to the one he contracts 
with. 

Again, the Wisconsin Division of the Green Giant Company employs 
both continental-domestic and offshore workers, yet it refuses to accord 
domestic workers contracts. When we asked the representative of the 
Wisconsin Division why it did not extend contracts to domestic workers, 
he did not answer our questions. Instead, he told us that domestic 
workers had the opportunity of applying to the United States Employ- 
ment Service for work. 

At our Saginaw hearings, we learned that Stokely Foods, Inc., extends 
a written agreement to its Texas-Mexican workers which it calls a "con- 
tract" but it is not comparable to the contracts which employers extend 
to Puerto Rican and foreign workers. The Stokely Foods "contract" is 
for the "harvesting season." "Harx'esting season" is not defined more 
explicitly than the period during which "all agricultural crops for proc- 
essing and preserving by the company are harvested in the current year." 
The contract guarantees minimum wages of 55 cents an hour or prevail- 
ing wages if these are higher. It provides the cost of transportation from 
Texas at company expense for those workers who stay until the end of 
the season. Return transportation, whether during the season or at the 
end, is a worker expense. In accepting the contract, the worker agrees 
to perform agricultural work in such States or localities as the company 
shall designate. If a change in locality of employment during the har- 
vest season is required, transportation expense is paid by the company. 
No compensation, however, is given for the employment time lost in 
travel. If the company does not have agricultural work available, the 
worker is obliged to accept employment with such others as the company 
arranges. 



112 



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While the Stokely type of contract represents a definite step forward 
in assuring employment over a period of time, it does not inform the 
worker in any precise terms how long this employment will continue. 
Not only does he suffer the handicaps of not knowing when the season 
will be deemed to end, but the broad language of "harvest season" 
permits the company complete latitude of interpretation. The contract 
is of benefit to the worker in guaranteeing a minimum wage or prevail- 
ing wage, whichever is the higher, but it says nothing about minimum 
earnings. Therefore, the obligation of the employer to provide fully 
continuous employment is absent. The contract makes no provision for 
accident or health insurance or for housing. It stipulates company 
responsibility for arranging transportation and, for those workers who 
remain until the company declares the "harvest season" at an end, 
guarantees one-way transportation at company expense. 

An Exception — Terms of Employment for Domestic 
Workers Comparable to Those Extended Puerto Rican 
and Foreign Workers 

Earlier in this chapter, we stated that we had received testimony of 
one contract offered to continental-domestic workers comparable to 
the Puerto Rican and foreign contracts. The testimony was from the 
representative of the Blue Mountain Division (Pacific Northwest) of 
the Green Giant Company, a company some of whose other divisions 
claim the impracticality of contracts for continental-domestic workers. 
To its Texas-Mexicans the Blue Mountain Division offers a nonnegoti- 
ated work contract which it calls an "Offer of Employment." It was ex- 
plained to us that this was an outgrowth of the "Individual Work Con- 
tract" which this Division used with its Mexican national workers dur- 
ing World War II. The "Offer of Employment" contains several inter- 
esting features. The 1950 "offer" was for employment to commence 
"on or about" a specified date, and to continue for roughly a 4-month 
period. It provided for guaranteed minimum earnings of $60 for 
each 2-week period if the worker remained for the full season. The 
hourly rate was 75 cents. Board and room arrangements were described 
and the charge set at $1.75 per day. The "offer" stated that the em- 
ployer would provide "transportation via designated truck from the 
recruitment area to the place of employment plus $5 for food enroute." 
For workers who remained to the end of the season, return transporta- 
tion under similar arrangements was provided. Workers accepting 
the "offer" obligated themselves to accept group medical insurance at 
a charge of 75 cents a week deductible from their pay. Sick leave with 
pay was specifically excluded. The "offer of employment" was made 
with the understanding that, when accepted by the worker, "it shall con- 



113 



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stitute a binding agreement." It was written in English and in Spanish 
and was signed by the company and the worker. 

The employment record which this -type of personnel practice has 
produced is striking. The Texas-Mexicans under this contract turn out 
to be "reliable" workers. Other migratory workers referred to as 
"white" who work under the same conditions, live in the same housing, 
eat the same food, but who are not accorded a contract, are found to be 
"unreliable." Turn-over rates for Texas-Mexicans and "white" migra- 
tory workers were cited to us for several 2-week work periods. The con- 
trast was unmistakable. The record for one 2-week work period was: 
7.4 percent of contract Texas-Mexicans left their work; 36.1 percent of 
ether migratory workers left their work. The comparable figures for 
another 2-week period were 7.8 percent and 40.6 percent, respectively. 

The company's representative was hesitant to ascribe the difference 
to the contract for, as he said, one group was Texas-Mexican, the other 
group was "white." To us, however, the evidence seems to indicate 
that the difference is primarily to be explained by the work contract. 
The record of the Blue Mountain Division of the Green Giant Com- 
pany indicates to us that when a company treats its workers as employ- 
ees, rather than merely as suppHers of labor service, workers respond as 
employees. We believe the way to attract a more reliable type of worker 
is for the employer to offer a contract which he intends to live up to 
himself and which he expects the worker likewise to respect. 

One reason for the success of the Blue Mountain Division's "Offer of 
Employment" with Texas-Mexicans is that the company carefully screens 
the workers who are to be given contracts. On this point the company's 
representative said: 

As far as contracts are concerned, they are not worth the paper they 
[are] on if you don't get the right man to sign. The thing I should 
like to stress * * * is the screening of men before you ever sign 
them on a contract. 

Collective Bargaining 

We encountered only two instances of farm employees being covered 
by collective-bargaining agreements currently in force. One of these 
agreements was between Local 56, Meat and Cannery Workers, A. F. 
of L. and a large grower-processor in New Jersey (Seabrook Farms). 
The other was between Local 413, United Packinghouse Workers of 
America, C. L O., and a cane-sugar producing and processing associa- 
tion in Florida ( Fellsmere Sugar Producers .\ssociation ) . 

In each of these instances, however, collective-bargaining coverage 
was limited, since the bulk of the seasonal field labor was not specifically 
covered by the agreement. Nevertheless, in both instances, provisions 
of the agreements afforded a measure of benefit to seasonal and migra- 



114 



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tory workers because some of the collective bargaining results were ex- 
tended to them. Principal among these were rights of promotion from 
field to plant work and seniority in hiring and firing. 

In the Seabrook operation, the explanation by management, of why 
piecework laborers were not under the contract, was as follows : 

They [the union] can't put the finger on them. They couldn't get a 
check-off * * * because they are not, as individuals, on our pay- 
roll, and they come and go more freely than our hourly workmen, and 
we are able to permit it because we are only interested in a certain 
number of baskets being picked a day. * * * 

The Union spokesman put it this way : 

It takes a family of three, four, or five to earn the kind of money 
that has been reported they earn under a one-card system. We could 
not certainly take in our union children 6 years old and 8 years old, and 
would not permit them to work. As a result, the breadwinner ol the 
family resents union organization because that is the only means of 
making the money he does make when all the family help. 

Whatever the handicaps in organizing field workers in agriculture, 
attempts at unionism have been made in the past and are proceeding 
at present. Most of the efforts have been strongly resisted by farm 
employers. In the two cases cited in this discussion, union recognition 
was given reluctantly. Seabrook explained the basis of their recogni- 
tion of the union as follows : 

They had the organization, there was no doubt about it. I think 
our thought was that if Mr. Ford couldn't beat them [the unions], we 
couldn't either. 

Following recognition of the union as collective-bargaining agent and the 
commencement of effective collective bargaining, however, the attitude 
of the Seabrook Farms Company toward the union has substantially 
changed. Seabrook's testimony was as follows : 

I don't think we have suffered any from it. We happen to be deal- 
ing * * ♦ y^[^Yl quite respectable unions that have very reputa- 
ble leadership, and we haven't been subjected to any wildcat strikes. 

Similarly, the reaction of the representative of the Fellsmere Association 
was: 

You have to admit that the union does perform a job for you that 
[the company] would have to employ people to do for you to maintain 
labor relations. It makes for more economical operations. There 
was a time when I didn't think that was so, but I have found out it is 
true. 

It is notable that out of collective-bargaining experience, the employer 
in both of these instances has come to appreciate the value which union 
organization can have in contributing to effective management of its 
enterorise's. Seabrook's testimony on this Doint wa« • 



115 



6179 



We have had excellent cooperation from our union in the matter 
of absenteeism because they reaHze it affects the employment of so 
many other of their own members. * , * * Anybody who regularly 
deals with labor would be foolish if they didn't call on the union on 
all sort of problems, and we get good help from them, whether it is for 
collecting for the Community Chest or whether it is too many dam- 
aged cartons or too much spinach being spilled on the highway. 

Furthermore, union organization has been found by experience to 
build a channel of employer-worker communication which does not ex- 
ist when employees have no coordinated means of expression. For Sea- 
brook, the testimony on this point was : 

We have one advantage that was a great advantage during the 
war — that our people were represented by (spokesmen) who came to 
us and told us what they wanted, whereas other (employers) that I 
know were in the unfortunate position of never really knowing what 
their (employees) wanted and what they could do to keep (them) 
and so forth. 

In addition to contributing to orderliness in making management poli- 
cies effective, union organization has been found to supply ideas not 
previously introduced by management. For example, when asked, "Do 
you have a formal on-the-job training program?" the Seabrook repre- 
sentative said : 

Yes, we do, and we are regularly upgrading people. Again we 
might not have been as good at it if the union had not suggested it in 
the first place, but it is now obviously a good idea. 

Further, the union within its own organization provides an oppor- 
tunity for the emergence of leadership. Note the Seabrook testimony 
on this point : 

* * * we are constantly promoting the leadership and people who 
I don't think we would have realized were good leaders become good 
leaders because they started out as stewards and committeemen and 
got used to being on their feet and talking, and we discovered they 
were good foremen * * *. 

It is noted also that in the collective-bargaining process the employer 
has found it possible to meet some of the requests of employees that 
previously had been thought difficult if not impossible. For example, 
the Seabrook spokesman in referring particularly to their contract pro- 
vision of a 4-hour minimum daily guarantee for processing-plant em- 
ployees when called to work, stated they now scheduled their activities 
with considerable care, adding further : 

I think we do it a lot more carefully than we might have done if we 
had not been forced to do it, but now it seems easy. 

Notwithstanding these instances of the value of bargaining as a 
means of introducing order and regularity in employer-worker rela- 



116 



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tions, farm employers are generally not convinced of the potentialities 
of collective bargaining as a contribution to the solution of manage- 
ment's problems. Employers in other industries, while perhaps no more 
convinced in the beginning, have found from experience that balanced 
organization on both sides assists in getting an adequate and reliable 
labor force from domestic sources, in reducing labor turn-over, and in 
handling on-the-job relations. 

That union organization of farm workers has not progressed is prob- 
ably due largely to the instability of composition of the employee group 
and to the irregularity of employment. But it is due also in part to 
employer resistance. 

The Commission is convinced that balanced organization and efTec- 
tive collective bargaining would be of great assistance not only to farm 
workers, who would thereby be given a voice in determining wages and 
conditions of employment, but it would contribute also to more orderly 
management of labor. In the long run, self-organization is the method 
by which agricultural workers can best improve their working condition. 
For this reason, farm workers should not be denied the protection and 
facilities of the Labor-Management Relations Act. 

While extension of the Labor-Management Relations Act is a neces- 
sary step, it can hardly be expected to produce of itself sound farm 
labor-management relations. Both parties need to learn how to develop 
leadership and to assume their respective obligations. It cannot be 
safely assumed that all of the approaches to orderly labor-management 
relations that have been found to work in industry will also work in 
agriculture. Consequently, the needs for research, study, and thought 
are great and our educational institutions ought to assume a greater 
responsibility in this field. 

Balanced Organization and Sound Labor Relations Would 
Eliminate Employment Middlemen 

The findings reported in this and in the preceding chapter establish 
the fact that crew leaders and labor contractors interject themselves 
into farm employment only where labor relations are not orderly. When 
workers are employed under contract, these intermediaries disappear 
for there is no purpose for them to serve. Similarly, as employers organ- 
ize themselves into associations to make labor recruitment and employ- 
ment more systematic processes, the roles of the labor contractor and 
crew leader are lessened if not entirely eliminated. That balanced organ- 
ization of employers and workers and the initiation of orderly labor 
relations would eliminate these intermediaries and the sweatshop condi- 
tions that are frequendy associated with them, hardly needs elaboration. 



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RECOMMENDATIONS 

We recommend that: 

(1) The Agricultural Extension Service, through its Federal office 
and in those States where migratory labor has significant proportions, 
make instruction in farm-labor management and labor relations avail- 
able to farm employers and to farm employees. The Agricultural Ex- 
tension Services should also make available advice and counsel for 
organizing farm-employer associations similar to those sp>onsored 
during World War II, which associations should have the purpose of 
pooling their joint labor needs to promote orderly recruiting, better 
employer-worker relations, and more continuous employment. 

(2) The Labor Management Relations Act of 1947 be amended to 
extend coverage to employees on farms having a specified minimum 
employment. 



18 



6182 



Chapter 7 



Employment, Wages, 
and Incomes 



A migratory farm laborer gets his work in bits and pieces, here and 
there. This process of thousands of workers piecing out a year's work 
by moving from place to place has come to be known as a migratory 
labor "pattern." The crews from Florida who migrate north along 
the Atlantic coast through the Carolinas and Virginia into New Jersey, 
New York, and even New England represent one such pattern. An- 
other is the "Texas-Mexican" migration out of Texas through Arkansas 
and into the Great Lakes States. These are currently regarded as the 
principal migrator)' patterns, but there are many minor ones. 

In describing migratory labor patterns, it has become the practice 
to list the amount of work which is supposed to be available along 
the route. For example, the Atlantic seaboard pattern is said to have 
employment potentialities as follows : 

1. Florida — vegetables, citrus, potatoes — January to May — 125 days. 

2. North Carolina — potatoes — June — 20 days. 

3. Virginia — potatoes — July — 20 days. 

4. New Jersey — potatoes — July — 20 days. 

5. New York — potatoes, fruit, vegetables — July, August, Septem- 
ber — 70 days. 

6. Maine — potatoes — September, October — 30 days. 
Comparably, the estimated employment potential of the Texas-Great 

Lakes States migratory pattern is said to include the following : 

1. South Texas — vegetables, citrus — December to May — 140 days. 

2. Arkansas — strawberries — May- — 20 days. 

3. Michigan — sugar beets — May, June, October— 50 days and 30 
days. 

4. Michigan — cherries — June, July — 50 days. 

5. Wisconsin — cherries — July, August — 20 days. 

6. Michigan^ — peaches — August — 20 days. 

7. Indiana, Ohio — tomatoes — August, September, October — 45 
days. 

8. Mississippi Delta — cotton — September, October, November — 80 
days. 

9. Texas — Cotton — July, August, September, October, November — 
120 days. 



119 



6183 



In either of the above cases and in other similar ones, it would appear 
to be feasible for a migratory worker to get at least 200 days of employ- 
ment in a year. As a matter of fact, however, the average migratory 
worker in the United States in 1949 got only 70 days of farm employ- 
ment. Many explanations have been offered for this wide discrepancy 
between potential and actual employment. 

Suppose we let the migratory workers themselves and their crew lead- 
ers explain : 

Crew Leader "A" From Florida — Workers in Crew — 70 

Q. What time of the year did you go north up to Hendersonville 
[North Carolina]? 

A. It was the 3d of June. * * * I stayed there the whole sum- 
mer. * * * I was on the beans. 

Q. When did you leave Hendersonville? 

A. Around, it was the 9th of October. 

Q. Did you get pretty steady work for your whole crew on that? 

A. Reasonable. For 6 weeks we had pretty steady work and we had, 
you might say, nothing since then. 

Q. What were you doing in August and September? 

A. You might say nothing. Just scarcely getting along, just getting 
by. 

Q. How did your gang make out? 

A. They did better than I did, I didn't make enough to make 
expenses. 

Q. Before, have you gone farther north or to some other place than 
Hendersonville? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. This is your regular deal, then? 

A. Yes; that is right. 

Q. Before this year did you do pretty good on this deal? 

A. We haven't did any good in 3 years. In 3 years we didn't do 
much good either year. 

Q. Did you try to get the North Carolina Employment Service to 
help you find some other place to go in August and September when 
you didn't have much to do? 

A. I checked with them. As long as there is little work to do there, 
they are not going to turn you loose, more especially if you have a crew. 

Q- Where you were, there was almost no work in August and 
September? 

A. Practically no work; the rain fell so heavy it pretty near drowned 
the crop out * * * It hasn't been so hot for 3 years. 

Q. Do you figure on going up there again next year? 

A. Well, I am not definite because I tried it three times and I don't 
know whether I am going to take that chance again. 

Q. Have you had the same people (crew) the last 3 years? 

A. Just the same number, not the same people * * * pretty 
near a new crew every year. 



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6184 



Crew Leader "B" From Florida 

Q. Do you want to go ahead and tell us a little bit about how you 
work with crews; where you work; and so on? 

A. I stopped the first time — it was Elizabeth City, N. C. I was 
working in potatoes there [at Belcross] : 

Q. How many people did you take along up there? 

A. Well, about 50 * * * I have two trucks — the 2-ton is a 
1948 and the l/a is a 1940 * * * I worked in potatoes. 

Q. When you left here and started up there did you have that job 
already lined up? 

A. That's right * * * The man I was working with, he got in 
contact with me last season when I was upstate. He told me to bring 
a crew. 

Q. And you were there on this deal at Belcross for a week or 2 weeks? 

A. About 3 weeks I was there * * * but out of the 3 weeks, I 
didn't work the whole 3 weeks, you see, we were there about 4 or 5 days 
before we started to work. 

Q. How did you happen to get there 4 or 5 days ahead of time? 

A. Well, the cold weather set the potatoes back. I got a telegram 
from [the employer] and he told me to leave on the 12th of 
June. * * * After I got there, the potatoes was late; the cold 
snap set them back * * * Either the 9th or the 10th [of July] 
I think I left there. 

Q. Then where did you go? 

A. Hamilton, New York. 

Q. To work in beans? 

A. That's right. 

Q. Was the work ready to go when you got there? 

A. It was kind of scraping beans — it wasn't too good. They had a 
frost up there and the frost knocked the beans way back. 

Q. Did you still have about the same bunch of people? 

A. Well, no; some of them left, went with a different crew in Bel- 
cross. * * * I had about * * * 37 working people after I 
got there. 

Q. You said when you got up to Hamilton, New York, the beans 
were not so hot? 

A. When we got there, it wasn't. 

Q. Did it improve later on? 

A. It did. 

Q. How did you make out during the year? 

A. Well, it didn't pay me this year so good. We had a little rain up 
there right on the last of the season which knocked a great deal of our 
beans to the ground. It drowned them out, and that cut us out. 

Q. Did the crew come back with any money? 

A. I didn't bring very many of my crew back; most of mine stayed 
up there. * * * About 8 [came back]. 

Crew Leader "C" From Florida 

Q. What portion of the year do you spend down there [in Florida]? 

A. We spend January, February, March, April, and May [in Florida] 
and June we begin to come up and start in North Carolina, and we 
spend about 1 month there. Then we leave there and come to New 

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Jersey, and we spend about 3 months here, I guess, in Cranbury. We 
leave and we go to eastern Maine [Aroostook County] and spend about 
maybe a month and a half over there. 

Q. Has your crew made enough money here in Cranbury so that 
they can buy their own meals on the way up [to Maine]? 

A. Not this year; I don't believe so. The farmers just haven't been 
digging potatoes this year — couldn't sell them. Most of the crew been 
sitting down practically all year * * * we haven't worked but a 
half a day at a time. * * * They are making enough now to get 
groceries, but when we first come to New Jersey they ordered us up 
here a little bit too early. 

Q. How long did you have to wait for work? 

A. Two weeks. 

Q. What do the members of your crew do when thev get back to 
Florida? 

A. They works in celery, oranges and lettuce and vegetables, and so 
on like that. 

Q. Have you got any other suggestions that you want to make? 

A. Well, * * * I think a fellow ought to be able to make 
enough money in order, if he had children, that he could school his 
children * * * without having to work them sometime and keep 
them out of school. * * * The next thing about it, even at the 
wages they are paying, if they work the people regularly enough they 
could do better than they is doing. But take most of the people, they 
are just working 2 or 3 days out of the week. 

Worker "A" From California 

Q. Tell us what you- did when you went back to Imperial Valley? 

A. When I went back to Imperial Valley (from SaUnas, in 1949) 
* * * I tried everywhere (to find work).' I even worked for 40 
cents an hour and was unable to get jobs. 

Q. What kind of work were you doing for 40 cents an hour? 

A. Irrigating, and also thinning beets. Once in a while I would 
drive a tractor. * * * I have done mechanical work in garages — 
mill work. * * * I have never refused work of any type regardless 
of wages. I work for particular men and do anything from hoeing 
beets to truck driving, tractor driving, all kinds of work they may have. 

Q. About how much work have you had in the past year in Imperial 
Valley? 

A. I worked 6, 7 months out of the year. 

Q. I take it from what you said earlier that you had a stable job 
in Imperial Valley before you left. Do you feel that there is no such 
work available (there) any more? 

A. Some have promised steady jobs, and * * * for some 
reason — my union activities — I have been discharged from such 
work * * * I am now president of the local. 

Worker "B" From California 



A. Right now [mid-August] there is a lag season. There [are] any 
number of workers right now that [are] absolutely without jobs. They 



122 



-513 O - 71 - pt. 80 - 23 



6186 



will go from place to place. The father of the family will go with a 
group of men in the car and they will travel from here to Marysville or 
clear on up to the upper section of California into the sawmills where 
they will be politely turned down. 

Q. What will you be doing the rest of this year? * * * Will 
you work at cotton picking? 

A. Yes. * * * After the cotton harvest, which runs practically 
into December, why then you still have those potatoes. * * * 
After that there is a lag season of 3 months in which you actually do 
nothing, or try to get a little county work. * * * You go out and 
bush stumps * * * and cut bushes * * * things like that 

* * * where you receive 50 cents an hour. 

Q. Can you estimate about how many days of work you * * * 
are able to get? 

A. An over-all average of about 7 months of some type of work. 

Q. That is the equivalent of about 7 months' full-time work? 

A. Not exactly full time, because of the fact that I might go to work 
Monday morning with one contractor, and of course if he has a sur- 
plus of labor it is possible we might finish that particular field within 
a half a day. Then I will go and search for other contractors, and he 
might have 3 days' work, and if he has a surplus of labor that would 
automatically last for a couple of days * * * 

Q. Can you estirnate * * * about how much you would make 
in the course of a year? 

A. * * * I would be able to average around 500 or 600 at the 
very most. 

Worker "C" From California 

Q. Will you please go ahead and give us your statement? 

A. Most of the time I am working in * * * the Salinas area. 
I * * * do cutting and thinning of potatoes and sugar beets, and 
that is all. * * * I started in cutting celery in February. 

* * * Sometimes I work in March. 

Q. Can you estimate how much work you get there in a year? 

A. I think that I work around 6 or 7 months in the whole year. 

Q. How much do you make? 

A. In the whole year we make — well, not over $700. 

Q. How about getting your jobs? 

A. Most of the time we work with the contractors. 

Q. Do you find that satisfactory? 

A. Well * * * they know me pretty well, and when they get 
opportunities to give me a job they do that. But they prefer single 
f)eople most of the time. 

Worker "D" From California 

Q. Would you like to trace a year's work? 

A. We start about in late April. The Valencia [orange] season 
starts in Tulare County. That lasts pretty well, usually up until June. 
Around the first of July, I leave there and go to the Sacramento River 
and work in the pear houses. The f)ear harvest in that area is the first 
pears that ripen in California. * * * That usually lasts around 
3 weeks. There is usually also a time right in there in Lake Coun- 

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6187 



ty — a week or so — and then pears start in other places— Tulare 
County, Santa Clara County. * * * Xhe pear harvest will last 
usually pretty well into September, and then the walnuts start. 

* * * And then I return home in October, and the olive crop is 
about to start. * * * Early in November we have another orange 
crop season. That usually carries through until the middle of January. 
[Note: With the exception of "some little pruning in citrus and grapes 
in March," the witness typically has no work from mid-January to late 
April.] 

Q. How much are you individually able to earn during the year 
on this migratory cycle that you follow? 

A. I would say between $1,800 and $2,000. * * * It has been 
talked of here a great deal about wetbacks and Mexican Nationals. 
Last year in our area * * * we also had another problem. 

* * * The cotton har\est was over a little earlier than usual 
and it threw a lot of people out of employment. A lot of them didn't 
have houses and no place to stay and no work and it was very difficult 
to get any relief from the Board of Supervisors. And then they moved 
in something over 300 "displaced persons" and put them in the citrus 
groves picking fruit. * * * The sponsors * * * main- 
tained that they were not displacing any American workers. * * * 
Nevertheless, there were 300 familes who could have been working if 
these people hadn't been there. 

Worker "E" From California 

Q. In the past 4 years * * * what have you been doing? 

A. Well, cotton, peaches, apricots, and onions. * * * 

Q. How much work do you get during the year from each of these 
jobs? How much in cotton chopping? 

A. About a month. 

Q. In cotton picking. 

A. Sometimes from the 15th of September until about the last of 
December. 

Q. You work almost every day? 

A. Well, no * * * because * * * we will have winter 
months when we have rain, and sometimes that would keep us out of 
the fields. 

Q. Would you estimate * * * that you pick * * * 
three-fourths of the time? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Let's go to peaches. * * * how much work would you get 
thinning? 

A. About 2 weeks, 3 weeks. 

Q. And picking? 

A. The same. 

Q. Apricots? 

A. About 2 or 3 weeks. 

Q. For thinning? 

A. * * * the same [on picking]. 

Q. How much work would you get in onions? 

A. This year we got about 5 weeks. (Note: Total time worked is 
roughly 7 months.) 



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6188 



Q. How much do you earn in a year? 

A. In the neighborhood of $600 to $700, probably a little better, 
more or less. * * » 

Q. Have you ever tried to get a job directly from a farmer? 

A. Well, no, sir, because I have seen it. It is next to an impossi- 
bility. You go to a farmer and they say, "Well, we already got this 
work engaged to such and such a contractor. Go and see him." 
* * * When I saw it was impossible, I just dropped it and from 
then on I make contacts with the contractors. 

Worker "F" From Colorado 

Q. Start off and tell us what you would like to tell us, and then I 
want to ask some questions. . 

A. They say, "Why do all the Spanish come from Texas to work 
here?" Some of the reason is this: I live in Laredo, Texas, and we 
don't have much to do down there except November and December, 
and then through to April, and we hear about the beets, and the Mexi- 
can fellows, they have to go some place to work and make a living. 
Well, that is why we come to Colorado. Some go to other places just 
to make a little money and then go back to Texas. Anyway, it's the 
same thing. They have a lot of family. They go back to Texas, 
and they have $200 or $300. Well, in about 2 or 3 weeks, they run 
out of that money and that is serious, and they are in the same spot. 

Q. When did you come to Colorado this year? 

A. This year about 5 or 6 weeks ago. 

Q. Are you working in the beet fields? 

A. Bean fields. 

Q. Why didn't you work in the beets this year? 

A. A lot of reasons. My wife has been sick at home, and I couldn't 
come in April. * * * I have a lot of contracts * * * and 
I have to work with my truck and find something to do. * * * 
and I make $8 or $10 a day, and it costs me about $5 a day to fill 
my kids. * * * I don't have much money to save and about 
every 5 or 6 months I have to spend $200 or $300 to dress up the kids. 
I have to find a little bit to do with my truck and save $400 or $500 
in 2 months. * * * Then I go back to west Texas or San Luis 
Valley, or somewhere. 

The Statistics and Their Implications 

In 1949, the average migratory farm worker of the United States, 
according to a survey of the United States Department of Agriculture, 
got 70 days of farm work and 31 days of nonfarm work, making a 
total for the year of 101 days. Average annual earnings of the indi- 
vidual migratory farm worker from both types of employment were $514. 

These averages are for both farm and nonfarm employment and 
include everybody 14 years old and over. Almost one-third of the 
migratory workers are women, and their average total employment is 
68 days (50 days farm and 18 days nonfarm), whereas the average for 
men is 116 days (79 farm and 37 nonfarm). Between one-fourth and 

125 



6189 



one-fifth of the migratorv workers are between the ages of 14 and 17, 
and these youthful migrant workers as a group work an average of 
75 to 80 days per year in both farm and nonfarm employment. Even 
though the employment of women and youth may be incidental, it must 
be noted that their employment is more than half that of men in the 
mature-age group, because men between 35 and 55 work only an aver- 
age of 11 8 days per year. 

Bv excluding those who worked only short periods (defined as 25 
days or under) , the average employment of the more continuous workers 
is 1 35 days for males and 82 days for females. 

These statistics indicate that family work is an important character- 
istic of migratory farm labor. It is notable that in the migratory labor 
force there are as many males 14 through 1 7 as there are 18 through 24. 
There are as many males under 1 8 as there are 45 and over. The signifi- 
cance of these age comparisons is that the able-bodied males all work, 
when there is work to be had. 

That family work is a characteristic primarily associated with the 
type of employment and not with migrancy as such is demonstrated by 
the fact that the proportions of females and youths among nonmigratory 
farm workers is about the same as among the migrants. In fact, the 
employment experience of those who are nonmigratory is remarkably like 
that of the migrants in many respects. The nonmigrant farm workers 
depend on nonfarm work to about the same extent as do the migrants, 
each group averaging, roughly, 30 days per year. Further similarities 
between migrant and nonmigrant farm workers, as well as some inter- 
esting differences, are disclosed in comparisons of the work status of 
each group at the end of the year (in this case, December 1949) . The 
comparison is as follows : 



Labor-force status in December 1949 



Migratory 
workers 




migratory 
workers 



Total 

In the labor force 

Employed in agriculture . . . 

Employed in nonagriculture 

Unemployed 

Not in the labor force 

Keeping house 

In school 

Other 



Percent 

100 

72 
51 
16 

5 
28 
13 
11 

4 



The similarities are that about the same percentages of workers with- 
drew from the labor force — to housekeeping or to school, or for other 
reasons. The contrasts are that a far larger percentage of the non- 
migratory farm workers were still employed in agriculture whereas 



126 



6190 



migratory workers tended in large proportions to be employed in non- 
agriculture or to be unemployed. 

While the work experiences of migratory and nonmigratory farm 
workers are parallel in many respects, there are contrasts to be noted. 
A far larger proportion of the nonmigratory workers are employed 
only 25 days or less. This means that although the wives and youth of 
nonmigratory farm-labor families do work, the work of many is less 
continuous than is that of the wives and youth in the migratory families. 
Eliminating from average employment experience those who worked 
only 25 days or less, there appears the following sharp comparison for 
1 949 as between migrants and nonmigrants : 





Average days of 
employment 




Migratory 
workers 


Nonmigra- 
tory 
workers 


Farm employment only: 


70 
89 

101 
120 


91 




148 


All employment (including nonfarm): 


119 




173 







The significance of these comparisons is that, in the nonmigratory 
as compared with the migratory situation, the principad breadwinner 
works much more continuously and the supplemental work of youth 
and housewives is considerably more incidental. 

Three times as many nonmigratory workers get 300 days or more 
of employment as compared with the migratory group and twice as 
many get 250 days or more of employment. The longer employment 
which nonmigrants get is primarily in farm work. Migratory workers 
get more nonfarm work than do nonmigrants. When employment is 
measured for only males who worked 25 days or more during 1 949, the 
comparative employment picture is as follows : 





.Average days of 
employment 




Migratory 


Nonmigra- 
tory 




98 

37 


165 




25 






All work 


135 


190 







127 



6191 



Wages and Earnings 

While the migratory worker obtains less farm employment than does 
the nonmigrator\- worker his rate of earnings per day at farm work is 
somewhat better. On farm work the average was $5 per day for mi- 
grants as against $3.90 for nonmigrants (1949). This is to be ex- 
plained principally in the piece-rate earnings of migrants, which, per 
day, are somewhat better than the daily or hourly rates more commonly 
paid to nonmigrants. 

Summarizing the earnings of male workers employed 25 days or 
more in farm work, the comparisons are as follows : 







Migratory 


Nonmigratory 




Per day 


Per year 


Per day 


Per year 


Farm work 


$5.60 
5.20 


$549 
190 


$3.95 
6.65 


$655 


Nonfarm work 


163 




total 




Average or 


5.50 


739 


4.30 


818 







Since the women and children of migratory families work more days 
per year than do those of nonmigratory families, the annual gross earn- 
ings of migratory families are probably higher. Unfortunately, no recent 
information on family earnings for either migratory or nonmigrator)- 
labor is available. It is doubtful, however, if the earnings of the migra- 
tory family are enough higher to offset the cost of migrating a hundred 
to a thousand miles. This cost must run fairly high even when it is in 
a crew leader's truck. A crew leader testified, for example, that 
although he did not "charge" his workers for their ride, the "help 
on the gas" from Florida to South Carolina was $8 per head. When 
the migratory family runs its own automobile or truck, the cost of migra- 
tion is even higher. 

Since nonmigratory workers receive perquisites of higher average 
value than those available to migratory workers, the net advantage in 
expendable income undoubtedly lies with the nonmigratory families even 
though they must have more days of employment at lower daily earnings 
to realize that income. 

In summing up this comparison of employment and earnings for 
migratory and nonmigratory workers, the similarities are more obvious 
than the differences. Both are underemployed. In both cases, women 
and youth are drawn extensively into employment. The numbers of 
women and youth who work are about the same in the two cases but 
the amount of time spent in employment is much greater for the women 
and youth of migratory families. Earnings per day are below prevail- 



128 



6192 



ing standards. This fact, in combination with the Umited employment, 
explains why women and children have to work so extensively in both 
migratory and nonmigratory farm labor families. 

This analysis of the employment and earnings of migratory and non- 
migratory farm labor suggests that for the migrant to settle down as a 
nonmigratory farm laborer will not help him much financially. 

Farm Wages: A Widening Inequity 

The wages paid to migratory farm workers are usually piece rates 
based on such units as hundredweights, hampers, or boxes. In pre- 
harvest work, wages for hand or "stoop" labor are often on the basis 
of rows, acres, or thousands of plants. Regularly employed farm workers 
are ordinarily paid on a monthly, weekly, daily, or hourly basis. Hand 
labor tasks on which migratory laborers are employed also are paid on 
an hourly basis. This becomes increasingly the practice as the harvests 
are mechanized and it becomes difficult or impossible to keep a count 
of the work contributions of individuals. 

Piece rates are frequently changed and adjusted to reflect the condi- 
tions of the particular job. If weeds, poor yields, or other such fac- 
tors make the work difficult and slow, piece rates may be adjusted up- 
ward. On the other hand, when conditions are more favorable than 
usual, the piece rate may be lowered. Either way, the adjustments are 
intended primarily to reflect the earning capacity of the particular field 
or job. 

Piece rates and rates per month, per day, or per hour are related to 
each other because their magnitudes and changes are influenced by the 
same forces. They are also related because of the fact that they are 
paid concurrently on the same farms and in the same farming localities. 
The clo^e relationship of rates per unit of time and rates per unit of 
output is confirmed in the similarity of earnings of migratory as com- 
pared with nonmigratory farm workers. While the earnings per day of 
the nonmigratory workers were less than those of the migratory, the 
greater number of days of employment of the nonmigratory workers 
resulted in substantially equal annual cash earnings. 

Piece rates and rates per day or per hour have in common the fact 
that both are largely influenced if not entirely determined by the practice 
of farm employers meeting and setting a so-called prevailing wage which 
they feel is appropriate for the forthcoming season. Sometimes these 
meetings to discuss wages are called hearings or wage conferences, but 
according to the testimony given us, it is seldom that anyone participates 
other than farm employers. 

In addition to the ability of farm employers to influence or determine 
wage rates through their various organizations, they also have the op- 



129 



6193 



portunity to influence the labor supply to a very considerable extent 
through foreign labor programs and interstate recruitment. This, too, 
has a significant effect on wage rates. 

In contrast, migratory farm laborers, like all hired farm labor, have 
had little opportunity to participate effectively in influencing the wage 
rates they receive. Only in exceptional instances has there been any- 
thing approaching joint determination of wage rates through collective 
bargaining. The migratory worker is under the harsh necessity of seek- 
ing other employment if he does not like the wages or conditions set by 
the employer. The illegal alien has even less bargaining power than 
the domestic migrant, for if he does not like the wages or working con- 
ditions that are set for him, and protests, he is subjected to discipline 
and possible deportation. 

The consequences of these unequal opportunities of employer and 
worker to take an effective hand in the determination of wages are re- 
flected in the changes that have been occurring in farm wages as com- 
pared with wages in nonagricultural employment. Comparing the 
hourly earnings of farm laborers and factory workers we find that dur- 
ing 1910-14, the period selected by Congress as the base for the farm 
parity price system, farm wages were two-thirds of factory wages. To- 
day, they are only a little over one-third. 

The comparative changes in farm and factory wages are set forth 
in charts IX and X. The actual average hourly earnings of farm and 
factory workers are as follows : 



Year 


Average hourly 

earnings 

(in doUars) 


Percent, 

farm 
wage of 




Farm 
workers 


Factory 
workers 


factory 
wage 


1910-14 


JO. 14 
.22 
.24 
.23 
.14 
.15 
.16 
.19 
.25 
.33 
.39 
.44 
.48 
.51 
.54 
.55 
.55 


$0.21 
.34 
.52 
.55 
.50 
.61 
.67 
.73 
.85 
.96 
1.02 
1.02 
1.09 
1.24 
1.35 
1.40 
1.45 


Percent 
67 


1915-19 


64 


1 920-24 


47 


1925-29 


41 


1930-34 


29 


1935-39 


25 


1940 


24 


1941 


26 


1942 


29 


1943 


34 


1944 


38 


1945 


43 


1946 


44 


1947 ^ 


41 


1948 


40 


1949 


39 


1950. ... 


37 







30 



6194 



CHANGES IN WAGES PER HOUR 

• Farm • Factory 









I9I0-I 


4.100 
















^ 




"^ 




FACTORY WAGES 


y\ 








4O0 


j^ 


>\ 


[^ 














^<^ 


r1 


f 






^<^ 


t^-— 




^riYl 








> 


l^ 


FARM WAGES 


too 




1 1 1 1 i 


1 


1 


1 — i..„j 


1 


1 











1910- '15- '20- '25- ,'30- '3»- 1940 '41 '42 '45 '44 '45 '46 '47 '4« «!• 
"14 '!» '24 '29 '34 '39 



FARM WAGES 

as a Percentage of Factory Wages 




131 



6195 



Several significant conclusions stand out from the above wage com- 
parison. Summarized, these are: 

1. By parallel increases from the 1910-14 "base" period through 
World War I, farm wages maintained their relationship of two-thirds 
of factory wages. 

2. During the decade of the twenties, farm wages deteriorated by com- 
parison with factory wages. 

3. During the thirties this deterioration continued, farm wages falling 
to one-fourth of factory' wages. 

4. In the forties, farm wages improved relatively, reaching a maximum 
in 1 946 of 44 percent of factory wages. Even at 44 percent, however, 
the ratio of the World War I years was not regained. During World 
War I, farm wages were well over three-fifths of factory wages; during 
World War II, they were less than two-fifths. 

5. Since 1946, farm wages have again deteriorated in relation to 
factory wages. This deterioration is primarily explained by the fact 
that farm wages have remained essentially the same while factory wages 
have increased. Nor does this deterioration take account of the sharp 
increase in the cost of living between 1946 and 1950. The meager 
wages of farm workers increased only 1 4 percent, while the cost of living, 
according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, advanced approximately 
23 percent. 

Area Inequities in Farm Wages 

In the above comparison of farm wages and wages in manufacturing, 
we have used Nation-wide averages. But Nation-wide averages tend 
to obscure variations from one area to another that are particularly ex- 
treme in agriculture. These differences are of much significance, not 
only because they reflect unequal returns for the same or similar work, 
but also because of the close relation between low wages and the demand 
for foreign labor. This relationship becomes clear in the light of data 
on wage differentials by areas. 

An average hour of farm work in the State of Washington pays three 
times as much as an average hour of farm work in South Carolina (95 
cents and 33 cents, respectively, in 1949). Such an extreme differen- 
tial is consistent with a long established geographic wage pattern in 
which farm wages are higher to the North and to the West. Thus the 
lowest wages, except for areas of wetback traffic near the Mexican 
border, are paid in the Southeast, while the highest are paid in the 
Pacific Northwest. 

Unlike nonagricultural industry where geographic wage differentials 
are becoming progressively narrower, there is little tendency for such 
differentials to level out in agriculture. In the East South Central 
States, the farm wage in 1910-14 was 32 percent below the national 

132 



6196 



average of farm wages; by 1949, the farm wage of this region was vir- 
tually unchanged at 31 percent below the national average. At the 
other extreme, the 1910-14 average farm wage on the Pacific Coast 
was 52 percent above the national average, and by 1949 had further 
risen to 64 percent above the national average. Thus geographic differ- 
entials in farm wages have actually widened, as may be seen in the 
following table: 



Region 


Average farm wage 
rates per hour 


Percentage, each re- 
gional wage rate 
above or below the 
national average 
wage 




1910-14 


1949 


1910-14 


1949 


New England 

Middle .Atlantic 


$0.15 
.14 
.13 
. 14 
.09 
.09 
.11 
.16 
.21 


$0.66 
.61 
.59 
.65 
.42 
.38 
.51 
.66 
.90 


+ 23 
+ 30 
+ 25 
+ 40 
-31 
-32 
-16 
+ 48 
+ 52 


+ 20 
+ 11 


East North Central 


-1- 7 


West North Central 


+ 18 




-24 




-31 


West South Central 


- 7 


Mountain 

Pacific 


+ 20 
+ 64 


United States 


. 14 


.55 













It appears to us significant that the regions in which farm wages are 
well below the national average and have been so for 40 years are those 
regions containing the States in which the major portion of the postwar 
foreign labor contracting has centered. Florida has been the principal 
user of British West Indian contract labor and Texas has been the prin- 
cipal user of Mexican contract labor. Both States have wage rates much 
below the national average. We cannot, therefore, escape the conclusion 
that demand for foreign labor in these States is in part, at least, due 
to the desire to keep low wages from rising. 

Farm Labor Incomes Are Substandard — 
Notwithstanding Perquisites 

Although one often hears of the high wages that migratory workers 
can and do earn, careful examination into the facts suggests that such 
reports are subject to a number of qualifications. For example, the 
reported earnings apply to better than average workers ; or, the reported 
earnings apply only at the peak of the season and not to the less favorable 
days at the beginning and the end ; or, the earnings that were reported as 
those of a worker were actually earned by a family work unit with several 



133 



6197 



members contributing. Sometimes, the earnings of packing shed work- 
ers are discussed as though they were representative of field workers. 
Reports of high earnings seldom stand up as typical when the particular 
instance is brought into the perspective of the whole. 

Annual earnings of farm workers as compared to factory workers are 
even worse than is suggested by the relative wage rates above because 
factory workers get more continuous employment than do farm workers. 
Whereas average cash earnings of factory workers in 1949 were $2,600, 
average earnings for both migratory and nonmigratory farm workers 
were only slightly more than $500. Thus while average factory workers' 
wage rates were 2/2 times average farm wage rates average annual 
factory earnings were 5 times average farm earnings. 

Farm .workers, it is true, have an additional source of income in the 
perquisites furnished by their employers — usually housing and trans- 
portation. But, as we have seen, migratory farm workers have fewer 
perquisites than the year-round farm employees. The value of per- 
quisites given to migratory workers was estimated by the United States 
Department of Agriculture to be an average of 36 cents a day. For the 
101 days of employment per year of the average migratory worker, this 
would amount to $36. On the other hand, industrial workers have re- 
cently gained important perquisites. These include such items as retire- 
ment benefits, sick benefits, holiday pay, and vacation pay which average 
$120 per year and are increasing. 

When all of the factors that enter into making incomes — constancy 
of employment, wage rates, and "perquisites" — are put together, the 
comparative situation of agricultural workers and factory workers is 
as follows : 



Migra- 
tory 
farm 

worker 



Nonmi- 
gratory 
farm 
worker 



Worker 
in man- 
ufac- 
turing 



Average days of work 1 949 

Average rate per day 

Cash earnings per year. . . . 

Value of perquisites 

Total earnings 



101 



120 



250 



$5.10 
514. 00 

36.00 
550. 00 



$4.40 
520. 00 

60.00 
580. 00 



$10.40 
2, 600. 00 

120.00 
2, 720. 00 



RECOMMENDATIONS 

We recommend that: 

(1) The Congress enact minimum wage legislation to cover farm 
laborers, including migratory laborers. 

(2) State legislatures give consideration to the protection of agri- 



134 



6198 



cultural workers, including migratory farm workers, by minimum wage 
legislation. 

(3) Federal and State unemployment compensation legislation be 
enacted to cover agricultural labor. 

(4) Because present unemployment compensation legislation is not 
adapted to meeting the unemployment problems of most migratory farm 
workers, the Federal Social Security Act be amended to provide matching 
grants to States for general assistance on the condition that no needy 
person be denied assistance because of lack of legal residence status. 



135 



6199 



Chapter 8 

Housing: 

''Reasonable Protection 

Against the Weather" 



Housing, or the lack of it, is of basic significance to the problem of 
migrancy. During the crop period it represents one of the major con- 
ditions of employment; at the home base, it directly contributes to root- 
lessness and irresponsibility. Because housing and the problems asso- 
ciated with it are markedly different in the periods of the year when 
migrants are traveling, as compared with the periods when they are 
"at home," we are treating the two separately. 

By the expression "housing while on the job," we refer to the housing 
arrangements attaching to the locations of employment where migrants 
are working away from "home." By the expression "housing at the 
home base," we describe the housing arrangements in the locality where 
the migrants usually remain the longest portion of the year, which, for 
the most part, is where they spend the winter months, and where they 
have the greatest feeling of "belonging." In numerous instances "on 
job" and "home base" situations merge. Typically, however, they are 
distinguishable. 

Whether furnished by the employer or otherwise acquired by the 
migratory laborer, housing needs vary in accordance with the social and 
economic characteristics of the migrant. Family groups, which make 
up the majority of the migratory workers, obviously need housing ap- 
propriate to families, but they are seldom in position to buy or rent 
more than the very minimum of housing or to require that employers 
furnish it as a condition of accepting employment. Single men, who 
in the domestic force are few, require simpler housing. The other and 
larger group of single men, who are alien labor, are imported and em- 
ployed under contract, and presumably are housed by employers in 
accordance with the terms of their agreements. Finally, there are the 
illegal Mexican aliens, fewer in numbers than the domestic family mi- 
grants, but more numerous than the total of all the others. Wetbacks 
are here, both as singles and as families, but, because of financial inca- 
pacity as well as legal disability, they are not characteristically in position 
to demand housing fit for human habitation. 



137 



6200 

HOUSING WHILE ON THE JOB 
Labor Camps 

On-job housing consists of barracks, cabins, trailers, tents, rooming 
houses, auto-court cabins, shack houses, and, on occasion, depreciated 
standard housing. Regardless of the type of facility, when the units are 
grouped for two or more families, they are commonly called "camps." 
Ownership of camps may be by employers, employers' associations, local 
housing authorities, labor contractors, or private commercial groups. 
Some are merely squatter camps of which ownership is of no conse- 
quence. 

Much, if not most, of on-job housing of migratory farm labor in the 
United States is below minimum standards of decency. While this type 
of housing may be better in one region than in another, the noteworthy 
point is that whether it is "good" or "bad" housing, it is far below what 
is considered adequate for other citizens. 

Because of the few months usage of most on-job housing and the pov- 
erty of the migrant workers, housing generally rated as "good" is none- 
theless meager. "Good" on-job housing for a family of four, five, or six 
members might consist of an unpainted cabin, 9 by 1 2 feet, one in a row 
of such cabins, with one or perhaps two screened windows (though not 
necessarily with glass) and with unfinished interior walls. The cabin 
would be equipped with bunks, chairs, and table. It would be fairly 
clean and free from vermin. The cabin might possibly, but probably 
would not, have electricity. It could have running water, but this would 
be unusual. Characteristically, water suitable for drinking would be 
obtainable from centrally located faucets. Cooking facilities, if existent, 
would probably be central. Sanitary facilities would be central and 
clean. In the exceptional case, there would be flush toilets; more often, 
there would be privies. Central shower facilities would be equipped 
with hot and cold water. In the better camps, there would be facili- 
ties for laundering, though such are not required for a camp to be classi- 
fied as "good." In a "good" camp, there would be receptacles for 
garbage which would be regularly emptied, or, if there was a central 
garbage pit, this would be located at a distance from the cabins. There 
would be neither garbage nor debris scattered about on the grounds 
which would likely be bare earth. There would probably be no trees 
about the cabins so that during the summer months the cabins would 
be fully exposed to the sun. This, to repeat, would be a "good" camp. 

To be "good," a camp is not required to have any provisions or facili- 
ties for recreation but it might be located within walking or driving 
distance of a community center where there would be facilities for recrea- 
tional activities. If, by chance, a school was nearby, the children of 
the migrants could attend. If it was not so located, no alternative ar- 



138 



6201 



rangements would be made for schooling. No arrangements would exist 
for the care of the small children of the migrants. Since both parents 
often work, the children would be left to their own devices or would join 
their parents in the fields. If, as is usually the case, the camp is located 
beyond the reach of medical and health facilities, it would be unusual 
if any arrangements existed for regular visits of a nurse or physician. 

A series of such "good" camps, or a single such camp, might, if the 
migrant were fortunate, be his home from 4 to 6 months of the year. If 
he were so fortunate, he would be one of a minority, because even in 
those States that officially inspect and rate their camps, less than one- 
half of the inspected camps are found to be "good." 

Labor Camp Codes 

A camp such as has just been described might be constructed by an 
employer desiring an above-average labor supply. Or such an employer 
might be located in a State with a good labor camp code. Twelve States 
have specific laws or regulations on labor camps which house, among 
other groups, agricultural workers. Four States have regulations ap- 
plying to specified groups exclusive of agricultural workers; 4 others 
have somewhat limited regulations applying to all camps; 3 States, while 
having no regulations, exercise certain administrative control over labor 
camps; and the remaining 25 do not regulate labor camps in any way. 

The mere fact that a State has a code does not mean that its labor 
camp housing meets minimum standards of decency. The inspection 
records of California, which has had code regulations of labor camps 
since 1913, indicate that only a fourth to a third of the camps inspected 
in almost four decades have fully met the designated minimum stand- 
ards. One major weakness in the California program is the absence 
of a licensing requirement. This means that the State has no record 
of the existence or location of the camps which it is charged with inspect- 
ing. This fact was recently pointed out in the Report of the Governor's 
Committee to Survey the Agricultural Labor Resources of the San Joa- 
quin Valley. At best, inspections in California have covered but a por- 
tion of the total camps in the State. For 1 950, it is reported that inspec- 
tions were made of about one-third of the estimated number of camps 
in the State. The standard of housing in the San Joaquin Valley, 
where the largest number of migrants are employed, was found to be 
well below the State average for agricultural workers. The Governor's 
Committee made recommendations looking to improvements in these 
respects. 

In New Jersey, labor camp inspections under the State code reveal 
much the same results as those of California. Inspection records for 
the 3-year period 1946-49 (the New Jersey Labor Camp Code was 



139 



36-513 O - 71 pt.8C - 24 



6202 



enacted in 1945), indicate that "approvals on first inspections" were 
given to less than one-fourth of the camps inspected. 

New York does not have a rating basis for its inspection program 
so that it is not possible to make generalizations on adequacy of its labor 
camps. Although the State prides itself on its inspection program, 
which calls for fortnightly visits to all camps housing 1 or more persons, 
a report of a Long Island community appearing in the New York Times, 
November 26, 1950, indicates that the problems attaching to migrant 
housing have not yet been fully met in New York. This report began, 
"The recent death of two children in a fire in a 12-by-20-foot former 
chicken coop occupied as living quarters by 14 persons has aroused this 
farming community to action on the problems created by migrant farm 
laborers." 

Housing — An Aspect of Labor Supply 

Housing while on the job is supplied principally by the farm em- 
ployer. If an employer is able to obtain a labor supply without pro- 
vision of housing, his reaction is likely to be "so much the better." The 
extent to which an employer is obliged to supply housing in order to get 
workers varies with the worker's race, nationality, and legal status. 

The group in the least advantageous position to make housing a 
condition of employment is the Mexican wetback. Inasmuch as he is 
in the country illegally and subject to deportation, he has to take what 
work he can get, housing or no housing. Striking testimony on the 
relation of housing to the problems of labor supply generally, and the 
wetback in particular, was given the Commission by one of the Califor- 
nia Deputy State Labor Commissioners at its Los Angeles hearing. 
During the winter of 1949-50 San Diego County farmers had been un- 
able to attract needed workers because of an absence of housing. Discus- 
sions for a public-housing program, which had been going on in the 
late spring and summer, were abruptly abandoned in August 1950 upon 
the legalization of large numbers of wetbacks. The Deputy Commis- 
sioner stated: "Of course, with this new program of legalizing 30,000 
wetbacks it seems to be the feeling among the farmers that the question 
of housing will be bypassed for the time being." 

The same story of the relation of housing to labor supply is told by 
Nelson and Meyers in their study (1950) of southern Rio Grande 
Valley agriculture. They write of the farm problems in the Lower Rio 
Grande Valley in these terms : 

It is believed * * * a program — of wages more nearly like 
those paid elsewhere in Texas, and [provisions of] housing for agricul- 
tural workers would help solve the peak needs for labor. Cotton is 
picked in the Valley while virtually no activity exists elsewhere in 
Texas * * *. [Workers] do not come in the Valley * * * 
for three important reasons. First, wage rates in the Valley are in- 

140 ^ 



6203 



adequate to warrant movements. Secondly, no housing facilities 
exist. Native laborers are unwilling to live "in the brush" as do many 
if not most of the seasonal illegal entrants. Finally, failure to enforce 
entry regulations gives to the potential citizen migrant no assurance of 
employment in the Valley which may at any time be flooded with 
labor. It is believed that the latter two factors are more important 
than the wage differential ♦ * * Provision of some sort of hous- 
ing facilities and assurance of jobs as against illegal entrants are the 
prerequisites to the recruiting from the pool of native labor * * *. 
[Emphasis added.] 

For foreign contract workers and Puerto Ricans under contract, 
housing is mentioned in the contract and is made a condition of employ- 
ment. Examination of the terms of the contracts indicates, however, that 
standards with enforcement machinery seldom exist. Under terms of 
the Individual Work Contract negotiated in connection with the In- 
ternational Executive Agreement with Mexico, it is required that hy- 
gienic housing similar to that offered to domestic workers be provided. 
The Individual Work Contract under the heading of "lodging" reads: 

Hygienic lodgings adequate to the climatic conditions of the area of 
employment and similar to those of the average type which are gener- 
ally furnished to domestic agricultural workers in the area of employ- 
ment. 

As is noted above, however, only a fraction of the housing furnished to 
domestic workers in those States having legal minimum standards is 
approvable. Since the housing in those States that have no standards 
Ls undoubtedly worse, the provision of "similar" or "hygienic" lodgings 
sets no standards and hence means whatever the parties to the agree- 
ment or their representatives interpret it to mean. 

The other contract workers are the Bahamians, Jamaicans, and the 
Puerto Ricans. Contracts covering workers from these islands are ne- 
gotiated by employer groups in the United States with the respective 
governments or their representatives. These contracts, though their 
language is extensive, are no more specific in their housing provisions 
than is the Mexican agreement, and certainly they are no more enforce- 
able. 

Where housing is furnished to domestic migratory workers, its quality 
and condition is designed to reflect the social status of the migratory 
group the farmer expects to employ. In other words, employers antici- 
pate that groups regarded as socially inferior will be less demanding in 
what they vv'Ul accept. Thus, housing for Negroes and Americans of 
Mexican ancestry is characteristically poorer than the housing offered 
to "Okie" migrants. 



141 



6204 



Housing, Wages, and Jobs Are Tied Together 
in Employer Housing 

Not infrequently a migratory worker finds that, to get a job in an area 
of active seasonal work, he must live in the employer's housing. Once 
in that housing, he cannot retain the housing and work elsewhere. In 
some cases employers have threatened eviction even when the worker 
sought alternative employment only on idle days. In other words, job 
and housing are a "package" proposition. The worker, in accepting 
the employer's housing, also accepts whatever work is available and at 
the same time, the employer's wage rate, whether or not it remains as 
promised. On such a package proposition, the worker's ability to 
choose his work and to bargain on wages is materially limited. Testi- 
mony on this point was given by a worker in Florida : 

Witness. I said they'd be paying or ofTering to pay 6 or 7 cents a 
bucket for tomatoes when they should have been paying 10 cents a 
bucket. . . 

Q. And if they would do that, then you would not work? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Do they get people to work when they cut the price down to 
6 and 7 cents? 

A. Well, those that stay in their own (employers') houses, they 
would. You see, they couldn't move. They had to stay there. . . . 

Q. Then if they could get enough people in their own housing, they 
wouldn't have to pay more than that? 

A. That's right. 

At times, this has also happened with employer association housing. 
A worker from McMinnville, Oregon, protested: 

Why, when a farmer will pay $1 an hour for workers to work in the 
hay, should a person have to accept 85 cents an hour for workers to 
work because a small association of farmers, say, work for such and 
such a farmer or you will have to find another place to live. Places are 
scarce to find and you simply can't move out into the road. 

When an employer houses his labor supply on his premises it is pos- 
sible for him to hoard labor. A worker so housed has less freedom to 
use his idle time by working for other employers than he would if his 
housing were free of employer restrictions. Such restrictions on the 
movements of the worker are disadvantageous to him and also to the 
community at large because less effective use is made of the labor supply. 
When the provision of housing by employers is used to restrict either 
wage adjustments or freedom of movement by workers, both the indi- 
vidual interest of the worker and the interest of the community in ef- 
fectively using its labor supply are obstructed. 

In this regard, employer association housing represents an advance 
over individual employer housing. Work opportunities are at least 
spread over the needs of the whole membership rather than merely one 
employer. By contrast, public labor-camp housing permits the worker 

142 



I 



6205 



to go to the job offering the most continuous employment and the best 
wages. The Farm Placement Supervisor of the Idaho State Employ- 
ment Service testified before the Commission : 

In tht' handling of this migratory worker, it is hard to utilize him 
fully unless you have many located from place to place in a strategically 
located camp, a camp sufficient in size to take care of the normal needs 
of that community, located so that the farmer can day-haul those 
workers out of there and that he doesn't have to go across two or three 
counties and spend the forenoon hauling them to the farm and the 
afternoon taking them home. 

The inseparability of housing from the job has a further important 
implication, namely, the restriction which it places upon unionization 
of workers or participation in union activities. A worker housed with 
other workers in camps on a farm at Delano, California, testified before 
the Commission : 

We live in the labor camps, and they have the National Farm Labor 
Union in Delano . . . and it is quite natural response ... of the 
boys, that they are afraid to join the union because of the fear of being 
evicted from their camps. That is one of the several weapons of the 
farmer that they use to keep the Filipinos out of the union. 

Housing and Government Recruitment of Farm Labor 

The Farm Placement Service of the United States Employment 
Service participates in the recruitment of farm workers. To a very 
great extent, recruitment involves bringing in out-of-State workers. If 
the State Employment Service is unable to interest sufficient local work- 
ers, it requests the Employment Service of other States and also the 
Federal Employment Service to supply workers from outside the State. 
If unsuccessful, the United States Employment Service certifies the need 
to import foreign workers. 

The noteworthy point in this connection is that Government does not 
assume any responsibilities concerning the conditions of work for which 
it is recruiting either at the State or Federal level. This was stated 
to us again and again by the Employment Service. The attitude of 
recruitment officials toward the conditions of work for which it recruits 
is illustrated by the following testimony given us by the State Suf>er- 
visor of the Farm Placement Service in Florida : 

Q. You say the employment service tries to make sure that there is 
housing for these people? How do you make sure that there is hous- 
ing? What do you do? 

A. That varies greatly. Where it is possible, we inspect. . . . 

Q. Of course, you would have no authority if you found * * * 
any housing inadequate ... to tell the grower, "You have got to fix 
this up so and so, and put these beds in," and so on? Would you have 
such authority? 

A. No, sir; none whatever. . . . 

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Q. * * * Could you not refuse to refer workers to that farm, if, 
in your opinion, the housing was in bad shape? 
A. That is right. 
Q. Do you do that? 
A. Yes. 

Q. Do you have a standard of housing written up in some way on 
the basis of which you do that? 

A. No; no, sir. In other words, it must be a question of at least 
reasonable protection against the weather. That is about as far as 
we can go. 
With scarcely any exceptions, Employment Service personnel testified 
that they saw no advantage in their being given the authority to approve 
conditions of work prior to recruitment and referral of prospective work- 
ers. Mainly, the reason for this position, as explained, was that the 
Employment Service, being a service agency, did not want its work 
complicated by the addition of inspection duties which were thought 
to be "administrative." 

HOUSING AT THE HOME BASE 

From the standpoint of the local community, one of the shortcom- 
ings of domestic migrants is that they stay around after the harvest is 
ended. The advantage of foreign contract workers (except Puerto 
Ricans) is that, with the end of the field requirements, they can be sent 
back whence they came. Unlike domestic migrants, they do not become 
a burden upon American communities. In their poverty and in their 
rootlessness, domestic migrants present as much of a social problem dur- 
ing the home base period as during crop operations. 

Home base areas are scattered throughout the United States but there 
are four of key importance. These are: (1) California; (2) southern 
Texas; (3) northern Texas, Oklahoma, southern Missouri, Arkansas, 
and northern Louisiana; and (4) Florida. 

Home Base Housing 

The "permanent" housing in which migrants live for the 6 to 8 months 
of the year when they are not working on the crops is among the most 
deplorable in the Nation. Primarily, it is found in shack towns or the 
shack sections of older communities. A farm laborer testifying before 
the Commission in Los Angeles described one California shack commu- 
nity in these terms : 

In fact, I do live in an area which you probably read about in the 
Fresno Chronicle, just outside of the Bakersfield city limits, known as 
the Mayfair-Sunset district of Cartersville. You have there an area 
of 15 blocks long and 14 blocks wide with a range between half 
Mexicans and half Negro, and a population around 7,000 people with- 



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out sewerage, without any forms of sanitation whatever, without the 
enforcement of any county or State sanitation laws. There are, of 
course, naturally, any number of cardboard and old-plank houses. 

Such communities, usually unincorporated, without fire, police, and 
sanitation service, are to be found throughout California. Beginning in 
the 1930's, they sprang up the length of the State in "work areas," that 
is, in areas which have more than one crop operation or where more 
than one crop is harvested. Primary concentrations are in the Sacra- 
mento, San Joaquin, Salinas, and Imperial Valleys. Although the total 
number of these communities in California is unknown, estimates sug- 
gest a two to threefold expansion during the last decade. 

Testimony on the condition of migrants' "permanent" housing was 
received in Texas. A physician who appeared before the Commission 
at Brownsville described typical migrant ''home-base" housing in Texas 
in these terms : 

Let us take a typical average town and call it "Lodo." Lodo is 
divided into two sections by a man-made object. Usually it is the rail- 
road tracks, the highway, or a ditch. On the southern side of the town 
we have the Anglo business center, the hospitals, the Anglo resi- 
dences * * * the schools * * *. Across the tracks we have 
that part of town referred to as "Mexiquito" or "Little Mex- 
ico" * * *. In "Mexiquito" you will find that the only paved 
street is the main street * * *, that there are very few decent 
buildings, that as much as 90 percent of the houses are substandard, 
that there is no drainage, and the majority of the dwellings still have 
the primitive open-pit privies. In other words, gentlemen, the "Mexi- 
quito section" of Lodo is one large continuous "slum area" in every 
sense of the word. Then you multiply "Lodo" by several hundred 
more towns or cities throughout this area and have a worse slum area 
than any found in New York, Chicago, or San Francisco * * *. 
Brownsville, San Benito, Harlingen, Mercedes, La Feria, Weslaco, 
Donna, Pharr, San Juan, Alamo, Edinburg, Mission, Robstown, Kings- 
ville. Corpus Christi, San Antonio, etc., each and every one of them 
has its area designated "Mexiquito," which is a glorified name for 
"slum section." 

In Florida "on-job" and "home-base" housing situations merge, for 
here the seasonal labor demands occur during the winter months. A 
representative from the West Palm Beach County Department of Public 
Welfare described one type of "on-job" housing- — housing on farms — 
in these terms : 

Most of them (i. e., the quarters provided by farm owners) do not 
have running water or adequate toilet facilities. The families are 
crowded into one or two rooms, and in many instances, we have found 
upon inspection, farm laborers living in quarters which in a good dairy 
country such as I come from, you wouldn't place your good-blooded 
cattle. 



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This welfare worker's observation was corroborated at the same hear- 
ings by the director of the Palm Beach County Health Department who 
testified : 

You have heard a social worker here this afternoon say that they 
would not house their family cow in some of that housing. I would 
like to go on record supporting that statement 100 percent. 

The housing in the shack sections of established communities in Flor- 
ida was found to be deplorable. 

Government Low-Income Housing 

Because of the direct influence of housing on health and on the in- 
dividual's role as a citizen, it has become public policy for certain mini- 
mum standards to be established, and, where the forces of the market 
are unable to produce housing which meets these standards, to supple- 
ment such market forces. The declaration of policy in the Housing Act 
of 1949 reads: 

The Congress hereby declares that the general welfare and security of 
the Nation and the health and living standards of its people require 
housing production and related community development sufficient to 
remedy the serious housing shortage, the elimination of substandard 
and inadequate housing through the clearance of slums and blighted 
areas, and the realization as soon as feasible of the goal of a decent 
home and a suitable living environment for every American family, 
thus contributing to the development and redevelopment of communi- 
ties and to the advancement of the growth, wealth, and security of the 
Nation. 
A policy of low-rent public housing was initiated in the United 
States Housing Act of 1937 and expanded in the Housing Act of 1949. 
Low-rent public housing is designed to provide decent housing at prices 
within reach of low-income persons, persons whom private enterprise is 
incapable of serving. The agency responsible for this program is the 
Public Housing Administration of the Housing and Home Finance 
Agency. 

Migrants and Public Housing 

Inasmuch as migrants are at the bottom of the Nation's low-income 
groups and are more desperately in need of housing than any other group 
of similar size in the Nation, it might at first be thought that Government 
would have given particular attention to their housing needs. This 
has not been the case. In fact, with respect to permanent private hous- 
ing, migrants find themselves outside the Government's housing pro- 
gram. 

In drafting the 1949 housing legislation, the Congress clearly had 
in mind the needs of rural nonfarm groups as well as urban groups. A 

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proportion of the funds is earmarked for rural nonfarm use. The 
Senate Report on the act (in bill form) observes: 

The relative needs of low-income families living in rural nonfarm 
areas are certainly as great as the needs of low-income families living 
in urban areas. Your committee therefore contemplates that the Pub- 
lic Housing Administration promptly undertake a program looking to 
the provision of aid to local authorities wishing to provide low-rent 
housing in those areas. Ten percent of the authorizations for annual 
contributions contracts arc to be reserved for rural nonfarm housing 
for a 3-year period after such authorizations become available. 

How is it that the group in the Nation most desperately in need of 
decent housing find themselves outside the Government's housing pro- 
gram? Various answers suggest themselves. The Public Housing Ad- 
ministration conceives of the Government's housing program as not 
adaptable to short-range needs. Inasmuch as the deplorable situation in 
which migrants currently find themselves is not regarded as permanent, 
the Public Housing Administration does not see itself called upon to 
devise housing expedients for migrants. The Administrator of Public 
Housing Administration wrote the Commission as follows: 

To the extent that the picture of agricultural labor can be changed, 
and bettered, so that the families who are now migrants can settle 
down in one place while the wage earner commutes to various places 
of nearby agricultural employment, our rural nonfarm program will 
be of help in solving the problems which your committee is study- 
ing. * * * We do not feel the program which we are administer- 
ing is adaptable either under present legislation, or with reasonable 
modifications thereof, to meet the needs of truly migrant families who 
will stay only a relatively short period in a given locality. 

Housing as a Factor in the Reduction of Migrancy 

We received striking testimony on the "settling" effect of decent, 
though insufficient, housing. Housing, when it consisted of nothing 
more than a single room in a labor camp, was found to be a significant 
factor in the reduction of migrancy. Housing above the camp level 
was found to be a stronger deterrent to rootlessness. In this regard the 
experience with the camps built by the Farm Security Administration, 
a number of which are under temporary Public Housing Administra- 
tion operation, is illuminating. In testimony at the West Palm Beach 
hearing, the Executive Director of the Belle Glade Housing Authority, 
one such camp in Florida, stated : 

We find that in the 10 years that these camps have been operated 
* * * that, as far as our white migrants are concerned, they have 
tended to become stable. In other words, some 60 to 70 percent of 
the people in our white camps are now classified as year-round resi- 
dents. If they do leave in the summer, they only leave for a relatively 



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short period of time. * * * That is a trend from 10 years ago 
when a good 75 percent of them were migrants to now roughly less 
than 5 percent * * *. 

Now, in the Negro camp ... it is somewhat the reverse; 
that is, the Negroes are still highly migratory in nature. There is 
possibly less than 30 percent whom we classify as year-round residents. 
There is at least an additional 20 to 25 percent who call Belle Glade 
. . . and Okeechobee their home and retain housing with us 
throughout the summer, either by leaving some member of the family 
back home to keep up the house or they retain a house by paying a 
slight storage fee, so that they will have a place to return to in the fall 
of the year. 

Similar testimony on housing as a factor in the reduction of migrancy 
was given by the Secretary-treasurer and Executive Director of the 
Housing Authority of Pompano Beach, Fla., which camp consists of 
158 duplex cabins: 

* * * [The camp] is not much of a migratory labor camp be- 
cause we have a year-round population of about 85 percent. . . . 

Most of them [the migrant workers] have been in the camp since the 
inception of the camp, which has been in operation about 10 years. 
There were only 22 f