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Full text of "National defense migration. Hearings before the Select Committee Investigating National Defense Migration, House of Representatives, Seventy-seventh Congress, first[-second] session, pursuant to H. Res. 113, a resolution to inquire further into the interstate migration of citizens, emphasizing the present and potential consequences of the migraion caused by the national defense program. pt. 11-[34]"

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H. Res. 113 






PART 28 

FEBRUARY 12 AND 13, 1942 


Printed for the use of the Select Committee Investigating 
National Defense Migration 









H. Res. 113 






PART 28 

FEBRUARY 12 AND 13, 1942 


Printed for the use of the Select Committee Investigating 
National Defense Migration 

80396 WASHINGTON : 1942 


JOHNjB. TOLJaN, California, Chairman 


Robert K. Lamb, Staff director 



List of witnesses v 

List of authors vii 

Thursday, February 12, 1942, morning session 10697 

Testimony of panel representing farm placement service of United 

States Employment Service 10697 

Statement by Fay W. Hunter 10698 

Statement by John E. Gross 10700 

Statement by Denton O. Rushing 10725 

Statement by C. W. E. Pittman 10726 

Statement by Charles E. Howard 10732 

Testimony of panel resumed 10737 

Friday, February 13, 1942, morning session 10773 

Summary of reports on rural education 10774 

Statement by Bureau of Agricultural Economics 10778 

Statement by James G. Maddox 10783 

Statement by Sherman E. Johnson 10801 

Statement by Wm. J. Rogers 10808 

Statement by Conrad Taueber 10815 

Statement by George Farrell 10823 

Testimony of panel from United States Department of Agriculture. _ 10834 

Statement by John D. Black 10870 

Testimony of John D. Black 10879 

Introduction of exhibits. _. 10886 

Exhibit 1. Day Care of Children of Women Employed in War In- 
dustries, report by Katharine Lenroot, chief, Children's Bureau, 

United States Department of Labor 10887 

Exhibit 2. Women in War Production, report by Susan B. Anthony, 
II, chairman, committee on national defense and community wel- 
fare, United Federal Workers' Auxiliary, Congress of Industrial 

Organizations 10895 

Exhibit 3. The Day Care of Young Children, report by Alice Coe 
Mendham, chairman, Emergency Committee for Day Care of 

Children 10896 

Exhibit 4. Services of Women Psychologists in the Emergency, re- 
port by the National Research Council's subcommittee on the 

services of women psychologists in the emergency 10903 

Exhibit 5. Report by Courtenay Dinwiddie, general secretary, Na- 
tional Child Labor Committee 10905 

Exhibit 6. Report by Kathryn McHale, general director, American 

Association of University Women 10910 

Exhibit 7. Report by Jeanetta H. Welch and Norma E. Boyd, for 
the National Non-Partisan Council on Public Affairs, Alpha Kappa 

Alpha Sorority 10911 

Exhibit 8. Report by Mary S. Ingraham, president, the National 
Board of the Young Women's Christian Association of the United 

States of America 10912 

Exhibit 9. Training and Transfer of Defense Labor in England, re- 
port by Isaiah Berlin, British Press Service 10914 

Exhibit 10. Statement of John A. Coover, chief, Nebraska State 
Employment Service, Division of Placement and Unemployment 

Insurance 10919 

Exhibit 11. A symposium on the question of the labor market policy 

• of the United States 10922 

A — Statement by Claude R. Wickard, Secretary of Agriculture.. 10923 

B— Statement by Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor 10924 

C — Statement by Paul V. McNutt, Administrator of the Federal 

Security Agency 10926 



Introduction of exhibits — Continued. 

Exhibit 11— Continued. P»g» 

D — Statement by F. H. Dryden, Acting Commissioner of the 

Work Projects Administration, Federal Works Agency 10930 

E — Statement by William Green, president, American Federa- 
tion of Labor 10931 

F — Statement by A. F. Whitney, president, Grand Lodge, 

Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen 10935 

G — Statement by Philip Murray, president, Congress of Indus- 
trial Organizations v 10936 

Exhibit 12. Statement by L. C. Stoll, director for Oregon, United 

States Employment Service in Oregon 10936 

Exhibit 13. Migration of Aircraft Workers, Division of wage and 
hour statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Depart- 
ment of Labor 10962 

Index . (following p. 10963) i-v 


Washington Hearings, February 12, 13, 1942 

Black, John D., professor of agricultural economics, Harvard University, 

Cambridge, Mass 10879 

Gross, John E., regional representative United States Employment 

Service, Federal Security Agency, 1706 Welton Street, Denver, Colo._ 10697 

Howard, Charles E., assistant director of United States Employment 
Service for New York, Bureau of Employment Security, Federal Security 
Agency, 11 West Forty-second Street, New York, N. Y 10697 

Hunter, Fay W., Chief, Farm Placement Section, United States Employ- 
ment Service, Bureau of Employment Security, Federal Security 
Agency, Washington, D. C 10697, 10737 

Johnson, Sherman E., head, Division of Farm Management and Costs, 
Bureau of Agricultural Economics, United States Department of 
Agriculture, Washington, D. C 10773 

Maddox, James G., director, Rural Rehabilitation Division of Farm 
Security Administration, United States Department of Agriculture, 
Washington, D. C 10773 

Pittman, C. W. E., Farm Placement Service, United States Employment 
Service, Bureau of Employment Security, Federal Security Agency, 
Washington, D. C 10697 

Rogers, William J., chief, Division of Labor and Rural Industries, Office 
of Agricultural Defense Relations, United States Department of Agri- 
culture, Washington, D. C 10773, 10834 

Rushing, Denton O., Farm Placement Service, United States Employ- 
ment Service, Bureau of Employment Security, Federal Security 
Agency, 1006 Grand Avenue, Kansas City, Mo 10697 

Smith, Raymond C, chief program analyst, Bureau of Agricultural 
Economics, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, 
D. C 10773 

Stoll, L. C, director of United States Employment Service for Oregon, 

Federal Security Agency, Salem, Oreg 10697 

Taeuber, Conrad, senior social scientist, Bureau of Agricultural Economics, 

United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, D. C 10773, 10850 



Of Prepared Statements and Exhibits 


Anthony, Susan B., II, chairman, committee on national defense and com- 
munity welfare, United Federal Workers' Auxiliary, Congress of Indus- 
trial Organizations, Washington, D. C 10895 

Berlin, Isaiah, British Press Service, New York, N. Y 10914 

Black, John D., professor of agricultural economics, Harvard University, 

Cambridge, Mass 10879 

Boyd, Norma E., National Non-Partisan Council on Public Affairs, Alpha 

Kappa Alpha Sorority, Washington, D. C 10911 

Coover, John A., chief, Nebraska State Employment Service, Division of 

Placement and Employment Service, Lincoln, Nebr 10919 

Dinwiddie, Courtenay, general secretary, National Child Labor Committee, 

New York, N. Y 10905 

Division of Wage and Hour Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, United 

States Department of Labor, Washington, D. C 10963 

Drvden, F. H., acting commissioner of the Work Projects Administration, 

Federal Works Agency, Washington, D. C 10930 

Farrell, George, Bureau of Agricultural Economics, United States Depart- 
ment of Agriculture, Washington, D. C 10823 

Green, William, president, American Federation of Labor, Washington, 

D. C 10931 

Gross, John A., regional representative, United States Employment Service, 

Federal Security Agency, 1706 Wei ton Street, Denver, Colo 10697 

Hazard, C. E., senior labor relations specialist, Farm Security Administra- 
tion, United States Department of Agriculture, Denver, Colo 10713 

Howard, Charles E., assistant director, United States Employment Service 
for New York, Social Security Board, Federal Security Agency, 11 West 
42d Street, New York, N. Y 10732 

Ingraham, Mary S., president, the National Board of the Young Women's 

Christian Association of the United States of America, New York, N. Y_ 10912 

Johnson, Sherman E., head, Division of Farm Management and Costs, 
Bureau of Agricultural Economics, United States Department of Agri- 
culture, Washington, D. C 10801 

Lenroot, Katharine F., chief, Children's Bureau, United States Depart- 
ment of Labor, Washington, D. C 10887 

Maddox, James G., director, Rural Rehabilitation Division of Farm Se- 
curity Administration, United States Department of Agriculture, Wash- 
ington, D. C -.----.-- 10783 

McHale, Kathryn, general director, American Association of University 

Women, Washington, D. C 10910 

McNutt, Paul V., Administrator of the Federal Security Agency, Wash- 

l ington, D. C 10926 

Mendham, Alice Coe, chairman, Emergency Committee for Day Care of 

Young Children, Washington, D. C 10896 

Murray, Philip, president, Congress of Industrial Organizations, Wash- 
ington, D. C 10936 

National Research Council's Subcommittee on the Services of Women 

Psychologists in the Emergency, Washington, D. C 10903 

Perkins, Frances, Secretary of Labor, Washington, D. C 10924 

Pittman, C. W. E., Farm Placement Service, United States Employment 
Service, Bureau of Employment Security, Federal Security Agency, 
Washington, D. C 1° 726 

Rogers, William J., chief, Division of Labor and Rural Industries, Office 
of Agricultural Defense Relations, United States Department of Agri- 
culture, Washington, D. C 1° 808 

Roskellev, R. W., assistant rural sociologist, Colorado Agricultural Experi- 
ment Station, Fort Collins, Colo lO'l 4 




Rushing, Denton O., Farm Placement Service, United States Employ- 
ment Service, Federal Security Agency, 1006 Grand Avenue, Kansas 
City, Mo - 10725 

Silvermaster, Dr. Gregory, director, Labor Division, Farm Security Ad- 
ministration, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, 
D. C - 10709 

State and Local Planning Division, Bureau of Agricultural Economics, 

United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, D. C 10774 

Stoll, Lee C., director of United States Employment Service for Oregon, 

Federal Security Agency, Salem, Oreg 10936 

Taeuber, Conrad, senior social scientist, Bureau of Agricultural Economics, 

United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, D. C 10815 

Wells, O. V., Bureau of Agricultural Economics, United States Depart- 
ment of Agriculture, Alexandria, Va 10778 

Welsh, Jeanetta H., National Non-Partisan Council on Public Affairs, 

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Washington, D. C 10911 

Whitney, A. F., president, Grand Lodge, Brotherhood of Railroad Train- 
men, Cleveland, Ohio 10935 

Wickard, Claude R., Secretary of Agriculture, Washington, D. C 10923 



morning session 

House of Representatives, 
Select Committee Investigating 

National Defense Migration, 

Washington, D. C. 
The committee met, pursuant to adjournment, at 9:30 a. m., in 
room 1536, New House Building, Washington, D. C, Hon. John H. 
Tolan (chairman), presiding. 

Present: Representatives John H. Tolan of California, chairman, 
and Laurence F. Arnold of Illinois. 

Also present: Dr. Robert K. Lamb, staff director of the committee. 
The Chairman. The committee will please come to order. 
Mr. Hunter is at the head of the table. Mr. Hunter, will you please 
state the names of the gentlemen to the left of you? 


Mr. Hunter. Mr. C. W. E. Pittman, Regional Farm Placement 
Service representative for the District of Columbia, Maryland, 
North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia, Washington, D. C; 
Mr. L. C. Stoll, director of United States Employment Service for 
Oregon, Salem, Oreg.; John E. Gross, regional representative, United 
States Employment Service for Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Colorado, 
Arizona, and Utah; Mr. Charles E. Howard, 11 W. 42nd St., New 
York, N. Y., assistant director of United States Employment Service 
for New York; and Mr. Denton O. Rushing, Regional Farm Place- 
ment representative for Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma, 
Kansas City, Mo. 

My name is Fay W. Hunter, chief, Farm Placement Section, 
United States Employment Service, Social Security Board, Federal 
Security Agency, Washington, D. C. 

The Chairman. I want to say to the panel that this committee is 
impressed with the need for an orderly and effective recruitment of 
workers in agriculture as well as industry. Food will win the war 
just as surely as armaments. We are therefore concerned about the 
work of the Farm Placement Service. In a previous report we 
recommended that Congress carefully consider nationalization of the 
Service. We are happy to welcome you gentlemen here this morning 
as representatives of the new National Farm Placement Service. 

I would like to have you regard this hearing as informal, and do not 
hesitate to interrupt each other if you want to. At this point, we 
wish to introduce into the record the statements you gentlemen have 
prepared, after which Dr. Lamb will ask some questions. 



(The matter referred to is as follows:) 

TON, D. C. 

The depression years through which our Nation has recently passed have left 
many curious effects upon our agricultural industry. When any attempt is 
made to analyze the effect of these years upon that industry, the labor problem 
created is brought forcibly to our attention. During the entire period of the 1930's 
we witnessed an increasing flood of migrant workers whose sources reached not 
only into the Dust Bowl and other less productive agricultural areas but was 
swollen by streams of ordinarily employed urban workers returning to farms 
because industries were unable to survive a depressed market for their goods. 

The size and mobility of this labor supply brought to every agricultural area 
an excess of workers far out of proportion to its needs. The continuing availa- 
bility of this group of workers left two marked effects upon those who were the 
normal employers of this type of workers. 

1. These employers have come to regard this oversupply of labor as a normal 

2. The low wage scale resulting from this oversupply of workers had in many 
areas come to be regarded as a normal wage scale. 

It can therefore be expected, now that our Nation is at war, that these con- 
ceptions can no longer prevail. Changing labor market conditions, Selective 
Service, defense industries, increased production goals, and a host of related 
factors are working daily to deplete that once plentiful source of workers. Early 
in 1940 the cry of labor shortage in agricultural areas during peak seasons began to 
be heard. It is safe to say that during that year no actual labor shortage occurred. 
What did occur in the period since 1940 was a draining off of this surplus of 
agricultural workers into other fields of endeavor. Although the numbers of 
remaining workers were, as a whole, ample to meet agriculture's needs many of 
them refused jobs because wage offers were substandard or could not compare 
with a rising industrial wage. Every forecast indicates a further decrease in the 
number of these workers, which, in all probability, will create definite shortages 
in areas of high man-hour requirements for seasonal labor. For a number of 
years the United States Employment Service has attempted to assist in solving 
this agricultural labor problem in two manners: 

1. Through the Federal-State operated system of public employment offices. 
In certain areas these offices have operated effectively in meeting the farm labor 
problem. They have handled the migratory labor problem in an orderly and 
efficient manner. Giving direction and information to this group of workers in 
such a manner that maximum employment and earning opportunities were 
offered. In other areas however, employment offices have failed to properly 
plan and execute this type of service. This failure may be attributed in part to 
the fact that a prevailing oversupply of labor has led these States to believe that 
they have no labor supply problem. If they had analyzed this phase of their 
work, I am sure that many State employment officials would have realized that 
they did have a problem requiring an orderly distribution of this labor if we were 
to eliminate oversupplies, relief problems, and a depressed labor and wage scale 

2. The second method operated in conjunction with the Federal-State system 
of public employment offices. It consisted of sending into States in need of large 
numbers of seasonal agricultural workers, field supervisors from the administrative 
office. These supervisors assisted the State employment services not only in 
planning operations to orderly serve the agricultural needs of that State, but in the 
actual operations of those plans. On the whole, these supervisors though limited 
in numbers did point the way to the State services in recognizing and meeting 
their problems. 

On a Nation-wide basis these two methods were not sufficiently extensive to 
meet even part way the problem that had developed. A major part of this 
migratory movement was neither informed, controlled nor directed, and since 
labor shortage has been indicated it becomes necessary to obtain the maximum 
use of this labor supply. Realizing this, the United States Employment Service 
in 1941 took steps to extend and organize its Farm Placement Service in such a 
manner that service rendered would not be confined to State initiative or a few 


A. Farm Placement Section, United States Employment Service 

Under the supervision of the Director of the United States Employment 
Service, there has been created a separate section responsible for planning, 
developing, and directing the Nation-wide farm placement program. This 
section must correlate and coordinate its program with other Bureau activities as 
well as with private and governmental agricultural organizations. 

B. Regional Farm Placement Representatives 

In each of the 12 regional offices of the Social Security Board provision has been 
made for a regional farm placement representative. This representative works 
under the direction of the regional representative, United States Employment 
Service, who is also the acting chairman for the regional labor supply committee. 
The regional farm placement representative is responsible for planning, developing, 
and supervising the farm placement programs of the States within the region. 
He must render technical assistance to the States, and will coordinate and direct 
interstate movements of labor. He collaborates with the regional labor market 
analyst, and representatives of the Department of Agriculture in the collection and 
use of agricultural labor market data. This information is made available to the 
States in his region and to the regional farm placement representatives in neighbor- 
ing regions. 

C. State Administrative Agencies 

In each State there has been assigned on the Employment Service administra- 
tive staff one individual whose primary responsibility is farm placement super- 
vision. This individual is responsible for the proper operation of the farm 
placement program within the State. He must make certain that all local offices 
are rendering effective farm placement service, and must coordinate, at the State 
level, farm placement activities with those of clearance, research, and statistics, 
and other employment service operations. He must work in close cooperation 
with the United States Department of Agriculture war boards, and farm labor 
subcommittees, and serve as an active member of these groups. 

D. Local Employment Offices 

These offices must be located in such a manner that they can provide prompt 
and efficient service to the agricultural areas within the State. , It is the work of 
the local office to recruit and refer workers to agricultural employers in response 
to their request. They must plan in advance to meet seasonal needs and must 
assure that there is a full utilization of local labor before sending requests to 
neighboring offices or the State clearance supervisors to obtain workers for other 
areas. In each of the local offices, one individual has been designated as a farm 
placement officer. He must serve as a member of the United States Department 
of Agriculture war boards, and farm labor subcommittees for the county and work 
in close cooperation with these groups. 

E. State Plans 

Prior to January 15 each State employment service submitted to its regional 
farm placement representative a plan of operation for its farm placement program. 
These plans were reviewed at the regional office level to ascertain whether or not 
adequate provision had been made to adequately serve the agricultural needs of 
that State. Corrections and suggestions relative to the improvement of these 
plans were submitted to each State employment service in order that the farm 
placement program for that State might be as effective as possible. 


1. Completion of a uniform and adequate farm placement program at all levels 
and areas of employment service operation. 

2. Perfect necessary arrangements for cooperation and coordination with other 
governmental and private organizations in order that all resources may be fully 
utilized and to prevent duplication of efforts. 

3. Provide proper supervision for a farm placement program to fully utilize 
local labor supplies and prevent insofar as possible undirected, undesired, and 
uninformed migration of workers. 



Oversupplies of agricultural labor are rapidly diminishing. The farm labor 
problem is therefore being transformed from one of finding jobs for workers to 
one of findingworkers for job openings. Wartime production, coupled with a 
series of attendant factors, are seriously affecting the normal available supply of 
agricultural workers. 

Contributing factors adding to the draining off of these workers: 

1. Continued drain on the agricultural population to centers of war industry. 

2. Induction into armed forces by selective service. 

3. Replacement in nondefense industries by rural youth due to high wage scale. 

4. An expanded agricultural program brought about by the necessity of pro- 
viding food for our 26 allied nations. 

5. The undirected movement of migratory workers causing surplus labor in 
some areas and often a shortage of workers in other areas. 

These factors and many others of lesser importance will seriously affect the 
normal available supply of agricultural workers. Wage levels in the industry 
cannot compare with those in other industries. Inability of migratory workers to 
obtain automobile tires may impair the possibility of this type of worker entering 
crop areas during peak seasonal needs. The rural youth fails to look upon his 
farm work as an essential war industry and enlistments in the armed forces deplete 
the ranks of needed workers in the agricultural labor market. All of these, added 
to the normal trend from agricultural districts to metropolitan areas during periods 
of prosperity, add to the complexity of agriculture's labor problem. 


The United States Employment Service can be of material assistance in con- 
trolling, insofar as possible, the flow of workers to agricultural employers. They 
can assist in mobilizing the farm labor supply in such a manner as to obtain a 
maximum utilization in food production. Local employment offices can provide 
for full utilization of local labor. Through their clearance procedures an orderly 
recruitment program can be carried on by an area. State, or regional basis. These 
offices can provide adequate information to workers on job opportunities, wages, 
transportation, and housing conditions. They can exercise through this means a 
better control and direction over migratory workers., 

February 6, 1942. 


Planning for Seasonal Labor Needs in Agriculture 

During the decade of the thirties agriculture operated under conditions of a 
large surplus of farm labor. Due to what seemed to be an unlimited supply of 
manpower many labor practices developed that were wasteful. Now, because of 
the war, agriculture finds that the labor supply, which heretofore had seemed 
inexhaustible, is rapidly diminishing. Agriculture did not necessarily need to 
wait for the declaration of war. It received a warning in 1941, and even in 1940, 
to the effect that labor would not be as plentiful as it had been in the past. 

Increased industrial activities due to the defense program brought about an 
increasing trend of agricultural labor into the industrial fields. Here in the 
Rocky Mountain region in 1941, where few if any defense contracts were awarded, 
it was very noticeable through the records of the United States Employment 
Service that an increasing number of our agricultural workers were leaving this 
area for more lucrative employment in defense plants located in other parts of 
the Nation. Also it was indicated by the Department of Labor records for early 
1941 that factory wage employment had taken an upward trend in this region. 
Reports revealed Colorado had an increase of 23 percent, Montana 3 percent, 
Idaho 5.6 percent, Utah 11 percent, Arizona 2 percent. Wyoming is the only 
State in this region that showed a decrease in factory employment, which, as 
shown on the records, was a —3.5 percent. 


The States of the Rocky Mountain region were also generously contributing 
their share of voluntary and Selective Service enlistments in the armed forces. 

As a result of this revelation, even as early as the late fall of 1940, at the very 
beginning of formation of plans for the agricultural season of 1941, considerable 
momentum developed in the age-old appeal to request our Government to relax 
the immigration laws and permit labor from Old Mexico to migrate into this 

Those of us who have had experience in the agricultural activities of this area 
are fully cognizant of the source of pressure behind such requests. Fortunately, 
during 1941 the United States Employment Service and the United States Depart- 
ment of Agriculture cooperating as the most-qualified agencies of the Government 
to resolve this issue, proved that there was absolutely no need for migration of 
labor from Old Mexico into this area. Studies and surveys indicated an adequate 
number of workers available. Proper use and control of movements of these 
workers was all that was needed. 

In most of the crops that are customarily grown in the Rocky Mountain region 
along the eastern slope extending from Montana to Arizona, acreage was far in 
excess and more plentiful crop was returned than that from any other year in the 
past 10. In spite of all the apprehension of those who were fearful of the resources 
of labor and were distrustful of the predictions and analysis of the various Federal 
agencies, this most bountiful crop of 1941 was planted, cultivated, and harvested 
without record of any significant losses. It is true that resources heretofore un- 
tapped were brought into action. In some instances the schools were closed 
down for short periods or had through previous schedules arranged for a vacation 
so that the students could be used in the harvesting of the communities' chief 
crops at the peak of the season. 

The cooperation of the United States Employment Service and the Depart- 
ment of Agriculture cannot be listed as the only two Federal agencies that were 
involved in the successful culmination of this 1941 season. They were very ably 
assisted and cooperated with in every respect by local Work Projects Administra- 
tion, the Civilian Conservation Corps and the National Youth Administration. 
These agencies in many instances closed down their projects so that their workers 
and enrollees might be referred to the Employment Service and placed with 

It is my firm belief that agricultural labor sources have never been fully de- 
veloped. Heretofore it has been the policy to more or less rely upon the number 
of agricultural workers who might be registered with the United States Employ- 
ment Service. This figure is comparatively a small percentage of the number 
that theoretically can be considered as resources to be used within any community. 
Through the medium of the United States Employment Service we believe that 
a canvass of the resources of any community would disclose figures that would 
astound any of us with the number of workers who could perform agricultural 
labor and who could be registered. The problem of channelizing this supply of 
workers is very definitely a responsibility of the United States Employment 
Service, working with other agencies concerned with agricultural problems. 

The Employment Service, in most of its offices, is undoubtedly very well 
equipped to assume this responsibility. There are a few offices, however, we are 
sorry to say, where it would be almost criminal to assume this responsbility. 
Through newly established straight-line Federal administration these offices can 
be immediately strengthened. 

To successfully discharge this placement function, the Employment Service 
will need to call upon all of its resources and it must maintain a fine, cooperative 
working agreement with the Department of Agriculture, and with various repre- 
sentative groups both municipal and county, Legion, labor, schools and, very 
definitely, farmer groups so that they may intelligently and authentically analyze 
the farmers' needs. The Employment Service through its local offices, can render 
this service in the agricultural program, and by so doing, it will do much to 
eliminate the present practices of wild recruitment and the wasteful migration of 
workers. The United States Employment Service will serve not only the farmers 
but the Nation as a whole in this program of conserving the Nation's labor 

Considerable progress has been made in developing in each community, served 
by the United States Employment Service offices, this proposed type of coopera- 
tion. Through the untiring efforts of the Department of Agriculture with the 
assistance of the United States Employment Service, committees are being 
organized at the local level consisting of representatives of farmers' groups, proc- 
essors and canners of agricultural commodities, agricultural officials and repre- 


sentatives of the United States Employment Service for the purpose of making 
exhaustive surveys and compiling accurate figures on crops, acreages, farmers' 
labor needs, available agricultural labor, and to study the development of other 
potential resources of agricultural labor. 

It shall be the responsibility of these committees to supply to the State admin- 
istrative offices of their respective divisions authentic information on the agricul- 
tural needs of their respective areas. They will survey and report on the number 
of agricultural workers needed and the time that they will be needed, housing 
facilities on the farms, the need, if necessary, of Farm Security Administration 
housing, either permanent or mobile camps, wages, working conditions, trans- 
portation problems, etc. 

During the season of 1941 the above program was effective in a few localities 
in the States of this region and thoroughly demonstrated that it is the most com- 
prehensive approach to the agricultural problem of labor supply that has yet been 

Even in the few instances where these practices were in evidence, it was shown 
conclusively that migration was kept down to a minimum and that workers were 
provided with a longer tenure of employment. Moved systematically from farm 
to farm and from crop to crop during the season the workers lost very little time. 
In some instances the farmers were surprised to learn that through this controlled 
arrangement they actually used less labor than they had expected. 

It is a foregone conclusion that a program of the above type cannot be developed 
and made to operate effectively within any one season, but it has been well started 
in this region and should make great strides of improvement in 1942. It has been 
proved beyond a question of doubt that it is fundamentally sound and is the 
solution of a good many evils that had become common practice during the years 
that a large surplus of farm labor existed. 

The coming year presents many complications indeed difficult of solution this 
early in the season. Among those are the question of transportation of the 
migratory worker who, by his own transportation, has for years followed the 
harvesting of crops. Also there is the problem of transportation of those work- 
ers whom it may be necessary for the United States Employment Service to move 
from area to area. The latter of the above two problems would need to be of no 
concern if the movement of agricultural labor were a responsibility with appro- 
priate authority to control, of a designated Federal agency. Positive control of 
the movement of agricultural labor does not present complex problems. It would 
be comparatively simple to administer such a program through the United States 
Employment Service, and it is the concensus of a great many who are in a posi- 
tion to know that if the present state of emergency continues over any great 
period of time that such action will necessarily need to be taken. 

Those who recommend such a program at this time realize that only through 
this medium will it ever be possible to eliminate pirating and unethical practices 
of private industry in recruiting labor. 

In planning the 1942 "Food for Victory" program in this area, it is expected 
that through the development of the proposed representative committees at the 
local level that untapped resources of agricultural labor will be developed, that 
programs will be worked out with farmers for the staggering of the planting time 
for some crops so that the cultivating and the subsequent harvesting may be 
spread over longer periods. 

In the development of added resources of agricultural labor it is hoped that a 
sense of self-sufficiency will be promoted within each community. It is also 
hoped that the plan will be so effective that there will be little or no demand for 
migratory labor other than that commonly known as resident migrants. Possibly 
there will be a shortage of agricultural labor, but we believe that it will be a 
shortage in relation to what has formerly been plenty rather than a shortage of 
labor for the actual needs of agriculture. Or, as past experiences have proven, 
it may be a shortage that is definitely traceable to the rate of wages offered. 

While no labor priorities have been in evidence at least to date, we feel that 
labor must be conserved and used economically else there will not be enough to 
go around. We must reduce migratory labor to a minimum. Keep them at home. 
Use them at home the year around. Improve local working conditions and 
housing and wages. Agricultural employment must be made more attractive, 
more lucrative, else the gap between agriculture and industrial employment will 
continue to widen. 

We must husband our labor resources and use them as efficiently as we do our 
rubber and aluminum. They are far more vital to our defense. 


Exhibit A. — General Activities op County Farm Labor Committees 
Worked on by the Farm Security Administration in Cooperation With 
Colorado Division of the United States Employment Service 

war program for county farm labor committees 

I. General activities 
Some problems. 

During the decade of the thirties, agriculture operated under the conditions of 
a large surplus of farm labor. Due to what seemed an unlimited supply, many- 
labor practices developed which were wasteful. Now, due to the war, agriculture 
suddenly finds that the labor supply which seemed inexhaustible is rapidly 

Whether we like it or not, we must recognize the following facts and adjust our 
thinking accordingly. 

Large numbers of agricultural workers have been drawn into industrial or 
military activities. 

As the national war efforts are stepped up, still more workers will be drawn 
from agriculture. 

At this time industry is enticing agricultural workers by offering higher wages. 

Men who were paid $1 or $2 per day for farm work during the thirties are now 
drawing a minimum of $5 per day in industry. 

Industry promises more stability than agriculture. Many agriculture workers 
are given work only at peak seasons. In order to have steady employment, they 
must travel from place to place, following the harvest, at the sacrifice of a stable 
home life and educational advantages for their children. 

Even though paying a higher wage, industry offers shorter hours of labor. 

Industrial workers enjoy many advantages denied agricultural workers. 

Among these are workmen's compensation, unemployment insurance, social 
security, etc. 

Industrial workers on the whole have better housing, more sanitary conditions, 
and better medical facilities than agricultural workers. 

The thinking farmer will recognize that higher wages for labor will provide a 
larger market for his own produce. Certainly the advantage of a stable family 
life; insurance against disability, sickness, and unemployment; education for the 
young; good housing; sanitation; and good medical facilities will make for national 
strength. Low wages, unemployment, poor housing, poor education, unsanitary 
conditions, undernourishment, and instability are ideal conditions for the develop- 
ment of epidemics of disease and political discontent. A nation in which they are 
general is ill prepared to meet an enemy. People who live under those conditions 
cannot be expected to ably resist the enemy and protect their own homes and 

Any plan to provide sufficient farm labor must recognize these facts. In the 
language of the farmer, farm labor must have "parity." Any plan which does 
not recognijze these facts is foredoomed to fail. Farmers and farm leaders have 
pointed out repeatedly that the only democratic way to get farmers to reach the 
food-for-freedom goals is to make it pay. The same may be said of farm labor. 
Parity wages are as essential to farmers as workers because much of the farmer's 
income is wages which he earns on his own operations. The only one who profits 
by low wages is the large operator. When he operates his land with low-paid 
labor, he is using that same cheap labor to compete with small farmers. As his 
costs are cut in that manner, he is able to sell his products cheaper and thus cut 
the income of the family-type farmer. Such advantages permit the large operator 
to crowd out the family-type farmer and reduce him to a low-paid laborer. 

For nearly 10 years farm laborers have been a surplus group. They have been 
made to feel that they were unnecessary, a burden to society, and, in too many 
instances, unwanted. Some counties have prevented their free passage across the 
county boundaries. They have been driven out of towns and their makeshift 
homes burned by armed vigilantes. 

Many groups enticed to their communities three and four times as many 
workers as could be used and then forced wages below those promised to entice 
them into the commnuity. One banker-farmer summed up the attitude behind 
such actions when he said: "I need three crews. One that I just fired, one that is 
working for me, and one that is coming to take the place of these when I fire them." 

For some time we have recognized that a total war cannot be conducted on a 
"business as usual" basis. Neither can agriculture be conducted as usual. The 
unlimited production of the less essential agricultural projects would be as unwise 


and unpatriotic as the production of automobiles at the expense of tanks and 

The production goals of the Department of Agriculture are agriculture's priority 
list. Consequently, we may expect machinery and labor to be rationed to farmers 
on the basis of the position of their product on the priority list. A straw indicating 
the direction of the wind is a memorandum dated December 4, 1941, from the 
national headquarters of the Selective Service Board to State directors for local 
board release. 

The memorandum is designed to provide local selective-service boards with 
basic information for deferring selectees. It divides agricultural produce into 
two divisions: 

A. Commodities of greatest importance, under which are included milk and 
dairy products, eggs and egg products, poultry meat products, hogs and lard 

B. Commodities of distinct importance: Naval stores (turpentine and resinous 
products), flax and hemp, soybeans, peanuts, sugar beets, sugarcane, commercial 
vegetables, cattle and calves, sheep and lambs. 

It further points out that "The areas in which the greatest difficulties' in secur- 
ing labor have been experienced during 1941 correspond roughly with the areas in 
which a major portion of the agricultural products listed above must be produced. 

In the section devoted to policy and procedure, it states "The local board has 
the problem of deciding whether or not an individual agricultural worker is so 
necessary to so much of the agricultural program which is in the interest of national 
defense, that he should be deferred under the provisions of paragraphs 350-353 
of the regulations. This problem should be approached with a full appreciation 
of the considerations described above, that is, (a) importance of the product, 
(6) importance of the enterprise, (c) importance of tbe skill, and (d) relative labor 
shortage in the area." 

The one-crop farms operated on a large scale generally contribute the products 
least needed for either war or peace and require the most seasonal labor. While 
they contribute little to defense, they tend to bring about instability of farm labor; 
prevent the agricultural ladder from working; and, by competition with products 
produced cheaply in terms of money but costly in terms of national welfare, drive 
the family-type farmer from the land. 

National objectives for improving the labor situation. 

Devices to bring security to farm labor on a parity with that for industrial 

1. Extension of the workmen's compensation and social security acts to include 
farm labor. As family-type farm operators are workers also, they should likewise 
be included under the acts. 

In order to encourage stability which develops the most desirable citizens, it is 
for the national welfare to have as high a percentage of resident labor as possible. 
It is the stable resident who has an interest in the local community that makes the 
good citizen. It is the stable resident that can establish a home and instill in 
his children those qualities necessary to build the American of the future. 

2. Provide full employment for farm labor. This may be accomplished by: 

(a) Organizing the farm activity in such a way as to employ year-round labor 
and require a minimum of seasonal labor. Fortunately, many of the foods and 
crops needed to win the war and maintain a healthy nation in peacetimes are 
those which demand the least seasonal employment. Many farmers can further 
diversify and thus provide full-time employment. 

(b) Planning nonagricultural work to be carried on during slack seasons of 

Year-round employment can be maintained by community and county planning. 
It involves the development and timing of nonagricultural work to mesh with 
agricultural work. 

Every county has road construction and maintenance and other public works 
as well as private construction. If such work is so timed as to be carried on 
during slack agricultural periods, it will stabilize employment and income for 
resident workers and at the same time retain local labor which is best for farmers 
and the community. 

3. Keep the agricultural ladder free. The best possible workers are those who 
have hopes and ambition to become farmers and farm owners. The person who 
feels that he has no opportunity to advance is less likely to be a good worker or 

4. Provide adequate housing for farm labor. Unmarried men will not accept 
farm labor unless they are provided with room and board comparable to what 


they can get in industrial work. Married men cannot be expected to remain 
farm laborers unless their families can be provided with adequate housing. 

Farmers needing year-round help should provide adequate and convenient 
housing on the farm. 

A federally subsidized housing program for building permanent labor homes 
in communities where year-around laborers are needed has long been a vital need 
in rural communities. During the present emergency the need is even more 
vital. The more that laborers can be provided suitable housing near their work, 
the less will be the need for rubber tires and automobiles to carry them back and 

5. Parity wages for agricultural workers should be obtained. Unless agricul- 
tural workers receive wages on a parity with industry, they will take positions 
with industry. It will work to the welfare of the small farmer as well as the 
laborer and community to insist upon the enactment of a minimum wage standard 
for agricultural workers. As a matter of self-protection, farmers should insist 
that certain minimum labor conditions be met in order to obtain marketing quotas 
or payments under Agricultural Adjustment Administration. 

6. Adequate medical facilities must be available to farm labor families. Many 
industries offer free medical services to their employees. Agriculture can offset 
that disadvantage in bargaining for labor by insisting that Farm Security Ad- 
ministration provide grants for full medical needs of farm labor families. 

7. Hours of work. — In addition to higher wages, industry offers workers shorter 
working hours. It is generally conceded that an industrial worker will do nearly 
as much in 8 hours as in 12. Farmers are beginning to recognize this fact. In 
1941 a number reported that they had limited the hours of work to 8 and that 
their workers were accomplishing just as much or more than under the old 10- 
or 12-hour system. 

8. Training farm labor. — It is frequently pointed out that much farm labor is 
of a skilled nature and that the shortage of that kind of labor is most acute. It 
will be more and more necessary for farmers to train their labor. Industry is 
bidding for unskilled workers whom they then train for their jobs. Agriculture 
must do the same. 

9. Develop a feeling that farm workers are important in agriculture and in the 
life of the community and Nation. 

The best and, therefore, cheapest workers are those who are contented and 
feel that they are vital to the welfare of the Nation. Such an attitude can be 
developed by providing full employment and the feeling of security that goes 
with it; good physical and mental health through adequate housing, sanitation, 
nutrition, and medical facilities; fair treatment by their employers; and a square 
deal for their families. 

10. Produce farm products that are high on the priority list. — From this farmers 
6hould anticipate the possibility that their requests for labor to the Employment 
Service Office may be filled according to the rating of the product for which they 
need workers. If their product is listed in the second grouping, their order may 
not be filled until needs for those in the first group are met. If not listed in either 
group, their order may not be filled until all needs for the harvest of the more 
vital groups are filled. 

11. Encourage the family-type farm. — The farm labor shortage can be met best 
by family-type farms organized to require the minimum of seasonal labor and 
operating on a diversified agricultural plan. These are the farms which can best 
step up the production of the most vital foods. 

The points outlined above present the essentials of a program to retain farm 
labor, win the war, and develop good citizens. It should be kept in mind that 
the challenge to democracy by the totalitarian countries cannot be entirely blamed 
on a few leaders. Rather, it arose out of the dissatisfaction of the people with 
their condition of life. America has two tasks of equal importance: The defeat 
of the totalitarian nations and the proving that democracy can provide a feel of 
security and a good level of living for all its citizens. By providing food for the 
democracies resisting totalitarianism and planning toward the end of obtaining 
security for both farmers and laborers, farmers can contribute to the war for 
freedom and at the same time strengthen the Nation. Crushing the totalitarian 
nations is only half the job. Final peace can be won only by developing strong 
citizens who feel secure because they have full employment and a full dinner pail 
and know that they fill a real need in our national economy and politics. 

60396 — 42— pt. 28- 


77. A county organization to cope with labor problems 

In order to provide county United States Department of Agriculture Defense 
Boards with the machinery necessary to fulfill their responsibilities in the labor 
field and also in order that labor problems shall be tied in with over-all agricul- 
tural planning for the counties, it is recommended that the following organization 
be set up to function as a joint subcommittee of the defense board and the county 
agricultural planning committee: 

The Farm Security Administration supervisor, after consulting with local agri- 
cultural people interested in the labor problems and the welfare of laborers, shall 
appoint, with the approval of the district supervisor, a county war farm labor 
committee consisting of representatives of the Federal Security Administration, 
United States Extension Service, Work Projects Administration, two United 
States Department of Agriculture agencies (one to represent the defense board 
and one to represent the planning committee), two farmers, and two farm laborers. 
Additional persons may be selected as advisory members according to the need. 

It is felt that in any county where the labor problem is sufficient to necessitate 
in-migration it is essential that a United States Extension : Service employee should 
be available full time, at least during the peak seasons. 

III. Analysis of labor needs and full utilization of local supply 

Sufficient labor to produce the food and fiber necessary to win the war and 
maintain world peace in the future is dependent upon achieving the needs pointed 
out in section I. This section deals with practical plans for achieving that end 
through the War Farm Labor Committee. 

Planning is the first requirement for the retention and mobilization of labor 
resources. Facts are absolutely essential to intelligent planning. There are two 
main sets of facts which must be obtained on the county level. 

A. Accurate data on the number of laborers needed at specific times. — This is 
essential because (1) there is not a large surplus of farm labor available and a 
miscalculation by one community or enterprise may deprive another of labor 
necessary to save its crop ; (2) unless labor is used economically, there will not be 
enough to go around. We must husband our labor resources and use them as 
efficiently as we do our rubber and aluminum. They are just as vital to our 
defense. Time must not be lost in going to a job that does not exist; (3) if workers 
do not have full employment and, by going to jobs that do not exist, get the 
impression that there is not enough farm work, they will accept positions in 

To determine the laborers needed at specific times, the following method is 

A. From Agricultural Adjustment Administration or other records obtain 
(1) acreage of each crop which requires seasonal labor; (2) number of farmers 
raising the crop. 

B. Draw up a table showing the man-days required for each operation at the 
time of year when it occurs and the duration of the season. 

C. Determine the number of acres which an individual worker can handle 
during the season. 

D. Divide the total number of acres by the acres that can be handled by one 

E. From the above result, subtract the number of operators raising the crop 
plus number of family workers and year-round hired men employed by the 
operators who raise that crop. The result will be the number of seasonal workers 

In many counties the above calculation may show that there are sufficient farm 
operators to harvest the entire crop even though additional seasonal workers have 
been employed in the past. This is especially true in the wheat area. The 
reasons for the apparent error are that some of the farmers are large operators 
who have hired farm laborers. Other operators may have other businesses and 
depend on hiring cheap farm labor from a glutted labor market. At the same 
time that seasonal laborers were employed by these two groups, a large number 
of smaller and low-income operators have been underemployed even at peak 

Under these conditions, unless there is an abundance of unemployed resident 
workers, those who have acreages too large to be operated by their own family 
and full-time employees should seek assistance from their neighbors with smaller 
acreages. Such cooperative arrangements would be worked out best in advance 
of the season. 


The arrangement should not be difficult, as farmers recognize the national need 
for the crops. Neither is it too much to expect each operator to contribute his 
own labor even though he may be a banker, as his operations prevent the use of 
his land by farm families who could do the work. Indeed, the welfare of the 
American farmer is undermined by the nonresident operator who competes with 
cheap seasonal labor and thus tends to force down the farmer's level of living, 
force him off the land, and eventually reduce him to the status of a migratory 

While it is probable that the small farmer may demand a higher wage to work 
off his own farm, he will undoubtedly be worth more. Full utilization of skilled 
agriculturalists is as vital to defense as full utilization of skilled machinists. 
Such a cooperative arrangement will also increase the full utilization of ma- 

B. The number of laborers available at specific times. — In case there are not 
enough farm resident workers, attention should be turned next to the other resi- 
dent labor supply of the county. Its efficient utilization also depends upon plan- 
ning based on the knowledge of facts. The following recommendations are made 
for obtaining the necessary information on a county basis: 

1. A general survey should be made of the available resident labor supply by 
months. This should be done by months because during some seasons there will 
be more workers available than at others. For instance, during the summer 
there will be a number of boys out of school who will be available. 

2. In advance of the season when additional workers will be needed, workers 
should be urged to register with the local employment service office or an office 
designated to cooperate with it. This necessary registration of available workers 
will be facilitated if the Social Security Act is extended to include farm labor. 

3. Also in advance of the season, farmers who need workers should resgister 
their needs with the same office. In addition to their needs, they should indicate 
(a) a definite period of time for which they will hire the man and (6) the extent 
of the job they have in terms of acres or other unit of work. Any valid prediction 
as to labor demand and any reliable opinion regarding adequacy of labor supply 
must be based on known acreage, known crop conditions, and scientific crop 
estimates. The size of the job should be compared with the number of men 
requested, in order to bring the two into agreement. The precaution is necessary, 
as in the past we have been used to a surplus labor supply and have employed 
large numbers for a short period to do a job that now would be more desirable to 
extend over a longer period with fewer men. 

The committee should determine the length of time over which the various 
processes may be carried on. 

This is necessary, as the records of the Employment Service are full of requests 
for workers which far exceed the needs. As an example, a typical case is taken from 
the records of the Texas State Employment Service: "An order for 500 pickers was 
received at 8 a. m. By noon 150 pickers were on the job and by 8 a. m. the next 
morning the entire order was filled by the local employment office. Not only the 
labor need was exaggerated but the actual acreage was inflated. According to 
publicity, 500 acres were ready for harvest; actually, the acreage was 150. The 
500 workers had 12 to 15 hours of employment. Fifty workers might have had a 
week of work." And this was in an area requesting that immigrant workers from 
Mexico be brought in. 

We need not discuss the moral issue here. Every farmer knows how he would 
react if he were in the worker's position. If labor is scarce, such tragic misjudg- 
ment will result in laborers avoiding the area in the future and a shortage will be 
real, perhaps resulting in a loss of a crop. 

With a labor shortage, such a misjudgment results in the loss of thousands of 
hours of labor vitally needed for our war effort. It also means needless wear on 
rubber tires used to transport the workers. 

In case it is determined that there are not enough resident workers to accomp- 
lish the work to be done at a given season, the committee should request the 
Employment Service to locate and direct the necessary workers into the area at 
the time they will be needed. The procedure for this is outlined in the following 

IV. Preparing for and utilizing migratory labor 

A. Housing and sanitation. — War Farm Labor committee must take steps 
necessary to improve already existing housing and construct housing where it is 
needed. Where individual farmers cannot finance such housing as is needed, 
committees should insist on the establishment of permanent and seasonal housing 
for farm workers through community assistance or through governmental aid. 


Some committees are already organizing to cooperatively purchase and remodel, 
tourist camps to be rented at low rates to migratory laborers. 

The Farm Security already has set up a program to provide housing for migra- 
tory laborers in well organized temporary or semipermanent camps with sanitary 
facilities, medical care, recreational leadership, etc. 

B. Medical care. — Farm workers as a group are not healthy. Insufficient food, 
exposure, and absence of medical care are the principal causes. With the migra- 
tion of the youngest and most efficient workers to the cities, farmers will have to 
rely more and more on the group least able — physically — to labor. 

Until farm laborers are accorded the same consideration as city workers under 
social legislation and until farm prices will permit wages to agricultural laborers 
that will enable them to afford medical care, a federally subsidized program should 
be provided immediately to finance medical care for farm workers and their 
families, including corrective surgical and dental cases. 

C. Transportation. — It is reasonable to forecast that if our farmers do actually 
require labor other than that available within the immediate and nearby com- 
munities there will be a transportation problem. Whereas in previous years 
most migratory farm labor transported themselves by motor vehicles requiring 
such commodities as oil, gasoline and tires, we now know that even motor vehicles 
themselves as well as fuel, lubricants, and tires will be most difficult if not entirely 
impossible for this group of people to obtain as restrictions now stand. Farm 
labor committees should investigate the most efficient means of transporting 
workers into an area and the most efficient means of moving them from home to 
work once they are there. 

School busses can be pressed into services along systematically planned routes 
to carry workers from their houses to work. 

D. Wages and hours. — Farm labor committees must make an effort to afford 
farm wages and hours more nearly comparable to industrial wages and hours. 
In order that such provisions might be uniformly fair to all farmers, observance 
of minimum wages and maximum hours standards should be prerequisite to 
obtaining benefit payments. Assurance should also be made that farm income 
is supported at a level that will permit farmers to meet those standards. 

E. Social security. — (a) Workmen's compensation (accident compensation) has 
long been available to industrial workers under State workman's compensation 
insurance laws. Steps should be taken immediately to secure the same coverage 
on a Federal basis, for both farm operator and labor. 

(6) Unemployment insurance for farm labor must be made available imme- 
diately. There is no justification for discrimination against farm groups on this 

(c) Old-age insurance coverage of farm workers should be enacted as soon as 
possible — including a guarantee of a minimum monthly payment after the age of 
60 adequate to provide a minimum standards of living considered decent. 

F. Until adequate social security legislation is provided for farm workers, a 
cooperative arrangement between Surplus Marketing Administration and Farm 
Security Administration should be made for making grants to enable farm work- 
ers to purchase orange stamps and receive an additional 50 percent of blue stamps 
during periods of unemployment due to weather conditions, physical disability, 
or lack of employment opportunity. 

G. If the analysis, outlined in section III, has indicated a need for importation 
of laborers into the county, the committee should immediately notify its nearest 
United States Employment Service office. From that point on, the United 
States Employment Service, in cooperation with the United States Farm Place- 
ment Service, will plan for meeting the indicated needs. 

H. Committees, before requesting the inmigration of farm workers, should 
have signed orders for the total number of workers requested. Each order 
should be signed by the farmer making the request. The order should further 
indicate how many acres to be worked and what the rate will be and what the 
plans are for housing and transporting the workers. The United States Employ- 
ment Office will not act on any unsigned order. Each county committee will be 
provided with a supply of order forms. 

I. No orders for migratory workers will be acted upon as long as there is suffi- 
cient available local labor. There must be no effort on the part of individuals or 
groups toward creating a surplus of labor at any point. Any trends in this direc- 
tion should be immediately discouraged. Committees will find that differences 
in opinion will arise between farm workers and employers. For example, there 
will be pirating of labor. This is to be discouraged. Wage differentials will 
occur. In those instances, the committee can be of considerable assistance in 
helping to handle the situation. 


Ehxibit B. — Farm Labor Situations Found in Certain Localities in New 
Mexico, Texas, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana 

report by dr. gregory silvermaster, director, labor division, farm 
security administration, october 18, 1941 

New Mexico 

In the Mesilla Valley area we are advised that there are at present approxi- 
mately 2,000 workers. This number is not as great as numbers which have been 
there in past years and some careful planning is being made in labor use. How- 
ever, the Placement Service advises that no serious difficjlties are expected. 

The cotton-picking season is not complete and is possibly now at its peak in 
this area. About 3 weeks ago there was a greater supply of labor than at present. 
However, severe rainstorms damaged the crops to some extent and slowed up the 
maturing process. Also, the rains forced the migrant workers to leave the area 
and move west to Arizona where weather conditions were better. 

In the Pecos Valley in southeas em New Mexico, the situation is almost iden- 
tical. There were, in that area, quite a few migrants who left when the heavy 
rains and floods hit the area about 3 weeks ago. A matter of interest is the report 
of the New Mexico port of entry officers concerning the reaction of migratory 
workers. The port of entry officers there stopped all possible workers and at- 
tempted to direct them to employment in the cotton. The officers are reporting 
back that a large number of the migrants are asking if there are Government 
labor camps in the area and are refusing to consider work because there are no 

In the Pecos Valley area we are advising that the cotton is now opening rapidly 
under the warm sun and that this creates a problem which has normally not been 
encountered in cotton areas. However, the Placement Service believes that the 
situation can be handled with no loss to the farmers because of shortage of labor. 
There is a possibility that there will be some loss of crops due to the rain. 

In the vicinity of Portales and Melrose in the east central part of New Mexico, 
some difficulty has been encountered in securing labor for the harvesting of broom- 
corn, peanuts, and potatoes. However, the broomcorn harvest is about complete 
and there has been no loss and the potato and peanut harvest is now under way 
with no anticipated crop loss. The matter of additional interest is the fact that 
the schools have closed at Portales in order that the school children may be avail- 
able to work in the peanut and potato harvest. 

The Farm Placement State director in New Mexico is emphatic in his statements 
that Farm Security Administration camps are desperately needed in all of the 
foregoing areas. In New Mexico in spite of the fact that heavy rains have changed 
the normal picture, it appears that the forecasts earlier to the effect that the labor- 
requirements situation could be met were accurate. It apparently has been 
necessary for the farmers and the Placement Service to give more thought to 
careful planning and labor use. 


In the Texas cotton areas in region XII there have been rumors from time to 
time of labor shortages which, according to our latest information, have not 
developed. There is no indication of a labor shortage at the present time in any 
of the cotton areas There is not at present sufficient labor to handle the expected 
crop ; however, it is still early in the season and local people appear confident that 
the necessary labor will appear in time for the harvest. Their optimism extends 
to the point that there is a great amount of talk in the area of holding the cotton- 
picking rate down to 75 cents a hundredweight instead of paying $1. This 
attitude does not appear to indicate any fear on the part of the farmers of a labor 

There was some difficulty in obtaining row-crop harvest hands, and the wages 
ranged as high as $3 a day. This appears to have been due to the fact that the 
farmers have been accustomed in past years to a large surplus of available labor 
and did not make plans early enough to contact the persons needed to handle the 
row-crop harvest. 

Rains have been prevalent in the south plains area, west Texas, and harvests 
are therefore delayed. However, on the basis of latest information, it does not 
appear that there will be a labor shortage in the sense that there will not be ade- 
quate labor to harvest the crops. 



The western Kansas wheat harvest was completed several weeks ago with no 
crop loss. As a matter of fact, it appears that there was possibly a small surplus 
of labor. The crop was exceptionally good, and the past few weeks have noted a 
large number of automobiles with Kansas license plates touring the highways in 
Colorado. I have talked to some of these people and find they are farmers from 
Kansas who are enjoying a vacation on the basis of a very successful harvest 
this year. 


In Colorado it has been necessary to move labor from one area to another, the 
most notable movement being that of pea pickers from the San Luis Valley to the 
Arkansas Valley and broom-corn pullers from Huerfano and Las Animas Counties 
to Baca County. There were 30,000 acres of broom corn in Baca County, the 
yield being 20 percent above 1940. The peaches were harvested in Mesa, Delta, 
and Montrose Counties on the western slope with a smaller labor supply but no 
peach loss. This is apparently due to two factors — better planning of labor use 
to provide employment of workers by more than one employer each day and the 
additional fact that the peaches ripened more slowly this year than has been the 
case in other years. The pea pickers moved from the San Luis Valley to the 
Arkansas Valley were able to harvest the crops in the Arkansas Valley and return 
for the same work in the San Luis Valley. There was a bumper crop of peas in 
the San Luis Valley. In fact so large that the heavy carloadings per day reduced 
the market price. Arrangements were therefore made to temporarily suspend 
shipping for a few days and then to release a limited number of cars per day for 
the market. If the picking had progressed on this same schedule, a smaller num- 
ber of workers could have received work over a longer period. However, the 
farmers in their picking operations did not observe this schedule and picked all 
the peas quickly, thus requiring a larger labor supply. 

In connection with the movement of workers from Las Animas and Huerfano 
Counties to Baca County to work in broom corn, I have discovered one item of 
interest which is different than any situation which has heretofore come to our 
attention. The Placement Service knew of an available labor supply in Huerfano 
County but was unable to persuade these workers to agree to go to Baca County 
to pull broom corn. The Placement Service then contacted the Work Projects 
Administration with a request that existing projects primarily in the vicinity of 
Walsenburg in Huerfano County be closed in order that the workers be made 
available for the broom corn harvest. Considerable opposition was encountered 
from the local businessmen in Walsenburg, the pretext being that the sponsors 
had invested money in the projects and desired their early completion. However, 
the Placement Service advises that a closer examination of the situation devel- 
oped the fact that the businessmen in Walsenburg have been and are now depend- 
ent to a large degree upon the various relief incomes of the residents of Huerfano 
and were fearful that many of the persons who might be persuaded to go to other 
areas for crop harvests might make contacts for permanent employment in such 
areas and, therefore, not return to Huerfano County for a resumption of their 
relief status thus depriving the Walsenburg businessmen of this source of income. 
It appears, therefore, that in this case Government expenditures for relief are 
constituting a major back-wall of substantial income for the businessmen, a 
situation which we cannot reconcile with their continual public statements 
derogating welfare and relief programs. 

In the Craig-Steamboat district there is being experienced a lesser number of 
workers than in previous years but no crop losses are anticipated. In the La 
Plata County area in the vicinity of Durango, there are about 1000 acres of pota- 
toes the harvest of which began on October 1, the peak period beginning about 
October 15 and ending October 31 and the over-all period ending November 15. 
It is expected that only about 60 workers will be needed at the peak. There 
are, at present, or were on October 6, 10 persons working in potatoes with a 
reservoir of unemploj'ed amounting to 70 persons. 

In Bent County 1,800 acres of sugar beets will require a peak number of 200 
workers, the harvest season beginning on October 1 and ending on November 
20; the peak beginning on October 15 and continuing for two weeks. On 
October 6 there were 165 unemployed workers in Bent County. No shortage 
is expected. 

In Crowley County in the Arkansas Valley, 2,900 acres of sugar beets will 
require about 300 workers with the harvest beginning October 6 and ending 
November 20. An adequate supply of workers is available. The broomcorn 


harvest in Baca County required at its peak which ended October 15, 700 workers. 
The over-all harvest of broomcorn will end about November 1. 

In Morgan and Weld counties, there are approximately 64,000 acres of sugar 
beets for harvest. This will require a peak number of workers estimated at 
about 6,500. While the available physical supply as of October 6 seemed to 
indicate a possible shortage of 250 workers, the Placement Service advises that 
they do not anticipate any difficulty in securing the necessary number this 
harvest season which began October 7 and will conclude about November 10 
with the peak season coming between October 13 and 30. The Placement Service 
advises that while there was some concern in the local areas because of no physical 
supply of laborers, they believe that this was due to the fact that the number 
was less than in previous years of labor surplus. There has been some shifting 
of workers from surplus of labor requirement areas, but the over-all picture for 
the State is that adequate labor is available. 

As an added item, in addition to handling its own harvests, it is expected 
that the San Luis Valley has at least 400 workers available for use in other areas. 

Concerning the use of camps, the type of agriculture in Colorado does not 
paint a clear picture as to their value in alleviating any labor shortage distress. 
If such should occur, possibly camps might be useful in Hotchkiss peach area 
from this viewpoint ; however, from the standpoint of long time stabilization in 
permanent farm labor homes, it appears that such homes would constitute a 
definite community assurance of available experienced labor. 


In Wyoming there have been special placement offices set up in certain areas 
of peak labor need and some labor has been imported from Colorado to supple- 
ment the supply in the sugar beet area around Torrington in Goshen County. 
In Worland in Washakie County in north central Wyoming, the information 
available. as of October 7 was to the effect that the temporary Placement Office 
had not yet had time to make an actual field examination of harvest requirements 
and labor supply. However, the office had received a request from the Holly 
Sugar Co. for 100 beet workers and had forwarded the request to the district 
office for clearance of that many from New Mexico. 

On October 7 the beet fields along the highways in that area were standing 
practically untouched. However, in Worland a large number of Mexican men, 
obviously agricultural workers, were on the streets apparently waiting for em- 
ployment. It appears that the farmers are waiting until the last possible minute 
in order to secure a maximum sugar content in the beets. 

The Extension Service agent in Washakie County believes that the labor 
supply is large enough and that the harvest of beets could not be hastened by 
more labor, as the limiting factor on each farm is the amount which the farmer 
can haul to the factory. He can lift and have topped only the amount of beets 
he can haul in the same day. A 5-inch snow fell in this area on October 5 and 
may have had something to do with the lack of labor activity evident there on 
the 7th. The over-all picture for the State of Wyoming indicates sufficient 
labor available; this has appeared to be just adequate to meet labor requirements. 

The following special efforts were utilized in developing the Wyoming labor 

At Thermopolis in Big Horn Basin, Work Projects Administration projects 
were partial^ suspended during September and at Worland, Basin, Lovell, 
Powell, and Cody in the same basin, Work Projects Administration projects 
have been discontinued for the duration of the harvest. However, this has been 
the practice in other years. Civilian Conservation Corps boys from 4 camps 
in the area have been used to a much greater extent this year. They were made 
available primarily because the increased demand for labor was accompanied 
by a general raise in farm wages. For example, with board, farm-hand wages 
have increased from an average of $25 to $30 a month to an average of $45 to 
$50 per month. Day wages with board have increased from an average of $1.75 
or $2 to a minimum of $2.50. No surplus of farm labor has been available. 
However, it appears that farm work is commencing to slacken somewhat and it 
is reported that some workers are now coming to the employment office to register 
for work. An apparent excess of demand over supply appeared in connection 
with the harvest of beans and sugar beets; however, the so-called shortage of 
workers for cutting and piling beans was not a real shortage and all of this harvest 
has been accomplished with the crops being harvested in the usual harvest 
period and without crop loss. 


A similar situation now prevails in connection with sugar-beet topping. The 
excess of demand over supply is estimated to be the same as excess of demand 
over actual labor requirements. No crop losses have occurred because of labor 
shortage in Wyoming. The fall rains are reported to have damaged the beans 
considerably, but such damage was in no way due to labor difficulties as beans 
were out and piled in the normal time. 

The bean-threshing situation is somewhat delayed because of thrashing con- 
ditions. Farm Placement activities have been utilized to a much greater extent 
this year. Some room for improvement still exists. It appears that labor homes 
might be useful in the Big Horn Basin area, where housing conditions are very 
poor and generally inadequate. 


Information concerning the labor condition in Montana is not complete with 
respect to the specific areas concerning which we have made previous report. 
However, the over-all picture indicates that the crops will be harvested with no 
labor shortages; many of the crops have already been harvested. 

The sugar-beet harvest is now getting under way. We have specific informa- 
tion concerning Carbon and Stillwater Counties and Yellowstone County. In 
Carbon and Stillwater Counties the farm-labor supply has been adequate to meet 
labor requirements of all crops. Some special efforts were used in developing new 
sources of labor supply for Stillwater County by securing the cooperation of Work 
Projects Administration and listing and making available workers who are quali- 
fied for farm employment. Wages have been raised from last year's level of $2.50 
per day to an average of $3.50 in Carbon County and from $3.50 per day to $5 
per day in Stillwater County. 

Not much cooperation was received from the Civilian Conservation Corps camp 
near Red Lodge where about 125 boys are quartered. It is reported that the 
camp director desired that the boys remain at camp to carry on the Civilian Con- 
servation Corps work, for which a quota of 200 boys had been authorized but not 
reached. Less than one dozen workers were secured from the camp. The Work 
Projects Administration is reported to have refused to make any special effort 
in Carbon County to transfer workers for referral to farmers. However, on the 
basis of a check survey by the Employment Service during July by means of a 
post-card canvass method in the county, the Employment Service reached the con- 
clusion that there was no labor shortage impending and did not press Work 
Projects Administration for referrals. No surpluses of labor were available. 

A starting of chrome-mining operations attracted some extra labor to the area, 
including some local labor. The number in excess of need in mining requirements 
was not large and a majority of these workers returned quickly to agricultural 
employment when farm-wage rates were raised. 

There were no specific areas of labor shortage in these two counties and no re- 
ported loss of crops due to labor shortages. Farm Placement services were only 
partly utilized in Carbon County, but more generally used in Stillwater County. 
It is expected that increases in farm-wage rates and more general use of Farm 
Placement service, with improved cooperation of Work Projects Administration 
and Civilian Conservation Corps, will handle the labor situation without recourse 
to outside sources of labor. 

In Yellowstone County the farm-labor supply has been adequate for all crops 
so far this year except for the topping of beets, which is now entering the period 
of full harvest. No special efforts have yet been utilized in tapping new sources 
of labor. Work Projects Administration labor, as in past years, is being used only 
when Work Projects Administration workers voluntarily lay off to take agricul- 
tural employment during the harvest. The volume of such employment has been 
no greater than in past years and is believed not to represent the full available 
number of men qualified to top beets. The State employment service is now urg- 
ing a compulsory suspension of all Work Projects Administration work in the 
county for the duration of beet topping, estimated to extend to November 1. The 
Great Western Sugar Co. and the growers are supporting the employment-service 
action. The suspension is apparently acceptable to Work Projects Administra- 
tion and is expected to be put into effect October 17. There is no reported sur- 
plus of labor; no crop losses reported as yet on account of labor shortage. It is 
reported that Civilian Conservation Corps boys from camps at Lewistown and 
Bridger would be available for beet topping if the growers will pay an hourly rate 
of 50 cents. The growers have not yet indicated a willingness to pay this rate. 
The need for the beet toppers at present is due primarily to late planting because 
of bad spring weather and wet weather around the first of October, which delayed 
the normal starting of the harvest. 


There is no indication that Farm Security Administration camps would change 
the labor-supply picture. However, housing conditions are very bad for farm 
laborers and it is believed that resident labor homes would be useful in establishing 
sugar-beet workers on a more substantial economic basis. 

The over-all picture for the entire area included in regions X and XII indicates 
that while some hard work in planning is necessary on the part of farmers and 
placement services and cooperation with other agencies more fully utilized, there 
have been no crop losses and apparently will be no crop losses because of any 
shortage of farm workers. It has been necessary in practically all of the area to 
suspend Work Projects Administration project activities in many places and also 
to increase wages in some of the areas. The most urgent need for camps, from 
the standpoint of actual application to the problem of labor supply, is in the New 
Mexico and Texas areas, where the farmers apparently believe it would be easier 
to import large numbers of workers from Mexico than to make careful planning 
for use of local labor. 

Exhibit C. — Proposed Migration of Mexican Labor, as Reported at the 
Amarillo Meeting of August 1941 

report by c. e. hazard, senior labor relations specialist, farm security 
administration, denver, colo. 

United States Department of Agriculture 

farm security administration 

Denver, Colo. 
Subject: Farm labor supply. 

Mr. John E. Gross, 

Regional Employment Service Officer, 

Denver, Colo. 

Dear Mr. Gross: Pursuant to my conversation with you on Monday, I am 
attaching hereto information concerning the farm labor situation as it was 
reported to Washington by this office on October 18, 1941. You will note that 
the report covered the States of New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Wyoming, and 
Montana. In addition, may I provide some further information which may be 
useful to you in your Washington discussion. 

As result of claims of certain farm groups in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas 
that there was a serious farm labor shortage existing for the 1941 harvest, Farm 
Security Administration labor specialists met in Amarillo, Tex., in August 1941 to 
exchange information concerning farm labor supply. The farm groups above 
mentioned had used their contentions of potential farm labor shortage to support 
pressure demands on Congressmen and others in Washington for relaxation of 
immigration restrictions on the Mexican border to permit the importation of large 
numbers of Mexicans to be used as a potential farm labor supply. It was the 
conclusion of the Amarillo meeting that no labor shortage existed and that, 
therefore, there should be no mass importation of workers from Mexico. The 
matter also was brought to the attention of the Mexican Consular Service with a 
result that the Mexican Government took the position that if workers were 
imported from Mexico that they should be guaranteed a fair wage and fair living 
conditions and in addition, guaranteed that proper provision would be made for 
their return to Mexico after the need for them ceased to exist in the United States. 
The matter rested at that point at the end of the 1941 harvest. 

All reports available to this office indicate that there was no loss of crops in 
anv of the six States in Social Security region XI during 1941 and that in certain 
sections of these States, particularly New Mexico and Colorado, there was 
actually a surplus of farm workers who did not secure employment during the 
1941 season. 

Farm labor subcommittees of the State agricultural planning committees m the 
six States have been active in varying degrees during the past year and are giving 
some consideration in varying degrees to the farm labor situation as anticipated 
for 1942. To the present time, this has resulted in a request through the farm 
labor committees, and in some cases supported by farm organizations, that Farm 
Security Administration labor camps be constructed to provide proper housing 
and proper farm labor service to the farmers. We have requests for such camps 
in Arizona, Utah (although the Utah request does not come from the farm labor 
subcommittee), New Mexico, and from farm groups and other interested persons 


in Colorado. We are also in correspondence with Montana as result of requests 
from that State for information concerning the farm labor camp program. 

It seems to be the consensus of those who have studied the farm labor problem 
that farm labor camps operating in conjunction with the farm placement service 
would be the most useful instrument of proper farm labor supply during the com- 
ing season. 

Our experience would indicate that with proper planning there would be no 
need to be greatly concerned about farm labor shortages during the coming year. 
It appears that farmers have become accustomed, during the past few years, to 
a large surplus of potential farm workers and are therefore inclined to view 
smaller numbers, even though adequate to do the work, as a farm labor shortage 
rather than a decreased supply in excess of the number required to do the work 
without waste. 

I am also attaching for your information as some background material in the 
farm picture, a copy of North of 66 and a copy of a statement made at a Farm 
Security Administration regional meeting in Amarillo in June 1941. 

There is also attached a list of State Bureau of Agricultural Economics rep- 
resentatives in Office of Production Management region XI. 
Sincerely yours, 

C. E. Hazard, 
Senior Labor Relations Specialist. 

Exhibit D. — Some Suggestive Procedures for Overcoming a Shortage op 

Farm Labor 

by r. w. roskellet 1 

(Colorado State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts and United States 
Department of Agriculture Cooperating) 

The war and the resulting necessary increases in food production present a real 
challenge to the American farmer. Preparedness is indispensable if the challenge 
is to be met adequately. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Dr. Gallup of 
the American Institute of Public Opinion conducted a survey in England to learn 
what the English people considered some of their greatest mistakes, and what 
things we in America should avoid if we hope to win the war. One of the items 
mentioned most consistently and emphasized by the English was preparedness. 
They said that we should beware of attitudes of security and satisfaction. They 
declared there was danger in feeling that we could get along all right without 
making specific preparations, or in the feeling that we were adequately prepared 
to handle any problems which might arise. 

If we heed the admonition which the British send us as a result of their blood, 
sweat, and tears, we will recognize that preparedness is not an idle motto. We will 
look upon preparedness as a technique by which we may win victories. Victories 
on the battle front are not possible unless they are preceded by preparedness in 
the factories and on the farms. 

How can farmers produce essential food supplies when they are short of help 
and perhaps short of repairs for farm machinery or in need of new machinery? 
The anticipated shortage of farm labor and machinery makes it imperative that 
every farmer begin today to study the various phases of farm labor problems and 
initiate measures that will solve these problems on his farm and in his community. 

The following items are a few of the many suggestive procedures which, if fol- 
lowed, will assist farmers to overcome a part of the labor shortage that may occur 
during the next few years. The procedures can do even more than that. If 
followed they will contribute to the agricultural efficiency of the farm in the best 

Each of the procedures is based upon education and community organization 
for the accomplishment of tasks that confront individuals and groups. This 
crisis presents an excellent opportunity for community subcommittees on farm 
labor to perform a real service for the local farmers and contribute to the patriotic 
preparedness of democracy. The particular duties of the community subcom- 
mittee on farm labor would be to study these and other proceedures and help 
inform the farmers as to how such procedures can increase the efficiency of 

_ ' Assistant rural sociologist, Colorado Agricultural Exneriment Station, experiment station representa- 
tive on the Land Grant College — Bureau of Agricultural Economics committee. 


First procedure — Obtain and study the data that are necessary in order to have an 
intelligent understanding of the farm labor problem. — One of the most effective ways 
to proceed in the solution of farm labor problems is to obtain all the basic informa- 
tion that is necessary in order to have a clear perspective of the problem. This 
would involve data concerning labor requirements and labor resources, as well as 
ways and means of solving labor problems. Examples of some of the things about 
which information would seem essential are: 

First. What is the acreage of the various crops that are grown in the com- 

Second. What kind, how much, and at what periods of the season are the 
various types of labor needed to plant, cultivate, and harvest the different crops 
and to care for livestock? 

Third. Is the local labor supply adequate to meet the demands? If not, where 
are other potential sources of labor, and how can it be obtained? 

Fourth. What are the kinds and amounts of machinery that are available for 
planting, cultivating, and harvesting the crops in the community? 

Fifth. What resources such as farm shops in high schools or private equipment 
are available for use in improving farm machindery or making necessary repairs? 

Sixth. Who and how many persons living within or adjacent to the community 
could be used to do such work as carpentry, welding, or blacksmithing in case 
work of such a nature is necessary? 

Some of this information may be difficult to obtain, but it is pertinent, and will 
help to give an understanding of the labor situation. Surveys organized and 
conducted by the committee in cooperation with county representatives of employ- 
ment agencies can obtain the data in the detail that is needed. Assistance in 
getting this data could be received from the county agricultural agent, Agricultural 
Adjustment Administration records, census reports, State crop statistician, sugar 
companies or other processing plants, farm implement dealers, and local employ- 
ment offices. 

Second procedure — Make more effective use of the institutions and services that are 
already available. — A great deal of work has already been done to establish certain 
services that are designed to help farmers solve their labor problems. One 
example is the State department of employment security. 

There is a great deal of evidence which indicates that this agency is performing 
a valuable service. For example, during the fall of 1941 farmers who had grown 
broomcorn in Baca County anticipated a labor shortage. Having no employ- 
ment office in Baca County, the farm labor subcommittee of the county agricul- 
tural planning committee communicated with the employment office at Lamar. 
The Lamar office, working through the employment offices in Walsenburg, 
Trinidad, and other localities, placed hundreds of workers in Baca County to help 
with the harvest of broomcorn. 

Regardless of such examples, we know there are many farmers and laborers who 
are not using the facilities of the employment service. 

The farm shop which has been established as a part of the vocational education 
program in ma,ny high schools offers a number of possible solutions to potential 
farm machinery repair problems. For example, such shops might be used 
for educational purposes to demonstrate to farmers how they could perform certain 
tasks themselves on the farms. Farmers might even take their repair jobs to the 
school and do their own work under the supervision of the shop teacher. 

The boys who have an opportunity to take shop training courses could be 
trained to make some necessary repairs on farm machinery, harness, and other 
farm and household equipment. Graduates from these courses and other trained 
persons might use these shops to make various repairs on different types of farm 
machinery and equipment. 

A number of farmers have rather complete repair shops which might become the 
repair centers for the community. Competent farmers who own and operate 
such shops could charge a cash fee for service rendered in repairing machinery for 
other farmers, or arrangements could be made to pay for the cost of repairs through 
exchange of labor. If a shortage develops on gasoline and tires, it may be impos- 
sible or impractical for farmers to travel long distances for repairs or new parts. 

The subcommittee on farm labor can take the initiative in making the necessary 
arrangements for various procedures outlined in the foregoing. 

Third procedure — Perform miscellaneous tasks in the winter that are ordinarily 
left until spring and summer. — Much work can be done by the average farmer 
during the winter in preparation for planting, cultivating, and harvesting the 
crops. For example, it is possible to sharpen plow shares, hay knives, and duck 
feet and cover them with a coat of oil so they will not rust and so they will scour 



when put into use; build headgates and bridges; repair harnesses, farm machinery, 
and fences; and overhaul or retune the tractor and truck if necessary. Farm labor 
subcommittees should study local conditions and make special recommendations 
to farmers regarding tasks that could be done in the winter and where these jobs 
can best be done. 

Fourth procedure — Where possible, stagger the planting of crops in such a way as to 
minimize periods of rush work. — With a few crops, it is possible to plant parts of 
them at different intervals, thus avoiding periods of excessively high seasonal 
employment. Sugar beets are an example where staggering is most possible. 
If a farmer has 25 acres of beets, he can plant part of the patch 10 days earlier 
than the remainder, thus avoiding the necessity of having all his beets blocked and 
thinned within a relatively short period of time. The staggering system of plant- 
ing will make it possible for fewer laborers to do the early handwork and they will 
appreciate this fact in that it will provide greater possible income for each worker. 

Research work conducted by the Agronomy and Horticulture sections of the 
Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station, and some work done by the United 
States Department of Agriculture, give some reliable estimates as to the advis- 
ability of early and late planting dates for various crops in different sections of 
Colorado. The following table, which is based upon the research work that has 
been done gives dates within which staggering of planting should occur: 

Table I.- 

-Recommended early and late dates for planting specified crops in different 
areas in Colorado 



San Luis 



High alti- 

dry land 

Winter wheat- 
Spring wheat.. 

Barley . 

Sugar beets 


Proso or hog millet . 


Early district... 

Late district 

Field peas 

Onions . 


Pod peas 

Snap beans (early crop) . 

Sept. 10 to 

Mar. 10 to 

Apr. 20. 
Up to Apr. 


Sept. 15. .. 

Apr. 10 to 

May 1 to 


Sept. 15 to 




Sept. 15. 

Aug. 20 to 
Sept. 10. 

Apr. 1 to 
May 15. 

Aug. 15. .. 

Sept. 10 to 

Mar. 10 to 

Apr. 15. 
Sept. 15. 

Aug. 15... 

Apr. 1 to 


Aug. 15. 

Mar. 20 to 

Apr. 10. 

May 1 20 to 
May 10. 

\pr. 1 to 

May 1 to 


Sept. 1 to 

Up to Apr. 

Apr. 1. 

Sept. 1 to 

May 15 to 

Apr. 1 to 

June 1 to 


May 10 to 
June 1. 

Apr. 1 to 

May 10 to 

June 1. 

Mar. 27 to 
Apr. 15. 

May 10 to 
June 1. 

May 15... 

June 5 

Apr. 15 to 
May 15. 

May 15 to 
June 1. 

Apr. 1 to 

May 1 

May 1. 

May 1 to 

May 20 to 

June 1. 
May 10 to 

June 1. 

June 1 to 



Apr. 15 to 
May 10. 

Mar. 27 to 
Apr. 15. 

May 10 to 
June 1. 

Apr. 15 to 
May 15. 

April or 

Of course, there is little to be gained by only staggering the planting of certain 
crops, such as wheat. However, it is possible to reduce the high seasonal labor 
demands in some specific crops by staggering the planting of certain combinations 
of crops. For example, if a man proposed to plant 150 acres of spring wheat and 
20 acres of onions, he might find it profitable to prepare the ground and plant half 
of his wheat acreage, then prepare the ground and plant half of his onions before 
finishing the planting of the grain. This would mean that half of his onion crop 
would be ready to thin before the second half, thus avoiding periods of rush seasonal 
work during the thinning time for onions. 

Fifth procedure — Change the farming practices to reduce those crops of livestock 
enterprises that by reason of high seasonal demands do not enable effective utilization 
of labor and do not produce foods most essential to national defense. — Some farm crops 
require a great amount of labor for a relatively short season, while others provide 


considerable employment throughout the year. Frequently there is great waste 
of manpower associated with high seasonal labor demands, since much time and 
energy are required for moving to and from places of potential employment. 
Many crops that require a great amount of seasonal labor are not among those 
listed for increases in production to help win the war. The farmer might find it 
advantageous to exert more of his efforts in increasing his efficiency in the pro- 
duction of eggs and pork and possibly light-weight beef and less effort in the 
production of wheat, especially if wheat during the past few years has contributed 
more than 50 percent of his farm income. 1 here is already an excess of wheat. 
Planting and harvesting wheat require special machinery for a relatively short 
time, and the crop has a relatively high seasonal labor requirement. Many 
farmers may find it advisable to change their cropping systems from raw crops 
that require much labor into pasture that can be harvested by the animals. 
More extensive use of farm machinery, such as the beet blocker, would save much 
hand labor. Subcommittees on farm labor should prepare material and help 
educate farmers regarding the production of foods that are most urgently needed 
for national defense. Such subcommittees should also indicate to farmers ways 
and means of increasing the production of such foods. 

Sixth procedure — Make living and working conditions on the farm more attractive 
to farm laborers. — Many farmers realize that in order to obtain good farm labor 
and have the laborers work efficiently it is necessary to provide favorable living 
and working conditions and relationships. Some of the major factors that help 
make farm laborers satisfied are provision of favorable living conditions and fair 
wages, as well as mutual understanding between the employer and the employees 
as to the nature of the task to be performed and how it should be done. 

Many farmers realize the value of taking a few minutes once a week to outline 
to the hired help the tasks that it is hoped will be accomplished in the next week 
or a period ahead and to indicate just what role the hired labor should play in the 
accomplishment of such a task. Farmers who have been conscious of making 
living and working conditions favorable for farm, laborers have found less trouble 
in getting and keeping good laborers, and others who have not paid attention to 
this item have had difficulty in obtaining labor. Farmers find that any effort to 
make the laborer feel that he is a part of the farm enterprise has paid big dividends. 

Subcommittees on farm labor could study successful farm labor rela ionships 
with the idea of determining the actual work relationships and living conditions 
which were conducive to cooperation between farmers and laborers. Once these 
have been determined, the subcommittees could make an effort to enlighten other 
farmers concerning such matters as a means of helping others meet an actual 

Seventh procedure — Develop cooperative plans for the exchange of farm labor and 
farm machinery in the neighborhood and in the community. — The apparent shortage 
of farm labor and farm machinery suggests that many jobs will either not be done 
or there will be delay in their completion. This situation plus the necessity of 
producing food for national defense raises the practical question of how effectively 
the cooperative ownership and use of farm machinery and a further exchange of 
farm labor would overcome the anticipated difficulties in these two fields. 

If the subcommittees on farm labor have made the necessary inventory on the 
crops planted and on the machinery and the labor that is available and needed, it 
would in many cases be possible to outline some cooperative patterns regarding 
the use of available machinery and the exchange of labor to mutually benefit all 
those concerned. 

Opportunity for the cooperative use of labor and the exchange of labor and 
equipment is great not only within one community, but also between such areas 
as dry land and irrigated land where there is considerable variation in the planting 
and harvesting of different crops. 

The same suggestion may be made regarding certain industries and agriculture. 
An example of the latter would be a possible labor exchange between the coal 
industry and agriculture. Many coal mines are partially or completely closed 
during the summer. The proper cooperation between farmers, mine operators, 
coal miners, and the employment office could bring about an effective utilization 
of the labor of the coal miners on the farm during the summer periods of high 
seasonal labor requirements. 

Preparation and planning would need to be done to handle such problems as 
transportation, housing, feeding, sanitation, and placement of these laborers on 
the farms, but it is not an impossible task. The employment office has already 
made considerable progress with such placement projects within the State. 


Eighth procedure — Develop a potential supply of reserve farm labor. — The rapid 
shift of world affairs and the registration of all males between the ages of 20 and 
64 raises the question as to how many men that we now have as farm laborers 
will actually be available for spring, summer, and fall work on the farm during 
1942. In the light of such indefinite conditions, it would seem advisable to develop 
a potential reserve of labor supply. Many professional and white-collar workers 
were reared on the farm. Through proper preparation involving such things as 
registration, farm placement, and physical training, many white-collar and pro- 
fessional workers could be used on the farm during week ends, holidays, and vaca- 
tions in the seasons of high labor requirements without seriously interfering with 
the regular work of these people. 

High-school youths and village or city youths (of both sexes) not in school 
who are not working could perform certain tasks that do not require a high 
degree of skill, such as helping with the harvest of certain types of fruit and various 
vegetables, thus relieving other workers to help with other farm work. Precau- 
tions should be taken in not assigning jobs to people who are incapable of per- 
forming them, and in all cases preparatory training and instruction should be 
given. A subcommittee on farm labor could be responsible for such a training 

If the proper procedures are followed in the selection, training, and organiza- 
tion of this potential farm labor reserve, there is no reason why such a group 
could not be just as effective in the work they may be called upon to do as civilian 
police, firemen, and first-aid workers have been in England. 

A campaign could be instigated to register workers in the employment office or 
some other established agency that could place farm workers. Many high 
school and village youths could, with a little training, become prepared to per- 
form various duties on the farm on Saturdays. During the winter would be an 
excellent time to train, register, and organize youth, white-collar workers, and 
professional workers for essential farm labor that needs to be done in the summer. 
This will help win the war. 

Ninth procedure — Make more effective use of the labor supply that is now available 
on the farm. — In some parts of the country where crops are grown that have 
high seasonal labor needs, the laborer needed for a particular crop is not used for 
many other types of farm work, with the result that such a laborer is unemployed 
for a large portion of the year. Perhaps such a procedure is feasible when there 
is an abundant labor supply, but such practices are questionable during periods 
of labor shortage. In many cases the seasonal workers undoubtedly do not know 
how to handle a team, run a tractor, or irrigate, but in the light of a possible 
labor shortage some time might be spent profitably during the winter to teach 
them to do certain tasks in preparation for jobs that must be done during the 
growing season. 

Another way of using present and potential farm labor supply more effectively 
is to devise ways and means whereby part-time workers on the farm could be 
more helpful. For example, it may be advisable for farm boys and girls in rural 
areas to go to school on Saturdays during the winter in order that they could get 
out of school earlier in the spring and start school later in the fall. School vaca- 
tion periods could be arranged in such a way that boys and girls would be avail- 
able for farm work during periods when the greatest labor needs exist. 

It may be an excellent conservation policy and technique to begin now and 
initiate a slogan addressed to the people which would read: "Save gasoline, oil, 
and rubber, and help the 'boys over there' by spending your vacation on the farm 
to help produce and harvest the crops." 

Tenth procedure — Care for animals, tractors, and farm machinery in such a way 
that they can perform the tasks that are necessary when the time comes for such work. — 
Many draft horses are wintered out, with the result that in the spring they are 
so poor and thin that they are not in condition to do a good day's work at a time 
when a given task should be accomplished. Good farmers stress the necessity of 
having the draft animals in good shape to prepare the soil and plant the crops at 
the proper time. 

Likewise, good farm managers realize the necessity of keeping farm machinery 
in good repair in order to be certain that it will do the work that is expected at 
a given time and still last for a maximum number of years. Such farmers know 
that barbed wire is a poor substitute for bolts. They know that on any given 
part of a machine the bolts must be tight. Those parts of the machine that are 
responsible for cutting or digging must be sharp if they are to perform as they 
should. Even a comparatively new machine will not operate at its fullest effi- 
ciency if it is out of adjustment. Such farmers know that if a given piece of 



machinery is to work as it should and last for a long period of time, it must be 
well greased. It must be painted frequently and protected from the elements 
when not in use. Keeping farm machinery in good working condition and repair 
is another place where a bolt in time will not only save nine, but will also save a 
lot of valuable time of the farm manager and the workers. 

Eleventh procedure — Make a record and publicize successful farm procedures that 
help overcome labor problems. — Many successful farmers and communities have 
developed some significant techniques for overcoming problems related to labor 
shortages. Too frequently the techniques whereby' such accomplishments are 
made are never written down and not publicized, with the result that nearby 
farmers and communities struggle with problems for which successful techniques 
have already been developed. Record and publicize through the press, the 
radio, the county agent's office, and the local State employment office of any 
successful efforts for overcoming the farm labor problem. 

Twelfth procedure— Develop a uniformity of records within the community, the 
county, and the State in order to be able to compile the records and get a county, State 
or national picture of the labor problem. — The success which we will have in solv- 
ing the labor problem will be determined somewhat by the extent to which we 
are able to obtain an accurate picture on a national as well as a local scale. The 
effectiveness with which agencies such as the employment service will be able to 
help will depend upon the accuracy and comprehensiveness of the information 
that is used to determine policies and build programs. County agents can do 
a great deal in working with farmers, other county agents, employees of the 
State employment service and others in working out uniform record forms for 
tabulating data regarding farm labor. 

Exhibit E.- 

-Total and rural population, 1940, and total and farm placements, 
year ending June SO, 1941, for region XI States 

Population, 1940 

Placements, year ending June 
30, 1941 1 



Rural nonfarm 

Rural farm 




of total 


of total 


of total 


3, 507, 938 

1, 047, 233 


908, 655 


286, 227 

142, 988 


499, 261 
1, 123, 296 
524, 873 
559, 456 
550, 310 
250, 742 

210, 551 
147, 034 
173, 110 
84, 822 


114, 729 
251, 838 
201, 131 
93, 803 
72, 343 


90, 195 
24, 636 
17, 034 


67 9 







• Includes complete and supplementary placements. 

Exhibit F. — Interarea clearance placements, by Slate and agricultural industry 

group, 1941 l 











General farms 

Dairy farms 

Cash grain farms • 

Cotton farms 

Fruit and nut farms 

Livestock and poultry 

Truck farms, crop specialties, and miscellaneous 
Agricultural and similar service establishments. 




• No interarea clearance placements in agriculture were made by Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming. 
Source: ES-212. 



Exhibit G. — Total Harvested Acreage of Principal Crops in Region XI 


Total harvested acreage of 46 

Total harvested acreage of 46 







595, 690 
5, 495, 690 
2, 780, 200 

676, 800 
5, 489, 000 
2, 909, 000 

770, 100 
6, 140, 500 
2, 935, 000 



6, 014. 070 
1, 023. 690 
1, 786, 700 

6, 708, 000 
1, 080, 900 
1, 595, 400 

6, 52C, 000 

1, 122 200 


1, 759, 500 

Source: 1941 Annual Crop Summary, U. S. Department of Agriculture, December 1941. 

Exhibit H. — Total Complete Placements, by State and Agricultural 
Industry Group, and Supplementary Agricultural Placements, 1941 

Industry group 

General farms 

Dairy farms 

Cash grain farms 

Cotton farms 

Fruit and nut farms 

Livestock and poultry 

Truck farms, crop specialties, and miscel- 

Agricultural and similar service establish- 

Supplementary agricultural placements. .. 




53, 003 




10, 207 













33, 006 

32, 207 





















Source: ES-212 and ES-209. 

Exhibit I. — Number of Individuals Registered With Public Employment 
Offices in Region XI States, by Months, 1940-41 




























25, 240 
25, 422 
24, 003 
27, 205 

25. 826 
26, 064 
22, 989 
19, 689 
18, 871 
18, 994 

17. 827 
17, 600 

19, 263 
19, 000 
18, 055 
18, 155 
19, 687 
20, 487 
16, 082 
15, 146 
15, 832 
16, 767 
20, 285 


65, 625 
66, 645 
65. 866 
62, 287 
59, 713 
55, 385 
51, 223 
50, 527 
51, 503 

58, 295 
62, 364 
61, 884 
59, 771 
58, 409 
54, 363 
48, 367 
47, 589 
46, 909 
42, 957 
46, 178 
49, 596 


17, 038 
16, 007 
13, 035 
14, 181 
13, 967 
14, 341 
15, 290 
13, 886 
13, 278 
14, 960 
16, 129 

20, 156 
20, 829 
17, 766 
34, 938 
29, 966 
23, 464 
19, 590 
19, 560 
20, 473 


32, 760 
29, 624 
30, 401 
27, 722 
25, 864 
17, 802 
16, 784 

16, 750 

17, 572 
19, 150 

22, 980 
24, 012 
26, 452 
20, 516 
18, 487 
15, 255 
11, 087 
10, 439 
11, 670 


24. 799 
26. 067 
22, 605 
22. 565 
20, 165 
22, 709 
22, 147 
20, 450 
21. 575 
23. 297 
24. 003 
25, 3S2 

23, 540 
22, 858 
23, 182 

20, 918 

21, 509 
24, 007 
20, 055 
16, 271 
16, 272 
15, 672 


10. 982 
9, 958 


Source: ES-210. 



Exhibit J.- 


States in Region XI, by Months, 1941 

































St S3 









3 03 







53, 003 

























33, 006 

14, 359 

33, 207 














































3, 681 



2, 460 




























6, 589 
5, 623 





2, 455 

2. 103 













November. . . . 













Source: ES-212 and ES-209. 

Exhibit K. — Suggested Distribution of Goals or Expected Production 
for 1942 as They Affect States of Region XI 

' Suggested distribution of goals or expected production, 1942 


In thousands 



goal, 1942 



1941 • 


1942 over 




Pounds. ... 

253. 000 

233, 000 



Meat animals, live weight, marketing and farm 

338, 525 

287, 822 


299, 796 


30, 000 

249, 830 
29, 662 




Acres . 




Feed crops and hay 




Corn* . 




Oats (planted) 3 ... 


Grain sorghums, all purpose (planted) 

All hay (harvested) 




s 153 







Flax (planted) 


Truck crops • . 







Market gardens 7 




This does not include nonfarm production which in the national goals is assumed to; be an amount 
equivalent to 10 percent of the farm production. 

2 Noncommercial plus 1941 acreage allotment for commercial. 

3 Acreage planted for plowing under is not included. 
1 Official allotment. 

s Expected planted acreage under 1942 allotments. 
8 Commercial. 

7 Excluding cucumbers for pickles and cabbage for kraut. 

ftoTE.— 1940 production estimate was used for meat animals and soybeans. Where percentage was less 
than 0.5 of 1 percent no change was shown. 

60396 -42— pt.28 3 



Suggested distribution of goals or expected production, 19^2 — Continued 



In thousands 



goal, 1942 





1942 over 


1, 183, 000 
32, 266 

1, 138, 000 
29, 333 


Eggs ' 


826, 909 

729, 610 


farm slaughter. 



649, 924 
95, 985 
121, 000 

516, 885 






Corn' . 







Grain sorghums, all purpose (planted) 


* 1, 303 


















Acres. .. . ... 



1 This does not include noafarm production which in the national goals is assumed to be an amount 
equivalent to 10 percent of the farm production. 
1 Noncommercial plus 1941 acreage allotment for commercial 

3 Acreage planted for plowing under is not included. 

4 Official allotment. 
' Commercial. 

• Excluding cucumbers for pickles and cabbage for kraut 

Note.— 1940 production estimate was used for meat animals and soybeans. Where percentage change 
was less than 0.5 of 1 percent no change was shown. 



Suggested distribution of goals or expected production, 1942 — Continued 



In thousands 



goal, 1942 





1942 over 




1, 340, 000 
24, 210 

1, 280, 000 



Meat animals, live weight, marketing and 
farm slaughter. 

400, 132 

. 307, 130 



Pounds .-- 


183, 696 
103, 936 

153, 080 
101, 485 


















Acres - 


Acres -- 





















( 7 ) 




i This dees not include nonfarm production which in the national goal is assumed to be an amount equiva- 
lent to 10 percent of the farm production. 

2 Noncommercial plus 1941 acreage allotment for commercial. 

3 Acreage planted for plowing under is not included. 

* Official allotment, 
s Commercial. 

• Excluding cucumbers for pickles and cabbage for kraut. 
7 Unlimited. 

1940 production estimate was used for meat animals and soybeans. Where percentage change was less 
than 0.5 of 1 percent no change was shown. 



Suggested distribution of goals or expected production, 19J(2 — Continued 




In thousands 

goal, 1942 






1942 over 


Milk production 


Meat animals, live weight, marketing and 
farm slaughter. 

Cattle and calves 


Sheep and lambs 

Feed crops and hay - 


Oats (planted)* . 

Barley (planted) 3 

All hay (harvested) - 

Wheat (planted) 

Rye (harvested for grain) 

Flax (planted) 

Irish potatoes (planted) 

Sugar beets 

Pounds _ 

763, 000 
19, 875 

696, 000 
18, 750 

Pounds . 

544, 863 

479, 580 

Pounds . 

Acres . . . 

324, 653 
63, 210 

157, 000 

275, 130 
53, 785 
150, 665 



Acres . 
Acres . 

Acres . 
Acres . 
Acres . 









* 3, 346 








' This does not include nonfarm production which in the national goal is assumed to be an amount equiva- 
lent to 10 percent of the farm production. 

2 Noncommercial plus 1941 acreage allotment for commercial. 

3 Acreage planted for plowing under is not included. 

4 Official allotment. 

1940 production estimate was used for meat animals and soybeans. Where percentage change was less 
than 0.5 of 1 percent no change was shown. 


Milk production 

















630, 000 
26, 294 

559, 000 
22, 667 




Meat animals, live weight, marketing and 
farm slaughter 

248, 619 



Cattle and calves 

136, 764 
26, 855 
85, 000 

113, 970 

85, 375 


Sheep and lambs . . . 

Feed crops and hay. . .. ... . . 




Corn 2 





Oats (planted) 3 


— 9 

All hay (harvested) 

Wheat (planted) 

< 211 



Rye (harvested for grain) 

Truck crops 6 




Fresh use 6 








Market gardens » 



Irish potatoes (planted) 


( 7 ) 


Sugar beets 

1 This does not include nonfarm production which in the national goals is assumed to be an amount 
equivalent to 10 percent of the farm production. 

2 Noncommercial plus 1941 acreage allotment for commercial. 

3 Acreage planted for plowing under is not included. 

* Official allotment. 
8 Commercial. 

• Excluding cucumbers for pickles and cabbage for kraut. 
7 Unlimited. 

1940 production estimate was used for meat animals and soybeans. When percentage change was less 
than 0.5 of 1 percent no change was shown. 



Suggested distribution of goals or expected production, 19^.2 — Continued 



In thousands 



goal, 1942 





1942 over 







Pounds. .- -_ 





300, 000 

297, 000 



Meat animals, live weight, marketing and 

464, 626 

417, 310 


Cattle and calves 

Sheep and lambs. . ._ 

299, 354 

152, 500 


253, 690 

149, 370 

14, 250 




Feed crops and hay 





Oats (planted) 3 

Barley (planted) 3 













Acres .. 

Wheat (planted) 






' This does not include nonfarm production which in the national goals is assumed to be an amount 
equivalent to 10 percent of the farm production. 

2 Noncommercial plus 1941 acreage allotment for commercial. 

3 Acreage planted for plowing under is not included. 
1 Official allotment. 

4 Unlimited. 

1940 production estimate was used for meat animals and soybeans, 
than 0.5 of 1 percent, no change was shown. 

When percentage change was less 


The Effect of Military Operations on the Supply of Agricultural Labor 

in Arkansas 

For normal production and harvest the outside labor required in Arkansas is 
about as follows: 

Dec. 1 to May 1: Spinach r 400 

May 1 to June 15: Strawberries, beans 22, 000 

June 15 to Sept. 15: Beans, grapes, tomatoes 5, 000 

Sept. 1 to Dec. 1: Cotton 23,000 

By outside labor we mean labor that must be recruited outside the immediate 
vicinity of the crop. These figures do not include local workers usually engaged 
in agricultural work. This is on normal production, and does not include the 
amount of extra labor required for increased defense production. This increase 
in Arkansas ranges from about 3 or 4 percent in small grains, to almost 100 
percent in beans, spinach, tomatoes, and other food crops that are usually 
processed bv canning plants. 

In the past, we have experienced very little difficulty in recruiting sufficient 
labor for the production and harvest of crops when the wages offered were com- 
mensurate with the work to be performed. The expected difficulty in securing 
harvest workers in 1941, despite the great number of agricultural workers that 
had gone into the various defense industries failed to materialize. The labor 
supplv was verv close to normal. We place first as the prime factor in recruiting 
farm 'labor for'the 1941 crop, the increase in the prices paid. The number of 
persons willing; to accept work such as cotton picking, at $1.50 per hundred, or 
labor at $1.50 to $2 per dav, compared with the number who did accept this 
work at 75 cents or $1 per hundred, and 75 cents to $1 per day, offset the number 
that was lost to militarv projects. The second aid in this work was the intense 
recruiting procedures used bv the Farm Placement Division of the United States 


Employment Service, and the fact that the work of this Service was more generally 
known and its facilities more widely used than in previous years. 

If the price paid for farm work is commensurate with the upward trend of 
other labor, we do not anticipate any serious difficulty in securing labor for the 
planting and cultivation of the 1942 crops. We think this situation can be met 
by the intense utilization of all available local labor and the transfer of workers 
from areas of light to areas of heavy agricultural production. What we are 
concerned about in Arkansas this year is where we are going to secure the labor 
for the harvest of the seasonal crops, which, as indicated above, require at peak 
seasons some 20,000 workers. 

We have very definite ideas as to where these people came from in the years 
past; however, inasmuch as we do not know how many regular agricultural 
workers will be taken by the armed forces and the production of war materials, 
nor how many mobile workers on whom we have depended for harvest workers 
are and will be engaged in the same services, we do not know anything very 
definite about either the supply or the demand for 1942. We do think that it 
is reasonable, in view of the known facts, to anticipate an acute shortage of harvest 

Contrary to popular belief, most of the workers engaged in harvest work in 
Arkansas during the past years are mobile and not migratory workers. The 
area from which they have been drawn is decreasing and more labor within the 
State and along the borders of adjoining States, is being used for this work. 

In 1939 the strawberry pickers, many of whom remain in the State for other 
seasonal farm work, came from 30 different States. Sixty-three percent of the 
total was recruited in Arkansas, and 79 percent in Arkansas, Missouri, and Okla- 
homa. In 1940 the pickers came from 22 States; 71 percent from Arkansas, 
89 percent from Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. In 1941 we had pickers 
from only 20 States; 71 percent from Arkansas, and 95 percent from Arkansas, 
southern Missouri, and eastern Oklahoma. These and most of our other seasonal 
workers come from the same areas in which defense plants are located. 

According to the Department of Research and Statistics military plants in 
Arkansas will have a total of 46,000 production and construction workers employed 
on July 1. Deducting 5 percent of the unskilled and 50 percent of the skilled as 
outside workers, we have 35,420. Fifty-three percent of the gainfully employed 
workers in Arkansas are connected with agriculture according to the United States 
Department of Labor. This means that 18,172 of these workers will be drawn 
from the farm-labor market. On the same basis, at the present rate of induction 
the armed forces will have drawn another 13,500 workers from the farm-labor 
market by July 1. This means by midsummer Arkansas will have 32,272 less 
than the normal supply of farm workers. It also means that where it was neces- 
sary to recruit 20,000 workers in the past under normal conditions, it now becomes 
necessary to recruit the equivalent of 52,272 workers in a time of labor stringency. 
This does not include additional number of workers required for the increased 
agricultural production called for in the food-for-freedom program. According to 
a report from canning plants in Arkansas, this program will make it necessary for 
that industry alone to employ 1,872 additional workers this year. 


Some Aspects of Farm Labor Situation on the Atlantic Seaboard With 
Special Reference to North Carolina 

a changing economy 

In the summer of 1940 a farmer of Harnett County, N. C, requested the 
Employment Service to send him 100 workers to harvest 200 acres of tobacco, 
stating that he had enough empty tenant houses on his farm to quarter them. 
The Service recruited for him over a hundred harvest hands from 4 towns within 
a radius of 40 miles of his home, some of whom had lived on his farm as tenants. 

Two facts of far-reaching significance emerge here — namely, sufficient empty 
tenant houses on the farm to care for peak labor needs, and the necessity to bring 
a large number of harvest hands to the farm for a short period of temporary service. 

The whole incident presents a picture of a changed, and changing, agricultural 
economy that is of great significance because it identifies a trend that is sweeping 
fast and far over the Southeastern States. The first part of the picture presents 


a changed farm operation pattern: The farmer breaks his land with a tractor, 
transplants his tobacco plants with a mechanical setter, and cultivates with a 
four-furrow cultivator. He brings his crop to harvest with only a small percentage 
of the labor force needed for harvest. He is no longer under the necessity of 
maintaining on the farm for 12 months the large number of workers needed for a 
few weeks of the summer. The second part of the picture shows the emptying 
houses as tenants leave the farm for the surrounding towns and villages where 
they subsist through casual or Work Projects Administration employment until 
the harvest seasons come again. The picture is completed when the farmer appeals 
to a Government agency to help him recall to his farm for a short period the 
workers who formerly had their homes there. 


The incident described above is typical of results being produced quite generally 
throughout the Southeast by factors operating powerfully throughout the area. 
It is not the present purpose to identify or analyze all these factors. That would 
involve social and economic discussion beyond our present opportunity. A few 
factors are identified below merely to substantiate the thesis of change in employ- 
ment patterns. 

The increased use of farm machinery is affecting powerfully the employment 
relationships of farm folk. The farm upon which the writer spent his boyhood 
gave homes, jobs, and livelihood to 10 families. Today the same farm gives 
employment to 6 families, with practically the same acreage under cultivation. 
Where are the other 4 families? How can the 6 families do the work of the 10? 
The answer to the first question is not readily found. The answer to the second 
is perfectly obvious to one who, with memories of one-furrow turnplows and 
cotton plows, now sees gang plows and 4- or 8-furrow cultivators traversing the 
fields of his boyhood. 

Significant statements are now being made by farmers anent present labor 
stringencies, increased wage rates, and employment of farm workers in the con- 
struction phase of the defense program. Quite often statements equivalent to 
the following are made to our field workers: "Yes; most of my tenants are at 
work at Fort Bragg. They have said they are coming back in time to get crops 
in, but I don't care much if they don't, I have been wanting to buy a tractor and 
get rid of a lot of them anyway." The many unskilled are gradually being dis- 
placed by the few with higher skills. There are decidedly fewer farm jobs per 
unit of production than formerly. 

The crop-curtailment programs affect farm employment vitally. Some 
important crops of the Southeast have been reduced by almost one-third. This 
has inevitably reduced the number of jobs available in the agricultural economy 
of the area. 

The distribution of benefit payments to tenants and landlords alike have not 
been without effect on employment patterns. Such payments have created a 
pressure away from the traditional tenancy pattern toward a wage system that 
will enable the land owner to enjoy an undivided benefit check. The share 
cropping system is weakening. The North Carolina county in which the writer 
lived as a boy experienced a 28-percent decrease in share croppers between 1930 
and 1940. 

The increased importance of vegetable, berry, and fruit production has proved 
to be a powerful factor effectuating change within the area. The growing of 
vegetables in small areas of highly concentrated production has created numerous 
small islands of intense employment activity where the areas involved are so small 
and the incidence of activity so seasonal that not enough workers can be supported 
permanently in the area to meet peak needs. Great masses of temporary workers 
have to be imported. The traditional role of operator family labor has been 
completely submerged. The population of the small town of the Aurora com- 
munity in North Carolina swells to 10 times ;its [normal number during the 4 
weeks of the potato harvest. 

The unbalance existing between tillage and harvest machinery has created new 
problems. It has seemed much easier to perfect machines for the preparation of 
the soil and for tillage of the cotton and tobacco, vegetables, fruits, and berries 
of the area than for the harvest of these crops. This factor in the labor situation 
has operated to produce a heavy unbalance in labor need from month to month 
in nearly all crops of the area. A labor tide has been set up that ebbs and flows 
with seasonal regularity. As the workers stream toward the fields at the begin- 
ning of the harvests and toward the towns and villages at the end. This season- 
ality of need creates the almost insurmountable problems of transportation and 
housing of seasonal workers. 



Great masses of farm workers throughout the area are subjected to the action 
of two powerful cooperating forces. The one tends to push farm workers out from 
their homes, the other tends to pull them toward distant centers of activity. 
Construction job opportunities at home press them out. Distant areas of 
expanding worker need pull them as would a vacuum. The stage is set for migra- 
tion. The play must go on, no matter how reluctant the actors. 

It is a characteristic of the commercial production of vegetables, fruits, and 
berries that it tends to concentrate itself in small "islands'* of high concentration. 
Many factors cause this. Among these are climate, soil, market location, and 
transportation routes. The significant phenomenon that affects employment 
patterns so vitally is the fact that the "islands" of production are so small that 
they can not possibly support throughout the year the very large number of workers 
it needs for certain short periods. In these areas the old traditional pattern of 
operator family labor dwindles to insignificance and is submerged by a lteral 
flood of transitory workers. 

Until the factors that cause concentration of production are canceled by factors 
that will cause, or permit, diffusion of production there is no escape from 

Doubtless agricultural statesmanship will continue to search for factors that 
will cancel the forces that are now substituting roads for homes for so many 
people. That such beneficent factors can be quickly found and effectively put 
to work is too much to hope. In the meantime it behooves all to understand 
that migration is implicit in our present agricultural economy and that migrants 
are not nomads rebelling against the quietude of established homes. 


There is a definite, spaced, and quite well differentiated succession of crop 
maturities from Florida through New York based on north and south miles and 
the temperature changes that grow from them. Production areas, particularly, 
in the more southern reaches of the area, are quite neatly spaced, probably by a 
component of the forces of season, length of harvest period, or market location. 
The Irish-potato crop is the best illustration of this maturities spacing and suc- 
cession. The harvest starts first in the Dade County area in south Florida. 
By the middle of March the harvest period in this area draws to a close and its 
potatoes no longer satisfy the markets. The natural progression of the season 
has completed one stage in the supplying of potatoes to a starch-loving people. 
For several weeks this area could dig potatoes from the earth and send them out 
in trucks to meet, for a short period, the continuing demand of the centers of 
population. Now, however, while Dade County has shot its bolt the ever- 
present demand for tubers goes on. A new area must be found that can take up 
where Dade County leaves off and throw its product on a clamoring market. 
This area must, of course, be to the north, just the right distance away. It 
must not be so close that its potatoes will hit the market before those from south 
Florida have ceased to be an important factor. It must not be so far away that 
there will be an embarrassing pause before it can come on the stage It must be 
at just that point where distance and temperature decree a crop can mature at 
just the time the crop next to the south is absorbed by the market. In the present 
instance the decreed point turns out to be the Hastings and Palatka area in 
north Florida. 

Between the important potato area of north and south Florida Nature travels 
about 350 miles before it can accumulate enough climatic change to make it 
safe to mature the second harvest of potatoes without too much overlapping with 
the first. 

From the north Florida area to the Meggett area is almost exactly the same 
distance. From the Meggett area to the Aurora area in North Carolina is 
another 3.50 miles. 

Up to this point the situation has not been over simplified. It did not have 
to be. The facts clearly bear out the thesis that there is a functional relation- 
ship between miles and temperature that space crop maturities. From the 
Eastern Shore of Virginia, where the Atlantic Coastal Plain yields to another 
geological formation on to the North, the relationship between distance and 
temperature become more variable and therefore more complicated. Other 
factors also, such as the canning industry, nearness to great markets, and com- 
peting employment enter more heavily as confusing factors. 


All of the above is pointed out to show that agricultural migration is not born 
of the whims of an unstable section of our people or guided in its itinerary by 
caprice. It springs from factors, that we do not control, operating deep down on 
the mudsills of our economic and social structure and is guided in its wanderings 
into directions laid down by the fundamental needs of our national life and is 
controlled in its goings and comings by nature itself. 

Certainly, it is necessary to realize that the elimination of the need to migrate 
will be difficult and not quickly accomplished. In the interim, while determinedly 
seeking a cure, we must also strive to mitigate its hardships as a way of life for 
many thousands of our people. 



The passage of migratory workers up the coast begins in significant numbers 
around the 1st of March and assumes the nature of an irregularly pulsating 
current. There is a practically constant trickle throughout the srping and sum- 
mer accompanied by recurrent upsurges synchronized with the completion of the 
more important harvests in one area and the beginning of important activities in 
other areas to the north. 

The movement is also like a tree in its steady growth upward and its many 
branches out to the side. The stem of the movement is U. S. Highway 17. 
Numerous branch roads lead off to the fields. However, in the main, there is no 
real splitting of the migration from Florida to Long Island. It holds rather 
closely to a narrow coastal strip up which, aside from the trickle of stragglers 
that may appear in any area at almost any time, waves of trucks and "jaloppies" 
loaded with men, women, and children pass at irregular time spacings. A hun- 
dred or more such conveyances will pass through Wilmington, N. C. between 
'the 25th of May and June 1. During the week prior and the week after not more 
than 50 groups will pass up. The heavy passage has come with the end of the 
potato harvest at Meggett, S. C, and the beginning of the potato harvest in 
North Carolina. This, and other similar phenomena with reference to other 
crops, give the movement its pulsating nature. 

Two factors operate to hold the wave groups into rather compact formation. 
The first factor is the rather small restricted areas in which the crops they harvest 
are produced. This prevents them from scattering widely while they are at 
work. The second factor is that the harvests in which they work are completed 
throughout an area at approximately the same time and they can, therefore, 
move out almost together. 

Among the more important waves that pass upward are berry pickers, potato 
diggers, fruit gatherers, cannery workers, and tomato packers. 

Again it is important that we be on guard against oversimplification. What 
is pictured above is a fundamental pattern. The movement itself is complicated 
by cross currents, eddies, delays and accelerations. The weather and market 
conditions are always confusing factors. This year the shortage of rubber tires 
will affect the movement. 

Although it is justifiable to think of the movement as a phenomenon having its 
inception in Florida, it is erroneous to conceive it a movement of Florida workers. 
Florida is a point of departure not a point of origin. Workers flock to the Florida 
muck lands in the early fall from the whole southeast for winter work in Florida 
harvests. With the approach of spring, this harvest work begins to wane and a 
large number of laborers from several States are under the necessity of seeking 
other fields. Of course, native Florida workers are similarly affected and are also 
present in the movement. This, however, does not make it a movement of Florida 
workers, as it is almost universally called by farmers. 

It is true that most of such organisation as is present in the movement has its 
inception in Florida, as is evidenced by the preponderance of Florida license 
plates on trucks and jaloppies. On an hours' ride through the Bayboro potato 
area of North Carolina, the writer counted 98 Florida license plates, 30 from South 
Carolina, and 6 from Georgia. The safest inference to draw from these facts is 
that most of the group leaders, who usually furnish the cars, are Florida residents. 
Even this inference is extremely shaky. It is a substantial fact, however, that the 
North Carolina Employment" Service has the names of 216 migratory group 
leaders who give their home addresses in Florida. 

Even though the migration, as a phenomenon, does present a progressive 
movement from Florida to at least Long Island, it would be a fallacy to think of 
it entirely as a movement of individuals throughout the whole length. There 


are accessions of new individuals and groups all along the line, as well as a con- 
siderable loss of groups from time to time. There is, indeed, strong reason to 
believe that when the Eastern Shore of Virginia is reached there is a considerable 
shift toward a higher percentage of North Carolina and Virginia workers and a 
lower percentage of workers from the deeper South. Very many groups, however, 
do traverse the whole distance. 

There are three main methods of travel and operation. There is, first, the 
large contractor group under the control of a large operator, who has at his 
disposal a considerable number of trucks, diggers, and graders. This operating 
unit may be very large consisting of two or three hundred workers moving up in a 
caravan of trucks. The contractor will make the employment arrangements for 
the unit. Ordinarily this contract provides that the contractor will dig, haul, 
grade, and transport to shipping point the entire crop of a farmer for an agreed 
amount per unit of product. In this employment pattern, the contractor employs, 
supervises, and pays the workers. 

Another method of travel and operation is the small group that travels in one 
or two trucks and specializes in one phase of the harvesting process. They may 
either dig the potatoes from the ground or operate as a grader crew for farmers 
who have their own diggers. Sometimes, of course, they do both grading and 
digging. These smaller groups, however, rarely operate as contractors. 

A third method is of great importance. Its unit is the family group, its means 
of transportation the passenger's car. One pattern of operation is individual 
bargaining with the farmer employer. 

The three patterns are differentiated as to group size by the method of trans- 
portation. The contractor group is large and moves in a fleet of trucks. The 
small operator group is smaller and moves in one truck. The family group 
moves by passenger car. 

The migration is composed almost wholly of Negroes. About 60 percent are v 
men and 40 percent women. Family groups are numerous and many children 
are present. 

These migrants are to be numbered by thousands rather than by hundreds. 
Approximately 5,000 were counted by the Employment Service in North Carolina 
during the potato harvest of 1941. 

These people can, by taking to the road, secure fairly solid employment for 
about 7 months, interrupted only by bad weather, the need to move from area to 
area, and occasional miscalculations as to the areas and times of job opportunities. 
This is preferable to many to the uncertainties of employment at home and will 
remain so until livelihood at home becomes less precarious. 

One other characteristic of this migration is that it is a straightaway progression 
of over 1,500 miles to the point where it must turn back and retrace its steps. 
On the way up there job opportunities are quite plentiful. On the way back 
jobs are almost nonexistent. By far the greater part of the workers deadhead 
back— all expense and no income. 


1. A recognition that agricultural migrants are not, as a class, people who rebel 
against stability but are essentially people whose stability of life has been destroyed 
by forces beyond their comprehension, much less their control. 

2. A recognition that the present agricultural pattern is such that only migra- 
tion can readjust unbalances as to labor needs and supplies. 

3. A recognition that the impulse to migration can be canceled only by funda- 
mental changes in the agricultural economy and that long-time cure and not 
short time restrictive measures should be sought. 

4. A recognition that a public obligation arises out of the inability of individua 
farmers to provide housing and sanitary facilities that will protect the workerl 
and the communities in which they work from contagion. 

5. That it is desirable that the possibility of breaking down the present straight- 
away movement up the Atlantic seaboard into a series of circular movements that 
will lead workers back to their homes over a course of continuous jobs, be explored. 



A changing agricultural pattern 

I. Description of changes in North Carolina. — (1) A specific example of tobacco 
farmer; (2) more machinery; (3) empty tenant houses; (4) workers in nearby 

Some factors operating to produce change 

I. Increased use of farm machines. 

II. Crop curtailment programs. 

III. Increased importance of vegetables, fruits, and berries. 

IV. Unbalance between tillage and harvest machinery. 

How stage is set for migration 

I. Workers subjected to a "push" at home: (1) Fewer jobs. 

II. Workers subjected to "pull": (1) Distant areas of intense activity. 

III. High concentration in small areas creates demand for outside workers. 

IV. Dispersion of production only real cure for migration. 

Nature of the problem of migration 

I. Temperature, north and south miles, and length of harvest season space 
crops: (1) Spacing of crop maturities on Atlantic seaboard; (2) danger of over 
simplification; (3) functional relationship between temperature, distance, direc- 
tion, and crop maturities. 

II. Agricultural migration based on economic structure and determined by 
nature itself. 

Some characteristics of agricultural migration on the Atlantic seaboard 

I. A constant trickle between March and September. 

II. Pulsating waves of migration synchronized with crop maturities. 

III. Movement limited to narrow strip on seaboard. 

IV. Narrow limits of producing areas and simultaneous ending of activities in 
all parts of a specific producing area tend to hold group waves into consolidated 

V. Some important waves that pass up coast. 

VI. Necessity to guard against oversimplification: (1) Cross currents, eddies, 
delays, accelerations, weather and market conditions are complicating factors. 

VII. Florida only a point of departure not the point of origin: (1) License 
plates discussed, (2) organizing factors. 

VIII. Personnel constantly changing. Many groups to traverse whole distance. 

IX. Three main methods of travel and operation: (1) Contractor groups, 
(2) small operator groups, (3) family groups. 

X. Composition: (1) Almost wholly Negro, (2) About 60 percent men and 
40 percent women, (3) many family groups and numerous children. 

XI. Get about 7 months' work. 

XII. Straightaway movement over 1,500 miles north with fairly plentiful jobs. 
No jobs on return trip. 

A rationalized view of agricultural migration 

1. A recognition that agricultural migrants are not, as a class, people who rebel 
against stability but are essentially people whose stability of life has been destroyed 
by forces beyond their comprehension, much less their control. 

2. A recognition that the present agricultural pattern is such that only migra- 
tion can readjust unbalances as to labor needs and supplies. 

3. A recognition that the impulse to migration can be canceled only by funda- 
mental changes in the agricultural economy and that long time cure and not 
short time restrictive measures should be sought. 

4. A recognition that a public obligation arises out of the inability of individual 
farmers to provide housing and sanitary facilities that will protect the workers 
and the communities in which they work from contagion. 

5. That it is desirable that the possibility of breaking down the present straight- 
away movement up the Atlantic seaboard into a series of circular movements that 
will lead workers back to their homes over a course of continuous jobs, be explored. 


W. 42d ST., NEW YORK, N. Y. 

Farm Placement Program for New York State, 1942 

primary objective 

The expansion of the farm placement services of the United States Employ- 
ment Service in New York, which is taking place at a time when the demand of 
the armed services and of defense industries is absorbing a considerable number 
of workers formerly available for agricultural work, has as its primary objective 
the pooling and effective utilization of the available labor supply including high- 
school pupils and workers who may migrate on their own initiative or who may 
be induced to migrate from certain sections of the State or from outside the 


A program designed to accomplish this end will be successful only if it is under- 
taken with the support of farmers, agricultural organizations, the State College 
of Agriculture, and Federal and State agencies concerned with the farm labor 
problems. Consequently, the State farm placement supervisor and the assistant 
director for Upstate New York are maintaining close contact with the State 
Agricultural Defense Committee, the State United States Department of Agri- 
culture War Board, State College of Agriculture at Ithaca, which is the head- 
quarters for a number of important State-wide farm organizations, such as the 
State Farm Bureau Federation, and with the State representative of the Bureau 
of Agricultural Economics, who is also a member of the State Land-Use Com- 
mittee, the Regional Labor Supply Committee and the State United States 
Department of Agriculture War Board. The Bureau of Research and Statistics 
maintains contact with the State Department of Agriculture and Markets for 
the purpose of collecting and analyzing pertinent date relating to agriculture and 
agricultural labor market conditions. 

The State farm placement respresentative, district superintendent, and local 
office managers are responsible for maintaining good working relations with county 
agricultural defense committees, county land-use planning committees, county 
farm granges, and individual farmers. The count}- agricultural defense com- 
mittees, like their parent body, the State agricultural defense committee, are 
composed of members of the various agricultural organizations and prominent 
farmers; they have advisory representatives from various Federal and State 
governmental agencies including Agricultural Adjustment Administration, 
Farm Security Administration, United States Department of Agriculture War 
Board, Bureau of Agricultural Economics, Work Projects Administration, 
National Youth Administration, Selective Service, and United States Extension 
Service. They are the most active and effective farm group, in the State, deal- 
ing with farm labor problems. At the present time they are holding a series of 
meetings devoted entirely to consideration of these problems and are planning 
appropriate courses of action to deal with anticipated difficulties of labor shortages 
during the current year. Technical direction and assistance is provided through 
the county farm bureaus and representatives of the State College of Agriculture, 
Cornell University. The State representative of the Bureau of Agricultural 
Economics assists in clarifying the economic aspects of agricultural labor market 
problems. The State farm placement supervisor, district superintendents, and 
local office managers, in whose jurisdictions these meetings occur are attending 
them as representatives of the Service, advising on the services the United States 
Extension Service will contribute toward the solution of labor supply problems 


The farm placement program will be adapted to meet the peculiar needs of 
the various counties or farm labor areas so that, in effect, there will be a series of 
programs for such areas, coordinated by the State farm placement supervisor 
on a State-wide basis. 


In expanding the farm placement service in the State, it is our policy to con- 
centrate our major effort in those localities where farm labor problems are most 
acute, especially with respect to the production of those products that are essen- 



tial for defense requirements. So that this expansion may be planned intelli- 
gently, the Bureau of Research and Statistics is providing the following basic 


1. General data on farm population, 
the number of farms, acreage involved, 
average size of farms, percent of land de- 
voted to farming, value of farm prop- 
erty, and distribution of farms by size 
for each administrative district of the 
State and for each county. 

2. Number of farms, acreage involved 
and average size of farms, classified by 
type of farm (general, dairy, etc.) for 
each administrative district and county. 

3. Lists of 10 leading counties in 
which 32 farm products requiring hiring 
of additional labor are important, giving 
acreage and production. 

4. Labor employed on farms during 1 
week of March 1940 and September 1939 
classified by type of labor, i. e., family, 
hired by day, month, or week, etc., and 
total wages paid for each type of labor 
hired in 1939 for each county. 

5. Charts or tables for every farm 
product requiring temporary hiring of 
labor at peak seasons, by county, to de- 
termine possibility of organizing mobile 
force to handle needs for each major 

6. Charts or tables for each count y, 
listing principal farm products requiring 
temporary hiring of labor at peak sea- 
sons, together with estimates of amount 
of labor required per acre, or other unit, 
for each crop. Also, 1941 acreage or 
production of each crop in each county, 
with possible 1942 estimates so that a 
rough estimate of total man-hours of 
labor required can be determined. 

7. Analysis of agricultural placements 
by local office, by industry and occupa- 
tion for July to September 1941. 

8. Miscellaneous data on farm in- 
come, farm wages by county, farm labor 
supply and demand by county. 

9. Summary of January 1942 Farm 
Work Inquiry for New York State, cov- 
ering workers and wages in January 1942 
by type of labor and total wages paid for 
labor in 1941. 

10. The names and locations of can- 
neries and number of men and women 
employed in canneries during 1940. 

Additional information will be assembled from the State College of Agriculture, 
county farm bureaus, and other agricultural organizations. 

These data will provide the basis for planning the program of operations by 
counties and for indicating those counties where special measures will have to be 
taken in order to meet the requirements of the "Food for freedom campaign." 
Seasonal charts are in process of preparation for the principal crops in each county. 
These charts, together with summaries of data from the studies itemized above, 
will be sent to the local offices for their guidance in. planning operations to meet 


Fifteenth and Sixteenth Census of 
Population and Agriculture for New 
York State, 1930 and 1940. 

Fifteenth Census of Agriculture 
(1930) due to unavailability of 1940 
data. Also special Agricultural Adjust- 
ment Administration Survey of 1941. 

Sixteenth Census of Agriculture, 1940. 

Sixteenth Census of Agriculture, 1940. 

Special assistance of experts of Agri- 
cultural Marketing Service, located at 
Albany, N. Y. 

Special assistance of experts of Agri- 
cultural Marketing Service located at 
Albany, N. Y., and special studies made 
at Ithaca College of Agriculture re man 
hours to produce selected crops. 

ES-212 tabulation and special tabula- 

United States Department of Agricul- 
ture, Agricultural Marketing Service at 
Albany, N. Y. 

New monthly questionnaire covering 
about 1,000 farmers being instigated by 
United States Department of Agricul- 
ture and now in process of summariza- 
tion by Agricultural Marketing Service 
in Albany. 

Canneries employing 10 or more — 
United States Census 1940. 


the needs of agriculture in their jurisdictions.' They also will provide the State 
farm placement supervisor with the basic information for planning and coordinat- 
ing the program. 


Local office monthly narrative reports include information on agricultural labor 
market conditions. As the peak seasons approach, these reports will be supple- 
mented by current reports from local office managers and district superintendents 
for use by the State farm placement supervisor in directing farm placement 
operations. While much of this reporting will be on a direct informal basis by 
memorandum or telephone, the question as to whether weekly and sometimes 
daily reports on current conditions should be sent to the State farm placement 
supervisor will be considered. These reports, probably, will cover the following: 

1. Crop conditions. 5. Workers available for referral. 

2. Percent harvested. 6. Current wages paid. 

3. Unfilled openings. 7. Weather conditions. . 

4. Placements. 


The farm labor problem in a highly industrialized State like New York, which 
has large defense contracts, must be considered in the light of industrial demand for 
workers and the shifting of farm workers to industry. Some important agricul- 
tural areas have relatively high man-hour requirements for harvesting are located 
near urban centers having large concentrations of defense industries; for example, 
Erie and Onondaga Counties in which are located Buffalo and Syracuse, and 
Wayne County, which is near Rochester. 


It is in such areas that the employment of urban high-school pupils for harvest- 
ing work will be most important. In this connection, the Service, through its 
experience in handling the placement of pupils from the Rochester high schools 
during the 1941 harvesting season, has developed the necessary methods and safe- 
guards for the employment of junior workers in harvesting work. 


The proposed bill before the State legislature, permitting all high schools to 
allow pupils 14 years of age and over to be absent for a maximum of 30 days for 
agricultural employment in 1942, authorizes the State department of education 
to lay down the conditions under which pupils will be permitted to work on farms 
during the school year. The State department of labor is responsible for the en- 
forcement of the State labor law with respect to the employment of women and 
minors. The State and local health authorities are responsible for the enforce- 
ment of such health and sanitary regulations as apply to employment on farms. 

The United States Extension Service in New York will work closely with these 
agencies so that standards will be maintained. A compilation of all State regula- 
tions will be prepared and supplemented by such operating regulations as the 
United States Extension Service finds necessary to facilitate the placement of 
these pupils through its field office organization. 


With respect to the mechanics for placing pupils on farms during the school 
year, the United States Employment Service will make arrangements with 
local urban authorities so that they jwill be released at such times as they are 
needed. At the same time, the United States Employment Service will set up a 
plan of operation which will include: 

1. Notifying farmers in area of availability of urban school pupils. 

2. Taking farmers' orders and notifying them of minimum standards for em- 
ployment and other conditions that must be adhered to in order to protect the 
health and well-being of the children. 

3. Arranging for appropriate points of assembly where pupils will gather in the 
morning for transportation to the farms. 

4. Supervising, at assembly points, the allocation of available workers to 
farmers and checking to see that minimum standards of transportation are met 
by the employers. 


5. Checking to ascertain whether the pupils have work papers if they are be- 
tween 14 and 16 years of age, and whether they have written notices of consent 
from their parents. 

6. Following up to determine whether employers are adhering to the minimum 
standards of employment, including the payment of wages at the end of each day. 

7. Making reports to local school authorities regarding operations and problems 


During past years there has been some migration of individual workers and 
families from New York City to the agricultural regions of the Hudson Valley 
during the harvesting season. Some of them traveled on their own initiative, 
others were recruited by labor contractors, and yet others were brought to the 
farm by the farmer himself on his return from delivering produce to the New 
York City market. 

During the depression years, there was an abundance of such labor, but some 
serious shortages were apparent during 1941. The Employment Service will 
undertake organized recruiting in the New York City labor market during the 
coming harvesting season. A supervisory employee in the metropolitan region 
will be designated to coordinate recruiting efforts in the metropolitan placement 
office, and the State Farm Placement representative will coordinate the recruiting 
with the needs of the various local office areas. 


Compared with some of the large agricultural States in the Southwest and 
West, out-of-State migratory labor is not as important a factor in the New York 
farm labor market; yet in past years, certain sections of the State, such as the 
Hudson Valley, Wayne, Oswego, Madison, Chenango and Niagara Counties, 
have had considerable immigration of farm workers during the peak harvesting 
seasons. During the 1941 season the number of such workers declined from 
probably one-third to one-half the number who were available during the previous 
year. It is reasonable to assume that this supply will be further reduced during 
the current year. In order to attract such workers during the 1942 harvesting 
seasons (1) organized recruiting will be undertaken by United States Employment 
Service; (2) appropriate housing facilities made available at locations convenient 
to the area of employment; (3) placement organized so as to obtain the maximum 
possible employment with the least transportation, and then workers moved to 
other harvesting areas as crops ripen. The season crops pattern by counties will 
be the basis for this movement, supplemented by current reports from local offices 
during the harvesting season. 


The State Farm Placement supervisor, district superintendents and local 
office managers are now working on this problem through county agriculture 
defense committees, county United States Department of Agriculture war boards, 
as well as with representatives of the Federal Security Administration, which 
provides migrant camp facilities. Operating policy with respect to the joint 
agreement between the United States Employment Service and the Farm Security 
Administration, as outlined in United States Employment Service Operations 
Bulletin No. C-7, will be carried out through the relationships that the State 
Farm Placement supervisor, district and local office personnel are maintaining 
with the county agricultural defense committees, which, as representatives of 
farmers, decide whether they wish to obtain camps for their respective counties. 
Representatives of the Farm Security Administration attend these meetings and 
discuss the conditions under which camps can be made available. So far they 
have indicated that five mobile units will be allotted to New York State. The 
time they will set up and their itinerary have not yet been established, but the 
necessary data for this determination are being prepared. Since more counties 
have requested such camps than can be serviced by the allotted units, location of 
camp sites will be determined on the basis of relative needs. Additional per- 
sonnel, recruited from the areas to be served, possessing first-hand knowledge of 
local farmers' requirements, will be recruited by the local offices to operate the 
placement functions of these camps. Such personnel will be supervised by the 
appropriate local office managers with the assistance of the State Farm Placement 



In some localities we shall supplement the service of local offices by establishing 
temporary offices in appropriate agricultural centers. This type of service is 
relatively simple to inaugurate, and we have gathered the necessary experience in 
one or two localities so that operations should be carried out without much 
difficulty. So far, county defense committees have recommended that temporary 
United States Employment Service offices be established in Madison, Wayne, 
St. Lawrence, Jefferson, and Lewis Counties during the coming harvest seasons. 
On account of the shortage of regular employees, some of these offices will have 
to be operated by personnel recommended by and recruited through representa- 
tive farm groups and agencies. 


Perhaps the most difficult category of farm labor problems are those resulting 
from the shortage of qualified year-round men for dairy and general farms. In 
past years there has been a shortage of such workers even when there were sub- 
stantial labor surpluses. It has been further aggravated by the fact that this 
class of workers and potential recruits that under the other labor market condi- 
tions would be available for employment on these farms, has been attracted to 
and is acceptable by defense manufacturing industries. Consequently, any 
training program would be inadequate because of the lack of sufficient volume of 
suitable training material. While some trainees might be recruited from the 
New York labor market, it is doubtful whether many of them could be absorbed as 
regular farm hands by farm employers. During the past year, an experiment 
was conducted at the State college of agriculture for the purpose of training 
Civilian Conservation Corps enrollees for general farm work. They were city 
youth, and it was found that they could not satisfactorily adjust themselves to 
the conditions of "farm work, nor could the farmers modify their attitudes suffi- 
ciently to make the employment of these youth satisfactory to them. 


The out-of-school rural youth training program of the State department of 
education is designed to train rural youth in skills required in operating a farm, 
especially in respect to the operations, maintenance, and repair of farm machinery. 
.Most of these students are now living on farms so that they do not constitute a net 
increase to the available farm labor supply. There are approximately 2,000 boys 
in the 75 centers presently taking this training. The National Youth Adminis- 
tration is training 44 boys at Hartwick, N. Y., for farm work. The curriculum 
covers dairy, poultry, crop growing, and farm mechanics. 


Several county agricultural defense committees have asked for a publicity and 
educational program designed to emphasize the satisfactions of farming as an occu- 
pation to hold workers presently employed on farms and encourage those who have 
gone to urban industrial centers to return. It is their suggestion that the pub- 
licity would have a patriotic appeal as well as point up the fact that the disparity 
between farm and industrial wages may be offset to a considerable degree by board 
and lodging privileges. In this connection, it should be noted that the average 
farm wage with board in New York, as of October 1941, was S43.75, which was the 
highest on this date since 1930 and constitutes an increase of 70 percent above the 
1910-14 average. 


Migratory workers usually are not employed in cannery process operation- in 
New York. In most localities canneries have a following of local housewives for 
processing and men for the heavier work of loading, unloading, and stocking. 
Some of these men have gone into defense work in industry or have been inducted 
into the Army. Last year the Employment Service was called upon to do con- 
siderable recruiting both for male and female workers. In some localities such as 
Rochester and Batavia. the Employment Service recruited and sent the workers to 
the canneries which are located in nearby areas. It is anticipated that we shall be 
called upon to do more recruiting this year for I he canneries. In this connection, 
it should be noted that farmers are concerned about migration workers, who come 
with the Farm Security Administration mobile camps, hi ing employed in cannery 


processing. The Farm Security Administration representatives at the county 
agricultural defense committee meetings assured the farmers that no person or 
family whose members were employed in an industrial plant of any kind would be 
housed in these camps. 


The preparation of appropriate forms, procedures, and instructions to effectuate 
the farm placement program is a joint responsibility of the State farm placement 
supervisor and the methods and procedures unit. Such mechanics of operations 
will have to be developed along with our experience. 


The training of permanent staff members assigned in local offices to handle farm 
placement will be undertaken as a joint enterprise of the State farm placement 
supervisor, State bureau of agricultural engineering representative, who has 
volunteered his services, and the occupational analysis unit, the latter to assume 
responsibility for the analysis of farm jobs in the State and the preparation of job 
description for use by local office personnel. When these are available in sufficient 
volume, the State farm placement supervisor and a member of the occupational 
analysis unit will meet with groups of local farm placement interviewers to instruct 
them in the use of the material. Formal training in farm placement work will be 
concerned primarily with problems of agricultural labor supply and with the 
development, by local office personnel assigned to farm placement, of a working 
knowledge of the farmer's viewpoint. 

Dr. Lamb. Mr. Hunter, I have a group of questions for you first, 
and then when we have completed those there is a list of prepared 
questions for the panel. I would like to have the members of the 
panel feel free to amplify your statements or you may feel free to call 
on them at any point, if you wish. 

We have your prepared statement here and I have read it with 
interest. Some of the questions which are asked here may duplicate 
your paper, however, since the questions were prepared before the 
paper arrived. 


The first question is: Will you indicate to the committee some of the 
advantages accruing from the nationalization of the Farm Placement 

Mr. Hunter. Yes. I think the nationalization of the Farm 
Placement Service and the whole United States Employment Service 
has had its measure of advantage in that a closer control is obtained and 
a more unified employment service is made available to the Nation at 

Before, we offered a quasi State and Federal system, and the 
administration of that type of employment service was largely up to 
the States. Some control and direction was exercised by the Federal 
Government but on the whole the State was pretty much its own boss. 

Now, Dr. Lamb, do you want me to speak specifically on the Farm 
Placement Service, what has been done recently on that? 

Dr. Lamb. Yes; if you would, please. 

Mr. Hunter. We have endeavored to set up a nationalized farm 
placement service, and, in doing that we have set up certain kinds of 
operation requiring certain supervision. That supervision at the 
present time means a farm placement section in Washington to plan 
and coordinate the staff activities insofar as possible, to obtain 
cooperation of the Department of Agriculture and other Federal 
agencies, and to guide the staff program. 

60396— 42— pt. 28 4 


In each of the Social Security Board's 12 regional offices we have 
placed a regional farm supervisor. That supervisor is responsible for 
the operation of the Farm Placement Service in the States in the 
Social Security Board's region. He will control and direct, insofar as 
possible, clearance of labor between States in his region. He will 
supervise the State's Farm Placement program. 

He will be responsible for the efficient operation of the Farm Place- 
ment Service within the States in his region. He will also, in a meas- 
ure, be responsible for the dissemination of information relative to the 
States within that region to other States and surrounding regions. 

We expect to get up, through the various States, reports on labor 
supply, labor shortages, conditions on wages, conditions on crop 
maturity, and any other factor that will affect the agricultural program 
within that region. 

That will immediately be transmitted to neighboring regions which 
might be in the same crop area; for instance, cotton or wheat. In 
that way they can know what the picture is throughout the whole 
crop area. 

In each State we have placed a State Farm Placement supervisor 
and he is responsible for the operation of the Farm Placement program 
within that State. 

In each of the presently operated 1,500 full-time local employment 
offices, we have asked that one or more individuals be designated as 
Farm Placement officers. We are trying to see that it is properly 
carried forward and we are trying in every way to give a program 
that will fit the needs of the State in each region. 

The Chairman. Does your supervisor cooperate with the State? 

Mr. Hunter. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Where does the actual recruitment take place? 


Mr. Hunter. In the local employment office. If they have a 
shortage of labor within that area we have asked this: That first there 
must be a complete and full utilization of local labor. By that I do 
not mean going to our active files and saying that we have 300 farm 
hands registered, but to go out and recruit locally. • 

In Spanish-American communities they have gone to the priest 
and service organizations and gone out on the street and recruited. 
In some places they have gone to women's organizations where women 
could work in the agricultural field. 

The Chairman. Do you pull any from the W. P. A.? 

Mr. Hunter. Yes. We have an agreement in effect with the 
Work Projects Administration that any person with an agricultural 
background will be available to us for use in the agricultural field. 

Dr. Lamb. In other words, you consider it the responsibility of 
Farm Placement Service to provide an adequate supply of farm labor 
in the war effort? 

Mr. Hunter. Yes, sir; that is right. I don't think that anybody 
can guarantee that they are going to supply all the labor that is going 
to be needed within the next 2 years, but we will guarantee we are 
going to do all we can to supply that labor. 

The Chairman. Do you find reluctance on the part of W. P. A. 
workers to take farm work? 


Mr. Hunter. Yes; there has been some reluctance on the part of a 
number of individual workers. In the first place, they have in many 
cases found some difficulty in going back to their W. P. A. jobs when 
the temporary work was over, and climatic conditions have interrupted 
their employment in agriculture to some extent where they can't 
make as much money as they might have on the W. P. A. project, 
but on the whole most of them are willing and anxious to take jobs in 
private industry that will pay them as much as they can make on 
W. P. A. 

Dr. Lamb. What do you consider to be the responsibilities of the 
Department of Agriculture with respect to the provision of an adequate 
supply of agricultural labor during the war? 


Mr. Hunter. The States have their State war boards, and county 
subcommittees on agricultural labor. We expect they are going to 
work in close cooperation with the Employment Service officials. 
We want one of our members on each of their committees. 

We think they can assist us in giving information not only on 
acreage and crop conditions and estimated production, but in some 
places we think we can use them where wage scales are clear out of 
line and the community feels they don't want to go any higher and a 
neighboring community might be paying a higher wage scale. 

I think they can help us get that wage scale to a standard bracket. 
Outside of furnishing information on labor to employment office officials, 
not only as to needs but also crop conditions and acreage, and so 
forth, I think that is about the size of their responsibility in the labor 
end of the program. 

Dr. Lamb. We understand that the Secretary of Agriculture has 
instructed these farm labor subcommittees to cooperate with you. 
You would say that this list that you have just given covers the type 
and extent of their cooperation? 

Mr. Hunter. I think it is about as far as we can go. I wonder if 
Mr. Stoll or Mr. Gross care to comment on that? 

Mr. Gross. Yes. I think they can be of extreme value in pointing 
out lack of housing and other facilities to workers and trying to 
convince growers of the necessity of using the labor that is available 
in the longest period and not ordering more labor than they actually 
need, but more nearly gearing the amount of labor actually needed 
in the harvest or other work with the crop to actual needs, rather 
than having rough estimates. 

Dr. Lamb. Last year we were impressed with the need for more 
accurately estimating and I think early in the season even some of the 
farm labor subcommittees in various States were contributing to this 
situation. I believe in the late part of the season the Department of 
Agriculture cooperated with them and they repaired their ways and 
changed their basis for estimating, and this made an appreciable 


Mr. Gross. May I make one other suggestion, Dr. Lamb? I think 
if they are going to use the Employment Service to its full capacity — 
and I am frank to say I don't know whether it can meet the full 


responsibility that it hopes to meet, because I don't think it is possible 
for them to go further under a voluntary system than to do all they 
can to recruit labor — hut if we can convince the growers not to go 
into another field and advertise for people until they have exhausted 
local labor, and to gear their demands to the needs more nearly and 
make their actual needs known, including the time of their needs and 
if they will cooperate with the Employment Service and not engage 
in promiscuous broadcasting for labor, it will be of great help to the 
Farm Placement Bureau in utilizing resources. 

In the 5 or 6 years I have had connection with the question, I don't 
believe we have had at any time before, such wide use by growers or 
growers' organizations. In some cases I think the county agents have 
not attempted to get the farmers to use the program as much as they 

I think this educational program is going forward rapidly and they 
are appreciating the service the Employment Service can render to 
them in bringing all forces to bear on this problem of utilization of local 
labor to the greatest degree, which will be of inestimable value. 

Mr. Lamb. Do you know of any farm labor subcommittees that 
have engaged directly in recruiting practices? 

Mr. Hunter. I don't know of any. Perhaps Mr. Stoll could answer 

Mr. Stoll. Not in our State. 


I woidd like to emphasize the statement regarding the Department 
of Agriculture. In the State of Oregon we have a three-way respon- 
sibility for the crop reporting by the Department of Agriculture. The 
first responsibility is a break-down by acreage, the second responsi- 
bility is a break-down by crop production by months throughout the 
year, and the third responsibility — and this is just new in the last year 
and a half — is a break-down of operations of each crop throughout 
the year. 

For instance, take your tree fruits, you decide how many people are 
needed in pruning, how many in spraying, how many in brush disposal 
and so on throughout the year. That gives the local office the exact 
picture of what the needs are on an acreage basis, the exact picture of 
what the needs are on an operation basis, exactly what the time of the 
starting of the season is, when it is reached, and the peak of the season. 
When an order comes in for 100 pickers in strawberries and we know 
the grower only has 10 acres, or whatever it is, we know what it takes 
in manpower to harvest that crop, we know definitely what the labor 
needs arc. 

I might say the crop reporting recently received from the B. A. E. 
marketing service has been one factor that has eliminated estimation 
and put the information on the basis of actual needs of farm labor 

Mr. Hunter. I think one more thing should be pointed out there. 

In getting your growers' orders, Mr. Stoll — I know we did this in 
the States I operated — do you not find what his acreage or estimated 
problem is before you take his orders? In many cases a man will 
order 100 laborers and he only has acreage enough to probably employ 
50, and at the time he placed his order we have found the size of his 
agricultural labor problem by getting at that. 


Mr. Stoll. We do that and in each region have a committee of 
growers to see that a fair distribution of labor has been made among 
the growers. 

Dr. Lamb. That is an informal committee? 

Mr. Stoll. It has been our own. The Employment Service is the 
labor criterion and this year we are using the subcommittees of the 
Department of Agriculture. 


Dr. Lamb. Mr. Hunter, what do you understand to be the function 
of the State and county agricultural war boards in the matter of pro- 
viding farm labor? 

Mr. Hunter. The State and county agricultural war boards operate 
m the same capacity as the local labor subcommittees. 

They have no responsibility in providing farm labor other than in 
giving such assistance as they can render to the Employment Service 
agents in helping recruit spreading information on additional need for 
local labor or providing the same type of cooperation as has been dis- 
cussed on the previous question. 

Dr. Lamb. Is there any duplication in the operations of the State 
and county agricultural war boards and the State planning committees? 

Mr. Hunter. I should say that their work probably hinges pretty 
much on the same thing. 

Air. Stoll. When originally started there was duplication, without 
question, until it was clarified between the Employment Service and 
the committees. I think when the original word came out of what 
they were to do, they took in a lot of territory and felt they could 
help out, but I think that is all corrected now, after 2 or 3 months. 

Mr. Hunter. That is probably true. 

Mr. Stoll. I think that is a question of cooperation between the 

Dr. Lamb. In this general connection I would like to ask whether 
you think the numbers of local employment offices are sufficient, or the 
locations adequately widespread, to maintain the confidence of local 
growers and users of agricultural labor in the Employment Service. 


Mr. Hunter. I think there are certain areas throughout the United 
States in which we need additional employment offices. I can't help 
but think the majority of employment offices that are set up were set 
up to serve industrial rather than agricultural needs. 

In the States that have a recognized farm problem they are set up 
to serve agricultural employers. But in the majority of States, 
where there is an agricultural as well as industrial problem, they need 
a further spread of employment offices to meet growers' and farmers' 
needs and we are working on that at the present time. 

Dr. Lamb. I have the impression from the work of this committee 
that one of the problems, perhaps your greatest problem, is the 
problem of educating both growers and agricultural workers to an 
understanding of the operations of the Service and the whereabouts 
of the Employment Service offices, and perhaps there is also an 
educational problem within the Service, that is, the Employment 


Service, of educating the man in charge or those operating the local 
offices as to the nature of these problems. 

It is quite a big educational job, in other words, and you must be 
consistently struggling with it. Is that correct? 


Mr. Hunter. I think you are very correct on that statement. We 
are embarking at the present time on an informational program which 
should reach a great number of growers and workers, explaining to 
them what the Employment Service can do. We have a tie-up with 
the Department of Agriculture press service which extends down into 
practically every local community and our own information service 
is carrying a number of stories on the reorganized Farm Placement 

We are also requesting each State to submit a plan of operation for 
its Farm Placement Service to be built up to the State level and then 
sent to the Farm Placement office for review. 

We have definitely a training program in the majority of the States 
for our own Farm Placement people, which has to be and is being 

We also have to have a definite informational campaign for both 
workers and growers, as to what services might be rendered by 
adequate farm placement. 

The Chairman. You will have to intensify that educational 
program, won't you, on account of the war? 

Mr. Hunter. Yes; and I think on account of the war that that 
will be quite easy to do, because we do face a definite curtailment in 
workers available to agriculture and the various women's land armies 
and youth movements and others that are being built up will bring a 
greater realization to the farmer and grower of that fact. 


Dr. Lamb. Has your office been consulted by the Selective Service 
Administration on the matter of deferment policy for farm workers, 
and what recommendations have you made on this matter? 

Mr. Hunter. Our office has had a part in the recommendations, 
and in this new registration that will take place on February 16, as 
you know, there will be an occupational question there with the 

On there we have listed the certain branches of agricultural work 
that we feel are necessary for deferment. For example, there will be 
the number of dairy hands. We are experiencing a shortage on dairy 
hands in many areas, and milk and milk products are essential to the 
Nation at this time. 

Another one is on farm machine operators and repairmen. In 
many places we have difficulty in getting and keeping men who can 
operate farm machinery or repair farm machinery. Those are the 
items of most importance that appear on there, and which have been 
taken into consideration. 

That question might be partially answered by going back to your 
local B. A. E. or local subcommittees. They can be of assistance to 
the Selective Service local board in helping them decide the deferment 
of these workers. 



Dr. Lamb. The committee understands that several States passed 
"work or fight" laws during the last war, directed in part toward 
transient laborers. The attention of the committee has been recently 
directed to the practice of a local defense council in one State, posting 
placards in agricultural areas which read "work or fight. This means 
you." Do you know of any such instances, and do you know if they 
require legislative authority? 

Mr. Hunter. None of those instances have been called to my 

Mr. Stoll. I haven't heard of any. I remember some in the last 
war. I understand in the last war a few States had "work or fight" 
laws, and in a couple of States those laws are still on the books at the 
present time. 

Dr. Lamb. Members of our staff have seen such a "work or fight" 
placard and I would rather not say where at this moment, because it 
might prejudice some of our future investigations or hearings to 
mention it now. 

In the committee's hearings last spring we were confronted with 
reports on serious impending farm labor shortages. How have these 
expectations worked out? 

Mr. Hunter. There have been reports in a number of places of 
shortages of farm labor. Some of those reports are limited to dairy 
hands in particular. That is one place where I think there has been 
quite a shortage. On the whole, I don't believe that we have suffered 
any serious shortage of farm labor during this past year. It has 
mostly been a shortage brought about by agricultural wage scales, of 
not being able to compete with the rising industrial wage. 


Dr. Lamb. Is it your impression that the food-for-victory campaign 
will fail to reach stated goals because of farm labor shortages? 

Mr. Hunter. Not particularly because of farm-labor shortages, 
but because of a feeling on the part of many growers that they won't 
have labor available. I have reports of planting being hampered in 
a number of cases because of fear that labor would not be available, 
but no statement that labor is not available. 

Mr. Stoll. In the pea industry and bean industry in Oregon, the 
growers and planters appealed to us to come forth with information 
as to the plans for recruiting of labor. There was a definite trend of 
growers not wanting to plant because they were fearful labor would 
not be available. We went to every labor subcommittee in the State 
and explained what the recruiting was in order to get the farmers 
to plant. 

There is a definite feeling on the part of the farmers that they 
don't want to plant if they can't harvest, and it has taken about a 
month of educational work in every community throughout the State 
to try to convince them we were going to try to meet our labor 

Mr. Gross. That is almost the same in the Rocky Mountain 
States. We had considerable publicity in the newspapers when farm 
organizations were meeting in their annual meetings around the 


holidays and since, that there was reluctance on the part of farmers to 
plant in accordance with the food-f or- victory request, and we asked 
the Employment Service representatives who were contacting them 
to go as far as was possible in assuring them that we did not believe 
there would be any shortage of labor, that we thought there were 
many resources that had not heretofore been used that could be called 
into service. 

We could give them no absolute figures, of course, because we had 
none that would furnish positive assurance that it would be met, but 
based our statements on the experience of last year. While some of 
this feeling was evident, I know of no crops in the six States of the 
Rocky Mountain area where there was any noticeable failure in 
harvesting crops due to failure of labor. We had some isolated cases 
where workers were delayed a long time, especially in sugar beets, 
but I think, by and large, they were met as far as it was possible to 
meet them. 

Mr. Hunter. Dr. Lamb, the gentleman who just came in is Mr. 
Denton C. Rushing, regional farm placement representative for 
Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. 

Would you like a comment from him on that same question? 

Mr. Rushing. I think what the gentleman has just said applies 
largely to Arkansas. I am not familiar with the other States enough 
to discuss that very much. 

Our difficulty in Arkansas was to get people to realize that a full 
utilization of the labor on hand was more important than trying to 
bring labor from here and there, and the local labor commit oee and I 
doubt whether the local labor has been as yet fully utilized in Arkansas. 

Mr. Hunter. Has there been any indication of their not planting 
because of that? 

Mr. Rushing. Not at this time. I might make this comment: 
That most of the farmers who produce those crops that require quite 
an amount of outside labor have bien working through the Farm 
Placement Division of the Employment Service for quite awhile and 
they depend probably more on that Service in that particular State 
than any other State around it, and we have not had any indication 
that they are going to fail to plant on account of that. 1 

women's land army 

Dr. Lamb. Do you think that a Women's Land Army will be 
necessary in 1942, and are you in favor of such an army? 

Mr. Hunter. I doubt very much the necessity of a W T omen's 
Land Army in 1942 except in areas raising crops of high man-hour 
requirements, probably tomatoes, snap beans, and so forth. In the 
harvesting and canning of that type of crop we may have to employ 
some women. I think such an army may be utilized, but it should be 
organized on a State-by-State basis, as the need arises, rather than on a 
national basis. 

I think the States can decide how r many women they are going to 
have to employ. Certainly w r e know r that during the harvesting and 
canning periods w r e are going to use more women than we did before. 

Mr. Gross. I w r onder if Mr. Stoll wouldn't like to talk on that? 

1 See testimony of E. M. Norment, pt. 2, pp. 783 and 789. 


Mr. Stoll. We have a census of women now going on in which we 
are interviewing every single woman in the State which we think 
covers the problem entirely. The census was organized over a period 
of 3 months and carried on by an actual interview in the home. 

I am speaking, not as a director of Employment Service, but as a 
representative of the growers and of the labor group. We are not in 
favor of compulsory use of battalions of women, but we are very 
definitely in favor of voluntary use. Along with that we are taking 
a registration of every person from the seventh grade through college 
in every school, both private and public, in the State. 

We have, I think, as complete registration of every woman and every 
boy and every girl in the State as possible, who can be used as a labor 
reserve. We have talked to the growers. The growers feel that for 
certain crops like berries, beans, and so forth, young boys and girls 
are the best type of labor. 

There are two things involved. When you have women and young 
children go out, and by that I mean from the seventh grade up, you 
must have supervision. We provided that by a pool of growers 
actually hiring the teachers to go out in the busses to the fields and 
back. We probably will have a reserve of labor of women and 
students of approximately 60,000 in our State. We are taking an 
actual registration of 300,000 women, the availability running 
probably 35,000. It is strictly on a voluntary basis. I don't think 
there is a woman in the State of Oregon who doesn't know the Em- 
ployment Service exists, because we have gone into the homes and 
told them. M ary Anderson l w r as out to a recent meeting as our 
principal speaker and she outlined the Labor Department's attitude 
about relaxation for age groups and agricultural workers, but we think 
a compulsory basis is all wrong. 

Dr. Lamb. 1 would like to ask what general effect a Women's Land 
Army would have upon the agricultural wage structure in your 

Mr. Hunter. That will be dependent upon several other factors. 
Eirst, if there is a shortage of labor and a real need for a Women's 
Land Army, then it should have no bad effect upon the wage scale. 

If, however, organization of the Women's Land Army is carried on 
when there is not a need for it, and employment is offered these people, 
it will probably operate to depress wage scales. 


Dr. Lamb. The committee understands that the Women's Land 
Arnry in the last war was organized under the supervision of the 
Employment Service of the Department of Labor, and that place- 
ments were made only under approved conditions of work and living, 
minimum wages, with time and a half for overtime (or the local pre- 
vailing wage, whichever was higher), a maximum 8-hour day, and 
physical examinations. If a women's army were to be instituted 
during this war, do you think that similar standards should be main- 
tained? If so, w r hat agencies should lay down and enforce the 

i See testimony, p. 10390, (pt. 27) this volume. 


Mr. Hunter. If the Women's Land Army was to be organized, I 
think similar standards must be maintained and I think the Employ- 
ment Service would have to operate in a major role in that capacity, 
insofar as the employment of these women on farms is concerned. I 
think it should be our duty to check wage scales being offered, and 
probably housing conditions, as a part of our work. 

As far as the physical examination is concerned, I think that any 
agency that starts up a Women's Land Army, whether a private 
organization or some government organization, should be responsible 
largely for the supervision and physical examinations of those women. 

boys' working reserve 

Dr. Lamb. The committee also understands that during the last 
war some 300,000 boys of pre-draft age were enrolled and placed on 
farms by the Department of Labor (U. S. Employment Service 
Branch) through the Boys' Working Reserve; that these boys were 
given physical examinations, were paid a fair wage ($30 a month and 
board being the generally accepted minimum), and their working 
quarters were supervised to prevent exploitation and loss of education. 

If youth are similarly enrolled in agricultural work for this war, do 
you think that similar standards should be maintained? If so, what 
agency should lay down and enforce these standards? 

Mr. Hunter. It is entirely probable that youth will be similarly 
enrolled during the next 2 or 3 years, and I think their standards 
should be maintained. I know at the present time there is an organ- 
ization being promoted in New York by Mrs. Kermit Roosevelt, 1 
believe. Youth wants to help. I think that any organization that 
builds up a group of youth for that purpose should be responsible for 
the supervision of them. 

I think the Employment Service should handle the placement end 
of it. 

Dr. Lamb. You are in favor of clearance of all such workers being 
made through the Employment Service? 

Mr. Hunter. I am. 

Dr. Lamb. And of necessary restrictions being made upon the 
placement of such workers so as not to destroy the standards? 

Mr. Hunter. Yes. Wage standards and living standards should 
be maintained. 

Mr. Stoll. May I make a comment regarding the actual practice 
of using youth? We used a considerable number last year and we 
found no family that would permit their children to go into the volun- 
tary labor reserve, unless they were supervised by persons they had 
confidence in, and we found the people they had confidence in were 
the teachers in the schools. 

farm wages 

They were paid an hourly wage. That was a success of the recruit- 
ment of youth. And I might say that large cooperatives and large 
growers' associations are not thinking in terms of reducing wages for 
children or women. They are carrying the same standard wage that 
they are carrying for men in all operations. 

Dr. Lamb. I should think two problems would arise, one the prob- 
lem of peace wages in which people with very little experience are 


going to discover that their wages are very small unless some fixed 
minimum exists, and the other, the effect on the general wage through- 
out the area of the presence of such volunteers. 

For example, I think in areas where shortages are developing you 
have the problem of the competing wage. Wages in industry are 
undoubtedly luring people out of agricultural employment. The 
more you maintain the prevailing wage as a low wage, the more the 
spread will increase between prevailing wages in agriculture and 
wages in industry. 

This will tend to drain off more and more of your agricultural labor 
supply, and thus encourage the increase in the volunteer and working 
reserve supplies, and so tend to make agriculture and industry depend- 
ent upon such unusual sources of supply, rather than upon the ordi- 
nary sources. Of course, this may be hypothetical. 

Mr. Stoll. You are very definitely into that this year. May I say 
on wages that last year, where we had to recruit probably 10,000 
volunteer workers in hops, the tendency was to increase the wage 
from $1 to $1.25 and $1.50 and $1.75, and when the volunteer workers 
finally came in, because of scarcity of labor, it went up 2 cents. 
There wasn't any question of the wage being reduced. 


Mr. Howard. Dr. Lamb, I would like to make a comment Our. 
experience in New York, in one city, Rochester, is that the shcool 
board permitted the children to be out on farm work for a maximum 
of 10 days, in spite of the fact that there was at that time no legisla- 
tion permitting such work without the loss of State aid funds. 

I would like to outline our program, including the wage situation. 
We arranged with the schools to have the estimated number of stu- 
dents who were required by the growers, on the previous day, to be 
available at from four to six different assembly points. The growers 
brought their busses and trucks there and picked them up. 

We insisted upon minimum standards in that transportation, such 
as a seat for every child, that a supervisor had to be present on every 
truck or bus, that they had to have a supervisor on the job when they 
arrived, and they had to be paid at the end of each working day on the 
job and transported back to the place of assembly. 

Those students averaged about 7% to 8 hours actual working time. 
They harvested beans, tomatoes, and corn. We kept some figures 
as to their earnings which averaged about $2.40 a day whether work- 
ing on an hourly rate or a piece-rate basis. 

By and large the comments were very favorable on the performance 
of these school children. 

There is now a bill pending before the New York State Legislature 
which will permit urban high school students to be absent for an 
actual period of 30 days for agricultural harvesting work, students 
of 14 years and over. 

We believe that will be the biggest help obtainable in harvesting 
some of those high man-hour crops, particularly those areas that are 
located near large urban centers where the local labor supply has 
already been drained by industry. This will prevent the necessity 
for a lot of inmigration during those periods. And, as to Mr. Stoll's 


comment, as a matter of fact, the wages did go up slightly when 
those students became available, over what had been paid before. 
Dr. Lamb. I would like to pursue a related but not identical line. 


During the last war, as you know, immigration restrictions were 
lowered to permit the importation of Mexicans and Bahama Island 
negroes, mainly for work in agriculture. Similar requests to lower the 
bars are now current, particularly in regard to Mexicans. Do you 
think that the importation of alien labor will be necessary in 1942? 

Mr. Hunter. I doubt very much the necessity of importation of 
alien labor in 1942. 

I believe if proper utilization of local labor is undertaken, that we 
can supply sufficient labor from within the boundaries of the United 

I know that we are going to have a definite application from certain 
growers for importation of alien labor, and know in some instances it 
may be justified, but for the Nation at large I doubt very much the 
necessity of importing any great numbers of alien laborers in 1942. 

Mr. Gross. May 1 say a. word in connection with that? 

Dr. Lamb. Yes. 

Mr. Gross. We had some requests from Colorado to the Coast 
last year for both farm labor and certain types of railroad labor, such 
as track labor, and we were asked in the Employment Service to 
make checks on it and see what we could find about it. 

We had a number of meetings with railroad executives on the situa- 
tion.. There was a charge current at the time that W. P. A. labor 
was not taking their jobs and the W. P. A. Administration was not 
making an effort to get them to take it. We didn't find that to be 
a fact. 


We found there was every cooperation from the C. C. C, W. P. A., 
and N. Y. A. . We found the greatest difficulty was they were placing 
orders for labor in San Francisco for track laborers in Nebraska, and 
when we got them to break it down and go to the nearest offices, it 
obviated the question of boarding out on the job, by utilizing labor 
closest to the spot, and we found that breaking up homes and moving 
labor long distances was entirely unnecessary. 

I don't believe I can point to any instances where^ when they went 
to the Employment Service nearest to the point of use of the labor, 
there were actually any unfilled orders for any long period of time, and 
I know of no instances where there was any reluctance on the part of 
W. P. A., C. C. C, or N. Y. A., even to the point of closing projects, 
to cooperate immediately. 

There were some questions of wage differentials, northern and south- 
ern scales, and breaking at some determined point, and the question 
of the board and room charge that sometimes reduced the amount of 
net earnings of a worker, by compelling him to pay board and room 
far from home, when by better planning labor closer to home could 
have been better utilized, and m many instances there would be no 
problem at all. 


Dr. Lamb. What agency do you think should have the definite 
responsibility for deciding whether the importation of alien labor is 


Mr. Hunter. I think that responsibility should fall directly upon 
Employment Service. That organization can best decide whether 
there has been a full utilization of local labor and decide whether labor 
is available in neighboring areas without the necessity of going l^ond 
the confines of the United States. 

Dr. Lamb. While employers of Mexicans and other alien labor have 
contended they were necessary, other groups in the community have 
argued that such labor is exploited to the detriment of existing wage 
standards, creating serious problems of relief, health, and so forth. 
Can you recommend how the demands of the employers might be 
met without imposing burdens on others in the community? 

Air. Hunter. I know those remarks were made in relation to the 
importation of Mexican labor. I had experience with that last year 
myself in Arizona. 

During that time we talked with the Mexican consul and they were 
definitely against importation of their people from old Mexico, 
claiming that many of them were lost, they did not return; that the 
wage scales offered them were lower and served to depress the wage 
scales in those communities; and many other facts of that kind. 

That came also from relief agencies definitely opposed to the 
importation of workers. I think the employers' demands for impor- 
tation of workers can be met by a definite utilization of labor that is 
available, I mean local labor, and by pointing out the necessity of 
maintaining a wage scale that is at least comparable with that being 
paid in a community. 

I think those largely are the methods by which you can meet the 
employers' requests for that type of labor by better utilization of that 
local labor, and by recruiting that labor to serve their needs rather 
than importation of alien labor. 

Mr. Gross. May I make an explanation in connection with the 
question you have just raised, that at a meeting in San Francisco in 
January, to which the Farm Placement representatives of 12 Western, 
Pacific Coast, and some of the Rocky Mountain States were called 
together, there appeared at that meeting a representative of one of the 
large sugar processing companies and a representative of the so-called 
Agricultural Chamber of Commerce. 

The representative of the Agricultural Chamber of Commerce felt 
they ought to bring in some nationals of the Republic of Mexico, and 
the beet sugar representative said that with 20 years of experience he 
would strongly recommend against it, that a number of years ago his 
company brought in 1,000 and he just had succeeded in getting the 
tenth one out of the country, and that one they got out of the peni- 
tentiary in California and sent back. 

He said the experience was that they did not go back, that they 
were not as valuable as they were recommended to be when they first 
came up, and that they did create a serious problem which he felt it 
was not necessary to create until we had exhausted all possibilities of 
local labor. 



In that connection I would like to make one other observation that 
I think you will be interested in, and that is that the labor inventory 
or registration that Mr. Stoll spoke about in Oregon has been dupli- 
cated to some extent recently in Utah because of the fact that we have 
had a large number of defense plants or governmental operations 
that have come into the State, creating somewhat of a labor-market 
problem in Utah. 

We decided on this inventory and used the list of employees under 
unemployment compensation. It gave us an almost complete picture 
of industrial conditions. 

In order to augment this in Salt Lake City, Provo, and Ogden, 
we took in every fifth or seventh or tenth house in the metropolitan araa 
of the city and canvassed the home folks. We were surprised to 
find in this canvass — and it included of course many who probably 
would not be available because of age or infirmities to work in agri- 
cultural labor — a willingness of 80 percent of the people to engage in 
farm labor work, people not regularly attached to the labor market. 

This did not include children below 14 or 15. About 80 percent of 
those people we found were not currently registered in the employ- 
ment service because they had no direct contact with the labor 
market. This survey indicated potentially 25,000 to 30,000 people in 
Utah that might be pulled into the farm labor market if there was an 
acute shortage. 

Through the church organization, which is very extensive and 
cooperative in Utah, they have used that type of labor in years gone 
by. They have also used, through cooperation with the Indian 
Service, quite a number of Indians off the reservations to meet 

In view of that situation and the further fact that the employment 
service is keyed so a similar occupational census can be taken when- 
ever needed without any burdensome delay, we have a strong feeling 
from this experience ; first, that we ought not to think of opening im- 
migration until we have fully utilized what we have at home; secondly, 
we have been telling the industrial employers that to meet the needs 
of skilled labor they must use older people as long as they are able to 
work, and there must not be discriminations on the part of the em- 
ployers as to race, color, and creed. 

Still you have some sections of the country where they will ask you 
for labor on the basis of nationality or groups and want them exclu- 
sively. We are trying to get them to take what the market affords 
and judge people on the basis of their ability to do the job. 

Dr. Lamb. Can you suggest ways, Mr. Hunter, in which existing 
labor on farms can be more fully utilized? 


Mr. Hunter. Yes, sir. There are three or four examples I would 
like to bring out in which existing labor on farms can be better used. 
Farm Security Administration has a number of clients who have 
small farms. These farms do not take their full time and during 
certain periods of crop harvest or peak seasonal activity you can get 
a partial use of their services on farms. 


One thing more. Many growers have periods of unemployment, 
2 or 3 clays in which they are not working, and the farm labor remains 
idle during the harvest season. There could be a shifting of that 
labor to neighboring or other growers where it could be utilized. 

Now, when farmers or growers are through with their labor, if they 
will notify the Employment Service a little in advance, we can make 
arrangements to shift those workers to neighboring areas without 
attendant loss of time. 

I think those are some of the main points on the better use of farm 

It rests largely on the organization, advance notification of termina- 
tion of employment for workers so they can be spread to needed areas, 
and full utilization of people who are employed part time on their own 

Mr. Gross. May I make a comment on that? 

Dr. Lamb. Certainly. 


Mr. Gross. In connection with the labor inventory we took in 
Utah, we made an experiment on two or three Rural Free Delivery 
routes working out a brief questionnaire that we sent to them. The 
distribution was good and we secured almost complete coverage on 
the routes to get the information you have alluded to in your question 
to Mr. Hunter as to whether they were making full utilization of 
their labor. In this questionnaire we found out whether they were 
attempting to cooperate to make their own labor available to others, 
and also, because of the probability that there were some instances 
where they did not require full-time workers, to utilize part-time 
workers rather than bring people in, because of economic conditions. 

We have not yet been able to find a way to get a good answer to 
that type of inquiry. The return was almost negligible notwith- 
standing the Governor issued a proclamation calling on all people to 
cooperate and we came to an honest conclusion that it is due princi- 
pally to the lack of education. 

Most of these people felt they met their own problem without any 
trouble and they were not particularly interested in giving informa- 
tion about their conditions to help somebody else. We felt we had to 
go back in that situation and do a little educational work with them. 

Mr. Stoll. In our women's survey we are taking not just the cities 
but every rural community, the agricultural women, the wives of 
growers, so we are covering every person both in the rural and 
urban sections. Out of that survey we have the answer. 

One very important study is now being carried on by the Depart- 
ment of Agriculture, in which they are interviewing the people on 
the ranches and farms, requesting them to tell how many more hours 
the farm family is putting in. We think that will be invaluable to us. 
The one part of labor requirements we have never been able to pin 
down is how much farm labor is used by the family on the farm. 


Mr. Gross. Mr. Stoll, whenever you have supplied a grower with 
labor in response to his request, you have always tried to ascertain 
what he had himself and take that out of his total needs, haven't you? 


Mr. Stoll. I think that has been one of the biggest fain .3 in the 
agricultural program, because the grower is always putting in a bigger 
order than he wants in the hope he may get 1 out of 10. 

Dr. Lamb. Do you think there is a tendency for farm employers to 
adhere to the depression wage levels in present wage payments? 

Mr. Hunter. I think so, definitely. During the last 10 years we 
have had an oversupply of agricultural labor, which we have come to 
regard as normal. That has driven down wage scales to the point 
where the grower felt the wage scale being paid is a normal wage scale, 
and I think in every case they are endeavoring to adhere to that. 
They still regard the depression-era wage scale as the present wage 
scale, in the majority of cases. 

Dr. Lamb. To what extent would you say that complaints of farm 
labor shortages, for example, during the last year, have been a reflec- 
tion of the inadequate wages and working conditions? 

Mr. Hunter. I think the majority of complaints received last year 
on farm labor shortages had their base in the fact that proper housing 
and proper transportation conditions were not being met. 


I don't know, personally, of any case last year where the cry of labor 
shortage arose that was not more or less a case of inadequate wage 
scale, or of not providing housing or transportation facilities. Prac- 
tically every case might be traced directly back to those causes. 

Mr. Stoll. I would like to make a comment to clear the record so 
far as the Oregon growers go. We had a wage scale which was very 
comparable in many cases to actual wage scales in construction work. 
Our pea growers were up to 50 cents, and I think it is unfair to classify 
that group of growers as using subnormal wages. 

The wages were very good. When you talk scarcity of labor, an 
increase in the wage scale of 5 cents an hour will do away with the 
scarcity. Our growers did realize that and raised the wage. They 
very definitely, without exception, met the wage scale to compete with 

Dr. Lamb. I know in some parts of the country the wages are begin- 
ning to compare with industrial wages. I know also that in some 
States the differential between different parts of the State for the same 
kind of work is still very marked. 

Mr. Pittman. May I ask a question, as to whether we are partici- 
pating in a panel where the various subjects are being brought up 

Dr. Lamb. These first questions, as I explained before you came in, 
are addressed to Mr. Hunter and I have one more to ask before we 
turn to the panel. 

The next set of questions are to be asked of the panel and all mem- 
bers of the panel are expected to reply, or thpse whose interests are 
essentially affected by the matter in the question. 

I have one more question for Mr. Hunter and then the questions 
will follow along in that fashion. 

Mr. Pittman. I wanted to be clear in my mind whether I ought to 
be participating more liberally than I have been up to now, or whether 
later on I would have an opportunity to present some of the problems 
of an area that has not been very heavily involved so far. 



Dr. Lamb. Do you think the extension of minimum wages to farm 
labor would stabilize the agricultural labor supply and reduce the 
incentive to migrate to industrial centers? 

Mr. Hunter. I do not think that a minimum wage would. In 
practically every case where minimum wages are established they are 
regarded as maximum wages, and any establishment of a minimum 
wage tends to leave the impression that is a maximum wage. 

As wage scales rise in other industries there would not be a tendency 
for them to rise in agriculture, because we have a minimum scale 
established and that is the scale and it probably wouldn't meet the 
scale from industry. 

Dr. Lamb. That is all I have. 

Mr. Arnold. Mr. Hunter, I might direct most of these questions 
to you and you might designate who is to answer them. 

Mr. Hunter. All right, sir. 

INTERSTATE clearance of farm labor 

Mr. Arnold. Who controls the clearance of farm workers among 
States, and, is this the responsibility of the regional representatives? 

Mr. Hunter. The clearance within the State is, of course, con- 
trolled by the State clearance officer. When it goes beyond that it 
is taken to the regional clearance officer and our regional farm place- 
ment representative will, of course, work with the regional clearance 

Mr. Gross, would you like to expand on that a little? 

Mr. Gross. Beyond that there are in contiguous areas, established 
clearance units, States that border each other or where natural trends 
of labor are brought together, so they exchange between themselves. 

Mr. Arnold. This is directed to Mr. Stoll. Will you describe 
recent clearing arrangements for workers as between California and 

Mr. Stoll. We have had the problem of bringing up workers 
from California to work in strawberries. Our season follows directly 
after the California season and there usually is a surplus of labor 
there. We found that recruiting could not be done by asking these 
people to come up on their own. They were practically broke. We 
made a pool among growers to pay for transportation from California 
to Oregon on a credit card basis where the machines were rilled up 
with gas and brought in. We brought in approximately 3,000 

Of course, whenever you have a movement like that you have a lot 
of people coming on their own without being paid to come in. The 
fact that the California Employment Service did the recruiting 
definitely helped us. We handled them through our mobile farm 
camps when it came to this end. 

Mr. Arnold. How do you think you would be able to take care of 
the rubber situation by cards this time? 

Mr. Stoll. We are not looking for any migration of workers from 
California into Oregon this year. We are planning our program to 
take care of our own labor problem within our State. We don't 

60396—42 — pt. 28 — —5 


tliink there will be any migration other than the usual migration 
except possibly in the beet thinning in April. 

Mr. Arnold. We know that the employers in many States are 
interested in keeping their labor supply close to home. Do you 
find the local pressures have interfered with interstate clearance 

Mr. Hunter. I will give that to Mr. Pittman who has probably 
had more headaches on that than anyone else. 


Mr. Pittman. I speak more definitely of the southeastern area of 
North Carolina dealing with southern farmers and southern Negroes. 
We have in North Carolina a strawberry producing area bordering 
the South Carolina line. We need those South Carolina Negroes 
to harvest our strawberries. 

Last spring I requested that a representative of the South Caro- 
lina Employment Service meet me in Mullins, S. C, to discuss 
the movement of labor from South Carolina into North Carolina. 
I was met there by an official of the South Carolina service who 
informed me that they had a ruling from their attorney general which 
not only prevented individual employers or truck operators from 
moving labor out of South Carolina, but also prevented the South 
Carolina State Employment Service from moving labor out of the 

Then the gentleman went on to state, "We have plenty of Negroes 
here that need those jobs and I hope you get them." We didn't 
go after them but our farmeis went after them and got them. That 
is an example of what some of these State laws are, in regard to inter- 
state movement of labor. 


Now, in order that you won't think that I am assailing South 
Carolina too much, I will tell you that in North Carolina we did 
almost the same thing. During our strawberry season, at the very 
height of it, after the farmers and employment service had recruited 
labor, three trucks came down from Virginia under cover of darkness 
and recruited help. We found later they had sent advance agents in 
there for 2 or 3 days who had circulated in the fields. Those trucks 
came in one night and attempted to move out with workers from the 
North Carolina strawberry fields, and a local officer arrested those 
truck drivers. In order that you won't think it is confined to North 
Carolina and South Carolina, the same thing has happened in Virginia 
and Maryland. We have that background of objection to this inter- 
state movement of labor down there and it is pretty deeply imbedded 
in the minds of the farmers. 

Mr. Arnold. Do they have any support in State law? 

Mr. Pittman. Oh, yes. I don't know what the effect of that law 
is as it would apply to the Employment Service. The State laws of 
North Carolina and Virginia allow the Employment Service to 
recruit labor and send it out of the State, but nobody else can do it. 
The South Carolina attorney general says their law'does not permit 
even the Employment Service to do it. 


Now, there is another angle that I was going to bring out just now 
when you were discussing wage rates. North Carolina sent 1,607 
individuals out of the State to Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, and 
New York last year. Most of those individuals have come back. 


I speak of them as individuals. We sent them out as groups. One 
of those groups came back to our Rockingham office last fall after the 
work was over and said "I want you to send me back up north next 

That man went on to say that he and two members of his family 
had saved $400, and that four members of his group had bought 
automobiles. That is an evidence of affluence that is very rare among 
southern farm workers. And it spread. He told all of his neighbors 
about it and wrote to all of his friends and told about it. In other 
words, that idea has spread, not only in this particular community 
but in many other communities from which laborers were sent out by 
the Employment Service to the north. 

There is a wage differential. We have had something to say this 
morning about competition between farmers and industry, but we 
have problems and headaches with agriculture itself, so far as wage 
scales and wage structures go. Those Negroes that were sent up 
North got anywhere from two and a half to three times as much wage 
as they would have gotten had they stayed in North Carolina. 

Now, it became easier later in" the season to recruit workers to go 
out of North Carolina to these higher wages in the north and to 
recruit them from the North Carolina fields. 

What we are talking about here is not a shortage nor a surplus 
of labor. We are talking about a wage structure. At least some of 
the employers in these States know now that there is an employment 
service in the State of North Carolina that will and can recruit and 
send labor to them. One of our offices already has an order for 400 
harvest hands to move into Delaware sometime right around the 
first of April. Where we had an opportunity to send hundreds out 
last year I am quite certain that we will have an opportunity to 
send thousands this year. 

In the meantime we have organized in most of our counties, or at 
least the Department of Agriculture has, local farm mobile com- 
mittees, and we are definitely bending all of our efforts to working 
closely with those committees. 

Now, the point will come somewhere— I don't know just where — 
that when you start moving labor out of North Carolina, somewhere 
you will come to the place where the movement out has assumed 
proportions great enough for the farmers to become aware of it and 
for it to begin to pinch them. That is what I see ahead in North 
Carolina and Virginia this year. 


We definitely have reason to believe that North Carolina and 
Virginia are coming to be looked upon as a source of farm labor. 
That is right; it should be. But I feel very much that this oppor- 
tunity to move workers out of the State will assume such proportions 


that we will hoar from our local labor committees and our State 
committees. I think very definitely it is a problem that confronts 
us and I am sure Mr. Hunter knows the answer to it and can tell 
us exactly how to handle it, but that is the general background and 
one specific problem that is arising. 

Mr. Arnold. That will probably force higher wages in North 
Carolina or they will lose all of their labor. 

Mr. Pittman. It is a question of the destruction of a wage structure 
rather than a labor shortage or surplus. 

I think the problem can be worked out and the North Carolina 
crops harvested, but the North Carolina farmers, so they say, and 
they are probably right, will have to get more money for their crops. 
It is quite evident that North Carolina farmers have not gotten 
wealthy through the fact that they have had a low wage scale. 

Mr. Hunter. Mr. Pittman has brought out two facts, the wage scale 
and the State laws prohibiting clearance of labor outside of those 

I think we only have about 12 States with laws prohibiting clearance 
of labor at the presentjtime. Where wage scales are equal or standard, 
the clearance system in those other States does work quite well. 


Mr. Arnold. Have you ever found that State laws or local ordi- 
nances prohibiting the recruiting or soliciting of labor for use outside 
the State interfere with the clearance work of the Service? If such 
laws or ordinances were actively enforced, would they interfere with 
the clearance work of the Service? 

Mr. Pittman. When we were recruiting labor, I believe to pick 
peaches in New Jersey last year, one of my workers went to a little 
town and met somewhere on the highway or near the place the 
conveyance that was being sent down by the New Jersey farmer. 
He left his car with his coat and all his papers in it by the road, and 
got in the truck with this New Jersey person and went into a little 
town — I don't remember the name of it now — and started helping to 
round up the Negroes to take them back into New Jersey. 

Some of the farmers in that area became alarmed and they called 
the sheriff of the county up. The sheriff came over there and asked 
my man who he was and he told him he was working for the Employ- 
ment Service but he didn't believe him apparently. He didn't have 
his papers. The sheriff carried him to the county attorney's office. 
They did not actually put him in jail. There my man got me on the 
telephone and I couldn't understand what he was saying. He was 
frightened, I reckon. 

The county attorney finally told me he said he was an Employment 
Service employee, but he had nothing to prove it and they had him for 
recruiting labor to move outside the State. Of course, I identified him 
and they turned him loose. 


Mr. Arnold. Has the private labor contractor been more active in 
your area in the past year, and what problems if any, has he created 
for your new operations? 


Mr. Hunter. I think I will have Mr. Howard of New York answer 
that one. I think he has had some experience with labor contractors 
in the past year. 

Mr. Howard. Labor contracting is a substantial practice in New 
York and a substantial number of farm laborers are recruited and 
placed on farms through their operations. 

Many farmers who have dealt with these contractors for years, 
because they know their requirements, think they are quite satis- 
factory. Some malpractices obviously are common to labor contract- 
ing in many places, and there was one contractor who had, through 
his son in Columbia, S. C, recruited some Negroes and he had them 
quartered in places that, according to the New York State laws, were 
unsanitary, and he was fined and had to pay the transportation of 
those workers back to South Carolina. It cost him about $500. 

One thing we find is, that when they are conveying workers in their 
trucks they have no casualty insurance. When the high-school 
students were released in Rochester, N. Y., for special work on farms, 
those contractors endeavored to have us place workers through 
them. We did only once, and we stopped the practice immediately 
because we found they were not meeting the minimum standards with 
respect to transportation, supervision, and payment that we felt 
necessary for the protection of these youths. 

Mr. Pittman. May I ask a question as to just what the labor 
contractor is? Is he a person who employs labor somewhere and 
turns that labor over to someone else, or is he someone who recruits 
and uses that labor? 

Mr. Howard. I might say that most contractors do not get their 
workers outside of the State. In Erie County, in which Buffalo is 
located, many of the vegetable growers are people of Italian extraction. 
They have their friends in the city and Italian labor contractors have 
for years been supplying workers from the city of Buffalo to the farms 
in Erie County. I don't know to what extent labor contractors are 
getting workers from outside the city or State. I have no accurate 
information on that and I can find no agency that has such accurate 

The general practice is that the labor contractor delivers the workers 
to the farms. The fanner pays him a certain rate and he in turn pays 
his workers after he takes whatever he thinks to be the cost of his 
operations and his profit. It is largely a delivery of farm workers to 
actual farm operators. 

Mr. Pittman. I think there is a significant difference there in what 
some of us at least are thinking. 


We have one pattern of labor contractor that we think is beneficial 
to the farm worker and the farmer himself. He starts harvesting 
potatoes in Florida and has around $5,000 to $10,000 invested in 
trucks and digging machines. 

Some will start up the coast with 200 or 300 employees. And he 
moves as a convoy or fleet of trucks and brings those people along 
with him. He gets them to a potato area and contracts the digging 
of potatoes. 


He says, "I will dig your potatoes for 15 cents a hundred pounds." 
He will dig them out of the ground, pick them up, grade them, and put 
them at the shipping point for so much a hundred. 

This contractor furnishes his own labor and pays his own labor. 
The farmer has nothing to do with the labor. 

Mr. Arnold. Let me ask you this: Does the farmer have this con- 
tract much in advance, so he will know he can get the work done? 

Mr. Pittman. Often that is the standing employment relationship 
that has lasted over a period of 5, 6, or 7 years. 

The observation of the Employment Service has led it to believe 
that most of those big operators look after their labor pretty well. 
The labor that works for them really has a little bit better care and 
attention than some laborer that comes up without such care and 
organization, so we have felt that perhaps that type of labor contract- 
ing ought to be encouraged. He occupies the same position in agri- 
culture, it seems to me, that the highway contractor occupies when he 
builds a highway. 

Mr. Arnold. Mr. Howard, you were not saying the labor contrac- 
tor in New York did not perform a service for both the grower and 

Mr. Howard. Oh, no. 

Mr. Hunter. I wonder if Mr. Rushing would care to make a state- 
ment about the Oklahoma-Arkansas-Kansas area? 


Mr. Rushing. No, sir. We are not bothered with that. The only 
thing we have that even approaches that are trucks that haul the 
cotton pickers out of Memphis, and the employer pays the worker so 
much a pound or so much a day, and then pays the truck so much a 
head for hauling them out and so much a pound for each pound of 
cotton they pick. We don't have labor contractors, aside from that, in 

I am not familiar enough with the other States to go into that. 

Mr. Hunter. Mr. Gross, would you care to say anything about sugar 


Mr. Gross. We have two types of contractors, one who contracts 
for the labor and provides transportation and turns them over to the 
grower, enough to meet his needs, and the other type who will contract 
with the farmers or canning companies. Where the canning company 
has bought, in the field, a certain amount of produce, it contracts 
with the labor contractor who hires the workers and pays them him- 
self, deducting a percentage of what he gets for himself. 

Farmers, and some of the canners, argue when you get people of all 
one nationality together, they work better and the supervision is 
better, and they are relieved of the responsibility. 

Some awfully bad practices have been reported in certain sections, 
of people absconding with the money and not paying the workers, and 
hiring them at very low rates. This has occurred where the local 
people were not eligible for various types of relief and were almost 
destitute. We have also had stories of excessive hauling charges and 
things of that kind. 


I think when the Employment Service has made contact with the 
canning companies or processers, they have made a marked improve- 
ment in that situation by breaking up some of the bad practices be- 
cause they can furnish workers directly. There are no regulatory laws 
in any of the States of my region. 

Mr. Hunter. Mr. Stoll has had that in previous years. 

Mr. Stoll. We have no labor contractors. We used to have a 
large number of them. The Employment Service local offices are the 
labor contractors in the State. They assume all the responsibility a 
labor contractor would assume. 

Mr. Gross. Are they prohibited by law? 

Mr. Stoll. They have to get licenses. 

Mr. Arnold. In any of the areas that any of you represent, have 
the labor contractors ever cooperated with or utilized the Employ- 
ment Service? 

Mr. Pittman. In North Carolina they come to us quite often and 
say, "We want to use North Carolina labor if we can get it. We 
don't want to take labor from South Carolina if we can help it." 


Mr. Arnold. Are you able to exercise any control over indiscrimi- 
nate job advertising by private labor contractors or other groups in 
your region? 

Mr. Pittman. Only by persuasion. There are restrictions on ad- 
vertising for labor by plants having defense contracts. I don't know 
whether a penalty is attached to it, but they are expected to be cleared 
within local employment offices and to advertise only in approved 
areas where they are not liable to pull workers away from other de- 
fense efforts. Up until last year it was not very effective. 

Mr. Hunter. There is one thing more to that. A number of pri- 
vate individuals have sent out their publicity and their advertising 
and in such cases the Employment Service can do this: It can check 
back with the State from which that advertising emanates, to find 
out exactly what the job opportunities are and what the local condi- 
tions are, and then advise the local people. 

Mr. Gross. I should like to make one observation here. There 
was a complaint, especially last year and the year before, from Cali- 
fornia, that in certain instances when labor was brought from California 
into the Rocky Mountain States, those responsible for the attempts 
to bring labor in for agricultural work would give the Employment 
Service an order in the local community which it would transmit to 
California, the order providing for a certain wage rate and certain 
conditions of housing and certain agreements as to transportation. 

I remember one distinct case where they said at Sacramento that a 
private fee-charging agency across the street carried a placard offering 
more liberal wages, better transportation, and better housing facilities 
for the same job. 

Some States charge that that type of advertising is not always 
factual. That is, when the workers actually get on the job conditions 
are not as represented. 

Mr. Arnold. Attention of the committee has been called to the 
fact that State employment services themselves have indulged in 
uncontrolled radio advertising. Do you know of such practices by 
employment offices? 


Mr. Hunter. That used to be true, but our informational service 
has issued definite instructions prohibiting or regulating such adver- 


I had some experience on that 3 or 4 years ago in which an order 
was placed with a neighboring State and they immediately went on 
the radio and broadcast that order. We ordered 500 men a day and 
got about 5,000 a day. We immediately contacted that same em- 
ployment agency and the conversation was not very pleasant, but 
as it ended, there was no more radio broadcasting and newspaper 

While those things have occurred from time to time I think it is 
2 years since anything has occurred like that. 

Mr. Gross. Sometimes orders are given to the United States 
Employment Service and are put to clearance, and at the same time 
the people giving the orders were advertising through other agencies 
in other areas. 

One of the reasons for utilizing the clearance system and better 
control was to prevent duplicate orders being given at the same time, 
which tended to bring in more workers than we needed and thus hurt- 
other areas. An employment service, of course, has the responsibility 
of comparing the orders they get against the local conditions. 

Dr. Lamb. Mr. Rushing, did you have something to say as to the 
previous question with respect to indiscriminate job advertising by 
private labor contractors? 

Mr. Rushing. I was thinking of an amusing thing that happened. 

We use post offices quite frequently as a means of distributing 
information about advance notice of orders. Last year a lot of private 
concerns decided they would do the same thing. All their material 
landed back in my office, or the local employment offices. They said, 
"We don't know anything about this, we know you people do this and 
we are turning it over to you." It was amusing to me, the way that 
worked out. 

Mr. Arnold. It appears that the farm labor subcommittees of the 
State land-use planning committees in some areas are making deter- 
minations of the need for farm labor. 


What do you understand to be the functions of those subcommittees 
in farm placement work? 

Mr. Hunter. The subcommittees in farm placement work can 
make a determination of the acreage, estimated production, and prob- 
ably the man-hour requirements for harvesting certain types of those 
crops on a local basis. 

1 should limit it to that. As far as an estimate on the need is con- 
cerned, there are so many factors that will come in to change that 
need, between the time the estimate is made and the time of the actual 
need of those workers, that any forecast is apt to be upset. 

Weather conditions, insect infestation, or both of those, may change 
the picture entirely, and if it is broadcast or publicized in any way, it 
often results, in periods of adequate labor supply, in bringing an 


influx of workers in that are not needed. I think that it should be 
handled through the employment office and not through the sub- 

They can take care of the estimates of possible production and the 
man-hours for harvesting and give us the information and let us 
decide the needs. 

Mr. Stoll. We feel that the local committee should in no case give 
out statistical information. We have worked with the Department of 
Agriculture, bringing it down on a local basis through crop reporting 
and the B. A. E. and that is factual, based on the estimate of growers 
and county agencies and so forth. 

We feel a great deal of trouble could be caused by a local committee 
giving out statistical information. We had that on a county basis 
and it was never very far off. 

Mr. Hunter. Then we have an agreement with the Agricultural 
Marketing Service to provide that statistical information on a State 


Mr. Arnold. In its first interim report the committee critically 
examined the farm labor supply and demand statistics of the Agricul- 
tural Marketing Service. They were found to be based upon purely 
subjective unverified opinion. The committee recommended that an 
adequate reporting system be set up in the Farm Placement Service. 
What mechanisms have been developed in your region to provide 
objective reports of farm labor supply and demand? 

Mr. Hunter. The agreement I spoke of a moment ago has been 
reached with the Agricultural Marketing Service to give us as much 
information as they can on what the acreage and labor demand will be. 
That is done on a State basis. That is handled through the Employ- 
ment Service Statistical Relationship Unit. Daily and weekly reports 
are drawn up on that and go out to the State head and are then trans- 
mitted to the regional office head. 

Mr. Arnold. Do agricultural employers concentrate their recruit- 
ing efforts outside your service, or do they appear willing to follow 
your direction in farm labor recruiting? 

Mr. Hunter. I think we should have an expression from the group 
on that. I think Mr. Stoll has an example where most of the agricul- 
tural employers go through his Employment Service. 


Mr. Stoll. We have a definite agreement with all of our agricul- 
tural interests that they will use the Employment Service. I would 
say that probably 85 to 90 percent of all labor is recruited through 
the Employment Service offices. 

When it comes to day labor, that is recruited in many cases through 
adjoining families and in many cases they go out and try to get them 
themselves. I think that is one weakness in the whole farm labor 
program, the actual year-round workers on the farm. The seasonal 
problem is simple. The actual year-round operators of machines and 
milkers and so forth is the difficult thing. 

Mr. Hunter. The Agricultural Marketing Service will furnish us 
information on labor that is on farms at the present time, the family 


labor and labor of that type. I think on the whole that grower 
cooperation with the Employment Service is becoming a great deal 
better than it has been in the past years and a larger percentage of 
them are placing their orders with Employment Service and, as the 
labor stringency develops, we will get more and more of those orders. 

Mr Gross. I think that is the answer in our region. Several years 
ago, when an abundant supply of labor was available, farmers made 
little use of the Employment Service, but we now have an increasing 
amount of use of Employment Service on the part of people wanting 
agricultural workers. 

Mr. Pittman. I would like to make this observation, based on my 
experience in the four States of my region. Our problem has not, for 
some time, been chiefly that of interesting the farmers in what we are 
trying to do for them. We have not experienced any difficulty in 
securing orders for labor. That has been comparatively easy. 

Our difficulty in these four States — and I believe it applies to the 
Southeast, all of it — the really difficult part is concerned with the 
labor supply, where it is, what type of workers there are, what it 
takes to get them from where they are to where they are needed. 


For the past 2 years we have told our men to devote most of their 
time to the study of the labor supply and, in North Carolina, during 
last year, we sent our men to over 200 concentrations of potential 
farm labor workers. 

Now, those concentrations are around our towns, big towns and 
little towns. There will be four or five little concentrations of our 
Negro farm workers around each of the towns. It is also dispersed 
or diffused almost completely throughout and around the producing 
areas in little communities whose names don't even appear on the 
map. I will name two or three of them to give you an idea of the 
sort of communities they are. One is called Red Bug. Any of you 
from the South know what a red bug is. Another is Rosebud and 
another is Lickskillet — names that don't appear on the map. There 
is where most of the immediately available farm labor in the South- 
east is. 

Those people in those little rural communities are the ones who do 
most of the farm work and who would go to the bigger towns at 
considerable distances, when we need a large number of people for 
seasonal employment. 

In this connection there is a very interesting situation down there 
that those of you who know the South very well are aware of. We 
have, in the main, three types of those little communities. We have 
a lot of eroded land and land that has lost its fertility in many of our 
areas, and there is a residue population in those areas of those who 
have plenty of land but the land is so poor they can't make an ade- 
quate living on it. They do some farming, but they have to depend 
on farm labor to supplement the income from the poor scratchings 
they can get from that soil. One I think of is named Seven Paths, 
and seven roads go through it. It is on the way down, and what 
you have left in there is a residue population. 

Now, we have also the other type of little settlement on the other 
end of that scale. We have some rich black swamplands that are 


just being cleared up and brought into cultivation. Clearing that 
land is an arduous undertaking and the people who undertake it 
cannot get enough cleared the first 4 or 5 years to make a complete 
living on it, so they have to supplement their income from their 
land, as they clear it, by getting employment with the farmers 
around there. 

There are two types of those little clusters of population. 

Then there is the third. There is the residue population or island 
population which used to be around a sawmill, which was an important 
industry in eastern Carolina or most of that area. The industry has 
disappeared and it has left those people there and you will find 10, 15, 
or 20 dilapidated huts around where these sawmills used to be, where 
Negroes are yet living. 

Our problem in North Carolina and most of South Carolina has 
been not to get the farmer to take the workers, but to find out where 
the workers are, and that means covering a whole area and establishing 
some sort of working relationship with those workers so we can shift 
them about from place to place where they are needed. 


Mr. Arnold. Did any of you ever refuse to make referrals to 
employers known to provide substandard wages and working condi- 
tions, and do you verify wages and working conditions as reported by 

Mr. Hunter. We verify wages and working conditions as reported 
by employers. I don't think there has ever been an outright refusal to 
refer workers to employers who offer substandard wages or working 
conditions. However, there isn't a great deal of activity put forth to 
fill these orders. We usually have plenty of orders where the con- 
ditions are good. 

Mr. Arnold. That answers the next question. Then, you don't 
refer them in the order of the application? You give precedence to 
the high-wage employers? 

Mr. Hunter. I think they get preference. The better job gets 

Mr. Gross. People just refuse to go to the lower standards and 
you have nothing else to do. It takes care of itself. 

Mr. Hunter. "John Jones offers 40 cents and here is an offer for 
50 cents. Which do you want?" That practically settles it. 

Mr. Arnold. The committee has found that improper transporta- 
tion and housing facilities frequently deter workers from taking 
agricultural jobs. What steps are being taken to improve these 
facilities in your area? 


Mr. Hunter. The Farm Security Administration camps have pro- 
vided housing for a great number of agricultural workers and they 
have had a very marked effect upon housing throughout every area 
they have been in. I have had farmers come to me and say, "I have a 
good camp here. It is better than the Farm Security camp." 

I would like to have Mr. Stoll go on with that if he will for a 


Mr. Stoll. There are two aspects to the question. The most im- 
portant is that the growers now, without exception, are realizing they 
have to improve their own living quarters and they are doing it. I am 
speaking now for the west coast, when I say no farm program can oper- 
ate without mobile camps. 

Our growers were much exercised over the fact that there might be 
a cutting down of mobile camps and if such does occur it will bring 
definite trouble in the entire recruitment of labor in the West. You 
can't operate in certain sections, in the wide open spaces that we have 
where there are no facilities, without mobile camps. 

Three years ago we started and we have on record now 28 requests 
for actual locations of camps. It isn't a case any more of going in and 
putting in a camp. It is where the growers are actually coming, hav- 
ing seen the benefits of decent conditions and housing for migratory 
workers, to where they are in favor of it. Where you take workers 
from one part of the State to the other you can't operate efficiently 
in handling labor in seasonal farm work without mobile camps. 

The farmers are the ones that are asking for it, not the Employment 
Service, and not the Farm Security Administration. But it has had a 
tendency to bring better housing conditions on the ranches and farms 
in our section of the country. 

Mr. Gross. I should like to add to that, speaking personally in the 
matter, that I think the mobile camps make a major contribution to 
the longer period of employment that those who follow farm labor 
work as a vocation have been able to get in recent years. 

Personally, I think that the care of these workers in camps is not the 
ultimate answer, but I think the Government camps provide a demon- 
strational project which challenges farmers who are interested in farm 
labor to provide better housing conditions of their own. 

I know there has been some little effort, on the part of those who ex- 
perienced difficulty with farm labor, to improve housing conditions 
and sometimes to offer small tracts of land for the workers to farm 
themselves, and often won't take such laborers unless they will keep a 
cow and do some things of that sort. It helps to add to their income. 
This problem has been with us over a long period of years and I think 
the program of the Farm Security Agency has been very helpful. 

Mr. Arnold. In appearing before the Subcommittee on Appropria- 
tions considering the Farm Security bill for the next year, some mem- 
ber of the subcommittee raised the point that these camps were not 
needed as much now because there was not the migration in the land 
that we saw a few years ago. 

Mr. Stoll. That is true when you speak of out-of-State migration 
but you have the migration within your State more intensified now, 
because you have to use }^our local State labor rather than bring them 
from out of State. 


We did find one thing and I think this is important. The Farm 
Security Administration made mistakes on having the camps too 
large. We had one camp of 2,000 people. That is a small city. 
We now have them broken down into small camps and have them 
right within the actual growing section. I know of no farm organiza- 
tion or group of growers in our State which is not in favor of the 
farm camps. That is actual fact. 


Iii the recruiting of labor you can use a man three or four times a 
day, in the distribution of labor, when you have a mobile camp. If 
he finishes a job in 2 or 3 hours, you can give him something else to 
do to complete a whole day's work, rather than have him go into one 
place and stay there and only get 1 or 2 hours a day. That has an 
important effect in the wage of the worker. 

Mr. Arnold. The need is then for more of those small camps? 

Mr. Stoll. We now have 28 requests from the growers with only 
camps enough to supply 17 of the localities. 

Mr. Pittman. I do not believe that testimony applies to the move- 
ment on the Atlantic seaboard. That movement, according to all the 
evidence I have been able to gather from farmers, filling-station 
operators, and county agents, is increasing. It is not as old a move- 
ment as that on the Pacific coast but it is increasing. 


I have been asked the question, "How old is this movement? How 
long have these people been coming through your area in significant 
numbers?" and in general the answers I get in South Carolina are 
"from 8 to 10 years." 

Then, in North Carolina it is 6 or 8 years and in Virginia possibly 
less than that. So I believe that as far as the Atlantic seaboard is 
concerned we are confronted with a farm labor migration in its 
incipient stages. 

Dr. Lamb. Still increasing interstate? 

Mr. Pittman. That is the evidence I have. There are some 
interesting points in connection with that. 

In Bayboro, N. C, there is a big farmer who tells me rather pri- 
vately that he is the man who started the movement of the potato 
diggers into the Bayboro area. One year he was having unusual 
difficulty with his labor and he went to Meggetts, S. C, where he 
knew these migrants had been the previous season, and he brought 
them to Bayboro and they have been coming to Bayboro in increasing 
numbers ever since. They harvest about 60 percent of the crop. 
And over near Elizabeth City area there is another farmer who claims 
he is the first man to bring them into his area. 

It is interesting to show that perhaps this movement has come about 
through employer initiative. You can understand how they like it. 
It brings labor to their door. 

Those potato farmers will get up just about the time the potatoes 
are ready to harvest and look out and see the trucks with these Negroes 

Mr. Arnold. Let me ask you this question: What is the general 
attitude of employers in your area regarding the expansion of the 
F. S. A. camp program? Would the expansion of the program assist 
"you in distributing labor forces more effectively? 

Mr. Hunter. It would. I don't believe that the Farm Security 
Administration camp program ever reached the magnitude it should 
have reached to take care of present labor. The grower attitude is 
that more camps are needed and our experience has been as these 
camps are put in you will find an increasing tendency on the part of 
the growers to provide better housing conditions themselves. As far 
as the utilization of labor in these camps, we have completed an 


agreement 'with the Farm Security Administration where we place 
in each camp a Farm Service placement man who will take care of 
the placement of those people in agriculture. 

Mr. Gross. I don't want to go into the social aspect of the con- 
centration of people in the camps, but I think there is a need to look 
at the fact that a certain number of agricultural workers who follow 
it as a vocation have to move and migrate or else get only a short work 
period during the year, and there is no housing for them. 


We have a definite problem that we encounter in the Rocky Moun- 
tain States that a vast majority of Latin-Americans or Mexicans who 
work in the agricultural pursuits in Colorado, don't stay in the farm- 
ing communities and when the season is over they go to the cities. 

There is a tremendous influx every winter of Mexican families who 
come in from the agricultural areas and when employment is not 
good — and there is plenty of discrimination against them in industrial 
employment — they become a common problem for relief agencies, 
private and public. They are out again in the spring, and I think 
some thought should be given in the long time program to a program 
that might keep them from coming into communities of that kind, 
where they are very definitely a social problem. 

When you talk of Farm Security camps there must be an under- 
standing that these people do not stay on the farms where they work 
in any appreciable numbers when the off-season to growing is on. You 
have to provide houses or they will live in tents. 

Mr. Howard. May I comment on that? 

New York State housing for harvest workers has been inadequate. 
In fact in many communities there is no suitable housing for them, 
not even sheds, and men live in outhouses and other farm buildings. 

The most active group are the county agricultural defense com- 
mittees which are composed of representatives of farmer organizations 
such as the dairy people and horticulturists and vegetable growers. 


As a matter of fact I think it is very significant in that previous to 
December 1941, the beginning of this year, the farmers did not have 
enough interest in the labor-supply problem to have county meetings, 
but that realization is now upon them and they are very active. 

The Employment Service representatives and F. S. A. and other 
Government agencies concerned sit in on all these meetings. At 
least 10 or 12 of the meetings that have been held thus far have resulted 
in formal requests by these committees to have Farm Security camps 
come into the States. 

Farm Security representatives told us there will be five camps, 
available for New York State. As to whether the five camps can 
cover all the counties that feel they need them is something that 
cannot be determined now. 

One other suggestion that has been made that might be of some 
significance is, a number of these committees have passed resolutions 
suggesting abandoned C. C. C. camps be used in housing those farm 


Mr. Arnold. No doubt the personnel assigned to farm placement 
work in the past has been inadequate. What measures are being 
taken at present to increase the staff in your region? 

Mr. Hunter. I think I had better answer that. I told you briefly 
how we had requested that farm placement personnel be assigned to 
each local office, and we are getting in reports from each State as to 
the number of farm placement personnel that are operating in each 
local office, and also as to the need for an extension of employment 
officers to serve agricultural areas in which no employment service 
facilities have heretofore been provided. 

Steps are definitely being taken to increase the personnel and also 
to increase offices to meet greater agricultural needs. 

Mr. Arnold. Now, what measures are being taken in your region 
to insure an adequate supply of farm labor? 

Mr. Hunter. I think Mr. Stoll has probably the outstanding 
example of that in the United States. 

Mr. Stoll. We have our regular supply which we always have, 
and which is broken down into crews of local people in the local 
community. We realize there is going to be very little migration 
into the State ; in fact our records show there is a migration out at the 
present time. 


We felt that there were only two organizations we could use 
efficiently. First, the school students from seventh grade up to 
college. We are pledging every single individual from high schools, 
colleges, and every grammar school from the seventh grade up, on 
little pledge cards, with the approval of the parents signed to them, 
that they will be available for actual working in seasonal crops. 

The second largest reservoir is the women and, starting on the 16th, 
after 3 months' preparation we are taking an actual census of every 
woman in the State or Oregon. Probably 300,000 women will be 
interviewed by about 7,000 volunteer women. Those 7,000 have been 
trained for 2 months as to how to conduct an interview. They are 
going into each home, and out of that will come an available labor 

In the large cities out of every block 1 person is designated to whom 
the employment service can phone, who will be responsible for the 
people in that area. In our State we have a full employment, the 
lumber industry going on 3 shifts and swing shifts, construction of 
2 large cantonments, and so on, at peak, and our shipbuilding industry 
needs up to 50,000 persons in the Portland area. 

So we know, to meet the problem, we will have to call on other 
reservoirs and I would like to repeat once again that the growers in 
our State were very much concerned as to whether they should or 
should not plant, and in order to allay their fears we have appeared 
before every grange in the local communities, 400 of them, and every 
farm bureau organization and every farmers' unit, explaining just 
what we were going to do, so they would plant and I think that has 
been taken care of. 

Mr. Hunter. I think on a national basis some of the things we are 
doing might be of interest. 


One is, we have had a meeting with the Department of Education 
and the Children's Bureau of the Department of Labor relative to 
regulations in the employment of children. 

We have agreements with C. C. C. and W. P. A., relative to employ- 
ment of workers enrolled with them. We have worked with various 
youth movements on employment of youth. 

We are graphing at the present time a statement on better utiliza- 
tion of women and how they may be utilized, and we are stressing 
recruitment of local workers for agricultural needs. These cover 
largely the things that we have done here. 


Mr. Howard. I would like to say that perhaps the greatest new 
source of labor supply that is anticipated in New York will result from 
a passage of the bill which is now before the legislature to permit 
urban high school children of the ages of 14 years and over, to be 
absent 30 days to work on harvest. 

In many places the farmers believe that the proper use of a high 
school student will be the most valuable addition to the labor supply 
in the State. 

The Employment Service has had experience in working with these 
urban school children in one city which permitted them to be absent 
last year, and we believe we have proper facilities for placement of 
those children on farms and we are working with the State department 
of education and State department of labor with respect to the stand- 
ards under which children will be released. 

Mr. Pittman. There is a movement on foot in Maryland to use 
young people on farms and they are making some preparation to give 
that youth some little training before it goes to the farm. 

It seems that there is a boys' private school that wants to do it, and 
I understand that plans are afoot to bring quite a number of youth in 
there on Saturdays and later on to bring them in 7 days a week. 

Mr. Arnold. Is that white labor only or colored labor also? 

Mr. Pittman. I would assume that was white only. 


Mr. Stoll. I might say last year in the extreme cases in our local 
communities, in cooperation with business establishments and every- 
one in the community, we closed down businesses in a given city, 
completely, for 2 days at a time, and everybody went out and helped 
with the harvesting. We hope we don't have to resort to that again. 

We had complete cooperation, including the State officers and the 
Governor. We don't consider that good practice but it may happen 

Mr. Gross. Didn't you also use many industrial workers who were 
not employed on Saturday and Sunday? 

Mr. Stoll. Members of unions went before the other members and 
said that they wouldn't get a job unless they went out in agriculture. 

Mr. Gross. I can only add one or two observations beyond what 
has been said. These programs that have been described here are 
being utilized in the region I serve and, as these needs become known 
from the various sources that we are now trying to tap, to learn the 


needs of agriculture labor for the coming seasons ahead, there is pro- 
vision in the United States Employment Service that they can make 
registrations very quickly either in local areas or State-wide. I 
think the local area inventories are much better than the State-wide 
ones and I think by and large the Employment Service is keenly alive 
to its responsibility and has the tools with which to meet the 

If we can get the fullest possible cooperation from the growers and 
other organizations or committees that have been set up, in not dis- 
rupting the labor market by getting panicky and giving out informa- 
tion and figures and advertising, I think the problem could be met 
chiefly by depending on local sources rather than depending on mass 

Mr. Arnold. Dr. Lamb, did 3^011 have any questions that you want 
to ask? 

Dr. Lamb. I want to say to Mr. Stoll that we have his letter of 
January 27 and a reply has been sent to his Oregon office, but the 
letter with respect to the mobile camps is appreciated, and I believe 
that Mr. Tolan will put it into the Congressional Record. 

Mr. Stoll. Thank you. 


Dr. Lamb. I would like to ask one question which goes back to the 
question asked some time ago. I am not sure that I was completely 
clear on the answer to this although the record may show that it was 
answered previously, and that is this: Whether the operation of the 
Agricultural Marketing Service in its present reports seems to you to 
have been improved over this time say a year ago, and whether there 
remain improvements, and what methods of arriving at those improve- 
ments you would suggest. 

Mr. Hunter. Mr. Gray of my staff has been working on that, and 
I would like to ask him to answer that. 

Mr. James G. Gray. Mr. Collender, Chief of the Crop Reporting 
Board, told us that they were putting on about 50 people so we could 
get information on a smaller local basis. 

At the present time their figures have been largely published on a 
State basis or in respect to rather large areas. That is of academic 
interest, but it is not of sufficient interest to the man operating the 
local office. The local office needs were the main reason we wanted 
the information broken down into a smaller basis. We have also been 
told the reports can be secured on a county basis more frequently than 
previously was the case. 

Dr. Lamb. Are they still on the same subjective basis to which this 
committee objected in the first interim report? What percentage of 
the labor available last year seems to you to be available now, and 
how much more demand do you have now than you had last year? 

Mr. Gray. I know a series of meetings have been held in various 
parts of the United States and out of those meetings came a schedule 
which is a little different from the usual enumerative schedule, which 
might supply some information they can go on. 

I suggest Mr. Neegard, of the Statistical Board, may be able to 
give you some information on that. 

60396 — 42— pt. 28 6 


Mr. Ole Neegard. Agriculture was given a quarter of a million 
dollars for this fiscal year to improve their data on farm labor statistics, 
and 1 think they have very good assurance that they will be pro- 
vided with a half million dollars for the next fiscal year. 

The Division of Statistical Standards of the Bureau of the Budget 
has held many conferences with representatives from the Department 
of Agriculture, the Department of Labor, the Bureau of the Census, 
the Bureau of Employment Security, and the Work Projects Admin- 
istration to discuss the type of information needed on farm labor. 
Conferences will continue from time to time. The first schedule for 
this enlarged program went out in January— about 325,000 schedules. 
For March and April the number will be about 200,000 schedules. 

The two questions you referred to, on supply and on demand, are 
on the schedules that go to the regular crop reporters as formerly, 
but are not included among the questions on the schedules that are 
used for the new program. The United States Department of Agri- 
culture has had difficulty in getting information from the areas of 
heavy labor requirements as the Department has had to resort to 
sample enumeration in these areas. 

I think the Department plans on using enumerators in heavy labor 
requirement areas in six States this summer. It has begun in Florida 
and is now setting up plans in New Jersey and in Texas. Shortly it 
will go into California and I think also into Oregon and North 

We shall be glad to supply you with all the information that we 
have if you wish it. I think, however, that the expanded program 
on farm labor statistics will be discussed in detail tomorrow. 

Dr. Lamb. I will ask a member of the staff to get in touch with 
you if that doesn't come out in detail in tomorrow's hearing when we 
hear the Department of Agriculture representatives. 

Mr. Gross. I think there was a series of meetings held throughout 
the country in which they came together with the State reporting 
people and regional reporting people and I think there was an eval- 
uation of the material that was being utilized and some constructive 
suggestions were made and I think some suggestions that they cease 
and desist in certain fields in attempting to get information that is 


We found in discussing with Mr. Hunter, yesterday, we did not 
have a single area in the six States of region 11, where another em- 
ployment office was needed on the basis of the population and crop 
value data he and the Department of Agriculture had worked out. 

We recognize since the. decentralization of the Farm Placement 
Bureau out in the States, our picture of the thing has been that a 
local employment service office ought to be a service unit that serves 
the entire labor market and knows its resources and knows its needs 
and no matter whether you have a specialist in farm placement in 
the office, it is the responsibility of the office to discharge its obliga- 
tions to the entire labor market problem. 

Dr. Lamb. I can see how a weekly basis would be imperative in 
those areas where there is a traditional circuit movement. The out- 
standing example of that has been in Texas, intrastate, and on the 


west coast interstate, but the intrastate movement in the State of 
Texas requires, and they have developed, a reporting system for week 
by week intervals or less. 

It is hard to say where the movement of people is necessary for the 
harvesting of crops, both in order to get the crops harvested and in 
order to give them full employment. 

Mr. Gray. We consider it as an implement to doing the job. 

Dr. Lamb. And that leads to objective information with respect to 
local shortages which we would consider far more useful than the 
once a year or quarterly or periodic reporting of objective informa- 
tion of the kind the agricultural marketing reports give you. 

Mr. Hunter. And it also goes to labor supply as well as shortage. 

Mr. Gray. And changed conditions. 

Dr. Lamb. Which change, of course, by reason of weather and such 
things vary rapidly. 

Mr. Arnold. We appreciate very much your coming here before 
the committee. 

Dr. Lamb. We would like very much to have any material you 
brought in from the regions and that will be used by the staff for 
the preparation of the report and all of it perhaps incorporated in the 
published record. 

Mr. Arnold. The committee now stands adjourned. 

(Whereupon at 12:30 p. m., an adjournment was taken.) 



morning session 

House of Representatives, 
Select Committee Investigating 

National Defense Migration, 

Washington, D. C. 
The committee met, pursuant to adjournment, at 9:30 a. m., in 
room 1536, New House Office Building, Washington, D. C, Hon. 
John H. Tolan (chairman), presiding. 

Present: Representatives John H. Tolan, of California, chairman; 
Laurence F. Arnold, of Illinois; John J. Sparkman, of Alabama.' 
Also present: Dr. Robert K. Lamb, staff director of the committee. 


The Chairman. The committee will please come to order. Gentle- 
men, we appreciate your coming here this morning. 

The committee recognizes the vital role of agricultural production 
in the war. We have called upon you gentlemen from the Depart- 
ment of Agriculture to tell us about the problems of farm labor and 
population. May I suggest that the hearing be conducted as an 
informal panel? We will direct the questions at particular indi- 
viduals, but everyone should feel free to interrupt or comment upon 
the statement of the speaker. 

Mr. Raymond Smith will act as moderator of the panel. 

The members of the panel are Raymond C. Smith, Chief Program 
Analyst, Bureau of Agricultural Economics; William J. Rogers, Chief, 
Division of Labor and Rural Industries, Office of Agricultural Defense 
Relations; Conrad Taeuber, Senior Social Scientist, Bureau of Agri- 
cultural Economics; Sherman Johnson, Head, Division of Farm 
Management and Costs, Bureau of Agricultural Economics; James 
G. Maddox, Director, Rural Rehabilitation Division of Farm Security 
Administration, all of Washington, D. C. 

We also have with us today Prof. John Black of Harvard, who, 
I am sure, needs no further introduction. We will ask Dr. Black to 
listen closely and comment at the end of the discussion. He shares 
with you, of course, the privilege of breaking into the discussion at 
any point. 

The prepared statements submitted here will be made a part of 

the committee record. 



(The statements mentioned are as follows:) 

TON, D. C. 

Prepared by State and Local Planning Division, Bureau of Agricultural 
Economics, United States Department of Agriculture 

Vocational Training and Guidance 

The following recommendations pertaining to vocational training and guidance 
were excerpted from the State Unified Agricultural Program Reports which the 
State Agricultural Planning Committees submitted to the Secretary of Agricul- 
ture a few months ago. Outlined as an initial step in the development of a general 
program to contribute to national defense and to meet the impacts of war, the 
State reports reviewed the problems confronting American agriculture and sug- 
gested ways and means of effecting improvements. Under these circumstances, 
it is significant that vocational training and guidance received more frequent 
mention than practically any other group of problems. 

Many of the recommended activities are already being carried on by the 
public schools and other educational agencies, and need only to be expanded. 
Others may be relatively new and unknown in some areas. All deserve the 
thoughtful consideration of public agencies working in this field. The recom- 
mendations have been grouped under six headings as follows: Vocational Guid- 
ance, Agricultural Education, Home Economics Education, Non-agricultural 
Training, General Vocational Training, and General Education. 

a. vocational guidance 

The need for an expanded program of vocational guidance in rural areas is 
reflected by the following recommendations: 

1. That a vocational guidance service be made available to all rural areas as a 
means of aiding rural youth to find out (a) the kind of work they are best fitted 
to do; (b) the kinds of employment likely to be available, and (c) where they can 
get the training best suited to their individual interests, aptitudes, and oppor- 
tunities; and that itinerant counselors be provided for the smaller schools which 
cannot afford full-time counselors (Maryland). 

2. That the schools have a primary responsibility in developing programs of 
guidance for rural youth; that such programs be worked out in close collabora- 
tion with other public agencies; and that all community leaders assist in dis- 
seminating occupational information (Kentucky). 

3. That there be occasional interchange of classes among industrial arts, agri- 
culture, business education, and home economics instructors in order to develop 
increasing understanding, abilities, and technical knowledge in consumer educa- 
tion, home financing, and the like, for boys, and in gardening, poultry raising, 
business education, homemaking, and the like, for girls (Maryland). 

_ 4. That the State departments of education continue and increase their voca- 
tional guidance and counselling services in all rural high schools and that these 
services be extended through part-time and evening classes to out-of-school rural 
youth. (Delaware, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Vermont, West 


Typical of the recommendations of interest to the Agricultural Education Serv- 
ice, to State supervisors of agricultural education and to agricultural teacher 
trainers, are the following: 

1. That the present system of vocational agricultural training be continued and 
extended to all communities in which agriculture is an important industry, so that 
agricultural training will be provided for all high-school students, older youth, or 
adults who desire such training (Idaho, Kentucky, Oregon, Washington). 

2. That public schools cooperate in the development and training of leaders in 
an extensive educational program regarding (a) the conservation of natural and 
human resources; (b) more efficient production of agricultural products through 
crop rotation, improved cultural methods, improved irrigation methods, insect 
control, etc.; (c) cooperative buying and selling; (d) labor supply and job oppor- 
tunities (Southwestern States). 


3. That farm boys be encouraged to remain on their own home farms by 
providing protection for their interests through expressed relationships and wills 
(Massachusetts) . 

4. That more opportunity be provided for rural youth who desire to become 
established in farming (Idaho). 

5. That State departments of education cooperate with the public employment 
service in establishing a registry of high-school students desiring farm employment 
(Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, 
New York). 

6. That since one of the more serious obstacles to the improvement of rural 
bousing is the residents' lack of skill, emphasis should be given to the vocational 
training opportunities now being developed as a part of the national defense 
program (South Central States). 

7. That the State College of Agriculture and the State Department of Education 
name a special committee to prepare a small publication to be used in teaching 
agriculture in the seventh and eighth grades (West Virginia). 

8. That full advantage be taken of the increased shop training facilities available 
in rural high schools as a result of the special training program for defense workers 
(Kansas) . 

9. That the Federal Government appropriate funds to be allotted to the States, 
for the establishment, development and maintenance of area vocational schools, 
including transportation of or maintenance for students (Alabama, Florida, 
Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina). 

10. That an additional year of high-school work be provided to permit sufficient 
time for both general education and vocational education. 

11. That in States where forestry is an important industry, all students in the 
college of agriculture who are preparing for educational work among farm people 
should be given at least a minimum amount (6 semester hours) of basic training in 
forestry; and that farm forestry and forest demonstration projects be started 
wherever feasible and a unified forest education program inaugurated (Oklahoma). 

12. That the forestry division of the State Agricultural College cooperate 
with the State department of education in the preparation of a farm forestry 
course for inclusion in the vocational agricultural offering of the public high 
schools of the State (Missouri). 

13. That the public schools and colleges provide an adequate educational 
program in the field of conservation with the aim of developing a more conserva- 
tion-minded generation which will insist on the efficient use of minerals, soils, 
water, forage, forests, and wildlife (Texas). 

14. That research programs be orientated to provide information concerning 
vocational-training problems of immediate concern, such as those arising from 
defense activities, or those likely to occur as the result of post-war conditions 
(North Carolina). 

15. That the State agricultural planning committees in cooperation with appro- 
priate State officials sponsor State and district meetings of agricultural teachers, 
extension workers and other professional agricultural personnel with the aim of 
studying and discussing agricultural problems and planning proposals (Idaho). 

16. That the county agricultural planning committees help to sponsor local 
meetings of agricultural teachers, agricultural agency representatives, farm organ- 
ization leaders and others, with the view of discussing agricultural problems and 
planning proposals, so that every person will be in position to impart pertinent 
information to his respective agency or community (Idaho). 

17. That the State superintendent of public instruction and the State super- 
visor of agricultural education give additional consideration to the objectives and 
literature of the national farm programs in planning the public educational 
programs for their respective States. 

18. That a State committee be set up to recommend college curricula changes 
so as better to equip potential agricultural workers, and that this committee 
be composed of representatives from the State agricultural college and the 
agricultural agencies operating in each State (North Carolina). 

19. That colleges of agriculture place greater emphasis on education designed 
to present to outstanding students the challenge and opportunities of rural life 
(Virginia) . 

20. That the State department of education in conducting State and district 
conferences of agricultural teachers give special attention to training vocational 
teachers regarding the respective programs and services available from the 
several agricultural agencies (Idaho) . 


21. That agricultural teachers and county agricultural agents conduct a soil- 
conservation educational program, utilizing such devices as local demonstration 
plots, pictures of progress, and essay contests (Indiana). 

22. That an aggressive educational and informational program be developed 
by the State department of education, the State extension service and other 
agricultural agencies operating in the State, to inform farmers of the present 
agricultural situation and outlook in order that farmers may act intelligently in 
choosing new enterprises or expanding existing enterprises in response to the na- 
tional defense lend-lease programs (Mississippi). 

23. That county agricultural planning committees set up an educational sub- 
committee (including the county superintendent of schools, the president of the 
county educational association, the county agent, and others), to aid in develop- 
ing a unified rural education program for the county (South Carolina, Virginia). 

24. That an interdepartment committee be set up, consisting of representatives 
of the United States Office of Education, the Federal Extension Service, the 
Bureau of Agricultural Economics, and other Federal agencies engaged in educa- 
tional and planning work with farm men and women, to act in an advisory ca- 
pacity in planning and guiding educational work affecting rural people (Idaho). 

25. That a systematic method be developed to assist farm people with infor- 
mation for their study, discussion and understanding of the national defense pro- 
gram and the cooperative planning program (Missouri, South Dakota, Vermont). 

26. That local discussion groups be organized for adults and young people as 
a means of (a) dispensing current information applicable to local conditions; (b) 
acquainting farmers with the relationship of present agency activities to their 
purposes; and (c) developing rural leaders (Colorado and North Carolina). 


Many of the aforesaid recommendations regarding vocational guidance and 
agricultural education are applicable also to home economics education. In 
addition, the following suggestions pertaining to homemaking were included in 
the State reports. 

1. That instruction in personal hygiene and nutrition be given in every school 
grade and dramatized through the use of county campaigns, demonstrations, 
panel discussions and neighborhood programs (New Hampshire, New York, and 
West Virginia). 

2. That the secondary public school programs be expanded to provide basic 
training in home economics in all rural schools (Kentucky, Mississippi, and the 
Southwestern States). 

3. That the present system of part-time and evening classes in home economics 
be continued and expanded to meet the needs of all out-of-school girls and home- 
makers who desire such training. 

4. That the colleges and public-schools cooperate in the development and train- 
ing of leaders in an extensive educational program regarding (a) health and 
nutrition; (b) production, preservation, and preparation of home-grown food; (c) 
consumer education regarding food, clothing, housing, etc.; (d) labor supply and 
job opportunities (Massachusetts and the Western States). 

5. That an investigation be made of the possibilities of establishing training 
schools in low-income areas to teach household skills and handicrafts to young 
people so that they may more readily find employment (West Virginia) . 


The State committee reports alluded repeatedly to the desirability of providing 
nonagricultural training for the increasing proportion of rural youth who, because 
of population pressure, increased mechanization of farms, etc., must find their 
vocational opportunities elsewhere than in agriculture. That rural leaders are 
recognizing this situation is reflected by the following recommendations: 

1. That the Federal Government appropriate funds to be allotted to the States 
for the establishment and maintenance of area vocational schools, including 
transportation of or maintenance for students in areas where rural youth do not 
have access to the larger high schools with good vocational courses (Alabama, 
Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, North Carolina, and South Carolina). 

2. That at least one specialized school for vocational training be established in 
each county with graduation from high school as a possible requirement for 
admission (Missouri, North Dakota, and Ohio). 


3. That public schools provide evening vocational classes for men and women 
now living on farms but interested in occupations other than farming (Kentucky 
and North Carolina). 

4. That special training courses for occupations essential to national defense 
be conducted and expanded for rural youth in school and out (Alabama, Florida, 
Kentucky, North Carolina, and Virginia). 


In addition to the above mentioned recommendations pertaining to vocational 
guidance and to specific types of vocational education, the State reports included 
a considerable number of recommendations regarding vocational education in 
general, as follows: 

1. That increased Federal and State grants-in-aid be provided for the expan- 
sion of vocational education as a part of public school system (Alabama, Iowa, 
Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, New Mexico, North 
Carolina, Virginia). 

2. That courses in practical arts (general agriculture, home economics, business 
education and industrial arts), constitute a part of the core curriculum for all 
high-school pupils (Maryland). 

3. That an additional year or more of post-graduate work be provided by the 
public schools to provide more time for both general education and vocational 
training (Missouri and Ohio). 

4. That high-schools provide part-time vocational courses for the further 
training of boys and girls who have received employment or who lack work 
experience (Kentucky and Virginia). 

5. That increased provision be made for the training of youth belonging to 
under-privileged farm families, and for the men enrolled in Civilian Conservation 
Corps camps (Virginia and Northwestern States). 

6. That in the present emergency existing school facilities be made available 
for the vocational training of unemployed persons in rural communities (Illinois). 

7. That the equipment now in use in special vocational defense schools be 
assigned to high schools after the present emergency is over and used in providing 
further vocational education for young and old (Maryland and Northwestern 
States) . 

8. That if and when a rural public works program is initiated, it be combined 
with youth training and be characterized by a constructive educational program 
correlated with work experience (New York). 

9. That public schools cooperate in the development and training of leaders in 
an extensive educational program regarding labor supply and job opportunities; 
that county and community agricultural planning committees study youth needs 
and the facilities available for meeting these needs: and that these studies be 
conducted with the cooperation of representatives of the existing agencies work- 
ing with rural vouth (Idaho). 

10. That research programs be orientated to provide information concerning 
vocational training programs of immediate concern, such as those arising from 
defense activities or those likely to appear as a result of post-war conditions 
(North Carolina). 

11. That present and prospective rural school teachers have an opportunity to 
pursue some general courses in agricultural homemaking and manual arts to better 
prepare themselves for rural leadership (Southwestern States). 

12. That summer courses, district conferences of agency representatives and 
other types of training schools be provided so that vocational teachers, extension 
workers and other agency leaders may have an opportunity to become informed 
concerning the several agricultural programs of the respective agencies. 


The State reports also include a considerable number of recommendations of 
general interest to public schools. Tvpical of these are the following: 

1. That increased Federal and State funds be made available for additional 
school buildings and teachers in areas where defense activities are resulting in 
large population increases; and that State and local school officials be urged to 
keep in intimate touch with the school situation in their areas so that the respective 
communities can be given proper priority for assistance (California and Michigan). 

2. That existing educational and youth-serving agencies develop closer coordi- 
nation to prevent needless duplication (Northwestern States). 


3. That a committee be set up in Washington consisting of representatives of 
the Office of Education, the Extension Service, the Bureau of Agricultural 
Economics and other agencies carrying on educational work, to act in an advisory 
capacity in planning and guiding educational work in connection with national 
defense programs (Northwestern States). 

4. That Federal funds for public education be allocated to the States in a 
manner that would more nearly equalize the educational opportunities available 
in all communities; that the State superintendent of public instruction take the 
initiative in developing a program of State aid for schools and public health 
(Iowa, Kentucky, and Mississippi). 

5. That financial support, personnel and facilities of rural schools be made 
comparable to those of urban schools (Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, 
South Carolina, and Virginia). 

6. That in areas of inadequate school facilities, a study be made of practical 
measures for school reorganization and that when feasible smaller schools be 
consolidated to effect greater economy and efficiency of operation and to provide 
a wider variety of curriculum opportunities and better qualified teachers (Mary- 
land, Nebraska, and Virginia). 

7. That the curriculum of public schools be expanded to provide for training: 
(a) In the conservation of natural and human resources, (b) in the science of 
democratic government. (Texas and the Western States.) 

8. That schools and other educational agencies make further necessary adjust- 
ments in their programs to develop leadership, prepare for social participation, 
teach patriotism, develop the morale of the people, and place increased emphasis 
upon health, nutrition and recreation (Kentucky, South Carolina, and Virginia). 

9. That schools and colleges give more emphasis to subjects relating to Pan- 
American countries as a step toward more sympathetic understanding. 

10. That all rural youth have access to high-school training as a minimum of 
formal education (Northwest Region) ; and that compulsory school attendance 
requirements be raised from 16 to 17 years of age and from the eighth to the tenth 
grade (Iowa). 

11. That public agencies operating in rural areas undertake additional adult 
education through meetings, discussion groups and forums (Delaware, Florida, 
New York, North Carolina, and Vermont). 

12. That a community service bureau be established in every county to supply 
volunteer talent for communities and to maintain a list of available services 
such as speakers, song leaders, recreation leaders and projection equipment 

13. That increased State assistance be given to improving rural library facilities, 
that provision be made for libraries in connection with the rural schools; that 
establishment of district and county libraries be encouraged; and that traveling 
libraries or library stations be utilized wherever feasible.. 


Estimates of Quantities of Food Necessary to Provide Certain Specified 
Diets and Crop Acreages and Numbers of Livestock Required for 
Indicated Production, Prepared by O. V. Wells 

An endeavor is made in the accompanying notes and tables to work out estimates 
of actual per capita consumption, of the per capita quantities of food necessary 
to provide certain specified diets, and of the acreage of crops and numbers or 
slaughter of the several classes of livestock which would be required at average 
yields to supply the specified diets for 133,900,000 people, our estimated population 
for 1942. 

The extent to which these estimates are accurate or significant is of course 
limited by the accuracy and significance of the data and assumptions upon which 
they are based. As a result, all estimates and calculations in the accompanying 
tables are preliminary, and are necessarily subject to revision as additional data 
become available or as changes in underlying assumptions seem warranted. 

Attention is called to the fact that these estimates are based upon the recent 
dietary recommendations of the National Research Council and the current 
structure of food consumption and agricultural production in the United States. 
That is, the specified diets or dietary combinations are designed to meet the 
nutritional standards recommended by the council within the general framework 


of our current consumption pattern and the acreage and livestock estimates 
assume current yields and methods of production.. Actually, of course, there 
are any number of dietary combinations which would satisfy the nutritional 
standards and changes in yields and methods of production may well occur in 
the year? ahead. 

Table 1 shows the recommended dietary allowances compared with the nutritive 
value of food consumed during the 5 years 1936-40, with a suggested moderate- 
cost diet, and with a diet best adapted to current economic resources, or what 
would appear to be a reasonable combination of a low-cost, a moderate, and a 
liberal diet. The dietary standards are in terms of daily per capita allowances 
for food eaten, while the data relating to consumption and the specified diets are 
in terms of daily per capita supplies of food delivered to the kitchen or sold in the 
retail market. 

Table 2 shows the per capita consumption of specified groups of foods estimated 
from production, foreign trade, and changes in stocks of agricultural commodities 
for 1936 and 1936-40; per capita consumption estimated on the basis of data 
obtained from housewives in survey schedule and food record studies for 1936; 
and per capita quantities required to supply a moderate-cost diet, a diet best 
adapted to current economic resources, and a best adapted diet with an additional 
allowance of 10 percent. 

The moderate-cost diet plan would give consumers an adequate diet in terms 
of nutritional standards at a moderate cost, while the best adapted plan is based 
upon the assumption that all low-income families would follow a low-cost diet 
plan meeting certain minimum requirements, that all families with average or 
moderate incomes would follow the moderate-cost diet plan, and that all high- 
income families would follow a liberal diet plan or maintain food consumption at 
a relatively high level. 

All of the per capita consumption estimates in table 2 are in terms of averages — 
that is, many persons or families consumed more and many consumed less than the 
average for the entire population. The estimated quantities shown for the first 
two diet plans are based upon the assumption that per capita and per family con- 
sumption would be evenly distributed among the entire population or among the 
broad income groups for which different diet plans are assumed. But such an 
even distribution is not likely to be obtained, and as a result the third diet plan 
has been added. This third' plan assumes that families in each different income 
group will use the diet best adapted to their economic resources, together with an 
extra allowance of 10 percent in order that families who are consuming in excess 
of the assumed diets may continue at the higher level. 

Table 3 shows the acreages and livestock production required to supply 133,- 
900,000 people with the specified diets described in tables 1 and 2, and compares 
these with actual acreages and numbers for 1936-40 and 1941. These actual 
acreages and numbers supplied domestic consumption, and also allowed stocks 
of corn and wheat to be increased and considerable quantities of food to be ex- 
ported during 1936-40 and 1941. The data and estimates in table 3 include no 
allowances for non-food and feed crops such as cotton, tobacco, and flaxseed, and 
assume that we will continue to import about the same quantities of such com- 
modities as sugar and bananas as in the recent past. 

In considering table 3, as well as the data and estimates in tables 1 and 2, it 
should be remembered that the problem involved is not simply one of increasing 
agricultural production. In any effort to move toward a more adequate and better 
balanced national diet, it is of course necessary that people generally should 
realize the need for and want a better-balanced diet, and it is equally necessary 
that per capita and per family incomes should be sufficient to support the more 
adequate and better-balanced diet. And even though the data and estimates in 
this statement indicate the need for a more adequate national diet, it should be 
remembered that the United States is today the best-fed nation in the world. 

In conclusion, it should be noted that the Bureau of Home Economics, and 
especially Dr. Hazel K. Stiebeling of the Division of Family Economics, supplied 
all of the estimates or calculations shown in table 1 for actual consumption and the 
specified diets, as well as the survey schedule and food record estimates of per 
capita consumption and the estimates of the quantities of food needed for the 
specified diets shown in table 2. These data are basic to all of the estimates 
shown in table 3, and their use is gratefully acknowledged. 



Table 1. — Recommended dietary allowances compared with nutritive value of food 
consumed in 1936 and of foods specified in diet plans at 8 cost levels 

(Preliminary, subject to revision) 

IDaily per capita allowances based on National Research Council's recommendations, compared with 
daily per capita nutritive value of food supplies delivered to the Nation's kitchens or sold at retail 'J 


Food-energy calories. . 

Protein grams. _ 

Calcium do 

Iron milligrams.. 

Vitamin A value international units.. 

Riboflavin.. milligrams.. 

Thiamin. do 

Ascorbic acid.. 

ards 2 


per capita 
1936-40 3 

• 86 

Per capita require- 
ments for— 

cost diet 
plan 3 

« 2. 8-3. 2 
* 1. 9-2. 3 

plan best 
adapted to 
resources » 

« 2. 8-3. 2 

1 Averages for dietary standards and specified diets calculated by combining data for 17 age-sex-activity 
groups, basis 1940 census of population. Specified diets as suggested by Bureau of Home Economics, and 
per capita consumption as estimated by O. V. Wells from statistics of production, stocks, foreign trade, 
and waste in marketing, average 1936-40. 

2 These figures represent food to be eaten and do not make allowances for extensive losses in cooking. 

* These figures represent food delivered to the kitchens. No deductions have been made for losses dur- 
ing cooking and service, which may be appreciable for thiamin and ascorbic acid; no deductions are made 
for table waste. 

* The lower figure given is based on the assumption that none of the white flour or bread consumed has 
been "enriched" in thiamin and riboflavin; the higher figure on the assumption that all has been enriched. 



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Table 3. — Comparison of actual acreages and livestock production with acreages, 
production, or numbers required to supply 138,900,000 people with 3 diets which 
meet the nutritional standards established by the National Research Council 

(Preliminary, subject to revision) 


Actual acreages or 

Acreages or numbers for 


specified diets 

Best adapted 











Food and feed crops 

Thousand acres 

Thousand acres at average 

327, 180 

323, 996 

321, 102 

319, 238 

351, 162' 


























73, 107 

64, 562 

57, 310 

57, 599 

63, 359 

153, 157 

148, 785 

149, 174 

147, 074 

161, 781 

69, 025 

73, 933 

83, 104 

82, 053 

90, 258 


17, 999 

11, 120 

10, 986 

12, 085 

Meat animals (millions of head slaughtered) 


























Other animal products (millions of laying hens 

and milk cows) 












Truck crops ' 



Beans, peas, nuts... 
Sugar and sirup 2 ..- 

Grains for food 

Feed grains 3 

All hay 

Miscellaneous crops 

Beef cattle 

Veal calves 


Sheep and lambs... 
Chickens » 

Hens • 

Milk cows «_ 

Column 1: Actual acreages and numbers available for food and feed purposes, including increases in stocks 
and exports, average 1936-40. 

Column 2: Same as column 1, except estimates for 1941. 

Column 3: Acres and numbers to supply 133,900,000 people with an adequate diet at moderate cost, 
assuming consumption evenly distributed. 

Column 4: Acres and numbers to supply a low-cost diet to all low-income families, a moderate cost diet 
to families with moderate incomes, and a liberal diet to all high-income families, assuming consumption 
evenly distributed among families within each group. 

Column 5: Same as column 4, except over-all increase of 10 percent to allow for excess or above average 
consumption within each group. 

Notes — Acreages and Livestock Production Compared With Acreages and Production Required 
To Supply 133,900,000 People With 3 Speco-ied Diets 

Acreage and number estimates are based upon per capita quantities of the several groups of foods required 
to meet the nutritional standards of the National Research Council as worked out by Dr. Stiebeling and 
associates in the Bureau of Home Economics. The best adapted diet is the diet that would result if all 
low-income families used the low-cost diet, all moderate-income families the moderate diet, and all high- 
income families the liberal diet. 

Average yields for 1936-40, except yields for corn, oats, barley, and grain sorghums, are averages for 193. 
and 1937-40. Animal yields are also for 1936-40 with average rations for livestock, adjusted to 1938-405 
Acreages for corn, oats, barley, wheat, rice, grain sorghums, dry beans, potatoes (Irish), and sugar beets 
are planted. All other crops, acreages harvested. 

i Commercial truck crop acreage adjusted for farm and market gardens, cantaloups and watermelons 

J acreage for 1936-40 carried for all diets, assuming additional requirements are imported. 

3 Acreage estimates for specified diets include feed requirements for livestock, and the following: Corn 
required for corn meal and flour, corn sirup, sugar, and dextrin, corn cereals, starch (estimated at 25,000,000 
bushels), alcohol and distilled spirits (estimated at 25,000,000 bushels). Oats required for oatmeal. Barley 
required for malt ( estimated at 60,000,000 bushels). 

* Acreages are allowances for rye harvested, buckwheat, one-half of soybeans for seed, hops, popcorn, 
timothy seed, cowpeas harvested, velvet beans grown alone, sweet sorghums for forage, and peanuts grown 
alone but not picked and threshed. 

• Number of laying hens and chickens produced on farms, assuming nonfarm eggs and chickens equal 10 
percent of farm production. Estimated not available for chickens slaughtered, 1941. 

9 Number of milk cows on farms, using allowance for feeding calves equal to 2.75 percent of milk for con- 
sumption, and assuming nonfarm production of 2,000,000,000 pounds of fluid milk, and adding about 5 
percent to the number of cows required for the several diets, to allow for ice cream, etc. 

There would be 377,000,000 pounds of lard, bacon, and salt pork available for export with the best adapted 
diet, 531, 000,000 pounds with the moderate-cost diet, and 415,000,000 pounds with the best-adapted diet 
adjusted. Certain imports, chiefly pineapples, bananas, olive oil, and sugar would also be required. Atten- 
tion is called to the fact that all estimates and calculations are for food and feed crops, and that no estimates 
or allowances are included for cotton, tobacco, and oil crops which are not used directly for food. 



The Role of Low-Income Farm Families in the War Effort 

Production of the vast amounts of food and fiber called for by the present 
war emergency can be achieved only with the persistent cooperation of the low- 
income farmers of this Nation. 

Two out of every five potential food for freedom producers are low-income 
farmers. These low-income farmers represent a huge reservoir of unused, un- 
tapped power: manpower, land power, productive power. Only if this power 
is harnessed can the full productive capacity of the Nation's farm plant be utilized 
for the food production job ahead. If it is not harnessed, supplies of vital farm 
products may not expand rapidly enough to meet the demands for food of this 
country and other democracies throughout the world. 

It is the purpose of this statement to point out that war food production by 
these low-income, underemployed farm families is vital to the nation's war 
effort and that such production is possible on a large scale with simple aid from 
the Federal Government. The statement will follow this outline: 

First, a description of the low-income and underemployed farm population. 

Second, an analysis of the potential food production capacities of this group. 

Third, a statement about the types of action that will be required to open up 
the capacities for such production. 

Fourth, an analysis of the farm labor problem. 


Two out of every five farmers who might reasonably be expected to produce 
food for freedom are low-income, underemployed farmers. Following is a presen- 
tation of data from the 1940 census showing the number of low-income farmers in 
the Nation: 

Total number of United States farmers 6, 096, 000 

Number of farmers with gross earned farm incomes under $800 in 

1939 3,460, 000 

Subtract 10 percent to make allowance for improved conditions in 

1942 over 1939 346, 000 

3, 114, 000 
Subtract the "nonfarm" farmers who worked off their farms over 200 

days 560, 000 

2, 554, 000 
Subtract the -'nonfarm" older operators ' 360, 000 

Total number of low-income farmers 2, 194, 000 

' This group, approximately two-fifths of the farmers 'over 65, includes that portion of the estimated 
number of aged farmers with gross earned farm income below $800, who are not regarded as bona fide farmers 
(includes primarily retired persons). Very few of this aged group are likely to be included in the group 
working off farm more than 200 days. 

This low-income farm population is constituted as follows: 

Number Percent 

1. Full-time, underemployed farmers 986, 900 45. 

2. Part-time farmers K 230,800 10.5 

3. Sharecroppers 2 541,300 24.7 

4. Standard Farm Security Administration rehabilitation 

families _' 435, 000 19. 8 

Total 2,194,000 100.0 

i These are 60 percent of the farmers who work off their farms more than 100 days but less than 200 days 
per year. The other 40 percent are assumed to earn more than $800 per year from the farm. 
3 It is assumed that all of the sharecroppers are low-income farmers. 

Of the 6,096,000 farmers in the Nation, only about 5,000,000 mis;ht be con- 
sidered as potential producers of food for freedom, as about 1,000,000 farmers 
over 65 or working off their farms more than 200 days each year might be elimi- 
nated. Of this 5,000,000, more than 2,000,000, or two-fifths, are low-income 



About 85 percent of the vast reservoir of available productive armers not 
already reached by the Farm .Security Administration is in the South and Mid- 
west. Slightly more than three-fifths of this unreached group is located in the 
Southern States; even when the sharecopper group is excluded, nearly half of the 
full-time and part-time low-income farmers in the Nation are in the South. 

Distribution of the Nation's low-income farmers by regions and type of farmer l 




All low-income 




57, 000 
316, 500 
134, 200 
479, 200 

25. 000 
68, 500 
36, 800 
100, 500 

82, 000 

385, 000 



4 6 




541, 300 


986, 900 

230, 800 

541, 300 



1 Does not include the 435,000 standard Farm Security Administration rehabilitation borrowers. 


Under employment characterizes the low-income farmer in the United States. 

It is probable that most of the 986,900 full-time, low-income farmers work 
only at half capacity. Their farms are too small, their equipment inadequate, 
and their skill undeveloped. The census shows that the total cash value of their 
present farm production averages only about $500 a year, of which not more than 
$400 worth is available for off-farm markets. 

A vast proportion of the 230,800 part-time farmers have too few resources 
for full employment and only a limited opportunity for off-farm employment. 

Most of the 541,300 sharecroppers, except in the planting and harvesting 
season, work at less than half capacity and are unable to do anything about it. 

The 435,000 low-income farmers who have received rehabilitation loans, super- 
vision, and other aid from the Farm Security Administration are making a more 
complete utilization of their labor than other low-income farmers, but there is 
still great need for improvement in their soil, their tenure arrangements, and their 
buildings, and great need for expansion and further reorganization of their 
inadequate resources. 

Excellent evidence of underemployment in agriculture is presented bv the 
fact that the lower-income half of the Nation's farmers produced onlv 12 percent 
of the total value of farm production in 1939. The remaining 88 percent of the 
production was turned out by the other 50 percent of the farmers who were better 
able to use their labor in production. 1 

In fact, in 1939, about 47.6 percent of the Nation's farmers produced farm 
products sold, traded, or used at home that had values of less than $600 each. 
This huge group, whose average gross farm income was about $350, actually 
produced on the average less than $250 worth of farm products for sale. 

This volume of production per farm is so small that it requires the familv's 
labor only a part of the time — a few months of the vear. For instance, in the 
Midwest this small volume of production could be achieved from a single cow, 
12 pisrs, and 50 hens, as follows: 

1 cow producing 170 pounds butterf at at 30 cents $51 

1 calf vealed 15 

12 pigs, averaging 200 pounds at $9 Z _ Z Z Z Z_ Z_Z 216 

50 hens, producing 7 dozen eggs at 25 cents ZIZZZ 87 

Total production 3gg 

Obviously, caring for these livestock and the small acreages of crops necessary 
to feed them m no w:<y approximates full employment for the typical low-income 
Midwest farm family. 

The same story of underemployment ran be told for the hundreds of thousands 
ot farmers in the South averaging a production of $350 total farm products sold, 
' Estimates based directly on data from the 1940 census. 


traded, oriLed at home. This volume of production could come from less than 
6 acres of colton. 

Six acres with 370 pounds lint per acre at 15 cents per pound $330 

700 pounds seed per acre at \}i cents per pound 52 

Total 382 

These estimates are borne out by actual studies. The Bureau of Agricultural 
Economics found that the typical two-mule Delta cotton farm producing cotton 
corn, and a small amount of livestock requires a total of only about 2,300 man- 
hours of labor per year. 2 The amount of family labor actually available is 
4,080 man-hours. Therefore, except during the 2 months of cotton picking, the 
family labor is less than half employed. A similar picture of underemployment 
could be given for small, low-income farmers in all areas of the Nation. 

Underemployment is no new problem on American farms. Back in 1929, a 
year of unusually high farm prices, approximately 2,225 000 farmers produced 
less than $800 gross earned income. 3 In all probability much of the labor of this 
group of farmers was wasted then as it is now. Again in 1937 the picture was no 
better. An analysis of data from the Unemployment Census of 1937 revealed 
3,000,000 farmers lacking full employment of their labor, 1,547,000 farmers totally 
or partially unemployed or as having only emergency employment, and 1,453,000 
underemployed, producing gross cash incomes from their farm operations averag- 
ing less than $200 annually. 4 

The argument advanced in this report is that the defense industries have done 
little to alleviate this underemployment on American farms. 

Impact of war activity 

Contrary to popular belief, present-day industrial and military activity is not 
providing economic opportunities for great masses of low-income farm families. 
These families simply are not leaving their farms in any significant number to 
move into areas of defense activity and get wartime jobs in plants and factories. 
According to a monthly survey of Farm Security Administration families, less 
than 1 family out of 25 moved to town or city during the last 6 months of 1940. 5 
During the same period in 1941, even fewer Farm Security Administration families 
moved to town or city. Of course, Farm Security Administration families have 
more stable tenure arrangements than most typical low-income farmers, but only 
1 in 23 of the farmers living on farms adjoining those of Farm Security Administra- 
tion families moved to town or city during the last 6 months of 1941. 

Late in the fall of 1941 the Work Projects Administration conducted simple 
surveys on migration into 25 defense centers. The surveys were concerned with 
civilians who moved into the area from outside the industrial county after October 
1, 1940, and who were still living in the area at the time of the survey. The find- 
ings are most significant. 

Although 23 percent of the Nation's population lives on farms, the Work Proj- 
ects Administration studies showed that less than 10 percent of the migrant defense 
workers were employed full time in agriculture before migrating to the defense 
centers. The people coming into defense centers and getting jobs were predomin- 
antly nonfarmers. The following table presents the picture of migrations into 
the Nation's defense industries. 

This table indicates several important points bearing upon the nonemployment 
of farm people in defense industries. One is that job opportunities are opening 
up mostly to young people. There is little room for the older person. The age 
of the average defense worker reported by the Work Projects Administration 
surveys was less than 30 years. Fewer than 15 percent were 45 years and over. 
Yet the age of the typical' farmer is 48 years, and the age of the average standard 
Farm Security Administration borrower is about 41 years — beyond the age limit 
in defense plants. 

2 An unpublished study by the Division of Farm Management and Cost, Bureau of Agricultural Econom- 
ics, Farm Resources and Farming Systems Needed to Meet Living Needs of Farm Families in Five 
Types of Farming Areas. 

3 1930 census 

* Smith, R. C. A Statement of Some Suggested Solutions for the Problem of Farm Unemployment and 
Underemployment, presented before the Senate Committee on Education and Labor, \\ ashmgton, D. C, 
May 24 1940 

5 Monthly National Summary of Rural Rehabilitation Activities, compiled by the Statistics Section, 
Finance Division, Farm Security Administration. 

60396—42 — pt. 28 7 


Migration of farmers to defense centers Oct. 1, 1940, to late fall, 1941 ' 


Nashville, Term - - 

Des Moines, Iowa 

South Bend, Ind - 

Augusta, Ga -- 

Seattle, Wash... — 

Bristol, Conn -- - 

Saginaw, Mich. 

Terre Haute, Ind 

Atlanta, Ga .. 

Oklahoma City, Okla - 

Washington, D. C 

Corpus Christi, Tex . 

Indianapolis, Ind 

Bridgeport, Conn 

Ft. Smith, Ark.. 

St. Louis, Mo 

Houston, Tex 

Burlington, Iowa 

Wichita Falls, Tex 

Kalamazoo, M ich 

Warren, Ravenna, and Newton Falls, Ohio 

Portland and South Portland, Maine 

Pittsburgh, Pa. and 53 other cities in Allegheny County 
San Diego, Chula Vista, Coronado, La Mesa and 

National City, Calif 

Los Angeles County, Calif 

All areas 

Number of 



36, 800 


29, 900 
73, 500 

240, 600 

Percent of 



agriculture 2 








traveled by 


Average age 
of workers 








1 Source: Migration Studies in Defense Centers, Division of Research, Work Projects Administration, 
of Federal Works Agency, released as memoranda in late 1941 and January 1942. 
* Workers reporting farm owner, farm tenant, or farm laborer as occupation at last residence. 

Another point revealed by the table is the distance traveled by defense workers 
to get their jobs. Seldom did the workers travel more than 100 or 200 miles. 
Most significantly, they traveled least where farm underemployment is greatest — 
in the South, for example. Low-income farmers did not migrate long distances 
to the defense centers, or if they did and were above the lower age limits, they did 
not get the job in competition with younger applicants. 

A significant comparison might be made between the areas of most inte se 
industrial activity and the areas of most intense underemployment and lowest 
income. The following table makes this comparison: 

Areas of industrial defense activity compared with areas of low farm income and 



tion of 
awards ' 

tion of 
farm un- 
in 1937 2 

tion of 
in 1939 ' 











Great Plains 







' Distribution of major prune supply contracts and facilities projects of the War and Navy Departments, 

June l'.Mo-nctobcr 1941. From Summary of Defense Contract Awards of Industrial Areas, June 1940 

I brotigh October 1941, issued by Office for Production Management, Bureau of Research and Statistics, 

SB, 1941. 

I ' ' "in R ('. Smith's study on farm unemployment based on 1937 census of unemployment, already cited. 

loin 1940 census data, number of farms with less than $800 gross earned income. 


An extremely important factor in employment of low-income farm people is 
training for industrial jobs. Vocational training courses for defense industries- 
are not being made generally available to the low-income farmers. Thirty-one 
percent of the individuals taking §uch courses between January and November 
1941, were located in California and New York. 8 Yet these States in 1937 con- 
tained only 3 percent of the United States total unemployed and underemployed 
farmers. 7 

On the other hand, in nine Southern States (Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, 
Arkansas, Oklahoma, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Louisiana), 
there were 43. 1 percent of the total unemployed and underemployed farmers and 
only 4.9 percent of the individuals taking vocational courses. Vocational training 
courses generally are conducted where the defense industries are located and not 
where the low-income farmers can take advantage of them. 

One more important factor hindering low-income farmers from getting nonfarm 
jobs must be mentioned. That is the attitude of these farmers. The are gen- 
erally socially backward, timid, conscious of their lack of skill, and fearful of 
moving to the city. This is as true of moving tenants as of backwoods owners. 

The truth about jobs for farmers, then, is that the middle-aged and older 
farmers who constitute the vast proportion of the farm population, the unskilled, 
the socially backward, the residents of agricultural areas far from industrial 
areas — in short, most of the low-income and underemployed farmers in the 
Nation — are not in a position to get defense jobs. Farm youth does migrate to 
town, but the needy farmer with a family and a single vocation is left behind — 
his unused labor available, however, to contribute to the Nation's food supplies. 

The employment opportunities of farm laborers is another problem and is out- 
lined in a later section. 

Causes of farm underemployment 

There are many factors that may cause an able-bodied and willing farmer to be 
underemployed. It is important that the most significant of these be examined if 
this Nation is to marshal its manpower for the huge war effort that must be made. 

1. Lack of capital. — The underemployed farmer lacks land, machinery, tools, 
equipment, livestock, fertilizer, and seed. Evidence of this lack can be seen on 
every hand. Without a minimum of these capital items his labor is powerless to 
produce abundantly. As a result, he is poor and he contributes little to the food 
supplies of the Nation. 

Half of the Nation's farmers— the 3,000,000 who live in the South, the Ozarks, 
and the Appalachians — 'have few farm resources. The average farmer in these 
areas operates a farm plant whose total capital is valued at about $2,500, includ- 
ing the value of all land, buildings, machinery, and equipment. It is no coinci- 
dence that these farmers are predominantly among the lower-income half of 

According to the 1940 census, 3,578,000 farms (or approximately 3 out of 5) 
were under 100 acres in size. Of this group, 2,287,000 contained less than 50 
acres. In the South, 7 out of 10 of the farms were under 100 acres in size. 

The 59 percent of the Nation's farmers with farms under 100 acres in size — the 
small farmers with the most unused labor— have access to only a small portion of 
the Nation's farm capital resources, about 13.5 percent of all the land in farms, 
21 percent of the total land in crops, and 25 percent of the total value of imple- 
ments and machinery. The typical farm plant among these 3,578,000 farmers 
is small— about 40 acres of land, 19 acres of crops, $213 worth of implements 
and machinery— a total plant valued at only $2,900 for land, buildings, imple- 
ments, and machinery. 

A study of Farm Security Administration rural rehabilitation borrowers by the 
Bureau of Agricultural Economics 8 showed that 31.5 percent had no cows before 
coming on the Farm Security Administration program, 43.4 percent had no hogs, 
16.0 percent had no poultry, and 38.3 percent had no garden. Most of these Farm 
Security Administration borrowers were farming the year before coming on the 
program; only 8 percent were in nonfarm activities. This lack of livestock and 
gardens, together with the lack of implements, machinery, and cropland, made 
impossible the full employment of the family labor. 

« Reports and Analysis Division, Bureau of Employment Security, Social Security Board. 
i R. C. Smith's Analysis, already cited. . .i.,^ u „ »»«— «— 

• Unpublished data from a study of standard Farm Security Administration rehabilitation borrowers 
of Olaf Larson, Bureau of Agricultural Economics, 1940-42. 


2. Lack of credit. — The Nation's farm credit system, the function of which is to 
allocate capital to farmers for production and operating purposes, has not in the 
past enabled the low-income farmer generally to gain access to the capital which 
he lacked. 

Ordinary production loans are short-term and bear a high interest rate. Low- 
income farmers need long-term credit for building up their working assets— money 
for land and building improvements, cows, sows, medical and dental care for the 
family, and other capital items. Lacking resources that can be used as collateral 
for such long-term credit, low-income farmers, if they are to get such credit at 
all, are often driven into the hands of "furnish merchants" or "credit sharks" whose 
interest rates are four or five times the bank or regular commercial rates. 

Low-income farmers are frequently not considered "good risks" for ordinary 
short-term production credit, either. Their small operations, lack of resources, 
and unstable tenure contribute to their being disqualified for credit from local 

3. Lack of skill and knowledge. — The low-income farmer has had little or no 
vocational training and little formal education. 

Borrowers from the Farm Security Administration might be regarded as fairly 
typical of low-income farmers in general with regard to educational status. 
Studies show that half of them have never gone beyond the seventh grade, and 
average only a fourth-grade education. The average for all Farm Security Admin- 
istration borrowers is only eight grades of formal education. In the South, two 
out of three borrowers have never completed more than the seventh grade. Even 
the young farmers (under 35) who have come on the Farm Security Administra- 
tion program have had relatively little schooling, averaging less than nine grades 
completed. 9 Without educational assistance and guidance, this great unused 
labor reserve has been barred from a significant place in the Nation's food- 
production program. 

Lack of education naturally results in inefficient methods. The low-income 
farm enterprise is often characterized by such "inefficiencies" as unbalanced live- 
stock rations, lack of farm-grown protein crops, such as legume hays, failure to 
use limestone and fertilizer in seeding of legumes, poor planting methods, im- 
proper care of livestock, and unvaccinated livestock. 

The food-production effort is not aided materially by a farmer's feer'ing 400 
bushels of corn to wormy hogs in a mud puddle, or feeding timothy hay to milk 
cows when, with a little planning and some limestone, good quality legume hay 
could be grown. Correction of these inefficiencies requires an intense "on the 
tarm" educational program. 

4. Lack of secure tenure. — One of the principal obstacles to full utilization of 
manpower for the production of food is the low-income farmer's unstable relation- 
ship with the land. 

Few people who have not actually farmed have a full realization of the effect 
of uncertain tenure on farm production. Simply the psychological effect of not 
knowing if he can stay on the farm another year, or of waiting until near moving 
date before leasing a farm, discourages a tenant from making the improvements 
in fences, hog houses, poultry houses, or watering facilities; storing the necessary 
feeds for carrying over livestock; making soil improvements such as liming and 
plowing under green manures; planning and carrying out a complete crop rotation; 
or planning crops which carry over into the succeeding year. 

Misunderstanding between landlord and tenant often results in ineffective pro- 
duction. One may prevent the other from following more effective practices, 
such as increasing the acreage of certain crops, growing a garden, or keeping 
subsistence livestock for family living. 

In addition to those who farm ineffectively because of uncertainty about 
tenure arrangements, hundreds of thousands frequently disrupt their farming 
operations by moving from one farm to another. The 1940 census shows that 
998,300 farmers in that year were operating farms to which they moved during 
1939 and the first 3 months of 1940. It can be deduced from these figures that 
approximately a half-million farmers move each year. If it costs $50 for each 
move, the total cost of moving, other than the costs of wasted time and effort, 
would amount to about $25,000,000 annually. 10 

Insecure tenure, occasioned immediately by short-term or verbal leases, re- 
strictive and burdensome leases, results in destructive cash-cropping, inefficiency, 
uncertainty, lack of tenant resources, and additional costs both to the tenant 
and the landlord. 

• Bureau of Agricultural Economics study by Olaf Larson, mentioned earlier. 

"This estimate of the cost of each move by the average tenant was included in the "Report of the 
President's Committee on Farm Tenancy", 1937, p. 58. 


5. Lack of cooperative facilities. — Often the obstacles in the way of full pro- 
duction and full employment on the farm — adequate equipment, livestock, seed, 
or marketing facilities, for examples — cannot be met by the farmer alone even 
if credit and supervision are available for these things. The reason is that his 
farm operations cannot support his individual purchase of such necessities. 

Farmers have met this difficulty all over the country by going in together 
and buying tools, equipment, livestock, and other goods, and maintaining neces- 
sary facilities cooperatively. By buying together in bulk they save money; by 
operating equipment and facilities together, they spread costs and get the use of 
the best equipment; and by selling together they save charges, reach new markets, 
and get better prices. 

Low-income farmers have conspicuously been unable to take advantage of 
cooperatives. Except for the several hundred thousand participating in Farm 
Security Administration cooperatives, there are very few low-income members 
of the Nation's cooperative enterprises. The big obstacle has simply been that 
low-income farmers have not had enough cash to pay cooperative membership 
fees or to establish cooperatives of their own. 

Of all farmers, low-income farmers need cooperatives most of all. They 
cannot afford to buy tools and equipment alone for their small acreages; their 
livestock needs improvement through better breeding; they need to cut costs 
on such purchases as fertilizer, feed, and seed if they are to make ends meet; 
and they need some way to market their produce cheaply if their labor is not to 
go to waste. 

The potential output of thousands of acres and thousands of man-hours have 
been wasted because low-income, underemployed farmers were not able to get 
the savings and services made available by cooperative organization. 

6. Poor health. — Unused manpower on the American farm is often ill-fed, 
ill-housed, and ill-clothed manpower. The resulting poor health stands as a 
barrier to the full realization of the productive possibilities of these farmers. 

Indicative of poor health among low-income farm people are the facts brought 
out by studies made of Farm Security Administration borrowers. In 21 typical 
counties in 17 States, thorough physical examinations were given in 1940 to 
Farm Security Administration borrowers and their families — 11,497 people. An 
average of more than 3% defects was found for every man, woman, and child. 
Poor teeth was the most common defect. Teeth, physicians and dentists agree, 
are directly affected by diet. About 1 in every 10 children under 15 years of 
age was 16 percent or more underweight. 

Most families had accumulated defects over the years, as a result of lack of 
medical and dental care. For instance, 54.2 percent of wives in white families 
were suffering from childbirth injuries; 8.5 percent of heads of families had 
hernias; 60.5 percent of all children had defective tonsils. 

It is impossible for a sick farm family to do a good job of farm production. 


There are four characteristics of low-income farm families that thrust them 
into the spotlight at this time when immense war food production is being planned. 

First, these families have great numbers — they make up about two-fifths of 
the Nation's total of productive farm operators. Their individual resources 
are small, but their combined resources are significant. 

Second, these families have millions of hours of unused manpower- — about 
half of their available manpower forced into idleness because of lack of resources 
or resource organization. 

Third, these families have great food production possibilities — each small unit 
is capable of making a proportionately large contribution by better utilizing 
resources and labor. 

Fourth, these families are disadvantaged — they need immediate aid to remove 
obstacles that are in the path of their producing great quantities of food for 

One more important characteristic of the Nation's low-income farmer needs 
to be mentioned in connection with war food production. That is his favorable 
attitude toward increasing farm production. The low-income farmer with only 
a small part of the Nation's commercial market wants to produce more with a 
little help — he knows his potentialities and wants to fulfill them. 



The army of 1,759,000 underemployed low-income farmers could, if given the 
proper opportunity, produce a substantial part of the Nation's increased food 
requirements, as set forth in the United States Department of Agriculture pro- 
duction goals as of January 16, 1942. 11 

If the production powers of these low-income farmers were harnessed to the 
food for freedom effort immediately, this group of farmers could produce the 
following amounts of the food increases called for in 1942: 12 

16 percent of the milk. 

35 percent of the pork and lard. 
40 percent of the eggs. 
12 percent of the peanuts. 
6. 4 percent of the soybeans. 

17 percent of the sugar beets. 

46 percent of the tomatoes for canning. 
97 percent of the increased gardens. 

These proportions of the 1942 food increases could be produced this year by 
these low-income farmers — farmers who otherwise would stand or sit idly by, 
unable to participate fully in producing for their Nation's defense. By 1943 
when a full production cycle has been attained by these farmers, their production 
capacity would be immensely increased. 

Assuming that the needed increases in food production will be as great in 1943 
as in 1942, then in 1943 these 1,759,000 underemployed farmers could produce: 

32 percent of the needed milk. 

39 percent of the pork and lard, 

79 percent of the eggs. 

12 percent of the peanuts. 

6. 4 percent of the soybeans. 

17 percent of the sugar beets. 

46 percent of the tomatoes for canning. 

97 percent of the increased gardens. 

Of course, it is physically impossible to reach all of these underemployed 
farmers immediately; nor would they all respond to an increased production 
program. However, the Farm Security Administration has estimated that a 
program could be developed to reach 802,000 farmers in this group within the 
next year. (These do not include the 435,000 farmers now on Farm Security 
Administration's standard rehabilitation program.) The details of this food pro- 
duction program are explained later in this report; it remains for the paragraphs 
immediately following to set forth the extent to which these 820,000 low-income 
farmers might increase the Nation's food supply in the next 2 years. 

Production for defense 

The 802,000 low-income farmers that might be reached immediately with a 
new food-for-freedom program are constituted as follows: 

606,000 are full-time farmers. 
88,000 are part-time farmers. 
106,000 are sharecroppers. 

Of this group, 55,000 are in the West, 374,000 in the South, 255,000 in the 
Midwest, and 118,000 in the Northeast. 

The following table shows the amounts of vital war foods that could be produced 
by these farmers in 1942 and 1943: 

»<FarmvSecurity Administration specialists, with the collaboration of people from the Bureau of Agri- 
cultural Economics, have developed the quoted estimates of increased production of war foods which these 
underemployed, low-income farmers could produce if they (1) followed improved methods of production; 
(2) secured access to operating capital such as feed, seed, fertilizer, limestone; (3) added some permanent 
capital such as sows, baby chicks, or heifer calves; (4) improved their health; and (5) obtained more stable 
tenure. These estimates were based on farm management studies of Farm Security Administration bor- 
rowers and other low-income farmers. For purposes of the study the Nation was divided into 4 major 
regions and 17 types of farming areas; in each of these areas production estimates were developed for the 
following categories of farmers: Full-time farmers, part-time farmers, sharecroppers, and irrigated and dry 
land farmers (in the West only). This study was planned and carried out by the Planning and Analysis 
Section, Rural Rehabilitation Division, Farm Security Administration. 

» These figures refer to the January 16, 1942, increases in the Department of Agriculture's food goals over 
1941 actual production. 



War food production from 802,000 low-income farmers compared with national 

war food goals 


Milk... pounds.. 

Pork and lard Give weight) do 

Chickens, meat (live weight) do 

Eggs dozen. . 

Soybeans bushels. . 

Peanuts pounds.. 

Sugar beets (raw sugar) tons. . 

Tomatoes (canning) do 

Gardens acres. . 






over 1941 


8, 500, 000 

2, 520, 000 

708, 400 

447, 000 

53, 465 

2, 277, 000 




Increased production by 802,000 low-income 


858, 500 
504, 000 
98, 340 
125, 346 

Percent of 













571, 082 

61, 233 

189, 781 


125, 346 




Percent of 













i This is the amount of increase of the 1942 national goals over 1941 actual production set by the U. S. 
Department of Agriculture on Jan. 16, 1942. 

2 These are estimates of the production which could be secured if the necessary canning contracts can be 

It is evident that these 802,000 underemployed farmers could produce a sub- 
stantial part of the Nation's increased food requirements in 1943 — specifically, 
one-fifth of the milk, pork, and lard, two-fifths of the eggs, a smaller part of the 
soybeans, peanuts, and sugar beets, a substantial part of the truck crops and 
over two-fifths of the garden increase needed. 

Of course, part of this increased production would be consumed by these families 
on the farm, but three-fourths of the milk, pork, and lard, all the soybeans, pea- 
nuts, sugar beets, and truck crops, and about 70 percent of the eggs would be 
available for sale. 

The most significant increase in production would be made by the 606,000 
full-time low-income farmers who would be able to supply more than 90 percent 
of the milk, pork, and truck crops, about 85 percent of the eggs, and all the soy- 
beans, peanuts, and sugar beets which could be produced by the low-income 

The small part-time farming group would contribute some eggs and milk for 
sale and considerable amounts of pork, some milk, and a substantial quantity of 
garden produce for home use. The increased production of the sharecropper 
group would consist largely of milk, pork, poultry, and garden products which 
would be used at home. 

That this substantial food production is possible by low-income farmers — 
farmers who are now contributing little or nothing to the Nation's supply of 
vital foods — is indicated by the actual records of low-income families on the 
Farm Security Administration's rural rehabilitation program. 

The average Farm Security Administration rehabilitation borrower has increased 
his gross cash receipts by $187 since coming on the program. Using 1936-40 
prices, the increase in gross cash receipts among these 802,000 potential food- 
producing low-income farmers would be $165 if they were aided in producing 
food for freedom. Moreover, while the average Farm Security Administration 
borrower has increased the value of his home-use products by $101, the expected 
increase for this other group would average $70. It is apparent, then, that the 
above estimates of food production by the 802,000 low-income farmers are very 

Where low-income farmers can produce 

Low-income farmers in the Midwest and the South have the greatest poten- 
tialities for food production increases of any areas of the Nation. The Midwest, 
particularly in the southern part and in the upper-lake area, has large numbers 
of underemployed farmers together with fair land resources, equipment and 
machinery, fair marketing and processing facilities and good transportation. 
The South has much greater labor surpluses, but fewer marketing and processing 


facilities and less productive land. The Northeast has the advantage of excellent 
marketing facilities. The West, with fewer low-income farmers than other 
areas, can make substantial contributions in sugar beet, truck, and egg production, 
particularly in the Pacific area. 

In the following paragraphs the production potentialities of low-income farmers 
are broken down by geographical areas for purposes of illustration. 

Midwest. — In the Midwest, the production possibilities are good for soybeans, 
truck and garden crops, and all livestock products. 

In arriving at these production possibilities, increases have been computed 
separately for each major type of farming area. As an example of the production 
potentialities of these farmers, the following analysis is presented of what the 
85,000 farmers that could be reached in the lower Midwest (eastern Kansas, 
southern Iowa, all of Missouri, southern Illinois, southern Indiana, and southern 
Ohio) could be able to do: 

(1) Thirteen thousand farmers could buy 1 cow from a neighbor or one that was 
going to market, which, under improved feeding and management, would produce 
600 pounds more milk than she formerly produced. 

(2) Twenty-eight thousand one hundred and ninety farmers could buy or 
hold one of their own heifers which in 1943 would produce 3,500 pounds of milk. 

(3) Sixty-four thousand and seventy farmers, through improved practices — 
such as feeding of grain and legume hay — could increase the production on their 
5-cow herds by 600 pounds per cow. 

(4) Sixty-four thousand and seventy farmers could produce one extra litter of 
pigs and could, by better care and feeding of sows, by moving pigs out on clear 
ground, by vaccinating for cholera and by feeding balanced rations, increase pork 
production on their litters by 500 pounds. 

(5) Sixty-four thousand and seventy farmers could increase their poultry flocks 
by 50 hens by buying and growing out baby chicks and could, by improved 
methods, increase egg production on the present 50-hen flocks by 2 dozen per hen. 

(6) Plight thousand five hundred farmers near canning factories could increase 
production of some truck crop by 1 acre each. 

The South. — Here the possibilities are good for large increases in production of 
eggs and peanuts, substantial increases in milk and pork for home use and for 
sale, and large increases in garden products for home use. 

As an example of the southern food production increases, the following esti- 
mates are shown for the 133,745 underemployed, low-income farmers in the 
cotton-tobacco area of the South who could be reached immediately with a 
food program: 

(1) Twenty percent, or 26,750 farmers, could buy 1 cow from a neighbor or 
one going to market which would produce 360 pounds' more milk than would have 
been produced otherwise — if improved practices and supervision are provided. 

(2) Thirty percent of 40,125 farmers could buy one heifer which would pro- 
duce 3,000 pounds of milk in 1943. 

(3) Twenty percent or 26,750 farmers could, through improved methods, 
increase the production of their present cow by 360 pounds of milk. 

(4) Thirty-five percent or 46,811 could produce 6 additional pigs. 

(5) Forty percent or 53,498 could produce 25 extra pounds of pork from each 
of their present 4 pigs. 

(6) Eighty percent or 107,000 could care for 100 baby chicks and next vear 
add 40 hens to their flocks. 

(7) Fifty percent or 66,870 could grow 2 additional acres of peanuts. 

(8) All of the farmers could produce a garden. 

The Northeast. — The low-income farmers in the Northeast are in a position to 
make large increases in egg production, considerable in milk and truck crop 
production increases, and large increases in home-garden production. As an 
example of how this increased production could be secured, estimates below are 
given for the 79,000 underemployed farmers in the dairy area of New York, 
Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, southern Vermont, and New Hampshire. Of the 
59,250 who could probably be reached by an immediate food program, it is 
estimated that — 

(1) Twenty-five percent or 14,812 could buy 1 cow which would produce 300 
pounds more milk than would have been produced otherwise. 

(2) Sixty-six percent or 39,105 could buy or hold back 1 heifer which would 
produce 3,000 pounds of milk. 

(3) Eighty percent or 47,400 could produce 450 pounds per cow more milk on 
the present 6-cow herd. 


(4) Twenty-five percent or 14,812 could produce 4 extra pigs. 

(5) Seventy-five percent or 44,438 could handle 75 extra hens. 

(6) Ten percent or 5,925 could grow 1 extra acre of truck crops. 

(7) One hundred percent or 59,250 could grow a home garden. 

The West. — -Although low-income farmers in the West are relatively few in 
number, they can make substantial increases in the production of eggs, sugar 
beets, some truck crops, and garden crops. As an example of the production 
possibilities in the West, the following estimates are given for the irrigated farms 
in the Calif ornia-TJ tah-Idaho area (it was assumed that half of the low-income 
farmers in this area would respond to a war food-production program) : 

(1) Forty percent could buy one cow which would produce 200 pounds more 
milk than would have been produced otherwise. 

(2) Forty percent could buy or hold back one heifer which would produce 3,000 
pounds of milk in 1943. 

(3) Forty percent could increase the production on their present herd by 200 
pounds of milk per cow. 

(4) Twenty percent could produce five extra pigs and 40 percent could pro- 
duce 200 extra pounds of pork on the present hog enterprise. 

(5) Forty percent could handle 75 extra hens. 

(6) Fifteen percent could produce 8 additional acres of sugar beets. 

(7) Fifteen percent could produce 5 additional acres of truck crops. 

(8) Forty percent could produce a home garden. 

The foregoing estimates of food production have been calculated with the great- 
est conservatism, taking into account all possible factors that would tend to limit 
such production. No attempt has been made in this paper to explain the detailed 
procedure followed in arriving at the estimates. However, it might be noted here 
that each estimate combines factual data and expert testimony of persons familiar 
with the characteristics and productivity of types of farms by geographical areas 
throughout the county. 


There is no simple remedy for the defects in the underemployed low-income 
farmer's production mechanism. Many obstacles stand in the way of his produc- 
ing abundantly the food that this Nation needs to win the war. At the same time, 
these obstacles are clear-cut enough for a simple program to be devised to help 
this farmer produce food for freedom on a large scale. 

In the following paragraphs the high points of a proposed program will be 
reviewed. In most respects this proposed program is very similar to the present 
rehabilitation program of the Farm Security Administration. One important 
distinction must be made: The primary purpose of the present Farm Security 
Administration program is rehabilitation; the primary purpose of the following 
proposed program is war food production. 


The underemployed farmer needs additional capital — credit to enable him to 
buy the means of production. 

For a credit program to be effective in helping the low-income farmer to increase 
his production of vital war foods, the purposes to which this credit may be put 
must be rigidly directed. Otherwise, unintentional stimulus may be given to 
inflation of farm land, livestock, and equipment prices with a resulting waste of 
capital and consequent inflationary tendencies. 

In a new war food production program for low-income farmers, credit must be 
directed to — ■ 

(1) Increase the acreage, and increase the efficiency of the production, of the 
crops needed 

(2) Get livestock on farms needing it, such as — 

(a) Gilts for breeding. 
(6) Babv chicks. 

(c) Cows headed for slaughter which are still fair producers. 
(d) Heifer calves which would otherwise be vealed. 

(3) Buy feed and seed. 

(4) Buy fertilizer and limestone. 

(5) Buy implement and machinery repairs. 

(6) Pay operating costs during the production season in order for the farmer 
to hold his crops and livestock until ready for sale. 


(7) Buy work stock. 

Such a credit program would not involve large loans; the situation does not 
demand them. In the estimated production outlined earlier for the 800,000 low- 
income farmers to be reached immediately the loan requirements averaged less 
than $300 per farm. This would require a total fund available for credit for low- 
income farmers of about $238,880,000. 

The purposes for which this gross amount of loans would be needed are as 

(1) Livestock $49,926,578 

(2) Feed and seed 76, 605, 175 

(3) Lime and fertilizer 25,020,465 

(4) Other operating costs 87, 327, 255 

Total 238,879,473 

To do the job, this credit program would have to be streamlined to the nth 
degree, with all red tape eliminated. Rates must be reasonable and service 
prompt. Every cent must be utilized for production. 

The lending of this $238,880,000 would continue to help low-income farmers 
produce food for freedom tor several years, inasmuch as nearly half of the entire 
amount of these loans would go for capital goods which would continue to produc 
year in and year out. 

At the same time, despite the fact that the expenditure of these funds as loans 
would provide a productive stimulus for several years to come, the returns from 
such mans woula be immediate. It is estimated that the total value of the new 
war food produced by these 802,000 low-income farmers in 1943 would amount to 
$260,000,000. This should provide for a substantial repayment of these loan 
funds within a 2-year period, in addition to adding measurably to the Nation's 
supply of essential foods. 


Large-scale food production by low-income farmers will require intensive super- 
vision by both technical and nontechnical people. In addition to the guidance of 
farm and home supervisors provided by the Government for such purposes, the 
participation of successful local farmers in neighborhood supervisory activities 
must be encouraged. 

Supervision for war food production would stress: (1) Home food production, 
(2) food preparation, (3) farm and home planning, (4) development of simple farm 
and home skills, and (5) improvement in farm practices. In the critical seasons 
many families on the war food-production program will need the benefits of a 
supervisory visit each month. A large part of the supervision could be done 
through groups on one individual's farm or in his house. A minimum of pencil 
work by the families should be required. 

Tenure improvement 

Uncertain and unstable tenure arrangements must be eliminated if the low- 
income farmer is to be put in a position where he can produce food for freedom. 
Landlords and tenants should enter into written lease contracts for a term of at 
least 2 years and preferably 5 years, providing (1) specific designation of the war 
foods to be produced; (2) protection of the tenant's investment in improvements 
necessary for war food production; (3) space for garden and food storage; (4) 
automatic renewal for at least the duration of the war emergency; and (5) specific 
designation of yield-increasing farm practices such as liming, seeding legumes, 
growing winter crops, etc. 

Landlord-tenant relations should be improved in general. War food production 
is impossible without the finest cooperation between the two parties. Local war 
boards, the agricultural press, and agricultural workers should inform landlords 
and tenants of the importance of stable tenure in the war-food program. 

Cooperative efforts 

Cooperative devices must be utilized to spread the loan money as far as possible 
among potential low-income food producers and to enable them to make the best 
use of their credit. 

Specifically, cooperatives must help low-income farmers: 

(1) Increase their production— through better livestock breeding by jointly 
owned sires or artificial breeding services, through purchases of better feed, seed, 
and fertilizers in bulk, and so forth. 


(2) Make better use of their resources — by operating and repairing jointly 
owned machinery and equipment, by salvaging scrap metal, etc. 

(3) Market their products quickly and at a profit — through jointly owned 
facilities, warehouses, and transportation services. 

Loans must be made to enable farmers to establish and participate in local co- 
operative groups for production purposes. Part of the individual loans for capital 
goods and such operating items as livestock, feed, and seed should be spent by 
borrowers through cooperative groups. 

Medical care 

Provisions must be made in the farm and home plans of every low-income war- 
food producer for home production of enough good food to provide the entire 
family with an adequate diet. Provisions must also be made for the improve- 
ment of sanitary facilities, screens, water supplies, bedding, and other farm and 
home items whose improvement makes for better health. 

Disabilities such as hernia, bad teeth and tonsils, infected adenoids, and other 
physical handicaps must be removed if low-income farmers are to be strong 
enough for the war food production job under the proposed program. Thia 
means an expansion of all medical services in rural areas. 


More fundamental than what can be done to help disadvantaged low-income 
farm people produce food for freedom is what can be done to make more worth 
while the freedom that is being defended. 

Participating in the food for freedom program helps low-income farmers feel 
that they have a part in the defense of their democracy. But that is not enough. 
These are the people without adequate opportunities for self-development, with- 
out adequate training for better jobs, without an adequate share of the Nation's 
education and resources. These are the people, constituting a vast proportion of 
the Nation's farm population, to whom democracy has meant the least and still 
means the least of any group in the country. 

It has been pointed out that the immediate objective of the proposed produc- 
tion program for low-income farm families is to produce vital war foods. That 
objective cannot be achieved alone by loans and supervision and the other tech- 
niques mentioned above, however. Beyond these means of assistance must be a 
powerful effort to open up for the Nation's low-income farm population a way of 
life, a future, a world of opportunities, that constitute the blessings of democracy. 

It must be guaranteed that there is the opportunity for the ultimate ownership 
of land, not merely because land ownership might mean a better economic future, 
but because land ownership means the achievement of status, of amounting to 
something, of being somebody. 

There must be developed vocational opportunities for the youth on the Nation's 
low-income farms, tomorrow's citizens who can find hope only through oppor- 
tunity to get ahead and become self-reliant on their own. There must be oppor- 
tunities for good education in elementary and secondary schools, for training in 
special skills, for normal intellectual development. 

There must be opened up to low-income farm people the opportunity to become 
an important and integral part of the farm community, to close the gap that 
seems to stand between the disadvantaged and the more fortunate in agriculture. 
There must be the opportunity for neighborhood activities, for discussion groups, 
for community recreation, for'free expression of religious convictions. 

Only if these opportunities are opened up for the disadvantaged, low-income 
farm families of this Nation will producing food for freedom mean all that it 
might. For the democracv that is being defended by that production is ulti- 
mately the democracy of the common man and woman whose individual develop- 
ment," whose status, whose place under the sun are and always have been the most 
fundamental idea of the democratic way of life. 


As has been pointed out, a substantial part of the Nation's food production 
can be contributed by low-income farmers. This production can be achieved 
without great concern over the problem of hired labor. Of the total agricultural 
work force,- only a quarter work for wages. The rest are bound to farming by 
the more stable ties of tenure or family relationship. The hired farm laborers, 
however, are emploved in the production of'some of the vital war foods. Pro- 


duction must be increased on farms of all sizes and types, and adequate supply 
and proper distribution of hired farm labor remains a big problem. 

In the solution of the agricultural labor problem the system of labor camps 
developed by the Farm Security Administration can play an important part. 
The various functions of the Farm Security Administration camps can best be 
demonstrated in relation to the farm labor situation as it developed during the 
past year. 

Farm labor supply situation 

In the course of the 1941 crop season a drastic shift in the focus of attention 
on farm labor occurred. Throughout the decade of the 1930's there were huge 
surpluses of unemployed farm workers. Wages and living and working conditions 
were at rock-bottom levels. In some areas, where migration was heaviest, 
there were three and four and more workers for every job. During 1941, how- 
ever, attention shifted rapidly to the problems of shortages. 

There are several lines along which steps should be taken to make sure that 
farm production will not be held back by inadequate supplies of hired farm 
labor. For several of these measures, Farm Security Administration camps can 
be of much assistance. 

Rationalization of farm labor force 

Use of the farm labor force in the past has been as wasteful as the exploitation 
of any of our natural resources. In fact, there is a striking parallel with the huge 
waste which marked the use of land in America until recently. Because there 
were vast expanses of unplowed land, areas in cultivation were wastefully ex- 
ploited. Similarly, because there were large over-supplies of farm labor, particu- 
larly in the last ten years, the farm labor force was used in a strikingly inefficient 
manner. This was especially the case with seasonal labor. Workers were em- 
ployed only a few days a week and sometimes only a few hours a day. Hiring 
practices were haphazard and based on the assumption that it was unnecessary 
to recruit labor systematically. 

This complete lack of organization resulted in much hardship to farm wage 
workers. It must be ended now to insure maximum farm production and attain- 
ment of war goals. Noticeable progress was made during 1941. For example, 
increasing reliance was placed upon the farm placement service, which had already 
demonstrated its potentialities for rationalization of the farm labor market in 
Texas and the Pacific Northwest. The experience of 1941 demonstrated that 
workers attached to agriculture must be employed not 30 or 40 percent of the 
time but as nearly 100 percent of the time as possible during the crop seasons. 
Aside from reliance on the farm placement service, growers themselves have made 
strides in this direction, particularly on the west coast where the problems of 
seasonal labor are most acute. For example, growers in one southern California 
county proposed the use of a common labor pool so that workers might shift from 
one crop to another as successive labor requirement peaks were reached, with a 
minimum loss of time either in looking for jobs or in looking for workers. 

As will be discussed below, Farm Security Administration camps can play an 
important part in this process of rationalization. 

Central importance of wages 

It is significant that, on the one hand, agriculture uses a smaller proportion of 
hired labor than any other major part of our entire economy, and that, on the 
other hand, farmer employers have been very much concerned over the labor 
shortage. The simple explanation, of course, is that agriculture has been losing 
labor to other industries. While many differences between farm and industrial 
employment can be pointed out, the difference in the level of wage rates is cer- 
tainly the most important. 

Over and over again it was demonstrated during the past season that low wages 
lay behind the appearance of stringency in the farm labor market. A difficulty 
of this sort, however, can more easily be pointed out than overcome. One quite 
basic approach to the problem is the setting up of a system of wage boards. 
Another approach frequently proposed is the giving to farm workers of additional 
perquisites, including improvements in housing. Here, too, the Farm Security 
Administration camp program is of importance, since the camps make possible 
increases in real income of farm workers. 


Redistribution of farm labor supply 

Farm labor scarcities have not occurred evenly throughout the entire country 
There has been considerable difficulty in getting sufficient labor in some places 
while surpluses remained in others. 

These differences are symptomatic of a more basic problem which has existed 
over a period of years. Distribution of the farm working population does not 
correspond accurately to the distribution of the most important areas of farm 
production. Areas in which land is more exhausted, or in which production is 
held back by a variety of handicaps including debt and lack of mechanization, 
suffer from relative overpopulation. The streams of migratory farm workers set 
up in various parts of the country are, in part, a byproduct of the pressure of this 
type of relative overpopulation. 

The fact that migration of seasonal farm workers does take place indicates that 
the problem is at least partially solving itself. But this "hit or miss" type of 
solution is slow, inefficient, and brings with it the greatest possible amount of 
hardship. It certainly cannot be counted on by itself to insure the labor force 
needed for war production. 

There has been a tendency in the past to view migration in and of itself as an 
unmitigated evil. Actually, the evil lay in the manner in which migration had 
to be carried out. Controlled migration between areas of lesser and greater 
need for labor, if backed up by adequate provision for transportation, housing, 
and wage rates, can be of the greatest benefit to the war effort, and in the long 
run to the general efficiency of our economy. 

An example of what can be accomplished through controlled migration was' 
seen last spring on the Pacific coast. Strawberry pickers were needed in Oregon. 
An over supply of pickers was present in California. Growers in Oregon went to 
to the State employment service with their problem. They arranged with State 
employment officials in California for the transfer of strawberry pickers who were 
idle there. The pickers were recruited in Farm Security Administration camps 
in California. Their transportation was arranged by the growers and employ- 
ment officials. On arrival in Oregon, they were again housed in Farm Security 
Administration camps. 

The entire operation was considered successful and of benefit to all groups 
concerned. Labor force shifts of this type become increasingly necessary during 
1942 and 1943. As can be seen from the above account of last year's west coast 
experience, Farm Security Administration camps can play an important part in 
such transfers. 

Uses of the Farm Security Administration camp program 

Camps for migratory farm workers were first developed by the Farm Security 
Administration in the middle of the 1930's. They were introduced in California 
to help alleviate some of the hardships facing migratory farm workers . there. 

The first camps were fixed in location. They provided shelter in the form of 
tent platforms and sometimes cabins. Emphasis was placed upon sanitary and 
health facilities. There were community laundries, showers, clinics, nurseries, 
and community halls where camp meetings, social functions, and religious activ- 
ities could be carried on. Since many migrants must depend on their cars for 
transportation, automobile repair shops were provided in some camps. 

Later mobile camps of much the same nature were developed. Laundries, 
showers, and clinics were mounted on trailers. All equipment was designed for 
easy removal from one location to another. This type of mobile camp was 
developed to meet the special problems of staggered peaks of labor requirements 
moving from one area to another. That is, the camps were designed insofar as 
possible to follow the migratory workers as they in turn follow the crops. 

Each camp is designed to accommodate 100 or more families. Mobile camps 
can be broken into smaller units. Costs of operation as well as of construction 
are borne by the Farm Security Administration. However, as much of the 
camp management as possible is carried on democratically by the camp residents 

As can be seen from this short description the first camps were designed to 
protect migratory farm workers and the communities through which they pass 
from the worst effects of a migrant life. However, during the last few years new 
uses for the Farm Security camps have developed as the nature of the farm labor 
supply situation has changed. 


1. Originally the Farm Security Administration camps were not designed to 
bring in new supplies of workers since they were originated in a period of over- 
supply. It has now been shown that in situations where lack of decent shelter 
keeps farm workers from entering an area which needs them, Farm Security 
Administration camps can help remove the bottleneck. This is particularly true 
of Farm Security Administration mobile camps which can be shifted to meet 
needs which arise suddenly. This need for Farm Security Administration camps 
is demonstrated by the fact that in many of the localities reporting farm labor 
changes during 1941, lack of adequate housing was prominently mentioned 
among the difficulties. 

2. Both permanent and mobile camps can serve as central points in which 
farm workers can be gathered in considerable munbers. This smooths the way for 
the job of farm placement officials in recruiting large numbers of workers. Simi- 
larly the camps can be used as a base from which to plan the most efficient routing 
of workers to and from jobs. 

3. Labor camps can serve to increase the employability and productivity of 
farm workers in several ways. Since small children can be left in nurseries more 
adults are freed for jobs. In a more general way employability is increased by 
decent medical and sanitary facilities. Finally the camps have demonstrated 
that they can make a verj significant contribution to morale which is recognized 
at this point as being one of the key factors in labor productivity. Productivity 
is also increased by virtue of the fact that Farm Placement men can use the camps 
as a base from which to shift workers to new jobs more rapidly. Naturally 
output goes up as waiting periods are cut down. 

4. Labor camps can assist in overcoming the very difficult problems of trans- 
portation which will face agriculture as well as all other industries in the coming 
war years. With supplies of automobiles and tires virtually cut off there will be 
serious trouble in the shifting of farm workers from one area to another. Empha- 
sis, therefore, will have to be placed on the movement of farm workers and their 
families in large groups by bringing otherwise scattered workers together at cen- 
tral points. The Farm Security Administration camps will help in this process. 

5. Camp facilities can be converted for emergency use outside of agriculture. 
For example, the camps could be used for housing other types of defense workers 
in rural areas after the completion of harvests. Similarly the camps may prove a 
valuable resource if evacuation from coastal areas becomes a necessity. 

It will be noted above that increasing emphasis is placed upon mobile type 
camps. This process can and may have to be carried even further. Mobile units 
of even simpler design may have to be adopted partly because needs are likel}' to 
arise suddenly and unpredictably and partly also because shortage of some- 
material may make improvised design necessary. 

Some of the uses of Farm Security Administration labor homes are similar 
to those of the camps. Through the labor homes program low cost houses for 
stably employed farm workers are provided in areas of greatest need. 

However, the labor homes program is particularly adapted to family needs. 
And these needs are likely to increase. As single men are drawn into the Army 
an increasing proportion of married men with families will have to be hired for 
year-round help. The married men cannot be housed in facilities usually provided 
for single men and in such instances the labor homes program will add to the 
stability of the farm labor force. 

Requests for Farm Security Administration camp facilities 

As new uses for Farm Security Administration camps have developed, 
requests for extension of camp facilities have increased. Reconnaissance studies, 
undertaken by the Farm Security Administration, have revealed large and 
important areas in which camps are needed but have not yet been established. 
For example, testimony in the records of the Tolan committee indicates a migra- 
tory stream of major importance along the Atlantic seaboard. To date the camp 
program has only entered this area at its southern extreme in Florida. However, 
construction of mobile units is in prospect for areas farther to the north along the 

A change in response toward the Farm Security Administration program has 
been marked. Localities formerly unreceptive and in some cases even hostile to 
the Farm Security Administration camp program now express deep interest as 
problems develop which camps would help to solve. It is interesting to note 
that in the reasons advanced for requesting extension of Farm Security Admin- 
istration camp facilities the function of the Farm Security Administration 



camps as a center of farm labor supply is mentioned very nearly as frequently as 
the need for adequate shelter. 

A considerable number of farm labor subcommittees of the State and county 
agricultural planning committees have proposed the building of additional Farm 
Security Administration camps. At least 16 State committees have either 
requested extension of the program or have expressed considerable interest. 
These States are Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Kansas, New 
Mexico, Virginia, Ohio, Missouri, Texas, New Jersey, South Carolina, Florida, 
Colorado, Georgia, and South Dakota. More than 50 counties within these 
States have requested camps, and it is understood that the problem is now being 
considered in a considerable number of other key areas. 

Following is a list of camp sites recommended by State and county agricultural 
planning committees. 

Farm Security Administration camp sites recommended by State and county 
agricultural planning committees 


Number of 



Reason for proposing 












Contra Costa 


Kern .. 





San Benito 

Santa Barbara 


Hartford. . 

} ' 




State committee 
reported giving 
favorable con- 
sideration to 

} ; 



































Van Wert 



South Carolina 


} « 






1 Recommended by county committee (not State). 


Present Farm Security Administration camp and\home program 

There are now in operation 34 standard camps, 23 mobile camps, and 1 camp 
of t he light-construction type consisting of temporary shelters with permanent 
community buildings — a total of 58 camps. At the present time 7 new standard 
camps, 27 mobile camps, 6 light-construction camps, and 3 labor homes projects 
are scheduled for construction in 1942. Of the 27 mobile units, 18 are to be 
located along the eastern seaboard. 

The following table gives the location of Farm Security Administration labor 
camps and labor homes: 

Farm Security Administration migratory labor camps and labor homes (now operating 
and to be completed in 19^2) 



Light construction 

Labor homes 



pleted in 


pleted in 


pleted in 


pleted in 














Total, West... 














Total, Central. 






Florida. ... ... 



Total. East ... 




Grand total . . . 


7 23 t 27 




Need for additional units 

Considerable expansion will be required to meet the needs which have arisen. 
It is estimated that in 1943 a total of 156 sites need to be served by migrant 
camps. Each of 30 of these sites would require a light construction camp to be 
built at a cost of about $90,000, or a total for all camps of $2,700,000. The other 
126 sites could be served by 60 mobile units which could be constructed at a cost 
of about $3,642,000, including the cost of site development. 

It is estimated that approximately $1,678,200 would be required to cover 
management and operating costs of these new migrant camps in 1943. This 
would make the total cost of construction and operation about $8,020,200. 

In addition, it is estimated that 1,000 farm labor homes will be needed at a 
construction and operating cost of about $1,250,000. These homes are needed 
particularly in dairy and poultry areas where the shortage of regular hired hands 
has become acute. The places of single men will have to be taken by married 
men with families, but many farm operators in these areas do not have suitable 
living quarters for these workers and their dependents. The problem will become 
increasingly serious as more demands are made upon the dairy and poultry areas 
for additional quantities of food for freedom. 




Mechanization in Agriculture 

The United States is better equipped for large-scale efficient agricultural pro- 
duction than at any time during the past 30 years, Total agricultural production 
for sale and u^e in the home, even with fewer workers on farms, is about one-third 
higher now than it was during 1910-14 and nearly one-fifth higher than during 
World War No. 1 (table 1). Increased production per worker has been even more 
pronounced, and now averages about 50 percent greater than in the 1910-14 
period and 30 percent more than during the first World War. And the end is 
not yet in sight. For with farm workers going into the armed service and into 
industry, and with agricultural production on the increase, production per worker 
will go still higher, although this will require longer hours of farm work and 
probably a better distribution of our available agricultural workers. 

Table 1. — Trends in farm employment and -production, crop acres, work stock, and 
motor equipment, on farms, 1910-41 l 





Employment in agriculture 2 ._ 

Total production for sale and use in the home »_■. 

Production per worker, for sale and use in the home 2 . 

Acres of crops harvested millions . 

Numbers of horses and mules on farms, Jan. 1 do,.. 

Tractors on farms, Jan. 1,1 thousands- 
Trucks on farms, Jan. 1 do... 

Automobiles on farms, Jan. 1 do._ . 


2. 146 




4, 144 





3 14 

3 1, 800 

3 1, 050 

3 4, 200 

1 Estimates prepared by the Bureau of Agricultural Economics. See The Agricultural Situation Feb- 
ruary 1942. 

2 1910 figures, pre-war vears, 1910-14 = 100; 1920 is average for war years, 1917-20; 1930 is average for 1928-32; 
1940 is average for 1939-41. 

3 Jan. 1, 1942. 

A major factor has been the increase in farm mechanization which is pretty 
well represented by the following change in the number of tractors, motortrucks, 
and automobiles on farms: In 1940 there were 1,545,000 tractors on farms com- 
pared with only 246,000 in 1920; 1,047,000 farm motortrucks compared with 
139,000; and 4,144,000 automobiles compared with 2,146,000. Currently, it is 
estimated that there are about 1,800,000 tractors on farms, 1,050,000 motor- 
trucks, and 4,200,000 automobiles — all constituting the greatest aggregation of 
mechanical farm power in the Nation's history. 

The American farmer of today has a larger power unit, his implements and 
machines are larger, and the rate of travel, greater than was the case 20 years 
ago. Equipment has steadily increased the efficiency of labor, as multiple-row 
implements and many usefulgadgets have come with the tractor. The two-row 
corn picker, improved planters, small combines (the combine itself was not 
widely used before World War No. 1), windrow pick-up balers, beet lifters, and 
many other mechanical aids have found a place in American agriculture. Con- 
siderably less labor is now used for producing most of our agricultural crops than 
was used during World War. No. 1. 

fewer horses and mules 

During the last 20 years there also has been a decrease of about 11,000,000 
head of horses and mules on farms, and 1,500,000 head in cities. Thus, mainly 
by a switch from horses and mules to the use of tractors, trucks, and automobiles, 
along with other labor-saving farm machinery, farm labor is no longer needed to 
produce 40,000,000 acres of crops previously used for the maintenance of work 
stock used largely for farm power. 1 What has really happened is that the farmers 
now sell a larger proportion of their production and buy more equipment, gaso- 
line, and oil, instead of using their labor to produce feed for work stock. 

' See also "Tractors Don't Eat Oats," by A. P. Brodell, Land Policy Review, August 1942. 


-pt. 28- 


Contributing to increased agricultural production per worker are the increased 
yields of several important crops. Soil-improvement practices, including a more 
extensive use of legumes, lime, and fertilizers, and the use of improved varieties 
and strains of seeds and plants have been factors in this increase. The greater 
use of only the better lands in some cases where crop acreages have been de- 
creased has also resulted in higher average yields per acre. Improvements in 
livestock and production techniques have also helped to increase production per 
worker. These changes in themselves have stimulated the development of new 
machines and equipment. 

The present farm plant is well equipped for heavy agricultural production. 
It can continue for some years to produce large supplies if farm machines and 
labor are not unduly depleted. With restrictions now placed upon the manu- 
facture of farm machinery it is highly desirable for farmers fully to coordinate 
the use of machinery and labor supplies available in the neighborhood and to 
extend the working life of machines by proper and timely repairs. 2 


In the absence of restrictions on new machinery purchases, 1942 would have 
added substantially to farm mechanization, because prospective labor shortages, 
accompanying increases in wage rates, and currently high farm incomes all would 
stimulate farmer purchases. In addition, production needs of 1942 represent ad- 
justments in many areas to new enterprises demanding some new equipment. 
Substantial need is evident in these adjustments for more combines, peanut 
pickers, haying equipment, milking machines, and several other items of me- 
chanical equipment. 3 Great as this demand may be, the unprecedented need of 
scarce materials in still more essential war industries determines the practical 
limit of farm equipment production in 1942. 

The situation is not quite so dark when one considers the vast backlog of 
machinery and equipment that has been built up in recent years and, too, the 
selective manufacture of badly needed farm equipment that is now taking place. 4 
Past experience indicates that purchases of new machines can be cut down very 
considerably for one or two seasons if the existing inventory of farm machinery 
is fairly adequate. For example, purchases of new machinery in 1932 dropped 
to one-fifth of the purchases in 1929 as a result of greatly reduced farm income. 
But farmers had made liberal purchases of machinery in the period 1925-30, 
and therefore entered the depression period with a fairly adequate inventory. 
In the past 6 years, farmers likewise have made large purchases of machinery. 
For example, over one-half the tractors now on farms were purchased within the 
last 5 years. Farmers will start operations in 1942 with a fairly adequate farm 
machinery inventory, but their situation will be entirely different from 1931-33 
in other respects. 

Instead of workers piling up on farms because they could not find other employ- 
ment, serious labor shortages are likely to develop in some areas in 1942. There 
were fewer farm workers in 1941 than in 1940. The downward trend is expected 
to continue at an accelerated rate in 1942. At the same time, national produc- 
tion goals call for increases in the production of livestock products, oil crops, 
and vegetables, resulting in a total volume of agricultural production at 119 
percent of 1935-39. Compared with 1941 about 300,000 additional man-years 
of work are needed to produce the increased volume called for by the 1942 goals. 


The high machinery inventory aids greatly in this situation, because certain 
machines are not only definitely of a labor-saving character but they also facilitate 
performing the farm operations in proper season, and may therefore increase 
both the quantity and quality of the output. 5 Tractors are very important in 
facilitating timeliness of farm work. It is estimated that each new tractor (not 
counting replacement of worn-out tractors) will save approximately 450 hours of 
man labor annually if used on operations to which it is adapted, and if fitted with 
complementary equipment. Each grain combine cutting 220 acres of grain will 
save 1,000 hours of labor annually compared with binder and stationary thresher 
harvesting. A new corn picker will save about 420 hours on 140 acres of corn 

. J J h £ P rec ?ding discussion is adapted largely from "To Win This War, Part II," by M. R. Cooper and 
A. P. Brodell, The Agricultural Situation, February 1942. 

» See Agricultural Adjustment for Defense, The Agricultural Situation, November 1941. 

* * or details, see PM-1950, Office of Production Management, December 28, 1941. 
J'SF f ^ rt ,!? er development of this point, see Modern Farm Practice and Mechanical Power, A. P. Brodell 
and R. C. letro, The Agricultural Situation, May 1941. 



compared with hand picking, and a new milking machine if used on a herd of 18 
cows will save about 450 hours of hand-milking. It is evident that machinery 
is a very important substitute for labor on many farms. 

As farming becomes more and more mechanized, a larger number of new ma- 
chines is needed each year for purely replacement purposes. For example, 
about 125,000 new tractors will be needed next year to replace tractors worn 
out during the present year. There is also a continuing decline in the horse and 
mule population, and a large number of tractors will be needed in 1942 to replace 
worn-out work stock. Thus from 175,000 to 200,000 tractors will be needed for 
replacement purposes alone. 

The value of a tractor in releasing labor for other jobs varies widely by types 
of operation. For example, in heavy-duty operations such as plowing, disking, 
and harvesting small grain, from 50 to 75 percent of the man labor used with 
horse equipment can be saved. From 25 to 50 percent can be saved in operations 
such as harrowing, cultivating, planting, drilling, and mowing, while little if any 
can be saved in hay raking or spraying. 


Closely paralleling the trend in mechanization has been the marked upward 
trend in the annual consumption of motor fuel and motor oil on farms because of 
the yearly increase in the number of automobiles, motortrucks, and tractors, 
and the increasing extent to which these vehicles are used on the average farm. 
It is estimated that the total amount of motor fuel used on farms in 1942 will 
amount to nearlv 3,500,000,000 gallons compared with 3,232,000,000 gallons in 
1940 and an average of 2,886,000,000 gallons in the period 1935-39. If an allow- 
ance is made for the use of the farm automobile by the farm family, about 2,500,- 
000,000 gallons would be used in farm production. Of this, about 2,000,000,000 
gallons would be in the form of gasoline and about 500,000,000 in the form of 
kerosene, distillates, and other tractor fuel. 

Although the introduction of the smaller tractor has resulted in a noticeable 
decline in the fuel consumed per hour of tractor use on the farm, this decline has 
been more than offset by the increased number of hours that the average tractor 
is used. In a recent survey of the use of tractors on farms, 6 farmers indicated 
that each tractor was used about 475 hours per year, the amount of use varying 
in the different State groups from 330 hours in the North Atlantic States to 650 
hours in Oklahoma and Texas. Surveys made in 1935-36 indicated that at that 
time the average tractor was used only about 400 hours per year. The recent 
increase in usage has come about (in spite of the smaller acreage cultivated by 
farmers owning a tractor) because of the smaller size of tractors and because of 
the increased proportion of general-purpose tractors, which are used for all types 
of filed and belt work on farms. 

Table 2. — Motor fuel and motor oil consumption on farms, 5-year averages 1910-39 
and estimated 1940 and 194% 

[In millions of gallons] 

Motor fuel l 

Motor oil 





Total 2 




Total 2 





1, 139. 6 
1, 241. 5 
1, 406. 2 
1, 558. 2 
1, 600. 







1, 074. 

1, 265. 4 












1942 * 


' Gasoline for automobiles and motortrucks; gasoline, kerosene, and distillate for tractors. 

2 Includes an estimate of fuel and oil used by stationary engines on farms. 

3 Preliminary. 

4 Tentative estimate. 

Source: Estimates prepared by Bureau of Agricultural Economics. 

8 Results of this survey are now being prepared for publication by the Bureau of Agricultural Economics 
and the Agricultural Marketing Service. 




A survey of rubber tires on farm machines was made in February 1941. 7 At 
that time, as 'during the past decade or more, crude rubber supplies in the United 
States were plentiful and prices of tires and other rubber products were low. 
With the beginning of war in the Pacific, rubber tires have suddenly become of 
tremendous concern. The reason for this concern is that more than 80 percent of 
our crude supplies have been coming from the Far East, with British Malaya, the 
Netherlands Indies, and Ceylon, the chief sources of these supplies. The present 
war makes it highly uncertain whether much rubber can be obtained from these 
sources. Appreciable quantities of substitutes are not in prospect. Thus, it 
seems certain that rubber use will be restricted for some time to purposes con- 
cerned most directly with the war effort. 

For a considerable number of years, farmers have been using rubber tires on 
implements and machines which were adapted for field work. At first the most 
extensive use of rubber tires was on wagons and trailers, constructed mainly 
from parts of discarded automobiles and trucks. Old automobile tires were com- 
monly used for these purposes. However, industrial tractors have long been 
equipped with high pressure pneumatic or solid rubber tires, but they did not 
generally provide adequate traction under field conditions. 

In the early 1930's, tire manufacturers developed a low-pressure tire specially 
adapted for tractor use on farms. Owing to the low purchasing power of farmers, 
sales of tractors in 1932 and 1933 were at an exceptionally low level, but even in 
the depression period sales of tractors equipped with rubber tires increased rela- 
tive to the sale of other tractors, and around 14 percent of the wheel tractors sold 
in 1935 had rubber tires. In 1940 and 1941 about 95 percent of these tractors had 
rubber tires (table 3). 

Table 3. — Estimated number of specified machines on farms in the United States. 
Jan. 1, 19^2, percent equipped with rubber, and the proportion of new machines 
sold in the United States in 1940 that xvere equipped with rubber tires 

Kind of machine 

Number on 

(arm Jan. 

1, 1942 l 

Percentage of machines on farms 
Jan. 1, 1942 

with rub- 

with rub- 

No rubber 

of 1940 sales 
with rub- 
ber tires J 

All tractors 

Wheel tractors 

General-purpose tractors 

Ordinary wheel tractors 

Combine harvester-threshers 

Grain binders 

Mowing machines 

Corn pickers 

Manure spreaders 

Windrow pick-up baler 
















1 Preliminary estimates. Reports of the Bureau of the Census, annual reports of the Department of 
Commerce, showing domestic sales of farm equipment, and information obtained from crop correspondents 
February 1941 were utilized in estimating the number and types of machines. 

2 From reports of the Department of Commerce showing manufacture and sales of farm equipment in 
1940. . 

3 Information not available. 

Source: Estimates prepared by Bureau of Agricultural Economics. 

If there were no restrictions in the manufacture of farm machines and in the 
farm use of rubber in 1942, at least 12,000 long tons of rubber would have been 
used in the production of new farm machines in that year. This does not include 
any allowance for rubber for manufacturing and equipping new farm automobiles 
and farm motortrucks in 1942. Rubber replacement needs for farm motor vehi- 
cles and farm machines would likely exceed 50,000 long tons in 1942 under condi- 
tions of normal rubber supply (table 4). With war restrictions on the manu- 
facture of farm machines and motor vehicles and on the use of crude rubber. 
farm utilizat ion of crude rubber in 1942 will be reduced greatly. 

> Rubber-Tired Equipment on Farms, by A. P. Brodell and R. A. Pike, Bureau of Agricultural Eco- 
nomics and Agricultural Marketing Service, January 1942 '(processed). 



Table 4. — Total farm rubber needs for new manufactures and for replacement 

purposes, 19J+2 

[In long tons] 


Rubber needs for 

Total rubber 


New machines 
and products 


Farm automobiles.. _.. . 

32, 812 

10, 781 




32 812 

10 781 


1, 000. 

2 178 8 

Farm wagons and trailers.. _ _ __ 

Sprayers and dusters ... . _ 

1 387 

Fruit-jar rings .. 

1, 000. 
678 6 

Dairy machines 


609 7 

950 4 



51, 942 

63 309 3 

Source: Estimates prepared by the Bureau of Agricultural Economics. 


Among the most important steps taken by the Department of Agriculture and 
the War Production Board to assure uninterrupted production of food and fiber 
has been the widespread repair campaign among Agriculture's war boards. In 
October, the Secretary announced this campaign and warned farmers that im- 
mediate steps be taken to put their present equipment in the best possible condi- 
tion. 8 Two months later, the Office of Production Management announced a 
priority rating for repair parts at levels approximateling 150 percent of 1940. 9 
These two steps should result in a thrift iness of use far exceeding anything in 
the past. The benefit of such a program to agriculture transcends the immediate 
year or years ahead. 

Part of the success of the repair program will depend upon an uninterrupted 
flow of repair parts of all kinds from manufacturers. With the frequent changes 
in models during recent years and in case of depleted stocks of parts belonging 
to models no longer manufactured, some obstacles are likely to develop. Such 
contingencies suggest that it will be necessary to have orders for parts, especially 
for those to old models, considerably in advance of the time they are needed. 
Promptness in securing these orders is the keynote of the present campaign. 


Effective use of equipment has always been a primary problem in good manage- 
ment of farm resources: The present need emphasizes its importance on a na- 
tional level rather than on the individual farm. Present estimates of the adequacy 
of equipment for the farming job of 1942 indicate that by moderately effective 
use of existing and newly manufactured machines the job will be done with few 

Fuller use of existing machines can be secured by cooperative use, the extension 
of custom work, and by exchanging machine and hand labor. 

Custom work. — Increases in custom work are possible, particularly for plowing, 
combining, threshing, ensilage cutting. Both custom work and cooperative 
owneiship should be helpful in extending the seasonal, and possibly the daily, 
use of some machines. Custom work might be made more satisfactory if rates 
for different types of equipment or work were studied by local groups and stand- 
ards established that would be equitable for both parties. Rates for some ma- 
chines (particularly for the small combine) which have been in some areas for a 
very short period are probably somewhat arbitrary because there hasn't been 
enough local experience on which to base the rates. 

Cooperatives. — The experience of the Farm Security Administration indicates 
that cooperative ownership may be particularly useful among low-income farmers 
in some areas. There were about 6,400 Farm Security Administration-sponsored 
cooperative machinery services in operation on December 31, 1940. These 6,400 

8 Letter to agricultural war boards, October 23, 1941. 

8 Pressrelease PM-1950, Office of Production Management, December 28, 1941. 


Farm Security Administration machinery cooperatives owned nearly 9.500 differ- 
ent pieces of machinery and equipment. Although tractors, plows, and mowers 
were among the more important pieces of equipment, a wide variety of machinery 
such as rakes, combines, ensilage cutters, harrows, cultivators, weeders, ditchers, 
and seeding equipment were included. It is estimated that more than 74,300 
farmers, or an average of about 8 us ^rs for each machine, used this machinery in 
1940. The experience of the Farm Security cooperatives may be useful to other 
groups in preparing for the present emergency. 

Exchange work. — Good neighborliness in the exchange of work is another means 
of making th.; fullest utilization of farm labor and machinery. Hand labor may 
be exchanged for tractor plowing or combining, and plowing may be exchanged 
for harvesting, etc. Exchange of work, similar to custom work, gives rise to the 
problem of rates to use as a basis for exchange work in different areas. How 
many days' labor should be exchanged for a given amount of work by a small 
combine or by some other machine? How much plowing should be done for 
harvesting, etc.? In some areas rates may be based on considerable experience 
or on careful studies. It is probable in other areas that many rates are rather 
arbitrary. They may be either unfair to the machine owner or to the farmer 
offering his labor. Spot surveys may be feasible in some cases to determine 
satisfactory rates. In other cases local committees can probably suggest fair 
rates for exchange work. 

Fuller use will also result from repair programs that reduce break-downs and 
lost time to a minimum. In some sections, use will be greater because machines 
will be used more hours during the day in order to offset the limiting effects of 
seasonal needs and labor shortages. 

In spite of offsetting factors, increased use of machines will be definitely limited 
by the seasonal needs and the distances over which any one machine can be op- 
erated. Extremely favorable weather often will extend the period during which 
any one job can be done, but unreasonable task assignments, for combines or 
mowers for example, will often result in a lost crop or one whose value has been 
depreciated. This limit will be operative on contiguous plots, but will become 
appreciably greater as the distance between plots is extended. 

Finding new or different uses for old machines also offers some possibilities for 
increasing machine effectiveness. Some types of combines can be used as sta- 
tionary threshers or with slight changes as peanut pickers. However, the recent 
trend in manufacture of machinery and equipment has been toward making 
more adaptable machines, and it would be difficult to suggest any use that has 
not already been discovered by ingenious farmers and adopted by enterprising 
manufacturers. Of great importance in the present production job are the re- 
cently developed midget combines, small tractors, general-purpose tractors, and 
the wide variety of adapted equipment manufactured especially for tractor use. 


According to the Farm Equipment Institute, farmers would like to buy 38 
percent more machinery and equipment in 1942 than they did in 1940. This 
estimate is based on current and prospective farm incomes and probable needs 
of farmers in meeting production goals. Purchases at this rate would reflect a 
vastly increased demand compared with purchases of recent years (table 5). 

It is difficult to make such an estimate because in many ways it assumes "nor- 
mal-condition" purchases entirely unrelated to the Nation's war effort. Actually, 
the fortunes of soldier, farmer, laborer, and businessman are inextricably tied 
together. In order to secure the farmer's future right to operate his present 
holdings, tremendous amounts of material must be diverted to war use. This 
competition for scarce materials between war and other needs is shown in the 
accompanying table of metal and rubber utilization in 1940 (table 6). 



Table 5. — Estimated farmers 1 purchases of automobiles, motortrucks, tractors, and 
other farm machinery, specified years, 1910-40 





farm ma- 







of dollars 















of dollars 
* 43 


of dollars 















of dollars 

of dollars 










1932 - 











i Preliminary. 

Source: Estimates made by Bureau of Agricultural Economics. 

The importance of agricultural products in the war effort has been recognized 
by Government officials in their priority ratings of farm machinery. These ratings 
have been made with the intent of meeting the minimum requirements for new 
machines in the Food for Freedom campaign. The 1942 proposals as a percent- 
age of 1940 quantities manufactured were all listed in PM-1950 (O. P. M. Press 
Release, December 28, 1941). Among these were: Horse- or tractor-drawn potato 
planters, 58 "percent; grain binders, 75 percent; rice binders, 100 percent; hay 
press combines (windrow pick-up), 353 percent; peanut pickers, 208 percent; steel 
stock tanks, 52 percent; wooden stock tanks, 351 percent; steel stock pens, 50 
percent; metal grain bins, 11 percent; silos, 90 percent; horse shoes and horse shoe 
nails, 90 percent; wooden wheelbarrows, 100 percent; steel (tubular) wheelbarrows, 
none; sub-soil plows, 50 percent; walking plow type potato diggers, 100 percent; 
windmill pumps, 100 percent; small incubators, 60 percent; and power dusters, 
103 percent. 

Table 6. — Consumption of specified materials for all uses and farm machinery, 

United Stales, 1940 


that con- 

Kind of material 

All uses 

machinery > 


for farm 


was of all 



Steel 3 .. 


38, 500, 000 

4, 006, 583 

502, 000 

76, 000 



719, 000 

1, 070, 000 

782, 000 

83, 008 

296, 000 

29, 400 

641, 000 


1, 269, 899 

779, 674 





15, 879 

12, 127 





21, 397 



Cast iron » 


Chromium*. . 


Nickel 6 



Cobalt i. 


Zinc 8 


Copper 8 


Lead 8 


Tin 8 __ 






1 Farm Equipment Institute. . . r „ 

3 American Iron and Steel Institute: Steel is flnsihed steel products (70 percent conversion rate from 
ingots employed) sold to United States industry, i. e., represents billings, not ultimate consumption. 

8 Census of Manufactures, 1939: Represents production for sale and interplant transfers of grey iron, semi- 
steel, and malleable castings. „ . 

4 Materials for Defense, Office for Emergency Management. The Arsenal of Democracy Series. 

1 Bureau of Mines: Apparent consumption of primary metal with no adjustments for stocks plus metal 
recovered from scrap (1940 new supply). ... , *„ „„»!^,„t„ri 

• Office of Production Management estimate: Obtained from the industry and represents estimatea 
consumption by steel manufacturers. , , . , „,„„„,„«,.„ 

7 Office of Production Management estimate: Represents the industry s estimate of metal consumption 

• Yearbook of the American Bureau of Metal Statistics, 1940. 


These new machines, supplementing those now on farms and being repaired, 
will be available for the 1942 production season. How well the actual needs will 
be met depends on the area, the kind of crop grown, and the number of new ma- 
chines available. The effect of goals on equipment needs for 1942 varies widely. 
Fewer machines will be needed for wheat, the production of which is perhaps the 
most highly mechanized, because a reduction of acreage has been requested. On 
the other hand, milk, soybeans, peanuts, and sugar beets, whose production has 
depended on less machine labor than wheat, must be increased considerably. 
These differences have been recognized in the allocation of the priorities cited 
above. A few additional changes are now being considered because of recent 
upward revisions in 1942 goals. 


Problems of Agricultural Labor in the War Effort 

The outbreak of war has thrown the problem of farm labor supply into sharp 
focus. Forces which have been causing a marked change in the supply of persons 
available for farm work, since the beginning of the defense program, have been 
intensified. Expanded production of agricultural raw materials and food supplies 
for our armed forces, for shipment under lease-lend, and for other domestic 
defense activities was one of the important phases of our defense effort during 1941. 
Occurrence of this necessary expansion of production simultaneously with in- 
creased manpower demands by the armed forces, the aircraft factories, the 
munitions plants, and civilian consumer goods industries created a number of 
divergent attractions upon our rural populations. 

During 1941, manpower demands increased tremendously in relatively limited 
areas. Maldistribution of both the agricultural and nonagricultural working 
force was accentuated. The picture of several men waiting at the gate for every 
job continued in many localities, while the supply of workers was greatly dimin- 
ished in others. Some parts of the labor market shifted from a buyers' to a 
sellers' market. It is in light of this picture that we must today analyze the labor 
supply picture for 1941. It is in light of a more distinct picture created by de- 
clared war that we must look ahead at the labor outlook for 1942. War demands 
more ships, more guns, more planes, more food, more fibers, more men. The 
1942 agricultural production goals call for the greatest farm output in the nation's 
history. The armament production program set by the President is unparalleled. 


An adequate supply and an appropriate distribution of our agricultural workers 
is the crux of the vital problem of increased production of agricultural commodi- 
ties. While in 1941 there were some areas of real farm labor shortage, and many 
areas where the supply of farm laborers was considerably reduced, the farmers of 
the Nation were able to produce and harvest without significant losses one of the 
largest crops in the history of American agriculture. At the beginning of our 
defense program, agricultural producers were operating with a substantially 
greater number of available workers than were actually necessary to produce 
their crops. During the depression, agriculture had a great oversupply of workers. 
Both unemployment and underemployment were prevalent. No doubt, many 
came to consider this supply as the required supply and considered any reduction 
in the surplus supply as a shortage, even though enough workers were available, 
if efficiently utilized, to accomplish the crop operation in question. 

The early part of the year was characterized by a great deal of concern among 
farmers in many sections of the country as to whether or not they would be able 
to obtain sufficient labor, particularly during the harvest season. Letters and 
reports that farmers anticipated serious labor shortages reached the Department 
from many sections. However, as the season progressed, the tone of reports from 
most areas changed to one of confidence in the ability of the available labor force 
to harvest the crops during 1941, although in some areas reports continued to 
anticipate shortages. 

Investigations have indicated that in areas where higher wages were paid, 
where working and housing conditions were improved, where organized efforts 
were directed toward securing additional supplies of workers, where recruiting and 


routing of farm workers were rationalized, and where those employed were more 
efficiently utilized, anticipated shortages of farm labor in 1941 failed to materialize. 

According to reports of the Agricultural Marketing Service, there was prac- 
tically no drop in the number of hired laborers employed in agriculture between 
1940 and 1941, although the number of family workers declined somewhat. This 
decline from 1940 to 1941 in the number of family workers amounted to about 
200,000 to 300,000 during the months of the harvest season, and to less than 
200,000 as an average for all 12 months. Agricultural Marketing Service reports 
also show that wage rates for farm workers increased during the year. For the 
months of Januarv, April, Julv, and October in 1941, wages per month without 
board for the United States as a whole were $36.61, $40.44, $44.95, and $45.47, 
respectively, as contrasted to $35.27, $36.41, $37.18, and $36.84 for the same 
months in 1940. Wages per dav without board for the same 4 months in 1941 
were $1.59, $1.70, $1.98, and $2.08, as contrasted to $1.55, $1.55, $1.62, and $1.61 
a year earlier. 

Difficulties caused by a reduction in the number of workers in the farm labor 
market during the past season fell into three main groups: 

1. Local shortages of farm labor, frequently as a result of haphazard hiring 
practices, increased during 1941, but this is a type of shortage which can occur 
even in normal years. This difficulty was most intense in areas nearest large- 
scale war industrial activity. In such States as New York, Connecticut, and New 
Jersey, difficulty in hiring sufficient farm labor was quite general. On the Eastern 
Shore of Maryland and Virginia, and in North Carolina, obtaining enough labor 
for the harvest of certain crops was a genuine problem. In the Pacific Northwest 
States a surplus of underemployed farm wage workers no longer existed, and the 
labor force remaining attached to agriculture received a fuller amount of em- 
ployment than in the past. 

2. The fact that opportunities for employment in industry were expanding 
rapidly and that industrial wages were far above farm wage levels exerted a 
strong pull on those farm workers who were the more likely candidates for 
industrial jobs. These were usually the most skilled farm workers, the very ones 
who have been most stably employed in agriculture. The dairy farm, for example, 
which employed several year-around men who were familiar with machines and 
had good job records, lost many men to war industries. When such men left the 
farm, they were probably replaced by men with poorer qualifications. The 
difficulty of holding year-around men was felt in many areas throughout the 
country, particularly near centers of war industry. 

3. As a result of the reduction in farm labor supply, harvests were more fre- 
quently delayed, work schedules were less flexible and it was more difficult for 
farmers to adapt to the vagaries of weather. The more perishable the crop and 
the more its quality suffered from delay in harvesting, the more pressing was this 

All three of the types of difficulties enumerated above were serious enough to 
cause legitimate concern. Nevertheless, no crop losses of major significance were 
reported and authenticated. Small-scale crop losses were reported in some areas, 
notably along the eastern seaboard, but analysis indicated that some of these 
were caused by price and weather factors. In some areas production records were 
set, even though there had been considerable difficulty in obtaining sufficient 

The factor of wages was of great importance in determining the amount of farm 
wage labor available in 1941. The effect of the wide gap between farm and indus- 
trial wages upon the farm labor supply has been referred to above. Within 
agriculture itself there also were wage differentials between regions which aggra- 
vated farm labor supply problems in those areas which had failed to keep pace 
with over-all farm wage adjustments. The effects of both types of differentials 
could be seen this year, particularly in those States which customarily depend on 
a migratory labor force for seasonal needs. There was no evidence of a decrease 
in the volume of migration. If anything, in such areas as California and the 
Southwest, defense activity had the effect of increasing the movement of various 
kinds of workers, including those attached to agriculture. But even agricultural 
workers had hopes of finding work in defense industry. Hence, where low farm 
wages were offered, migrants tended to keep on the move, while increases in wages 
offered tended to induce them to stop for work. 

As important as the fact that there was increased stringency in the farm labor- 
market during the past year are the indications that shortages were exaggerated 
in some areas. It must be assumed that some of the exaggerations of shortages 
were simply honest mistakes which could not be avoided. On the other hand, 


some of therm may have been deliberate. In a period of diminishing farm labor 
supply and in light of the high perishability of most farm products, some growers 
naturally were deeply interested in protecting their future production. Exag- 
gerations of the number of workers needed have the effect of creating artificial 
surpluses of farm labor in some areas and of creating stringencies in areas from 
which workers are induced to move. It is very important that the creation of 
artificial surpluses of farm labor in some areas at the expense of other areas be 
avoided next year, since at that time it will be necessary to utilize labor supplies 
with the maximum of efficiency. 


What can we expect for 1942? A farm labor supply situation much more serious 
than that in 1941. The forces that have operated to decrease the number of 
workers available for agriculture will continue and will be intensified during 1942. 
The supply of agricultural workers is closely related to the general labor supply of 
the country. Estimates of the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that non- 
agricultural employment is at record levels. Although sharp curtailment of 
civilian production will undoubtedly release manpower to meet a substantial 
part df the future increase in labor force necessary in defense manufacturing, the 
vast volume of war contracts makes it appear reasonable that labor demands can- 
not be met entirely by transfer of workers from nondefense to defense employ- 
ment. The rate of expansion of the armed forces will be greatly stepped up. 
Undoubtedly additions to the nonagricultural labor force and the armed forces 
will draw further upon the agricultural population. 

During the coming harvest season agriculture may have at its disposal up to a 
million fewer workers than during the peak labor season in 1941. The exact 
number will depend largely upon the rate of acceleration in the growth of the 
armed forces, the extent to which industrial workers are transferred from civilian 
to war production, and upon how rapidly war industries will absorb additional 

This all adds up to the fact that the supply of workers for agriculture will be 
decreased during 1942. However, the effect that this reduction will have on 
agricultural production will depend upon the extent to which those who leave 
the farms come from important production areas and the extent to which positive 
steps are taken to utilize fully farm workers remaining in the agricultural labor 

The normal increase in farm employment, for the Nation as a whole, from the 
low month of January to the peak of the harvest season is in excess of 3,000,000 
workers. Usually more than half of this increase is made up of high school 
students and women. Many of the remaining seasonal workers who are needed 
for only a month or two during the peak season are unemployed during most of 
the months of the year. The inherent seasonality of agricultural labor require- 
ments will be likely to present a more serious problem to farmers in 1942 than 
during past years since the nation can ill afford to waste any manpower. Farmers 
who employ seasonal labor, even after making every effort to spread their peak 
labor requirements as much as possible, may have to use more women and high 
school students than usual and to utilize other potential workers not ordinarily 
in the labor force, for short periods during the harvest season. 

The seriousness of the farm labor supply problem will vary in different sections 
of the country. The areas where farmers will be confronted with the most 
serious difficulties include parts of New England, the Middle Atlantic States, 
and the East North Central States — the highly industrialized sections of the 
Nation — and many other less extensive areas throughout the country, particu- 
larly where new war industires have been established. Farmers in these areas 
will experience difficulty in obtaining year-around hired men. Harvest labor 
scarcity will be most acute in sections which specialize in the production of labor- 
intensive crops such as vegetables. Areas which experienced difficulty in 1941 
will be faced with even more acute problems in 1942. Moreover, the number 
of such problem areas will increase this year. 


In analyzing the situation and in planning an approach to methods for alleviat- 
ing the problem, the Department of Agriculture realizes that the armed forces 
must be greatly increased and that agriculture should contribute its share. The 
Department believes that agriculture can contribute its share without seriously 
hampering necessary food proudction if withdrawal of manpower is systematic 


■and well-planned, and simultanoues steps are taken to replace men drawn from 
the skilled portions of the agricultural labor force in commercial production areas. 
It is also realized that farm laborers follow natural human tendencies and will 
move to what they consider as greater opportunities in industry. Here, too, the 
Department believes that agriculture can contribute an additional portion of 
manpower to industry without seriously hampering essential food production, if 
they are systematically withdrawn from submarginal agricultural areas. If 
industry recruits workers indiscriminately and employs large numbers from areas 
of heavy agricultural production, serious difficulties in manning the agricultural 
pl<vnt will develop. 

The Department believes that means of alleviating farm labor stringencies 
during 1942 can be grouped into five broad categories: 

1 . Securing full utilization of the labor force normally employed in agriculture — 
operate labor pools, exchange labor, use more family workers. The Department's 
efforts in this field will for the most part consist of cooperation with and assistance 
to the United States Employment Service. 

2. Retention of workers on farms by increasing the attractiveness of farm 
work through higher earnings, better housing, more continuous employment, 
and similar methods. 

3. Encouraging the recruiting of workers in surplus farm areas for use in 
agriculture in areas of labor shortgage and for use in war industries. 

4. Allocation of as much of the increased production called for in the food for 
freedom goals as practical to farms and areas where ample supplies of farm labor 
are available; and encouraging the location of war industries, wherever practicable, 
in these areas rather than in areas of farm labor shortage. 

5. Development of new sources of workers. 

Although it has been estimated that production goals for 1942 will require an 
increase of 102,819,000 man-days of labor over 1939, this does not necessarily 
mean a proportionate increase in the number of men needed. Many man-days 
can be absorbed through more efficient utilization of the presently employed 
agricultural labor forces, by extending the period of operation, by lengthening 
the effective workweek of some types of workers, by increases of herds or flocks 
per worker, by increased use of repaired machinery, and by other changes. But 
it should be remembered that some of these devices are already being employed 
by many farmers. 

Full employment during peak seasons must be provided for farm workers. 
Organized direction of workers to jobs is necessary so they can be dept busy 5 
or 6 days a week. Higher income from full employment will make farm work 
more attractive. Mobile labor camps greatly facilitate the elimination of un- 
ployment due to frequent transfers between jobs. Further increases in farm 
wage rates will also be necessary to retain the services of those now on the farms 
and to secure new workers. Every effort should be made to retain keymen such 
as skilled dairy workers and machine operators, the group hardest to replace. 
Better housing should be furnished where this is one of the factors in securing or 
retaining a supply of workers. 

Securing the most effective utilization of total manpower requires careful anal- 
ysis and planning community by community and area by area. Each commu- 
nity .should first see that all local workers normally employed in agriculture are 
used to the fullest extent before relying on new sources of workers. This is 
particularly important in view of the potential immobility of labor that may 
result from a shortage of tires. In past years, many farmers have preferred to 
use migratory workers. As labor migration may decrease and as the number of 
migratory workers cannot be accurately estimated, each community must plan 
to meet its labor problems from local sources so far as possible. These commu- 
nity plans should include analyses of means for recruitment and employment of 
workers from high schools and colleges, local nonfarm women, older men, and 
others not normally employed in agriculture. If sufficient migratory workers 
can be secured or if sufficient workers can be referred from potential surpluses 
in other areas, it will not then be necessary to depend so greatly upon high-school 
youth and groups of women. However, advance plans should be made in each 
locality for the use of these groups, if required. Furthering plans for effectuat- 
ing these five broad approaches is in general the program of the Department to 
help meet agricultural labor supply problems in the food-production program. 

Development of intelligent plans to alleviate problems of farm labor requires 
both long-term statistical information and current indications of changes in the 
supply of and demand for workers, employment, working conditions, wage rates, 
housing conditions, and similar factors which are important in plans for maxi- 


mum utilization of any labor force. Within the Department of Agriculture, the 
statistical division of the Agricultural Marketing Service has the primary re- 
sponsibility for gathering such data from farmers and others in the field. The 
Bureau of Agricultural Economics, as the central analysis and planning agency 
for the Department, makes analyses on the basis of information gathered by the 
Agricultural Marketing Service and the Census Bureau and on information from 
all other available sources. In the farm-labor field, the Farm Security Admin- 
istration is primarily responsible for the efforts of the Department to improve 
housing for migratory and other farm workers so as to improve conditions for 
these workers. The Extension Service, through its affiliated State services and 
county agents, disseminates information directly to farmers on plans and methods 
for alleviating farm labor conditions through better farm-management practices, 
closer cooperation with the United States Employment Service, and other means. 
The Agricultural Adjustment Administration is in the position of being primarily 
responsible for promotion of the food-production program of the Department 
and accordingly has a primary interest in labor supply, one of the more important 
factors of production. » 


The Office of Agricultural Defense Relations was established in the Depart- 
ment of Agriculture by the President on May 5, 1941, to coordinate agricultural 
operations with other elements of the national defense program. To it was 
delegated those responsibilities for bringing agricultural activities into proper 
focus in relation to defense that had formerly been vested in the Division of 
Agriculture of the National Defense Advisory Commission. With specific ref- 
erence to agricultural labor, the Office was delegated the responsibility to facili- 
tate the coordination of operations relating to defense farm-labor problems car- 
ried on by the various agencies of the Department; to serve as a clearing house 
to bring into common focus the consideration of farm-labor problems as they 
relate to the total labor-supply program; to assist the Secretary in the mainte- 
nance of effective channels of communication and liaison relationships between 
the Department and the several agencies of the Office for Emergency Manage- 
ment, the United States Employment Service, the Selective Service System, the 
Work Projects Administration, the Departments of War and Navy, and other 
agencies whose programs affect farm-labor supply; and to assist in the planning 
of farm-labor programs in order to meet defense needs. 

Viewed in light of the interests or specific jobs of various bureaus of the De- 
partment, one phase of the work of the Office of Agricultural Defense Relations 
is to bring about a unified approach to farm-labor problems by these agencies 
and to see to it that their efforts are pointed toward the No. 1 war effort of the 
Department, namely, to produce adequate amounts of essential food and fiber. 

It is also a responsibility of the Office of Agricultural Defense Relations to 
stimulate and effectuate positive working relationships and rapid channels of 
communication between the various agencies of the Department and other 
agencies of Government whose programs affect farm-labor supply. The Office 
of Agricultural Defense Relations is working with the Employment Service, the 
Selective Service System, the Work Projects Administration, and other groups in 
Washington to secure satisfactory policies in regard to farm labor. 

Full use and support of the Employment Service by farmers is one of the best 
means of securing sufficient workers in each locality. The importance of the 
food for freedom program has been emphasized throughout the entire Employ- 
ment Service system. The labor exchange facilities of the United States Em- 
ployment Service, the general labor supply agency for all defense production, 
are being expanded to include a farm-job specialist in each of its regional, State, 
and local offices. The placement of farm-job specialists in each United States 
Employment Service office is viewed by this Department as a positive step to- 
ward making possible a greater rationalization of the total farm-labor market. 
This step should be helpful not only in bringing about more efficient utilization 
of local labor supplies, and the proper routing and fuller employment of migra- 
tory workers, but also in facilitating the movement of unemployed or underem- 
ployed farm people from areas of population pressure, usually "low pressure" 
farming areas, to jobs where they can made a greater contribution to winning 
the war in war industries and on highly productive farms in need of additional 
workers. The Department of Agriculture is assisting the United States Employ- 
ment Service by contributing its extensive and detailed knowledge of crops, acre- 
ages, livestock and poultry numbers, periods of peak seasonal farm activities, and 


related information which assists in indicating farm-labor requirements; of on- 
farm labor supply; of length of farm work-day; of average farm- wage rates; and 
of similar information pertinent to planning and effectuating the placement of 
workers in farm jobs in an efficient manner. Additional temporary employment 
offices will be maintained by the Employment Service during peak seasons, and 
provision has been made for an office in each Farm Security migratory-labor 
camp. Increased emphasis is being given by the Department to the location of 
Farm Security Administration mobile camps in areas in which lack of adequate 
housing proved to be a serious handicap in the securing and retention of seasonal 
workers during 1941. 

The Labor Supply Branch of the War Production Board, the Selective Service 
System, the Work Projects Administration, and other Federal agencies have 
recognized the war industry aspect of food production and are adjusting their 
policies and programs to help alleviate the pressing manpower problems which 
are confronting farmers in the Food for Freedom program. But the job cannot 
be done by Washington alone. Attainment of food production goals will require 
the full cooperation of every farmer and farm worker and every person through- 
out or adjacent to our agricultural areas, who can be considered a potential farm 
worker. All must realize that the manner in which the policies of the Employ- 
ment Service, the Selective Service System, or any other agencies in the farm labor 
field are put into effect will depend principally upon cooperation in each commu- 
nity. Each section of the country will have problems varying with crops, indus- 
trial activity in the locality, sources of supply, and other factors. Some sections 
may have more workers than are needed while other will have a shortage. Changes 
in farm management practices, exchange of workers between farmers, effective 
routing of workers from farm to farm and job to job, effective tapping of potential 
labor reserves within a community or area, and all other similar measures for full 
utilization of our productive strength call for well-coordinated action and plan- 
ning within each community by the persons primarily concerned. 



In carrying out this coordinated action and planning three groups play an 
important part. United States Department of Agriculture War Boards, which 
have been formed in all States and in the more than 3,000 agricultural counties 
in the United States, coordinate action by Department agencies in the farm labor 
field. The field offices of the United States Employment Service carry on such 
functions as labor placement, recruiting, and registration. Farm labor sub- 
committees of the State and county agricultural planning committees study farm- 
labor conditions and problems and' recommend action by appropriate agencies. 

The organization for this action and planning is functioning. The expansion of 
the farm placement facilities of the United States Employment Service has 
already been mentioned. Last July 5, the Secretary of Agriculture established 
the State and county United States Department of Agriculture defense boards to 
coordinate the defense work of the Department in the field. These Boards are 
comprised of the field representatives of the following Department agencies: 

Farm Security Administration, Soil Conservation Service, Farm Credit Admin- 
istration, Agricultural Adjustment Administration, Surplus Marketing Adminis- 
tration, Agricultural Marketing Service, Rural Electrification Administration, 
Bureau of Agricultural Economics, and Extension Service. 

Established originally as defense boards, they were renamed United States 
Department of Agriculture War Boards after Pearl Harbor. Steps were taken 
to enable the Boards to carry out Department war work more expeditiously. 
These Boards function as the representatives of the Department of Agriculture 
in the war effort. The over-all war problems relating to agriculture which come 
within the sphere of these War Boards include extension of the food and fiber 
production programs; the handling of problems arising out of war priorities on 
materials needed in agriculture; shortages, such as those of labor, materials, and 
machinery; the gathering of specified agricultural information of vital importance 
to the wartime effort, and cooperation at the State or county level with other war 
emergency agencies and programs. These Boards are now actively engaged in 
coordinating and carrying out the Department's war program and are in a position 
to contribute to an over-all farm labor program. 

The Department earlv in the spring of 1941 moved to establish needed machinery 
in the farm labor planning field in order thai it could be in a position to assist in 
the alleviation of those problems which could not be met within a specific com- 


munity, and in order that it could bring to local farmers information about devel- 
opments in the policy of various Federal agencies. To supply this planning 
machinery the Secretary of Agriculture provided for the establishment of farm 
labor subcommittees of State and county agricultural planning committees. 

State subcommittees are made up of farmers and State representatives of the 
Extension Service, the Farm Security Administration, the Agricultural Marketing 
Service, the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, the Bureau of Agricultural 
Economics, the United States Employment Service, the Work Projects Adminis- 
tration, and any other State or Federal group whose programs were particularly 
pertinent to the farm labor problem within any specific State. Similar representa- 
tion in so far as possible was expected upon similar subcommittees at the county 
level. To the present, subcommittees have been organized in nearly every State 
and in more than 1,150 agricultural counties. 

The specific task of these subcommittees is to assist in the location of any areas 
of prospective labor shortages and surpluses, in learning the extent and kinds of 
labor supply, and in recommending plans for needed corrective action. In addi- 
tion, these subcommittees, through farm representation and through their close 
contacts with farmers within their areas, are in an excellent position to inform farm 
operators and laborers of the various service programs of the Federal Government 
such as that of the United States Employment Service, whose task it is to bring 
men and jobs together; the Farm Security Administration, which through sta- 
tionary and mobile labor camps and other aids can perform a real service to both 
farm laborers and farm operators; and Conciliation Service of the United States 
Department of Labor, which stands ready at all times, upon request of either 
party, to assist in the development of satisfactory employer-employee under- 
standings. These subcommittees also assist the Selective Service System by 
informing farmer registrants of the principles and procedure of selective service 
and in some States by supplying selective service officials with information on 
agricultural conditions within an area. 

Neither the State farm labor subcommittees nor the county subcommittees are 
operating agencies for labor registration, placement, or conciliation. The con- 
tribution of these subcommittees is a detailed knowledge of crops, producers, 
seeding and harvesting dates, areas of excess labor supply, estimates of the 
amounts and types of additional labor needed and when needed, suggestions for 
better utilization of the local labor supply, and recommendations and plans for 
improving the agricultural labor situation. Their further contribution is the 
stimulation of cooperative working relationships amongst all people within their 
areas by fully acquainting their members and the public with the problems of 
transportation, housing, sanitation, health, and the general welfare of farm 

The work of the Department in the farm labor field may be outlined by describ- 
ing in some detail the approach to farm labor supply problems at the local level. 
The determination of local requirements for outside labor or the availability of 
surplus local workers is a local matter. Similarly, farm adjustments to promote 
effective labor utilization essential to attainment of agriculture's 1942 goals must 
be worked out in light of local conditions. The key to effective over-all planning 
and action to meet farm labor problems is in the counties and communities. In 
developing effective plans to meet local farm labor problems, four steps are com- 
monly involved: 

1. Farmers and representatives of the Government agencies concerned will 
have to sit down together and analyze the factors involved in their local situation, 
and anticipate the types of problems which will arise. 

2. On the basis of this analysis, the courses of action which will best handle the 
anticipated problems must be determined. 

3. When the plans have been agreed upon, specific responsibilities must be 
assumed by farm people or recommended to local representatives of appropriate 
governmental agencies. 

4. A follow-up must be made to see that each responsibility is appropriately 
fulfilled and that the actions taken by the various agencies are properly coordi- 

The development of effective plans at the State level also involves the four 
steps listed above. The local solution of all problems which can be acted upon in 
the counties is necessary to effective planning and action at the State level. Prob- 
lems which require action beyond the county, such as the movement of seasonaL 
workers into the county or locating of jobs for surplus local workers, are promptly 
referred for action at the State level. 



There is'much to be done by all agencies in the field. A total awakening of 
each community to the fact that we are in the midst of the greatest war in all 
history and that the best possible distribution and utilization of our manpower is 
absolutely essential if our effort to attain essential production goals is to be made 
possible. Our job is to assist in getting labor necessary for farm production and 
at the same time to work to release all surplus farm workers to the Army or war 
manufacturing industries. Agriculture is part of the war program. It must be 
viewed in its proper perspective by both farm and nonfarm groups and agencies 
if our manpower is to be effectively utilized so that production goals can be at- 
tained and final victory can be assured. 


Rural Manpower and War Production 

Areas of population pressure are areas of potential war workers, workers needed 
to meet the wartime goals of agricultural and industrial production. 

The situation was similar in World War No. 1. With proper guidance, the reser- 
voir of manpower in rural problem areas can make a contribution to the labor 
needed in the present emergency. When foreign immigration ceased with the out- 
break of that war, rural areas supplied many of the workers needed for an expand- 
ing industry. The export of considerable numbers of people to cities in all parts of 
the Nation continued for a decade after the end of that war. The depression 
of the 1930's brought about a decline in the rate of migration away from farms, 
but did not alter the rate at which young people were reaching maturity. In 
addition, there was some migration to farms, especially those in which land for 
subsistence purposes might be occupied at very little cost. This damming up of 
population, coupled with the decline of timber resources and of soil fertility, as 
well as with reductions in the crops which had been the traditional mainstays, 
made many areas "problems" in the fullest sense of the term. 

Relief and public-works programs were stopgaps. The possibilities of rural 
rehabilitation were limited by the lack Of sufficient good land and by the low level 
of skills of many of the residents. But these areas continued to produce manpower 
and are still doing so. As full employment is approached, the unused or ineffi- 
ciently used manpower in these rural problem areas may become an important 
element in total production. 

The ineffectively used manpower is found on farms of very low productivity. 
For the Nation as a whole, the 1940 census reports show a large number of farms 
which produced only a small volume of products and contributed only a small 
part of the total agricultural product in 1939. Two million farms reported a 
gross value of all products sold, traded, or used of less than $400; almost 4,000,000 
reported products valued at less than $1,000. 

Table 1. — Farms classified by value of products, J 939 


Value of 


value per 


Percent of total 

Value of product groups 



$0 to $399 . 











22, 989 





$1,000 to $1,499 


$1,500 to $9,999 


$10, 000 and over 









Source: United States Census of Agriculture, 1940. 

In an analvsis of these figures Ellickson and Brewster point out that the first 
group, that with value of product less than $400, represents to a large extent 
families which obtain the major portion of their income from sources other than 


agriculture, as well as those in which the farm operator is unable t«i •' )rm full- 
time work because of age or physical or other handicaps. 

Disregarding these establishments they then examine the possibi! produc- 

ing the Nation's agricultural products on family size farms. For thi >ose they 

assume that the number of large-scale farms, those with a gross va f product 

of $10,000 and over, will remain unchanged and that their share of cl total pro- 
duction will remain unchanged. They show then that if all other farms could 
achieve a level of production equal to the average of those reporting $1,500 to 
$9,999 for 1939 the total volume of production could be achieved on 2,000,000 
farms. Thus a reduction of 2,000,000 farms would be possible if these assumptions 
were met. Obviously, such a change could not occur at once, and some of the farm 
operators affected by such a program would be needed on the more productive 
farms as laborers. But the conclusion is inescapable that in 1939, just as in 1929, 
the farm plant of the Nation included a large number of persons who were on units 
which did not provide an efficient utilization of the manpower on them and which 
did not yield the inhabitants an adequate living. Many of them lack the resources, 
the land, the machinery, the livestock and work stock, the credit, or the skills to 
take full advantage of improved farm prices. Unless programs to assist these 
farm families to meet these needs are expanded, many of them can make only a 
very modest contribution to the food-for-victory program. A nation at war can 
use a large part of this manpower more effectively than on relatively unproductive 
farm units. 

The inefficiently utilized manpower is concentrated to a large extent in the 
problem areas in agriculture. Using a number of factors relating to agricultural 
conditions, some 769 counties, about one-fourth of all counties, were classified as 
problem counties. They are concentrated chiefly in the Southern and South- 
eastern States; in 6 of these they constitute the majority of all of the counties of 
the State and in 3 others a large proportion. In Texas, 65 counties, located 
chiefly in the southeastern portion of the State, are included. 

These are the counties in which the factors making for poverty and distress are 
not primarily the result of some diaster, such as flood or drought, but are rather 
the result of long continued trends. In 1937 the census of unemployment found 
41 percent of all men in rural farm areas who were unemployed or working on 
emergency projects in those counties. They are the counties in which the present 
need for workers may be the stimulus for the development of necessary long-time 
adjustments, if it is possible to find ways of fitting their manpower into productive 
enterprises under conditions which will prove attractive to them. This may mean 
migration out of these areas; it may also mean the development of industrial em- 
ployment opportunities in or near these areas. 

The contribution of these areas to the total agricultural production is relatively 
small. In 1940 these 769 counties included 39 percent of all the farms and 
approximately one-third of all the farm people in the country. They had one- 
third of all farm land and 26 percent of the land in crops in 1939. The contribu- 
tion they make to the total agricultural production may be shown by reference 
to some specific products. 

The 1940 Census reports that their farms had 15 percent of all cattle, and 
20 percent of all hogs. They reported only 8 percent of all milk produced in 
1939, 12 percent of the eggs, and 11 percent of the cattle sold. Their contribu- 
tion to other crops was no greater — they reported 12 percent of the acreage in 
hay, 25 percent of the total corn acreage, and 13 percent of the corn harvested. 
Their contribution of fruits and vegetables to the total production of the Nation 
was very small. But they produced 25 percent of the tobacco and 62 percent 
of the cotton. 

The fact that contribution to total agricultural production is less than their 
share of the farm population was not a result of adverse factors in 1939. Pro- 
ductivity had long been low, as is shown by the fact that the total value of farm 
land and buildings represented only 21 percent of that reported for the entire 
nation. They had never been able to build up their productivity to a point 
where a program like that of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration was 
able to render a great deal of assistance. During the years 1936-37 they accounted 
for only 22 percent of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration payments. 

It is true that many of the families carrying on farming in these areas also have 
the head of the family reporting some other occupation. Approximately one- 
eight of the farm operators in these counties reported working 100 days or more 
off their farms in l'939; this is 31 percent of all farmers in the country who reported 
so much off the farm work. Altogether they accounted for 23 percent of the 
total work off the farm. But even with this combination of nonfarm work, 


includin irk Projects Administration in recent years, they have not been 

able to e levels of income which meet any of the standards of adequacy. 

Levels i . fig are low, as levels of income have been low. 

In shtj , I lese counties are areas from which workers can be recruited for the 
Nation'^,, -/ jil agricultural and industrial production without impairing its 
agriculture ►effort. These counties include many highly productive and effi- 
ciently managed farms and many farms which require laborers in addition to 
those in the farmer's family. But on the whole, soil and farm-management 
experts have long pointed out that the best use of the lands of these areas would 
require a reduction in the land under cultivation. If desirable alternative oppor- 
tunities are available, a partial withdrawal of the farm population now in the 
areas, as well as of the rural nonfarm population there now, would probably be 
beneficial to those who remained as well as to those leaving. 

If the manpower now available in these areas is to be effectively utilized in the 
more productive agricultural enterprises or in industry, training programs must 
be developed. In fact, a lack of training and experience has proven a handicap 
to the young people from these areas in the competition for jobs. This was 
especially true during the 1930's when the competition for jobs was intense. 
It is a major element in the holding back of rural young people in rural problem 

The meager training facilities available to youth in rural problem areas are 
apparent from the school statistics. These counties account for approximately 
one-sixth of all the children enrolled in the public schools of the country, but 
for only about one-thirtieth of the funds spent for public schools. Many of the 
children in school do not complete even the basic curriculum of eight grades, let 
alone high school. Recent studies at the University of North Carolina indicate 
that for the Southeastern States the average child entering school may expect 
to drop out before completing the sixth grade, and in many counties the average 
is considerably less. The proportion of children in the first and second grades 
of the school system is an indication of the retardation which is common. Tennes- 
see includes 44 of these problem counties and in 30 of them more than 33 percent 
of the children in the public schools in 1936-37 were in the first and second grades. 
Similarly, in 50 of the 57 problem counties in Alabama, more than 33 percent 
of all the children in the public schools were in the first and second grades; but 
in Arkansas 20 of the 56 problem counties reported so large a proportion (1937-38). 
These figures apply to the school systems of the entire counties, rural and urban. 
The extent of retardation in school is undoubtedly higher in the rural than in 
the urban parts and in the farm than in the village parts of these counties. The 
figures for some of these counties are affected by the inclusion of Negroes, but 
many of the counties that have only a small proportion of Negroes reported that 
more than one-third of all the children in the public schools were in the first 
and second grades. Under such conditions, ocmpletion of the fifth grade repre- 
sents a high level of achievement, and completion of the eighth grade is excep- 
tional. The figures for the Southeast indicate that of the total of 1,450,000 
children who entered school in 1936, 50 percent would get to the fourth grade, 
33 percent to the seventh, and barely 16 percent to the eleventh year, which in 
some places is the last year of high school. Nearly half of the white children 
but only one-sixth of the Negro children 1 would reach the seventh grade. These 
figures apply to rural and urban schools; in general, conditions in rural areas are 
even less favorable. A survey in 1935 found that in the Eastern Cotton Belt 
nearly half the 16 to 17-year olds in rural white families had not gone beyond the 
seventh grade, but half the Negroes had completed only a little more than the 
third grade. In the Appalachian-Ozark area half the 16-17 year olds had barely 
completed the seventh grade. 2 

Irregular attendance, poorly equipped schools, inadequately trained teachers, 
short terms, and curricula having very little relation to the everyday lives of the 
pupils were factors in the limited schooling. In some of these areas, graduation 
from the fifth or sixth grade represented an achievement more exceptional than 
graduation from high school in some of the more prosperous rural areas. The 
studies of the American Youth Commission have shown abundantly that train- 
ing of this type is not the kind of training needed to cope with the complexities 
of modern agriculture or industry. 

i Proceedings of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology Conference of North Carolina State College, 
Raleigh, N. C. June 23-27, 1911, p. 82. , „ . . ... . , ■ „ 

» Mangus, A. R. Changing Aspects of Rural Relief. Res. Mono. XIV. Work Projects Administration 
Division of Social Research, Washington, D. C. p. 84, 1938. 

60316— 42— pt. 28- 9 


The schools provide only part of the training which an adult needs in the 
modern world. But the situation with reference to things normally learned out 
of school is no better. For many of the children growing up in the rural prob- 
lem areas the requirements of the complex modern industrial world and the require- 
ments of efficient commercial agriculture are relatively unfamiliar. The farms 
of these counties reported only 7 percent of the tractors and 13 percent of the 
automobiles on farms in 1940. And altogether the farms in these counties 
reported only 11 percent of the farm machinery expense of all farmers in 1939. 
Obviously, their farm workers have not had occasion to work with modern farm 
machinery and equipment to any great extent. 

It is not an exaggeration to say that they have also had very little opportunity 
to learn about or put into practice many of the principles of modern scientific 
agriculture. They have not met them in practice and their educational back- 
ground has not been sufficient to permit them to take advantage of the numerous 
publications with which better educated farm people do keep up-to-date. 

Moreover, the younger generation of these areas has lived without many of 
the facilities which large portions of our urban populations take for granted. 
Only 12 percent of the homes of farm operators in these counties are lighted by 
electricity; running water in the home is almost entirely absent. Newspapers 
and magazines which carry news of the modern world to many parts of the 
country are much less common than in the economically more favored areas. 

The lack of formal training and experience is not a measure of lack of intelli- 
gence. Given the opportunity, the men and women from these areas could 
acquire necessary knowledge and skills to fit into the current labor market. 
Experience has shown that they quickly become efficient workers. During the 
1920's these areas supplied a large part of the workers needed in the rapidly 
expanding automobile industry. More recently the experience of war industry 
plants which have tapped the labor reserves of some of these areas has indicated 
that given proper training and supervision the recruits from these areas quickly 
become competent and efficient workers. 

The recruiting of manpower from these rural problem areas to supply the 
needs of war production would be in accord with the basic trends in farm popu- 
lation, for the farms consistently produce a greater number of young persons 
than are needed for replacement of their population. During the 1920's the 
farms of the Nation contributed 6,000,000 persons net to non-farm areas. Many 
of them were young people who entered manufacturing and clerical occupations. 
During the previous decade, the contribution was also about 6,000,000 persons, 
bringing the total for the two decades to 12,000,000 persons. But this contri- 
bution meant a decrease of only about 2,000,000; the remainder was accounted 
for by the excess of births over deaths. During the decade following 1929, the 
net migration from farms was less than it had been during either of the 2 preced- 
ing 10-year periods, amounting to only about 3,500,000 persons. This was 
approximately equal to the excess of births over deaths, with the result that the 
number of persons living on farms in 1940 was the same as it had been in 1930. 
During each of the two previous decades there had actually been a decline. 

But although the number of persons living on farms was the same in 1940 as 
in 1930, there was an increase in the number of persons of working age. An 
increase in the number of persons over 20 years of age was offset by a decrease 
in the number under 20. There was a decrease of almost 1,400,000 in the number 
of persons under 20, but an increase of nearly 1,000,000 in the number of persons 
of working age (20 to 64) and an increase of 400,000 in the number of persons 
65 years old and over. The increase in the working age group amounted to 
592,000 for men and 394,000 for women. Available data do not yet indicate 
to what extent this increase in the number of persons of working age living on 
farms represents persons directly available for farm work, or persons who are 
living on farms but working at some nonagricultural occupation. Estimates of 
farm employment indicate a decrease in the number of hired laborers and the 
number of family workers in agriculture during the decade. But in 1940 there 
were also 850,000 persons on farms who were employed on emergency projects 
or looking for work. 

The fact that birth rates in rural areas, and especially in the farm population, 
have been high in the past is reflected now in the numbers of persons reaching 
working age, and thus becoming available to the labor force. For the entire 
country, it is estimated that the population of working age, 20 to 64, will increase 
by 7,000,000 persons between 1940 and 1950, if there is no net migration from 
or to foreign countries. Of this total 3,227,000 will be men, virtually all of whom 
will become available to the labor force. But the rural farm population, which 


included less than one-fourth of the population in 1940 will contribute nearly 
one-half of this total increase in the working age population. Their total is 
nearly 3,000,000 persons of whom 1,417,000 are men. In other words, between 
1940 and 1950 some 3,400,000 young men now living on farms will have reached 
their twentieth birthday. This is approximately 340,000 per year. They will 
replace approximately 200,000 losses in the age group 20 to 64 due to death or 
superannuation. If the present number of persons of working age on farms 
were to remain constant between 1940 and 1950 there would be available for 
migration from farms annually 140,000 young men and approximately the same 
number of young women. 

From the standpoint of the young people themselves the situation may be 
stated that for every 100 vacancies created by death or superannuation some 
180 young men are entering the working age group. In the South, generally, 
the number of farm boys reaching maturity is at least twice as great as the number 
of older men who die or reach retirement age. 

For the rural areas of the South, farm and nonfarm combined, during the 10 
years 1940-50 there will be an excess of 3,000,000 men and women reaching 
working age above those needed for replacement. 

But if the working age population in 1940 is not effectively employed in agri- 
culture, and the figures on productivity of many farms show clearly that that is 
the case, then the numbers above replacement needs represent only a part of the 
numbers available for nonfarm activities. As a minimum, it would appear 
that the numbers of persons employed on emergency work, plus those seeking 
work in the rural farm population would have been available as of April 1940, 
and that in addition the annual increment of nearly 300,000 young people above 
replacement needs would be available also. If, in addition, some reorganization 
of the farm plant could be achieved to make the continuation of the least pro- 
ductive farms unnecessary from the standpoint of agricultural production, the 
number of workers so released for nonagricultural production might be increased 
accordingly. A definite figure cannot be given now, since it would require 
taking into account the seasonal fluctuation of employment in agriculture, 
which involves both unpaid family labor and hired labor, and the extent of mi- 
gration since the Census was taken in April 1940. 

Former farm workers who had moved to nearby villages before 1940 also 
constitute a great reservoir of ineffectively utilized manpower. In some pre- 
dominantly agricultural areas there was a decrease in the farm population, but 
an increase in the rural nonfarm population. Such a transfer of population, in 
the absence of the development of new occupational outlets, involved primarily 
a shifting in the location of unemployed and underemployed workers. For the 
country as a whole the number of persons of working age on farms increased 
by nearly 1,000,000, but in the rural nonfarm population the increase was 
2,544,000. In rural nonfarm areas the number of persons on emergency work 
or seeking work in April 1940 was nearly 1,700,000. What part of this popu- 
lation would become available for nonagricultural employment cannot be defin- 
itely stated at the present time, but there can be no doubt that this group a so 
represents a reservoir of manpower which can be drawn upon. 

The situation in the agricultural problem counties for which data were given 
above is indicative of the developments which occurred. For the entire group 
of counties there was virtually no change in the number of people living on farms. 
But in these same counties the rural population as a whole increased by 766,000 
or 5.6 percent. Virtually all of this increase was in the rural nonfarm population 
which increased about 17 percent, slightly more than the national average for 
rural nonfarm areas. Part of this increase resulted from the transfer of persons 
no longer needed in the local agriculture to the nearby villages and small towns. 
In some States both farm and nonfarm population in these problem counties 
increased — in Kentucky the farm population of these counties increased by 14 
percent and the rural nonfarm population at the same rate; in Tennessee the 
increase of the rural farm population was 7 percent and that of the rural nonfarm 
13 percent; and in New Mexico it was 12 percent for the rural farm and 8.5 
percent for rural nonfarm. In North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, 
Oklahoma, and Texas, where farm population in these problem counties de- 
creased, the increases in the rural nonfarm more than offset these losses and there 
were increases in the rural population as a whole. In Colorado, Kansas, and 
Oregon these problem counties experienced losses in both the rural farm and the 
rural nonfarm population. In the majority of cases in which the rural farm popu- 
lation decreased, the nearby rural nonfarm population increased. Thus a part 


of the decline of farm population was simply a shift in residence. The workers 
involved had not left the county. 

Since April 1940, there has been a great deal of migration, as the hearings 
before this committee have amply demonstrated. Undoubtedly some of the 
figures based on 1940 census materials are somewhat out of date, just how much 
so cannot be determined. Estimates made in the Department of Agriculture 
indicate that there has been a considerable increase in the movement from farms 
above the levels reported during the depression years. But the evidence which 
has been accumulating shows that the migration which has occurred has not 
yet reached very far into the rural problem areas. The evidence from the surveys 
made by the Work Projects Administration in a number of defense centers indi- 
cates that migrations into them had been primarily from urban areas. Most of the 
rural migrants had come from villages; the proportion coming from the open 
country was very small. The reports further indicate that few of the migrants 
traveled far: in most instances the average distance was less than 125 miles. 

Another indication of the relatively smaller amount of migration from rural 
problem areas is found in the experience of the Farm Security Administration. 
That agency has been keeping records which show the number of borrower 
families who have left farming for other occupations. These records show that 
the families in the areas near expanding industries experienced most migration 
from farms, but that the rates of migration from problem areas were very low. 

These findings indicate that the rapid developments of the last year have not 
completely reversed the trends which were observable before and that the war 
will not automatically correct many of the problems of low income farm families 
or the maladjustments of population to resources which have come to the atten- 
tion of all who are concerned with rural affairs. Indeed there is one immediate 
and serious problem in the needs for resettlement of farm families displaced 
through the purchase of lands for war plants, contonments, artillery or bombing 
ranges, airports, and similar uses. 

If it is correct that the rural problem areas still contain a considerable reservoir 
of persons who could be made available for agricultural and industrial employ- 
ment in areas in which they can be more effectively employed — and the forth- 
coming inventory of the Nation's manpower will provide up-to-the-minute infor- 
mation on this point — then the problem becomes one of recruiting, training, and 
placement. It becomes a problem of guiding the movement of workers to those 
areas and occupations in which they can render the greatest service now during 
the wartime emergency, and of creating conditions which will fully utilize that 
manpower after the war has been won. To remove farm workers indiscriminately 
would intensify those local shortages which are a threat to the fulfillment of the 
part which agriculture must play. The apparent paradox of labor shortages in 
agriculture and a reservoir of manpower available in agricultural areas can be 
resolved by dealing not with the farm population as a whole, but with areas 
individually and by relating the persons living on farms to the job which 
agriculture needs to do. 

A major element in this situation will be vocational training. The vocational 
training programs which are needed will of necessity deal with a large proportion 
of persons who have not completed the basic grammar school course; they will 
need to reach people who do not have ready access to high schools and the facili- 
ties for training which they afford; they will need to deal with people who have 
not had the everyday experience with mechanical equipment which is taken for 
granted in some farm areas. They will need to deal with individuals who have 
a deep distruct of schooling as such. 

In the need for manpower we have removed from some of the more productive 
farm areas much of the trained manpower which was available there, because it 
was also trained in the skills which industry needed. It will be necessary to 
find and train workers to replace those who have already gone if agricultural 
production goals are to be met. 

The educational process will need to be not only one for the potential workers 
from rural problem areas. It will need to deal also with the employers who may 
be unwilling to accept laborers who do not meet the high standards they were 
able to impose in a time when labor was plentiful. And it will require some edu- 
cation of communities which have discriminated against in-migrants on the basis 
of race, language, cultural backgrounds, or level of living. 

Transferring ineffectively employed workers from farms and rural areas to 
occupations that will utilize their contribution more fully does not always neces- 
sitate the migration to other areas. The location of plants in areas which have 
reservoirs of available population is an important part of a program in the full 


utilization of the manpower of rural areas. No one wants to build places which 
will become ghost towns after the war. But in many instances the location of a 
plant near a source of labor supply will mean drawing into employment workers 
who would be unwilling to undertake a long migration. 

The Department of Agriculture has definitely taken the stand that it will coop- 
erate with the United States Employment Service in meeting the needs for agri- 
cultural labor in some areas and the needs of persons in rural problem areas for 
jobs as well. Working through local committees of farmers and its various action 
agencies the Department keeps in touch with developments in all parts of the 
country, and has been in a position to make more effective the work of a number 
of specialized agencies. Some steps have been taken to guide the movement of 
workers to the places where their energies are most needed, through the develop- 
ment of camps and housing programs for migratory argicultural workers. Other 
efforts to stabilize the labor supply of areas which require a large volume of hired 
labor have been made. Through the local committees of farmers in all parts of 
the country the hoarding of labor in some areas can be discouraged and the more 
efficient utilization of the labor which is available can be encouraged. By direct- 
ing attention to the labor reserved in rural areas, and by cooperating with agencies 
which are charged with the recruitment and training of workers for nonagricul- 
tural activities the Department can contribute to the war effort as a whole. Its 
primary job is in connection with the production of the food and fibers which are 
needed now — this can be done in such a way that a large number of persons who 
are now ineffectively employed in agriculture can be assisted in more efficient 
utilization of the manpower which they represent. These individuals can be made 
aware of the alternative opportunities, and can assist in the development of pro- 
grams to utilize properly the land resources which thus become available. 

The absorption of rural persons who are now unemployed or ineffectively em- 
ployed into gainful employment is an important task now underway. If it is 
done at adequate wages with a recognition of the cultural backgrounds of the 
individuals and with provisions for economic and social security it can go far 
toward improvement of living conditions in depressed rural areas. It is impor- 
tant that at the same time a program to conserve and improve the soil resources 
of these areas be developed, in order to assure that the adjustments will be last- 
ing, for usually these areas have been depressed when agriculture as a whole was 
prosperous as well as in times when agriculture as a whole was suffering from 

The decade from 1920 to 1930 was one of extensive migrations from farm to 
nonfarm areas. But this unguided migration did not evacuate rural problem 
areas on the scale which would have been necessary to bring about the desirable 
adjustments of resources and population. Such an adjustment did not occur 
during a period when urban industry was calling for large numbers of rural 
workers, and it was virtually impossible after 1930. The slowing down of migra- 
tion away from some of the most depressed rural areas, coupled with a back-to- 
the-land movement in some places intensified the population maladjustments in 
rural areas. Poverty, low levels of living, meager educational facilities, and a 
lack of free contact with the outside world and its opportunities have combined 
to create conditions which perpetuate the situation. 

Migration has ordinarily been based on such information as the individual 
happened to get, but rarely did he have the opportunity to assure himself that 
the information was representative, reliable, or adequate. Tips, hunches, rumors, 
and indefinite promises were often the bases upon which migration was started, 
and when they proved incorrect there often was a return migration or a further 
movement to another place concerning which the information was no more defi- 
nite. The development of an adequate system for disseminating necessary in- 
formation about employment opportunities among potential migrants would elim- 
inate many of the difficulties now encountered by individuals who go to areas 
where their services are not needed. 

More effective guidance of migrants to areas of greater opportunity is needed 
if the manpower of the Nation is to be utilized fully in the present emergency. 
The nation at war cannot afford the wastes of ineffectively utilized manpower, or 
of indiscriminate migrations which delay the full utilization of its manpower. 





Surveys of Labor, Housing, and Facilities in and Adjacent to Defense 


Agriculture's contribution to victory in democracy's war against tyranny and 
oppression is a story of monumental achievements, attended by far-reaching 
changes in the everyday lives of farm people. The present all-out production of 
farm produce for the United Nations constitutes a mighty aid to national vic- 
tory. Farm people are not only fighting for production, but are also making 
adjustments to meet many other war requirements of the Nation. 

The Department of Agriculture, since the beginning of the national defense 
program 2 years ago, has been conscious of its primary responsibility to promote 
achievement of defense and war aims. In keeping with this responsibility, the 
Department has developed definite lines of cooperation with the War Depart- 
ment, the Navy Department, National Defense Advisory Commission, Office of 
Production Management, and other war agencies, as part of its work on defense 
and war problems. 

Since early 1940 the Department has been deeply concerned with the changes 
coming to agriculture and farm people as a result of defense and war activities. 
The need for planning now to lessen the shock of these changes to the Nation 
as a whole has been a basic consideration in Department policies and activities. 
Since Germany's march into Poland, the Department has felt that whenever 
possible in the light of war requirements, defense and war activities should be 
planned so as to cause as little disturbance as possible to existing activities, and 
that all work should be planned with an eye to the readjustments that will have 
to be made when the war emergency is passed. In addition, the Department 
has been assisting in the planning of defense industry locations, so that the giant 
industrial program undertaken as a defense measure will give maximum help 
after the war in solving the long-time problems of agriculture and the Nation. 
All of these types of planning activities have been carried forward for more than 
2 years in agriculture through the cooperation of the Department, war agencies, 
the State colleges of agriculture, and county and community agricultural plan- 
ning committees. 

Immediately on perceiving that a very large-scale industrial expansion would 
be called for in the national defense program, the Department of Agriculture 
realized that the new industrial plants, if located in areas of surplus population, 
would help solve many distressing problems in agriculture, and at the same time 
that such location would guarantee ample supplies of labor for defense plants. 

The conditions of modern-aerial warfare and the attendant desirability of 
avoiding too great concentration of industrial plants in centralized areas acces- 
sible to bombing planes contributed to the Department's belief that a large 
number of these industries might profitably be located in rural and semirural 
areas. These conclusions were discussed with officials of responsible war agencies 
and a basic understanding reached. 

Excess population is a basic problem in a number of our rural regions, includ- 
ing the Appalachian highlands, large sections of the Cotton Belt, the Lake States 
cut-over areas, the Great Plains, and the Southwest. These are the poorest 
agricultural areas in the Nation, the areas of high-birth rates, the areas with 
most limited land resources, with fewest opportunities for nonfarm employment, 
and except in the Appalachians and the Great Lakes cut-over, the regions most 
severely affected by the loss of foreign markets. Problems of income, housing, 
and education are particularly acute in these areas. In the 1930's, the excess 
population in these regions had become very severe because of lack of employ- 
ment opportunities in the cities. Thus in these areas the Nation possesses a 
giant reservoir of labor. Maximum use of this labor in the war effort is essential 
to victory. 

In the early days of the defense emergency, it was impossible to get the neces- 
sary immediate production of war materials by locating new industries in agri- 
cultural areas. Many plants, therefore, were placed in established industrial 
sections, pending arrangements for location of plants in rural areas. Since late 
1940 a number of munition plants have been established in the areas of excessive 
population. These are now contributing greatly to the solution of defense pro- 
duction problems, and to the long-time needs of agriculture. Exemples of the 
type of joint planning for these plants that has been carried on by the War 


Department and the Department of Agriculture are given particularly in the 
case of defense plants constructed at El Dorado, Ark., and South Point, Ohio, 
within the past few months. The facilities of these plants, necessary in war, also 
will prove of maximum usefulness to the areas after the war, because of their 
ability to produce the types of fertilizer most needed in the areas. 

The Department has participated actively in scores of local areas in the devel- 
opment of plans and action to solve defense and agricultural problems attendant 
upon the location of defense industiies and military establishments in rural reaes. 
The leadership in this plan has been assumed by the Bureau of Agricultural 
Economics as the agricultural planning and economic research agency of the 
Department. Its primary task has been the marshaling of coordinated action of 
State and Federal agencies in working together with local farmers to supply 
housing and labor information needed by defense agencies. These workers also 
have arranged coordinated assistance to dislocated farm families both in moving 
out of the areas and in finding new locations. The assistance given is discussed 
in more detail in the following sections. 


Two large defense industries — a powder plant and a bag-loading plant — 
have been constructed in one Southern State since October 1940, involving use of 
land in four counties. Thousands of construction workers came into the area in 
October 1940, when building started. It is estimated that about 9,000 people 
will be employed regularly in these industries throughout the war period. 

In the communities and on farms throughout the area, vast changes have 
taken place. A flood of money has poured in. Large-scale industrial job oppor- 
tunities have opened up for rural youth and farm workers. Home markets for 
eggs, milk, vegetables, and other farm products have become realities. To meet 
the changed conditions, farmers have made changes in land use, and shifted to 
new crops to supply the new demands. Numerous adjustments also have been 
necessary in school facilities, roads, utilities, governmental services, housing, 
and other aspects of rural community life. 

These rural communities overnight have become parts of an industrial center. 
The total adjustment is a testimonial to human capacity for planning new action 
and consequent adjustments. Many people and agencies have helped, of course, 
but it is significant that the farm people took a very large part in this planning, 
along with Department of Agriculture agencies. 

Farmers helped in this planning from the start. In October 1940 the National 
Defense Advisory Commission asked the Department of Agriculture for help in 
getting local information of many kinds about the area. This request was 
handled through the State agricultural planning committee, composed of farm 
people, and Federal and State agricultural workers. 

The Commission needed facts about the housing available for defense workers 
in the area, the number of new houses that would have to be built, and indica- 
tions as to where the necessary houses should be situated. The Commission was 
interested in strengthening and protecting the agricultural communities involved. 
It also wished to learn how many people in the area would be available for employ- 
ment in the new industries. 

Local farmers went into action. The director of the State extension service 
and chairman of the State agricultural planning committee, immediately set in 
motion the agricultural planning machinery. Initial plans for surveys on housing 
and labor were mapped out by workers in the State extension service, experiment 
station, and agencies of the Department of Agriculture in a meeting on Octo- 
ber 24, and by all members of the State agricultural planning committee on Novem- 
ber 4. 

As a result, county boards of agriculture were immediately organized in three 
counties comprising the areas most affected by the defense projects. Subse- 
quently, community agricultural planning committees were formed in 34 commun- 
ities in the area, including representative farm people from 188 smaller neighbor- 
hoods. Membership of the committees included 444 farm men and women as 
well as representatives of State and Federal agencies. The housing and labor 
surveys were completed in 4 days, with all workers cooperating. 

Farmer members of these groups, assisted by agency personnel, interviewed 
more than 6,900 farm families. Of this number, 2,636 families were found to be 
living in houses of insufficient size, or too run-down, or unsatisfactory in other 
important respects. If such families lived on suitable land accessible to the new 
plant sites, the owners were queried as to whether they were interested in permit- 


ting the Government to construct new houses on their land. If the houses were 
built, it was explained, they would be for lease to defense workers during the war 
emergency and for sale to the landowners after the plants close down or curtail 
operations. Nearly 1,000 eligible farm owners expressed willingness to undertake 
this kind of arrangement. 

The agricultural planning committee's recommendations on housing, as sub- 
mitted to the National Defense Advisory Commission, suggested construction of 
about 1,000 houses in the defense area. Suggested sites for these houses, some in 
the towns and some on farms, were pointed out. The committees held that some 
-of the new houses should be built on farms within 25 miles of the plants, to avoid 
creation of settlements that might become "ghost towns" after the war. The 
report also indicated that specified numbers of new houses could be absorbed by 
•certain nearby towns. 

In arriving at recommendations for location of new houses in the towns, con- 
ferences were held with the town councils and representative citizens. It was 
explained that 8,000 to 9,000 people would be employed at the powder and bag- 
loading plants at minimum wages of 57 cents per hour, but that it could not be 
known how long the plants would operate. In each case, these local groups 
recommended the number of houses that could readily be absorbed by their com- 
munities after the peak of war activites was past. 

In the rural areas, the planning committees discussed first of all the special 
housing inventory, but thereafter took up other problems of rural life arising from 
the emergency situation. As a result of their discussions, the survey in rural areas 
became a social survey, and included many questions on rural living conditions 
as well as on housing and industrial employment. 

The industrial employment data collected by the planning committees indicated 
that a large supply of labor was available on nearby farms for use in the defense 
plants. On the basis of this information, the planning committees have been 
working with the United States Employment Service and other agencies in efforts 
to place these rural people in jobs at the plants. 

Acting on the housing recommendations, the Farm Security Administration has 
built 70 defense houses on farms in the area. Authorization for construction of 
200 houses in the area was given the Farm Security Administration by the Federal 
Works Agency, the remainder of the 200 houses being built in nearby towns. 


Construction of new defense plants in another Southern State was begun in late 
1940 on a very large scale. Near one town in the State, 2 huge plants were 
started — an ordnance plant and a bag-loading plant for powder. Near another 
town, work began on an ammunition depot, and the adjacent Army camp under- 
took a substantial construction program. In addition, the Army purchased 
additional acreage for a firing range and maneuver grounds. At a third town, a 
new shell-forging plant was started, and a new shell-loading plant was planned in 
still another locality. The total project area included 11 counties. 

A single one of these industries, the powder plant, was scheduled to provide 
construction jobs to 16,000 workers before the end of the year. Thousands of 
workers were required by the other plants also. About $75,000,000 was paid out 
in a year's time for the construction work alone, and the resultant industries are 
expected to furnish a new pay roll of about $1,000,000 per month. When it is 
realized that the 1940 agricultural income for the entire State was some $115,000,- 
000, the impact of this war program upon a handful of rural counties can readily 
be judged. 

Faced with manv questions about this area and its people, the National Defense 
Advisory Commission in January 1941 called upon the Department of Agriculture 
to supply field-survey information. This request, relayed to the State agricul- 
tural planning committee and the State extension service, asked data especially 
on housing and labor-supply problems. The need for this information was con- 
veyed to the county and community agricultural planning committees in the 12 
counties of the project area, and the wheels of farmer response began to turn. In 
all, 1,748 farm people, members of county and community committees, took part 
in making the surveys by interviewing their neighbors. The field work was 
completed within a week, and within 2 weeks the needed data were in the hands 
of the National Defense Advisory Commission. 

In addition to obtaining information on housing needs and labor supply, the 
committees gathered facts on other subjects of concern to the planning committees 
in their long-time planning operations. This included information as to the 


composition of families in the area, color, tenure status, mobility of the people, 
family participation in community activities, acreage in individual farms, acreage 
in crops, normal yields, livestock numbers, the extent to which a live-at-home 
program was followed, condition of the family dwellings, and the presence of home 

Information was gathered as to educational status of each rural person, and the 
nonfarm experience of people more than 17 years old. 

In cases when the interviewer judged the dwelling on the farm to be inadequate, 
he formed an opinion as to whether the farm unit was large enough to support a 
family and whether the farm was located on or near to an all-weather road leading 
to one of the defense plants. If these requirements were met, the owner of the 
land was visited and asked whether he would be interested in leasing an acre or 
two of land to the Government as site for a defense worker's house. It was ex- 
plained that the new house, if erected, would be occupied by the family of a de- 
fense plant worker and that, after the emergency was past, the house would be 
available for purchase by the landowner. The new house would then replace 
the present inadequate dwelling. 

The rural housing survey covered 24,723 farm families. Of the people inter- 
viewed, 16,429 families were found to be living in houses classed as inadequate, 
and 3,253 of these were on farms that the committees recommended as sites for 
building new defense houses. 

The recommended sites for defense housing on farms in the five counties most 
immediately affected by the defense activities were distributed county by county. 
They were also divided according to the proposed occupants — a specified number 
for colored operators, farm laborers, sharecropper families, and renters, and the 
rest for owners. 

The State representative of the National Park Service informally suggested, 
through the planning committees, that 50 of the new defense houses might well 
be built in a nearby national park, to be used by defense workers during the 
emergency and afterward used for recreational purposes. 

Along with the rural housing survey, a companion survey was carried on in the 
towns and cities of the project area. The towns asked that 1,000 new houses be 
situated within their limits, and the number to be built in each town was specified. 

Through the planning machinery, local housing authorities and town councils 
in the towns were informed as to legal provision governing construction of defense 
housing. The Bureau of Agricultural Economics and the State planning commis- 
sion assisted architects of the local housing authorities in preparing a housing 
report for each town. A formal resolution was passed by each town council, sug- 
gesting a definite number of defense houses, and indicating what the towns could 
provide in the way of public utilities and community facilities. Accompanying 
each report was a statement from the local housing authority and a substantiating 
report from the mayor. These reports also gave facts about local population 
trends, number of persons employed, sources of employment, and a statement 
as to how the suggested houses could be absorbed by the towns, through normal 
growth and deterioration of dwellings, in the period after the plants closed down. 

In the labor supply survey, 22,709 farm people — nearly one person for each 
family interviewed — expressed interest in obtaining nonfarm employment. Of 
those interested in nonfarm work, 16,455 were male and 5,624 were female. 

State and Federal agricultural agencies cooperated in collecting this material. 
In most instances, an official worker was assigned to work with definite commit- 
tees in conducting their surveys. The following agencies participated: Bureau of 
Agricultural Economics, State extension service and experiment station, Agri- 
cultural Adjustment Administration, Soil Conservation Service, Farm Security 
Administration, State forest service, United States Forest Service, State planning 
commission, and teachers of vocational agriculture and home economics. Stu- 
dents from the State College for Women also assisted materially in one county. 

The chairman of the State agricultural planning committee, pointed out in the 
final report that this work was but part of the planning operations contemplated 
by farmers and agency representatives in the 12 counties of the project area. 

Information of these kinds, he explained, is needed as a permanent part of the 
agricultural planning program in the State, to help the planning committees (a) 
to develop plans whereby the increased farm income arising from defense work 
may be used to retire farm debts, improve farm homes and buildings, conserve 
and improve agricultural resources, and build up the physical fitness of the people; 
(b) to develop plans to lessen the shock that will come when defense operations 
are concluded; (c) to develop plans for adjustments needed in production of 


fruits, vegetables, livestock, dairy products, and poultry, to meet the increased 
demand for those within the defense area; (d) to furnish basic data for use of the 
planning committees in carrying on their long-time job. 


Agricultural planning organizations went into action in a Midwestern State 
when a new munitions plant, requiring 20,000 acres of land, was authorized in 
this area late in 1940. Land optioning began almost immediately, much to the 
concern of the farm people in the area who had only rumor to guide them. 

The planning committee in the community most directly affected saw many 
problems arising, both for the land purchasers and for the people who would be 
displaced. It called these problems to the attention of the county agricultural 
planning committee, which referred them to the joint land-grant college Bureau 
of Agricultural Economics committee. The joint committee arranged, through 
the Bureau of Agricultural Economics, for the optioning agent and a representa- 
tive of the Advisory Council for National Defense to meet with the county agri- 
cultural planning committee. State representatives of the various agencies of 
the United States Department of Agriculture also attended the meeting, at which 
all available facts regarding the project were presented for discussion, including 
the method of optioning, the method of payment, and the date farms would have 
to be vacated. At this meeting it was agreed that all farmers living in the project 
area should have the same information. As a result, the county agricultural 
planning committee arranged for a mass meeting, which was attended by 1,000 
farmers from within and without the area. 

Following the mass meeting, a survey of the people in the project area was 
made to learn (1) the number of people who would require help in moving and 
relocating, (2) the number of people needing nonfarm employment, and (3) the 
amount of livestock, crops, and farm equipment that would have to be moved. 
Other surveys were made to determine available housing facilities in nearby areas 
for the dislocated farm families, as well as for workers to be employed in the con- 
struction and operation of the plant. On the basis of these surveys, it was recom- 
mended that several hundred new houses be constructed in order that the 3,000 
workers to be brought into the area might be adequately housed. Although no 
public housing developments have been undertaken to meet this need, a limited 
amount of construction of housing by private capital in small towns and rural 
areas near the plant has developed. 

The county agricultural planning committee cooperated with the optioning 
agent in developing a procedure whereby certain items should be considered in 
determining the price to be paid for the land, in order that tenants, as well as 
landowners, be compensated for extra losses involved in immediate evacuation. 
Arrangements were made with the highway commission and other agencies for 
assistance to the people in their moving operations. The planning committee 
assisted the farmers in holding several community auction sales for the disposal 
of personal property that was either too burdensome to move or was unneeded. 
It also worked out plans for farmers to pasture livestock in nearby areas, pending 
the location of new farms. 

The United States Department of Agriculture and other agencies, upon the 
basis of information developed by the planning committee, arranged to assist the 
farm people they were best equipped to aid. These same agencies made extra 
personnel available to work with the planning committee in doing the job. ( The 
Bureau of Agricultural Economics assigned one man full time to act as "head- 
quarters" during the 2-month emergency. 

As a result of the initiative taken by the agricultural planning committee in 
this county, the land was acquired rapidly; prices paid included compensation to 
some degree for losses incident to almost immediate possession by the War De- 
partment; and farm families were given the help they needed when they needed it. 


When the War Department selected 70,000 acres of land in one border State, 
as the site for a new maneuver area, the 700 farm families living in the area were 
told they must vacate the land by February 1, 1942. 

To insure that none of these families would suffer unreasonable hardships, 
representatives of 15 Federal, State, and private agencies met on January 12 in 
the locality, and agreed upon joint arrangements for wide-scale efforts to aid in 
the evacuation. 


Agencies represented at the meeting included the Farm Security Administra- 
tion, State agricultural extension service, Federal Security Agency, Farm Credit 
Administration, Bureau of Agricultural Economics, Forest Service, Agricultural 
Adjustment Administration, Soil Conservation Service, United States Employ- 
ment Service, and a number of others. George E. Farrell, of the Washington 
office of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics, headed up the emergency planning 

Immediately after the conference, the State agricultural extension service 
carried out a survey to locate farms and homes to which the families could move, 
temporarily or permanently. The Farm Credit Administration offered to ap- 
praise farms which the families were interested in buying. The Farm Security 
Administration made grants and loans to the neediest families. 

The United States Forest Service made a number of houses available to the 
farmers. The Work Projects Administration offered to build tent platforms if 
tents should be needed. 

A concerted effort was made to obtain at fair prices all types of vehicles needed 
for the job of moving. The United States Employment Service undertook to 
find farm work forthose who wanted it, and to locate jobs as war workers in nearby 
cities for those who preferred them. The American Red Cross helped to move the 
sick and infirm people from the area. 

In addition, these agencies and several more set up an office in a nearby town 
to work with the War Department on all phases of the problems, and to keep 
themselves informed as to new conditions as they arose. 


Assistance for 150 families having to vacate land selected by the War Depart- 
ment for the location of a munitions plant in the Appalachian region is being 
given by various public agencies and local farm people working together through 
a county agricultural planning committee. 

Establishment of a county agricultural planning committee in the county 
involved followed the announcement by the War Department that the site was 
soon to be acquired for a munitions plant. 

The planning committee secured definite commitments as to the type of help 
each agency will give the dislocated families so that none will suffer unreason- 
able hardships in finding new farms and homes, arranging for storage of equip- 
ment and supplies and care of livestock if needed, locating jobs in agriculture or 
industry, and meeting the actual moving expenses. 

Planning activities in the county began on December 30, 1941, when the State 
representative for the Bureau of Agricultural Economics received a telegram 
stating that the proposed site had been approved. 

A week later a general agricultural planning meeting was called, attended by 31 
people including leading farm men and women, and representatives of 12 different 
groups concerned with agriculture in the county. At this meeting, it was decided 
that the county agricultural planning committee should be organized on a per- 
manent basis. A farmer and president of the county farm bureau was elected 
chairman. He designated the county home demonstration agent to act as secre- 
tary. One representative of each agency interested in the welfare of agriculture 
in the State was nominated to serve on the executive committee along with the 
chairman and secretary. 

To date the following things have been done: 

Every farm family now living on the proposed site has been interviewed by local 
agricultural workers. As a result, it was found that 30 families wanted help in 
locating a farm; 24 wanted help in finding a nonfarm home. Thirty-four families 
had made plans for a place to move, and 66 had found no place to move. Some 
42 families said they needed no help. 

On the basis of this type of information, each of the families requesting help was 
assigned to that agency or agencies best able to give aid. Agencies undertaking 
to help the displaced families include the Farm Security Administration, the 
Federal land bank, the Soil Conservation Service, the Department of Public 
Assistance, the Extension Service and the Employment Service. In turn, the 
Employment Service classified those it will help according to whether they want 
farm or nonfarm employment, or whether they are willing to take either type 
of work. 

A list has been filed in the county agent's office of farms and residences in the 
area for sale or rent. This information has been obtained through real estate 
agents, agricultural planning committees in adjoining counties, and other avail- 


able sources. It includes facts and figures on the assessed value, condition, and 
reason for selling of listed farms and nonfarm homes. Every effort is being made 
to insure that the asking price of the farms and homes to which the families are 
referred is reasonable. 

Working through five subcommittees formed at its second meeting, the county 
agricultural planning committee is now putting full steam behind continued 
efforts to help the dislocated families. 

The five subcommittees and their activities are as follows: 

The farm and residence listing subcommittee locates, lists, and makes known to 
the displaced families all farms and homes as they become available for rent or 
sale in the area. 

The central information clearance subcommittee spreads authoritative informa- 
tion among the families in the area as to the probable date of evacuation, the 
acquisition procedure, and provisions for compensation. 

The labor subcommittee is doing all it can to find farm work for those who want 
it, and to locate jobs in the new plant for those who prefer to go into industry. 

The agricultural defense subcommittee works closely with the county United 
States Department of Agriculture war board in helping farmers to achieve the war 
production goals set by the United States Department of Agriculture. 

The housing and public-service subcommittee is undertaking to arrange for 
temporary storage of machinery and feed and temporary care of livestock for the 
displaced families. It will locate housing facilities for workers moving into the 
area to work in the proposed plant. It is also studying the effects of the location 
of the plant upon schools, roads, water and food supplies, and sewage facilities,, 
with an eye to planning for needed adjustments. 


A large tract of land in one Midwestern State was marked for purchase by the 
War Department in the fall of 1940, for use as a training camp. The War 
Department announced in late November that immediate possession must be 
taken of 7 sections of land in the area, so construction of camp facilities could 
begin promptly. Title to all land in the purchase area had to be taken before 
March 1, 1941. It was necessary for the 35 families living on the 7 sections to 
move out immediately. In all, more than 300 families in the area had to move 

War Department officials, recognizing the complexity of relocation problems 
conferred with representatives of the United States Forest Service at the national 
forest adjoining the defense-project area, on procedures to be used in acquiring the 
necessary land. Subsequent conferences were held by representatives of the 
War Department, the United States Forest Service, State extension service, 
Farm Security Administration, and Bureau of Agricultural Economics. From 
these came a joint decision that a survey should be made, to find out what public 
assistance would be needed by the dislocated families, and to assign specific cases 
to the appropriate agencies. 

Six professional agricultural workers were sent into the area at once, to confer 
with farm people. A meeting of all farmers living in the 7-section area was called 
a few nights later by the local agricultural planning committee, the Extension 
Service, and the Forest Service, to discuss in detail the acquisition policies that 
would be followed, and the problems that would be encountered by the dislocated 
families. Similar meetings, it was decided, would be held throughout the camp 
area before option taking began, so the people would have a clear idea of necessary 
procedures. Meetings were immediately held in three communities. 

Farm people on the local agricultural planning committees, along with Fedorcl 
and State agency representatives, participated in making a social survey, begin- 
ning November 27. With in a week, 114 schedules had been taken. Facts 
disclosed by these schedules resulted in assignment of 4 cases to Social Security; 
13 to Farm Security Administration; 6 to Extension Service; 1 was referred to the 
Production Credit Association; 2 were unclassified. Fourteen families were 
listed for job preference in the camp construction. Schedules later were obtained 
from 177 additional families. 

To find farms to which the dislocated farmers could go, planning committees 
surveyed farms in the county and compiled a list of farms that were for sale or 
rent. Representatives of the Federal land bank and the Farm Security Adminis- 
tration also made up lists of available farms. The Forest Service indicated that 
people eligible for old-age assistance, of which the survey revealed more than 60, 
would be permitted to build cabins on some of the Forest Service property if 
these people were unable to find a place of their own. 


Final results of the survey showed that 7 families in the camp-construction 
area would need no assistance; 1 family would need credit for livestock and equip- 
ment, probably from Farm Security Administration; 8 would require credit to 
purchase a farm, of whom 6 were in relatively good shape except for severe need 
of immediate cash; 33 needed help in finding other places to live, 18 of these wishing 
to get other farms and 15 wanting nonfarm residences; 12 families wanted non- 
farm work, with indications that 19 families should seek this kind of work; 28 
families needed either a loan or a grant to enable them to move, 13 of whom could 
offer security for a loan (3 were Social Security clients and the rest were referred 
to the Farm Security Administration) ; 4 families indicated they would need help 
in maintaining themselves after moving, and were referred to Farm Security 

There was 1 Farm Security Administration client in the area, needing little 
additional help except in finding a suitable farm; 8 families that were potential 
Farm Security Administration clients; 13 families who had enough security to 
justify a loan to meet moving expenses or purchase of a new farm, or both; 10 
families, some of whom seemed likely to need a Farm Security Administration 
grant in order to relocate. 

This survey provided a basis for concerted public assistance of dislocated farm 
families in the area, and for guidance of employment policies followed by the 
United States Employment Service in referring workers to jobs on the con- 
struction projects. 


Approximately 122 farm families lived in the area of about 7,000 acres acquired 
by the War Department as an ordnance area, in 1 county of a Middle Western 
State. Of these, only 6 were tenants, and 4 of them owned part of the land they 
operated. There were no Farm Security Administration clients in the area. 

A meeting was held on January 7, 1941, to lay plans for the rapid acquisition 
of the area. Those attending included the War Department's purchasing agent, 
and local representatives of State and Federal agencies. The part that various 
agricultural agencies might take in helping these families to relocate was dis- 
cussed, and each agency agreed to do its part toward assisting in the relocation. 

Following this meeting, the county agent called a meeting of the county agri- 
cultural planning committee, and another meeting of the families living within the 
purchase area. Representatives of all agricultural agencies and organized farm 
groups served on the committee, as well as a farmer from each township or com- 
munity. Two of the farmer representatives lived in the proposed purchase area, 
and 1 of them had been active in organizing protest meetings relative to the 
purchase of the area. The mass meeting was attended by 250 to 300 people 
representing nearly every affected family. 

At both meetings, the reasons for the acquisition of the land were explained, 
and the need for speed was stressed. The aid each agricultural agency could 
render was also explained to the people, and it was pointed out that all agencies 
would serve in every way possible under the guidance of the planning committee. 
No further protest meetings were held, nor was there any organized resistance to 
the purchase after this meeting. 

Next step was to call a meeting with the civic and business leaders of the 
nearest city. The effects of the proposed plant — and of more than 1,000 workers 
to be employed there — upon housing, traffic regulation, and public services were 

Still another meeting was held with the people from surrounding counties who 
might be in a position to help the displaced families find new farms and homes. 
All county agents, Farm Security Administration supervisors, and county agri- 
cultural conservation program chairmen from nearby counties were invited. 
Each county agent was asked to bring two or three leading farmers, preferably 
members of the local agricultural planning committees. All real-estate brokers 
in these counties were asked to attend the meeting, at which they were urged to 
make a combined listing of available farms, this list to be made available to all 
people in the purchase area. Effort was made to induce the real-estate brokers 
not to inflate prices. 

At a meeting of January 22 the county agricultural planning committee then 
agreed to do the following: 

(1) Set up a central clearing office of information in the county agent's office. 
Here they proposed to keep listings of farms for sale and rent in this and surround- 
ing counties. At the time of the meeting, 60,000 acres of available land had been 
brought to the attention of the committee. The Bureau of Agricultural Econom- 
ics provided clerical and stenographic help for the office. 


(2) Request the Extension Service and other agricultural agencies to maintain 
personnel at the office to discuss relocation problems with the farmers. 

(3) Send a letter to each of the 122 families within the ordnance area offering 
the services of the committee and calling attention to the office of information. 

(4) Visit each family immediately after optioning to determine if any help 
was desired and, if so, the nature of the help needed. A form was prepared for the 
use of the committees in visiting the families. If the family had completed its 
relocation plans, it was merely asked to list the location of the new farm and the 
name of the family now occupying that farm. In this way, the planning committee 
kept track of secondary movements, and passed the information on to the agri- 
cultural agencies in the counties affected by the secondary relocations. If the 
family had not completed its plans, it was advised to call at the central office of 
information. There a second form was filled out, giving in some detail the nature 
of the family's problems, so that the family might be referred to the proper agency 
for help. 

As a result of these and other activities of the planning committee, much help 
was given the dislocated families in locating dwellings to which they could move; 
arranging temporary housing for their livestock and machinery; and relieving the 
hardships they faced as a result of the acquisition of their farms. 


Announcement of the War Department's projected purchase of 60,000 acres of 
land in three counties of another Midwestern State was made December 6, 1940. 
This land, needed for a new ordnance proving ground, was occupied by 600 

Farmers and representatives of Department of Agriculture and State agencies, 
through local agricultural planning committees, worked together to insure rapid 
and equitable purchase of the land, and to help relocate the displaced farm families. 

A joint meeting of agency personnel and the chairmen of county and township 
agricultural planning committees in the three counties was held immediately 
after the War Department's announcement of intention to purchase the land. 
Through the planning committees, direct contact was established with all families 
living iir the area, to forestall the growth of confusion and misinformation in the 
area. By community meetings and personal interview, the problems facing each 
family were discussed fully, necessary procedures were explained, rights of tenants 
and owners were aired, and the importance of cooperating in the defense under- 
taking was emphasized. 

The tricounty group conferred with the purchasing agent in developing policies 
of procedure and in explaining factors to be considered in arriving at fair compen- 
sation for owners and tenants, including compensation for land, improvements, 
crops, and disturbance costs. The committee established an information office 
in each county, to give information, advice, and aid to the families in moving 
out and in finding new farms. The committee surveyed adjoining townships and 
counties to learn of farms for rent or for sale, to locate emergency housing facilities 
for livestock, and to locate places that could be used for storing machinery and 
feed, pending the farmers' selection of new farms. All such information was 
made available to the displaced families. 

Planning committee workers obtained detailed information on each of the dis- 
placed families, to learn what each family would need in the way of assistance. A 
list of 150 suitable farms for sale or rent was compiled and mimeographed for use 
of the farm people. This list helped many farmers in relocating. 

From the information obtained from the families, Federal and State agencies 
in the area were able to learn what families each agency could properly assist in 
making adjustments. The Farm Security Administration took care of its clients 
and many others with loans, grants, and supervisory help in locating suitable farms 
and moving out. Local banks cooperated in many instances, making loans upon 
the security of the options. The Agricultural Adjustment Administration pro- 
vided data on land productivity and suitability for agriculture of the farms that 
were for rent or sale. Public welfare agencies cooperated by assuming responsi- 
bility for several families. County agricultural agents advised the families indi- 
vidually and in groups, and work to keep the people informed of procedures. The 
Bureau of Agricultural Economics' representative served as liaison man between 
the purchasing agent, Federal and State agencies, and the local planning groups. 

Other vital local problems are now being considered by the planning committees, 
principally those of relocation of roads and electric lines, and readjustments of 
public services in the three counties. 



Construction of two new munitions plants — a powder plant and a bag-loading 
plant — was begun in one locality in late 1940. About 3,500 acres of land had to 
be purchased for the sites, and it was believed that about 11,000 men and women 
would be given employment. 

The agricultural planning committees of the two counties most directly affected 
assembled detailed information on defense housing needs within the territory 
surrounding the new plants, and made recommendations as to desirable policies 
for location of new housing facilities. These recommendations were made on 
request of the Defense Housing Coordinator, through the Department of Agri- 
culture and the land-grant college. 

On receipt of this request, the planning committees of the two counties held a 
joint meeting and discussed plans for the 'survey. Meetings of township planning 
groups were then called in the separate townships, after which the housing survey 
was made, township by township. 

Recommendations resulting from this survey included (1) that authorization be 
given to lease and purchase land in rural areas in order that the following types of 
houses might be constructed: 

On leased land : 

1. Replacement houses on farms that can be bought by the lessor after the war 
to replace an existing substandard unit. 

2. Supplemental houses on farms that can be bought by the lessor after the war, 
to provide improved housing for tenants, hired men, or for a son and his wife who 
have been living at home under crowded conditions. 

On purchased land: 

1. Houses upon plots of land from 3 to 10 acres in size, to be sold after the war 
to part-time farmers. 

2. Rural residences on small plots, to be sold later to industrial workers who 
prefer to live in the country. 

The committee recommended that definite agreements be worked out whereby 
the landowner may lease land to the Government on which new houses can be 
built, such houses to be sold to the farmers after the war. It asked that initial 
authorization be given for erection of 100 defense houses in rural areas, with 
priority given to replacement and supplemental houses on farms, and further 
suggested that this work be done through the Farm Security Administration. 
The committee report also asked that, in any allotment of houses to urban areas, 
serious consideration should be given to specified towns and cities. 


Construction of an ordnance plant near a midwestern town, calling for use of 
21,000 acres of land, was begun in late 1940. This plant is expected to employ 
about 8,000 workers for the duration of the war, and about 1,500 after the war. 
A total of 245 families were required to move from farms in the project area. 

The Department of Agriculture, at request of the Housing Coordinator and the 
National Defense Advisory Commission, asked the State agricultural planning 
committee to cooperate in making a study of defense housing requirements and of 
the labor supply that would be available from farms to work in the plant. The 
study was made by local people on township committees composed of township 
trustees, school boards, and the township agricultural planning committees in 
two counties, assisted by State and Federal agricultural workers. 

The study made dealt with the possibilities for housing defense workers in rural 
areas, from the viewpoint of (1) possible use of these houses for later replacement 
of existing substandard houses on farms; (2) use of subsistence plots for later part- 
time farming work; and (3) erection of houses on tracts where there is need for 
additional housing, or where there is no housing available. The survey covered 
all townships of one county and three townships of another county. Local school 
principals tabulated the information obtained. 

On completion of the survey, a general meeting for the people of the two coun- 
ties was held March 5, and final recommendations of the committees were developed 
and turned over to the Department of Agriculture. 


Soon after the War Department announced that a bomb loading plant was to 
be constructed in a midwestern State, the county agricultural planning committee 
met to work out a program for helping the farm families then living on the pro- 


posed tract. Letters signed by the chairman of the county planning committee 
were promptly sent to the farmers in the area, telling them that a representative 
of the committee would call in a few days. Through personal interviews, a survey 
was then conducted to determine the needs of each family in the area. 

Results of the survey indicated that of the 111 families living in the area, 15 
planned to quit farming when they moved, and 96 would like to find other farms. 
Of this number, 17 families asked for financial help; 65 needed only supervisory 
help and information as to available farms; and the rest were able to take care 
of themselves with no outside help. The county agricultural planning committee 
sent letters to all county agents in nearby counties asking each agent to report 
any farms for lease or sale in his county. A list of available farms was then 
compiled, and the planning committee is now taking further action to help the 
displaced families to move. 


Soon after the Navy Department announced that it contemplated the estab- 
lishment of a naval ammunition depot in the vicinity of a midwestern city, the 
local agricultural planning committee submitted recommendations that the pro- 
posed boundary lines should be extended in order to avoid certain difficulties. 
Specifically, it was suggested that: 

(1) The southeastern corner of the boundary should be extended by about 100 
additional acres. It was pointed out that this area is all that is left in that part 
of the local governmental unit known as Brown Township. It would be much 
easier to buy this land, according to recommendation, than to go through the 
legal process of having it consolidated with another township. 

(2) The northern boundary of the purchase area should be extended by about 
20 tracts. The people living in this area, according to the planning committees, 
would have no outlet for schools or roads or other public facilities. They would 
be left in a forgotten world as far as services in future years are concerned. 

These suggestions were called to the attention of officials of the Navy Depart- 
ment by the Washington office of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics. 


A midwestern village consisting of about six houses and a general store was 
chosen by the War Department as the site for a new shell loading plant. The 
proposed plant was scheduled to occupy a 40,000-acre tract, and the operating 
force of the completed plant was to number about 6,000. According to the State 
representative of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics, it was estimated that 
about 20 to 25 percent of the rural houses within a radius of 25 miles of the village 
were substandard. 

Meetings were held between Washington and State representatives of the Bureal 
of Agricultural Economics to discuss the possibility of developing a housing pro- 
gram in the vicinity in such a way as to improve rural housing, and possibly form 
a basis for a part-time farming community when peace comes. 


In the case of the 73 families once living in an eastern area taken over as a 
proving ground expansion project, technicians of the Bureau of Agricultural 
Economics contacted each family directly, jotting down information as to the 
specific help required. On the basis of these data, each agency undertook respon- 
sibility for aiding those families which it was in a position to help most effectiv ely. 
Result: within 2 months, all 73 families had left the area and nearly all had re- 
located on farms or found other jobs. 


In one western county, the agricultural planning committee developed plans 
for the organization of a farmers' cooperative to supply fresh, locally grown farm 
products to the nearby Army camp. The committee started work on this project 
in January 1941, and by June a building had been built and was being used for 
conducting the co-op's business. The planning committees in a southern county 
and in several northeastern counties have been active in developing similar pro- 

60396 — 42— pt. 28 10 



A National Guard camp in a county in a northeastern State was to be enlarged 
considerably after being taken over by the Army. It was feared that an area of 
good agricultural land might be included in the enlarged camp site. Accordingly, 
the local agricultural planning committee furnished data on types of land in the 
county to Army officials, which enabled the Army to acquire land less suited to 
agricultural production. 

In still other areas where war industries and military training centers have been 
located, county and community agricultural planning committees have moved 
rapidly in getting information and developing plans to assist army officials in the 
acquisition of suitable sites, in guiding the relocation of displaced rural facilities, 
in making inventories of available labor and opportunities for employment, in 
planning the location of needed housing, in preventing the over-burdening of 
public services and facilities, and in numerous other ways cushioning the impacts 
upon rural communities of the establishment of military facilities. Additional ex- 
amples might be cited in connection with 10 Army cantonments and proving 
grounds — one in the Northeast, seven in the South, one in the Midwest and one in 
the Northwest. Still other examples of planning in action are on record with 
regard to 11 plant sites and ammunition depots, of which three are in the North- 
east, six in the Midwest, and two in the South. 



Dr. Lamb. I will direct these first questions to Mr. Rogers. I 
seem to have quite a batch of questions here for you, Mr. Rogers. 
I will ask Mr. Smith especially to join in replying to these at the points 
where he wants either to supplement your remarks or where you want 
to pass the ball to him. 

Is the committee correct in understanding that unpaid family 
workers and persons on the smaller, less efficient farms, account for 
most of the recent reductions in farm labor? 

Mr. Rogers. I think the figures we have in the Department do 
indicate that a great part of the reduction has come from the group 
classed as family labor. Taking the average from one year to the 
next, that has been generally the case. There have been, of course, 
some differences in various regions. 

Dr. Lamb. In its hearings last spring the committee was confronted 
with reports on various impending farm labor shortages. How have 
these expectations worked out? 

Mr. Rogers. Generally, in the early part of the year, the reports 
we got in indicated there were a great many shortages anticipated. 
Wliile in limited localities, probably actual shortages did occur, 
generally, as the season developed, most of the shortaees failed to 
materialize, at least in the degree that was expected. This was true 
when there were some direct or organized methods to recruit, or higher 
wages came in to alleviate such conditions. 

The Chairman. The thought occurred to me, and I was wondering 
whether this new registration, 18 to 64 years, would be valuable data 
as to the Farm Placement Service regarding workmen. 


Mr. Rogers. We hope so. They have a questionnaire which is 
about ready now, I think. In the preparation of it, if I understand 
correctly, the Selective Service was assisted by the Employment 


Service and several other agencies which are interested in the informa- 
tion. The material to be collected by both Selective Service and 
Employment Service is directed, I understand, to get as much infor- 
mation about farm, jobs and people on the farm as about the industrial 
groups. So that should be just as valuable to us in agriculture as in 
any other groups. 

The Chairman. You will have access to it, will you? 

Mr. Rogers. I presume so. Of course, the Employment Service 
will, and a part of the information on that questionnaire, as I under- 
stand it, will be turned over to the Employment Service by Selective 

Dr. Lamb. Mr. Rogers, do you think that the food for victory 
campaign will fail to reach stated goals because of farm-labor 

Mr. Rogers. Dr. Lamb, that is anticipating or looking into the 
future. Of course, there are a good many opinions on that question. 

If the labor that we have available is properly recruited and we 
were able to distribute it properly, perhaps getting some shifted 
from these areas where there are relative surpluses of workers to 
those areas where there are not quite so many, then we should not 
have any difficulty in supplying sufficient farm labor. But it will 
mean that you will have to have an intelligent and rational use of 
the labor on hand. 

Dr. Lamb. Including some orderly shifting about? 

Mr. Rogers. Yes, sir. 

Dr. Lamb. Since the Department of Agriculture considers itself 
responsible for food production in the victory campaign, do you 
consider it primarily responsible for providing an adequate labor 
supply to agriculture? 

responsibility for supply of farm labor 

Mr. Rogers. No. The provision of an adequate labor supply we 
feel is a responsibility of the Employment Service, as it is responsible 
for labor supply to any other industry. 

There is a strong tendency, of course, on the part of the farmers, 
to look to the Department of Agriculture to see that something is 
going to be done to assure them an adequate supply. 

Dr. Lamb. What are the respective functions of the land use plan- 
ning committees and agricultural war boards, in the matter of pro- 
viding adequate farm labor? I would like to say that, of course, we 
have in your prepared statement, certain statements relating to these 
questions, which were prepared before the statements came in. In 
such case, we would like to have you amplify any statements which 
you have made in your replies to these questions. 

Mr. Rogers. I think the statement that was given covers the 
situation fairly accurately up to the present time. 

I think the question should be looked at in this light: That for some 
years we have had agricultural planning committees and about a year 
ago the organization of the farm labor subcommittees was started. 
Their purpose is to work with the Employment Service, to give that 
Service, in local offices and at the State level, the advantage of what 
technical information our people have, to try to interpret the Employ- 


ment Service to the farmers and to try to interpret the farmers' need 
to Employment Service. 

In July, I believe, the Secretary set up the defense boards to coordi- 
nate the Department's activities in the field in relation to war effort. 
Then, around the first of the year those were renamed war boards. 
The war boards do have the responsibility for coordinating all of the 
Department of Agriculture activities in relation to war effort. 


Dr. Lamb. Would you describe the war boards, how many they 
are, and where they are located, and so on? 

Mr. Rogers. There is a U. S. D. A. War Board in every agricultural 
county in each State. The War Board is made up of representatives 
of departmental agencies and Extension Service. 

In most cases in the county you have Agricultural Adjustment 
Administration, Farm Security Administration, and Extension Service. 

At the State level there are several other agencies included. You 
would have the Bureau of Agricultural Economics and Agricultural 
Marketing Service, Soil Conservation, Farm Security Administration, 
and others. 

Dr. Lamb. What about the land-use planning committees? Are 
they also in every agricultural county? 

Mr. Rogers. Not in every one. They are set up in large numbers, 
but they are not in every single county in the country. 

Dr. Lamb. What about their membership; would it be the same? 

Mr. Rogers. The membership of the agricultural planning com- 
mittees includes, in addition to departmental agencies, a group of 
farmers. ' Then, I think the next question is as to the farm labor 
subcommittees. They include a membership of departmental repre- 
sentatives, plus a group of farmers, the Employment Service, W. P. A. 
and quite frequently other groups that might be interested in the 
farm-labor problem. 

Dr. Lamb. Do I understand that the war boards do not have farmers 
on them? 

Mr. Rogers. The war boards do not. They have only employees 
of the Department and the Extension Service. 

Mr. Maddox. May I interrupt? The representative of the Agri- 
cultural Adjustment Administration in the county is ordinarily a 
farmer, is he not? 

Mr. Rogers. To some extent. 

Dr. Lamb. Who would be the chairman of the Agricultural War 

Mr. Rogers. The representative of the Agricultural Adjustment 
Administration . 

Dr. Lamb. What about the chairman of the Land Use Planning 

Mr. Rogers. In most cases the Extension Service Director. 

Mr. Smith. That is the Chairman of the State planning committee. 

Mr. Taeuber. But a farmer is the chairman of the county com- 

Dr. Lamb. And a farmer would be chairman of the county 
U. S. D. A. War Board. That is to say, he would be the A. A. A. com- 
mittee chairman? 

Mr. Rogers. That is right. 



Mr. Black. May I ask a question of Mr. Rogers? He has very 
specifically stated that the responsibility of the War Board is the 
coordination of the efforts of the United States Department of Agri- 
culture agencies. Earlier you asked him a question which led him to 
state that it was the responsibility of the United States Employment 
Service and its local labor market representatives to see to it that the 
farmers were supplied with labor, insofar as possible. 

Now, those statements are very specific and I wonder if I get the full 
import of them. Does he really mean then that the war boards are 
not responsible for coordinating the efforts of the local employment 

Mr. Rogers. I don't know that I understand exactly what you 
mean, Mr. Black. 

Mr. Black. You are using this word "responsibility" pretty 
loosely, it seems to me, and I want to know just what you mean by it. 

Mr. Rogers. First of all, it is my understanding that the official 
employment exchange agency of the Government is the United States 
Employment Service. That extends to all industries and extends to 
agriculture the same as it would to manufacturing or shipbuilding or 
anything else. We recognize it as such and are doing everything we 
can to help them out in the agricultural field. Now, then, the war 
boards would coordinate the activities of the Department of Agricul- 
ture agencies, and would be responsible in any program we had to see 
that they tied up with employment service. I don't think that, 
beyond the cooperative stage, our war boards or anybody else in the 
Department of Agriculture would be able to go further with the 
employment service than the employment service wanted to go, if 
that is what you mean. 

Mr. Black. There are two independent responsibilities here. Are 
these responsibilities interlocked or interrelated? 

Dr. Lamb. May I interrupt to ask a question? Who would find 
that there was a shortage of labor in that county? 

Mr. Rogers. The United States Employment Service. 

Dr. Lamb. What would the role of the War Board be in that con- 
nection, or the role of the subcommittee of the Land Use Planning? 

Mr. Rogers. I think the role of the committee would be that of 
pointing out that they had better look at this area over here. 

Dr. Lamb. Would that be done both by the War Board and the 
labor subcommittee? 

Mr. Rogers. That would be done ordinarily by the labor subcom- 
mittee. If the labor subcommittee was not doing something about it 
and the War Board itself thought something should be done, they have 
the subcommittee there to call on. 

Dr. Lamb. Let us suppose the local labor subcommittee makes_ a 
finding that there is no shortage and the War Board says there is. 
Then what happens? 

Mr. Rogers. I don't think we have had that case arise yet. 

Dr. Lamb. I think I can think of a few counties where it might. 

Mr. Rogers. That is quite possible. That particular thing, I 
think, would be one of those matters we would have to iron out when 
it hits us. I still say that officially it is the Employment Service that 


is the one to find whether or not there is really a shortage. The 
other agencies may indicate a fear that a shortage exists. 

The Chairman. Do you know of any actual instances where 
there has been any shortage reported to the War Board, and what 
action, if any, they took? 

Mr. Rogers. Not at the present time. In the early months of 
last year, there were some questions that came up in the farm labor 
subcommittees, but as for the war boards themselves, they were 
created a little later on. I don't know of any such questions that 
have come to my attention. 

Mr. Black. Isn't it a correct statement that last year the local 
labor subcommittees tended to anticipate a considerably larger labor 
shortage than the Employment Service later found to exist? 

Mr. Rogers. Mr. Black, I will have to refer to a statement already 
made. Early in the year, everybody was anticipating troubles that 
later didn't develop to the extent that they anticipated. Whether it 
was the committee itself or whether the stage at which they were 
doing the anticipating that caused that difference, would be a question. 

Dr. Lamb. I think I might have a question relating to that later. 


Mr. Smith. I might comment on the labor subcommittees' func- 
tion as compared with that of the war boards. 

The labor subcommittees of the Planning Committee constituting, 
as Mr. Rogers has pointed out, representatives not only of the agencies 
of the Department, but also of the farmers, and also of representatives 
of Employment Service and W. P. A. and sometimes other agencies, 
get together and study the labor situation, get all of the information 
that they can get from various sources on the labor situation. They 
study and attempt to develop plans for action that might be taken 
to remedy a situation or an anticipated situation. Now, in these 
deliberations, the Department agencies, and Employment Service 
and other agencies, are all sitting together, and they attempt to 
develop plans to be put into action by the appropriate agencies, 
whatever those agencies may be. 

In most of these cases, as Mr. Rogers has pointed out, the action 
would be taken by the Employment Service. Sometimes action 
might be taken by an agency of the Department of Agriculture. 

For example, housing might be a problem, and the Department of 
Agriculture, through its Farm Security Administration, might be able 
to do something to remedy a housing problem in a particular area. 
Now, the war boards, made up of representatives of the Department 
and of the Extension Service, would coordinate all action taken on 
farm labor problems by the agencies of the Department of Agriculture. 
Inasmuch as the same Department agencies that are represented on 
the war boards are also represented on the labor subcommittees, along 
with farmers and representatives of other agencies, outside of the 
Department, the war boards are informed constantly of the informa- 
tion that is developed and the plans that are developed and recom- 
mendations for action to be taken by the appropriate agencies. 

Dr. Lamb. Another question along the same general lines. Do 
either the land-use planning committees or the agricultural war 
boards on the State and county levels, take their directives from the 
Department of Agriculture, Mr. Rogers? 


Mr. Rogers. War boards would, to a greater extent than the other 
groups, if I understand what you mean by "directive." In other 
words, the war boards are made up of Department representatives 
only and represent operating agencies. 

Of course, Washington may refer to the land-use planning commit- 
tees items that generally need attention and, by and large, they would 
consider them. This is a planning group. 

Dr. Lamb. One more question with respect to the war boards. 
What is the theory behind the choice of the chairmen of the county 

A. A. A. committee as the chairman of the local war board? 

Mr. Rogers. I don't know that I could give you an entirely ade- 
quate answer for the Department. It is my understanding that one 
of the principal reasons is because there is a direct line of administra- 
tion from the Secretary down into the county, through that channel. 

Dr. Lamb. A question about the land-use committee. What does 
the B. A. E. do with the information submitted by the farm labor sub- 
committees? Maybe Mr. Smith would like to answer that. 


Mr. Smith. The information submitted by the farm labor subcom- 
mittee is considered along with information from all other sources on 
the labor situation. Now, the principal sources of information on the 
farm labor situation are the Agricultural Marketing Service and the 
Bureau of Agricultural Economics, which services planning com- 

The farm labor subcommittees are, you might say, consumers of all 
of the information on farm labor that they can get from Agricultural 
Marketing Service and other sources, W. P. A. studies, Census reports, 
and any information that the Employment Service will be obtaining 
through its program. Inasmuch as they are members of these labor 
subcommittees, Employment Service employees can get information 
on farm labor problems from the committees. 

Dr. Lamb. My question is: What happens to the information com- 
ing from the subcommittees to the B. A. E.? Does that come to the 

B. A. E. or to you, Mr. Rogers? 

Mr. Rogers. To the B. A. E. Of course, it is available to us. 

Mr. Smith. That information is used in Washington along with 
information from all other sources in developing the information and 
suggestions to pass on down in turn to the committees. I might say 
that last year the farm labor statistics gathering machinery at the 
Department of Agriculture, through the Agricultural Marketing Serv- 
ice, was not adequate and, for a time last summer, these labor sub- 
committees were called upon to furnish information about local situa- 
tions, more than normally would be the case. There no doubt would 
always be reporting of problems that they were facing, but furnishing 
actual statistical information, or anything of that type, was sort of 
an unusual function for them to perform. 

They did that for a time last summer, due to the fact that we did 
not have as complete machinery for gathering farm labor statistics 
at that time as we expect to have during the coming season. 

Mr. Rogers. I was just going to add to this, that among other 
things coming back in we get a picture of some of the problems that 
they have and, while we feel tbe final and most important work on 


the actual supplying of farm labor is something that will have to be 
done in the States, or locally, there are policies that can be set. They 
can't handle some of these problems down there until the information 
is on hand here and policies determined by agencies concerned. We 
try to see that necessary arrangements are made here so that they 
can go ahead in each State or local community. 

Dr. Lamb. I was going to ask whether last summer the local or 
State committees were used to check the earlier reports which they 
and the Agricultural Marketing Service had arrived at with respect 
to impending shortages? Was there a recheck made during the 

Mr. Smith. They attempted to keep in touch with the situation 
constantly, and as the situation changed, or appeared to change, they 
were conscious of that by following it closely all the way through. 

Dr. Lamb. I ask because, for example, in our hearings in Michigan, 
we discovered that the Agricultural Marketing Service had reported 
that, according to its index of supply and demand the supply in 
Michigan during the early summer had been expected to be 49 per- 
cent of the demand. A recheck was made — exactly who did this, I 
don't know — and according to information received by us, this recheck 
proved that no substantial shortage existed. I wondered what 
machinery was used for such recheck, and whether it was done by the 
B. A. E. 


Mr. Smith. The Agricultural Marketing Service surveys or their 
gathering of information is a continuous process, reported monthly. 
As soon as those figures would show a change in the situation, the 
information would go directly from the Agricultural Marketing Service 
to these committees, as well as to the B. A. E., and other people in 
Washington. If the Agricultural Marketing Service obtained later 
information which varied from earlier information, that would be 
sent to the field for the benefit of the committees in their future 

Mr. Black. But the facts are that that 49 percent supply-and- 
demand figure, reported by Agricultural Marketing Service early in 
the serson, was not changed appreciably by later reports through 
the Agricultural Marketing Service? 

Mr. Smith. I am not familiar with the figures for the State of 
Michigan, but if the figures reflected a change at any time, the figures 
became available to all committees immediately. 

Mr. Black. That method of reporting did not at any time reveal 
the real supply and demand situation. 

Mr. Smith. Those particular reports consider supply as a per- 
centage of demand in relation to what the reporters considered to 
be normal. 

We have to recognize that what many people came to consider 
as a normal situation was a considerable surplus of farm labor. In 
some areas, even though the percentage of supply to normal appeared 
to be a fairly small percentage, if in that particular area the normal 
situation had become one of considerable surplus, that still might 
not mean that the farmers would be unable to obtain sufficient labor. 

However, I think that action taken in the way of better recruiting 
and more efficient utilization of existing supplies, increases in wage 


rates, and many of the points Mr. Rogers has just mentioned, may 
have entered into it, and the farmers actually were able, by following 
these methods, to get by better than they had thought they would. 
That was the case in some areas. 

Dr. Lamb. I think we will come hack to this line of questioning a 
little later. I would like to ask one more question. My question is 
whether you think it would be desirable for the Land Use Planning 
Committees to have representatives of agricultural laborers on those 
committees, and if so, how would you suggest that labor participation 
be instituted? 

Mr. Smith. There would certainly be no objection to it. It should 
be desirable. 

The problem they had last year and the problem we still have, is 
that of helping the Employment Service, interpreting the Employ- 
ment Service to the operators and laborers, and interpreting the 
operators' and laborers' problems to the Employment Service. 

One or two States, according to the information I have, are sug- 
gesting putting some representatives of farm workers on, but I am 
sorry I don't know just the method they are following. There 
would be some problems involved in getting that done, I believe. 

women's land army 

Mr. Sparkman. Mr. Rogers, I would like to ask you whether you 
think that a women's land army will be necessary in 1942. 

Mr. Rogers. Mr. Congressman, that term, "Women's land army" 
is like some of these other terms. I don't know just what it means. 

If it means what I think we generally imply, an organization all 
over the country, the answer is "No." Some States, some localities 
may, without much question, need to use women in agriculture 
more this year than they have in the past. 

Mr. Sparkman. Your thought is that it would be a desirable thing 
in certain sections or localities, but probably would not be necessary 

Mr. Rogers. That is right. If it is needed in those localities, and 
is handled properly, it would be desirable. 

Mr. Sparkman. And you are in favor of it with those limitations? 

Mr. Rogers. It still goes back to what you mean by that general 
loose term. 

Mr. Sparkman. The whole thing resolves itself into a question of 
necessity, doesn't it? 

Mr. Rogers. That is right. 

Mr. Sparkman. What general effect would such employment of 
women have on the agricultural wage structure? 

Mr. Rogers. Of course, our idea had been that such a move 
would be under the direction of Employment Service, and that the 
Employment Service would follow its usual policy, in first utilizing 
fully all of the normal labor supply, and that group would not be 
brought in until such time as there was an actual necessity for it. 
It should be brought in on whatever the standard working conditions 

Mr. Sparkman. We did use women's services quite extensively in 
agriculture during the last war, did we not? 

Mr. Rogers. I believe so. I don't know just how extensively. 


Mr. Sparkman. And at that time the assignments were made, 
were they not, under the supervision of the Employment Service 
and the Department of Labor? 

Mr. Rogers. That may have varied from State to State, Mr. 
Congressman. I am not positive as to the details of it. 

Mr. Sparkman. But every effort was made to make these place- 
ments according to approved working and living conditions and so 

Mr. Rogers. I believe so. 

Mr. Sparkman. Now, in the event that instead of using the term 
"women's land army" which we agree is subject to various interpreta- 
tions, suppose I just refer to it as the extensive employment of women 
in agriculture? If that policy is adopted during this war, do you think 
that care should be taken to see. that those standards are maintained? 

Mr. Rogers. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. Hours of work and proper working conditions, and 
you are in favor of their receiving the same wage as men would receive 
for doing the same work over the same time and under the same 

Mr. Rogers. It should at least be comparable. 

boys' working reserve in last war 

Mr. Sparkman. We understand also that during the last war some 
300,000 boys below the draft age were enrolled and placed on farms by 
the Department of Labor, that is, the United States Employment 
Branch of the Department of Labor, through the Boys' Working 

These boys were given physical examinations, paid what was deemed 
a fair wage, their work and living conditions were supervised to pre- 
vent exploitation and loss of educational opportunities. 

If youth is similarly enrolled in agricultural work for this war, do 
you think that similar standards should be maintained? 

Mr. Rqgers. I think so. The problem of youth, the Boys' Work- 
ing Reserve, and Women's Land Army, would probably parallel very 

Mr. Sparkman. What agency do you think should prescribe those 
standards and exercise supervision? 

Mr. Rogers. Those agencies that were working on standards for 
other groups would probably be best equipped to do it. 

The Department of Labor, I believe, did quite a bit of that, and some 
of the State Departments of Labor. 

Of course, you should consider some of your agricultural problems 
along with the determination of the standards of wages and working 
conditions, but those agencies that would ordinarily do that, I feel 
should exercise the same responsibility here. 


Mr. Sparkman. I believe it is also true that during the last war 
immigration restrictions were lowered so as to permit the importation 
of Mexican labor, labor from the Bahamas Islands. Already, I be- 
lieve, there is some demand for the admission of Mexican laborers. 
Do you think that the importation of alien labor would be necessary 
during this year? 


Mr. Rogers. With the labor that we have in the United States 
properly utilized, it should not be necessary. 

Mr. Sparkman. Is that going to require shifting of the people in 
order to be properly utilized? 

Mr. Rogers. I think without any question it is going to require full 
and better use of people already in agricultural producing areas, and 
some shifting of workers from area to area, particularly for seasonal 

Mr. Sparkman. Will it require extensive shifting? By that I mean 
would it require a considerable number, and in instances moving over 
considerable distances? 

Mr. Rogers. We already have, through our seasonal shifts, what 
I would term "considerable shifting." A lot of what we have had in 
the past, of course, has been more or less undirected. Now, we need 
a great deal more directed movement from place to place this year 
than we have had in the past. 

Mr. Sparkman. What agency should have the responsibility of 
saying whether or not alien labor was necessary? 

Mr. Rogers. The United States Employment Service. 

Mr. Sparkman. While employers of Mexicans and other alien labor 
have contended that they were necessary, other groups in the various 
communities have argued that such labor is exploited to the detriment 
of wage standards, creating various prolems of relief, health and so 
forth. Can you recommend how such problems can be met without 
imposing, burdens on others in the community? 

Mr. Rogers. Should it become necessary to bring the workers in, 
they should be brought in with the understanding that they have the 
same standards as others in the community. If we work on the basis 
of not bringing them in until we have first utilized the workers in the 
country, they should be brought in at the standard generally existing 
here at that time. 


Mr. Sparkman. I am getting a great many complaints, and I 
presume every representative from farm areas gets similar complaints, 
about the failure of the Selective Service to give proper regard to 
deferment of farm labor. What has the Office of Agricultural Defense 
Relations done with reference to this? 

Mr. Rogers. The Department has been working with the Selective 
Service System ever since the office was established. Of course, the 
Office of Agricultural Defense Relations came into the picture a little 

The Department has found by and large that the Selective Service 
System has been giving agriculture very equitable consideration. 
There are, of course, problems in agriculture that area little different 
than others. In some cases you can't quite so distinctly draw the 
line between specific occupations. 

However, they have taken those things into consideration, and by 
and large it is our feeling that agricultural workers have been given 
fair consideration. 

In some local boards, and in some cases, it is possible, judging from 
the letters you get and the letters we get, that there might be some 


question about that. We are still working with them and trying to 
get even a further clarification of the problem. 

Mr. Sparkman. I want it understood that my question did not 
imply any criticism of General Hershey or the Selective Service 
System, because I think they have certainly shown an intention of 
following the proper policy, but these complaints do come in. I 
realize it may depend very largely upon the functioning of the local 

Mr. Rogers. The question of deferment sometimes is the question 
of dependency or an occupational deferment. Another thing that 
comes in on the occupational end is whether the farm is contributing 
something to the market. 

The Selective Service has instructed their local boards in considering 
agricultural deferments to consider first the importance of the product, 
second the farm itself, whether it is a going concern, that is, contrib- 
uting to the market, and third, the skill of the man and the difficulty 
in replacing the man, and fourth, the relative shortage of labor. 

Mr. Sparkman. I didn't catch the first one. 

Mr. Rogers. The importance of the product. 

Mr. Sparkman. By that do you mean a farm laborer on the farm 
producing food of the type that is particularly desired would be given 
a higher deferment than one on a farm producing cotton? 

Mr. Rogers. Sometimes one might bear a little heavier in the 
minds of the local boards than the other. 

Mr. Sparkman. And don't you believe that putting into effect 
this policy of deferment that every effort should be made to preserve 
the family unit as a producing unit, rather than replacing a member 
of the family by a hired laborer? 

Mr. Rogers. That would largely come up as a question of depend- 
ency, which would not come into your occupational group. 

Mr. Maddox. May I interrupt just a moment? 

Mr. Sparkman. Yes. 

complexities or problem of labor supply 

Mr. Maddox. It seems to me the whole question as to whether or 
not we need to use women and children and perhaps foreign sources 
to give us an adequate labor supply, is an extremely complex one. It 
involves the whole problem of how we should allocate our total labor 
supply in this country as between armed forces, certain lines of agri- 
cultural production, and certain lines of industrial production. It 
also involves the possibility or feasibility of some changes in our 
agricultural organization, agricultural plant, as to size and type of 
units, just as the allocation of industrial production goes to various 
sizes and types of units, some of which are not now utilized. 

Moreover, in the question as to how foreign labor can be used, in 
view of our policy of hemispheric solidarity, it seems to me that we 
have to reckon with what production Mexican labor might be engaged 
in in Mexico, as well as what it might be engaged in if it was brought 
to this country. 

We need, in other words, to view the relation of the various lines of 
labor to the various lines of production, not only in this country, but 
in the hemisphere. 


If appropriate, I should be very much interested in knowing Mr. 
Black's reaction. I know he is a thorough student of all the ramifica- 
tions of the agricultural supply. 

Mr. Black. I think we had better defer that until later in the 

Mr. Sparkman. We will be glad to hear you at the appropriate 

Of course, Mr. Rogers, I think you have shown in your answers the 
importance of special consideration being given to the deferment of 
farm workers, if essential. 

Mr. Rogers. As individuals. 

Mr. Sparkman. Based on individuals. It is just as important as 
it is in industry or any part of the war production program. 

It is our understanding that several States have passed "work or 
fight" laws during the last war, directed in part toward transient 

Our attention has recently been directed to a practice of a local 
defense council in one State posting placards in agricultural areas 
which read, "Work or fight. This means you." 

Do you know of any such instances, or do you know if they require 
legislative authority? 

Mr. Rogers. No, sir; I am sorry, I don't know of any such 


Mr. Sparkman. If new sources are to be tapped in providing farm 
labor, will these be mainly urban or rural? 

Mr. Rogers. I would say they will have to be mainly urban, if you 
consider new individuals. The sources that are already there in the 
rural communities could be utilized much better, and if we are able to 
keep a man working 6 instead of 4 days a week he works more and 
accomplishes more and gets more wages. 

There would be a tendency for your rural workers, if they happened 
to be located where the production is, to go into industry. By and 
large, the new sources would be urban, with the exception — as Mr. 
Taeuber will undoubtedly bring out a little later — that there are a 
good many sections of the country where we could easily move workers 
from farming areas having surplus labor to places where they could 
be better used. 

Mr. Sparkman. I remember some time ago someone who testified 
before us brought out the point that we usually don't reckon correctly 
as to the unemployed in rural sections, due to the fact that unemploy- 
ment there is not felt or shown so clearly. If you have five members 
in the family, in times where the ultimate production is required, all 
of them will be working. If the time comes when there is plenty or a 
surplus, all five will continue to work, dividing the work among them, 
and they are not producing to their utmost. I wonder if there is much 
of that in the country now? 

Mr. Rogers. Probably a considerable amount of it, and of course 
there are two ways to work on the thing, and either method has some 
practical limitation. 


One way to help would be to try to get better production on the farm 
where the family of five is located, and keep them employed more 
throughout the year. The other would be to move them to the place 
where the big production is. By working from both directions 

Mr. Sparkman. You could obtain the greatest utilization of that 
labor reserve? 

Mr. Rogers. That is right. In the war endeavor, one thing that 
should be done, wherever it is practical, is to encourage the location of 
the war industries in the areas where this surplus group is located. 

Mr. Sparkman. What has happened to the wage levels of farm 
labor? Has there been a tendency for the depression wages to hold on, 
or has there been an increase? 

Mr. Rogers. In general, farm wages have followed farm prices 
pretty well. 

Mr. Sparkman. That is always true, isn't it? 

Mr. Rogers. I think it is generally true. 

Mr. Sparkman. To what extent are current farm labor shortages 
a reflection of inadequate wages and working conditions? 

Mr. Rogers. In many cases it is just that. 

inadequacy of farm wages 

Mr. Sparkman. Is it the inadequacy of the wages on the farm or is 
it the opportunity that the worker on the farm has to go to some 
defense plant or war production industry and get better wages? 

Mr. Rogers. Of course, many have gone to defense plants or war 
production industries, and received higher wages, and that in part has 
led to the necessity for paying higher wages for farm work. I think 
that factor is the thing we are talking about. If it costs $10 a month 
more to get a hired man than it did, that increase in wages is what 

Mr. Sparkman. If we speak of the inadequacy of farm wages, I 
think that it makes a great deal of difference whether we mean the 
inadequacy compared to farm prices, or whether we mean the inade- 
quacy as compared to wages in industry. Naturally the farmer must 
take into consideration the cost of production as well as the indus- 
trialist. Is it your thought that the wages he pays for farm labor must 
follow more closely the curve of the prices he gets for his product, 
rather than the curve of the prices paid to the person working in 

Mr. Rogers. Of course, there is a limit that the farmer can go in 
paying wages. At the same time, the wages paid in other industries 
are bound to have an effect. It is a question of competition. 

Mr. Sparkman. But he must be careful that those lines never cross, 
musn't he? I mean as between the price he gets for his products and 
the wages? 

Mr. Rogers. There is a limit beyond which he cannot go and stay 
in business, even on a farm. 


Mr. Sparkman. Yes. There has been some agitation for the ex- 
tension of minimum wages to farm labor. Do you believe this would 
stabilize the agricultural labor supply and reduce the incentive to 
migrate to industrial centers? 


Mr. Rogers. Of course, that is tied up with all these other things. 

Mr. Sparkman. Your previous answer would apply to that? 

Mr. Rogers. Yes; and one difficulty m agricultural wages has been 
the difference in wages paid between farmers in one section and the 
wages paid by farmers who may be 100 miles away. 

Mr. Sparkman. Those things have a way of sifting themseives 
down pretty well, don't they? 

Mr. Rogers. Once in awhile. 

Mr. Sparkman. But sometimes they are a little slow? 

Mr. Rogers. Yes. 

Mr. Sparkman. Does the Department of Agriculture have available 
data on wages and farm costs sufficiently accurate to determine the 
feasibility of a wage policy on farm labor? 

Mr. Smith. The Department has considerable information that 
would be very helpful, I think, in making any determination. 


Mr. Sparkman. If there ever should be an extension of the mini- 
mum wage law to agricultural workers, would it be your recommenda- 
tion that it be administered in the Department of Labor, the Wage and 
Hours Division, or should it be administered in the Department of 
Agriculture as in the case of the sugar acts? 

Mr. Smith. Were you directing that to me? 

Mr. Sparkman. Any of you. 

Mr. Smith. I do not know of the Department's official attitude on 
that matter. My own idea would be that it should be administered 
by the agency administering similar provisions for other labor in the 
country. I feel the Department of Agriculture could be very helpful 
to such an agency, furnishing them information and otherwise. 

The sugar provisions on labor standards do not apply generally, 
even to all workers in sugar. They apply to those sugar workers on 
farms which participate in the agricultural adjustment program. 

As a practical matter it reaches nearly all of them, because most of 
them participate in the A. A. A. program. 

Mr. Sparkman. Those that are not reached, generally speaking, 
ar-- they the employees of the big sugar producers, or the small in- 
aividual farmers? 

Mr. Smith. I am not sure of the situation there. I would be 
inclined to think that probably they would be somewhat more among 
the larger operators, but that may be incorrect. 

Mr. Sparkman. Do any of you other gentlemen have anything you 
want to say about that question, as to whether it should be adminis- 
tered by the Wage and Hour Division or the Department of Agricul- 


Mr. Black. I might remark that the Wage and Hour Division 
would be administering wages of farm laborers, as well as laborers in 
cotton textile mills, and the like, in the South. You would have the 
peculiar situation of 35 and 40 cents an hour in textile mills, too, and 10 
cents an hour on cotton farms, and that might look a little obvious 
and something more might be done about it. As a matter of fact, 
with cotton at 10 and 15 cents a pound, he can't afford to pay any 


more, and faced with the Wage and Hour Division's setting a wage 
for cotton textile mills in the same territory of 35 cents an hour 

Mr. Sparkman. I believe it has gone to 40 now. 

Mr. Black. That has had a great deal to do with precipitation of 
the acute situation in the United States with respect to demands for 
higher prices for farm products. 

Mr. Sparkman. Of course, you are familiar, I suppose, with the 
generally accepted idea, among farmers at least, that the hourly 
wage that farmers can afford to pay for farm labor is the price of a 
pound of cotton. 

If cotton sells at 20 cents a pound as it is selling now, he can afford 
to pay 20 cents an hour for his labor. If it sells for 8 cents a pound, 
that is all he can pay per hour. 

Your idea is, as I understand it, we might probably" look for a 
greater maladjustment, or misadjustment, if the Wage and Hour 
Division should try to set farm prices comparable to industrial prices? 

Mr. Black. It would create a situation in which a very large migra- 
tion of labor, especially the farm people of the South, would have to 
take place, which may, of course, be something this country very 
much needs, in order to secure a more equitable distribution of our 
resources between our population in various sections. 

Mr. Sparkman. Of course, we have a large migration of people out 
of the South all the time. 

Mr. Black. But not fast enough to equalize opportunities in the 

Mr. Sparkman. Is it due to the speed in migration or the excellent 
speed in reproduction? 

Mr. Black. Both. 

Mr. Sparkman. I remember Dr. Vance told us a few years ago 
that the southeast is the seedbed of the Nation and will continue to 

Mr. Black. But by the time it gets to the harvest, it suffers from 
both poor health and low standards of living. 

I merely remarked that if the Wage and Hour Division were given 
the job of administering this they would have a pretty situation on 
their hands. They would be faced with the anomaly of setting 15 
cents for one and 40 cents for the other. I wonder what they could 
do about it? I would like to see them faced with it. 

Mr. Sparkman. I wouldn't. I don't mind saying that I am a 
strong believer in the fact that wage levels on the farm must be 
determined by the price the farmer gets for his products. 

Mr. Black. I would be inclined to say that, practically speaking, 
that is correct. Of course, I don't agree with Mr. Rogers' statement 
that wages of farm labor have been determined by farm prices. As 
a matter of fact, since the World War the level of wages on farm labor 
has been as much due to unemployment in cities as it has been to 
the prices of farm products. I could demonstrate that to you. 


Movements up and down from year to year tend to reflect farm 
prices somewhat, but the level has been as much due to unemploy- 
ment and underemployment in cities, and the damming back of labor 
supply on the farm, as it has been to farm income. 


Mr. Sparkman. I don't want to argue with you. It seems to me 
that goes back to the old question, which came first, the hen or the 
egg. As a matter of fact, where those conditions existed, the farm 
prices were down and reflected the same conditions. 

Mr. Black. The wages of farm labor in the last depression, from 
1921 on to 1929, when there was plenty of employment in the cities 
and migration was moving rapidly, were high in relation to prices of 
farm products. 

In the depression, when unemployment set" in in the cities, wages 
were low, in relation to prices of farm products, and they have only 
gone up to somewhere near the pre-war relation in the last 2 or 3 years. 


Mr. Maddox. I would like to suggest that the setting of wages 
for farm labor is closely tied in with other things Government might 
do. It should not be viewed wholly as a wage-price problem. 

The things Government might do with respect to health and educa- 
tion might be as important as wages of agricultural laborers, and I 
would also like to suggest that during a war period, a real emergenc} 7 " 
situation such as we have now, we should not be too extremely 
conscious of wages and prices and profits. 

What we need to think about is productive capacity and resources 
by which you could make that productive capacity produce what is 
needed to be produced. 

Mr. Sparkman. Gentlemen, I would like very much to sit on with 
you through the entire hearing, but it is necessary for me to go to a 
meeting of the Military Affairs Committee, of which I am a member. 
I have enjoyed it immensely, and only wish I could stay here. 

Dr. Lamb. Mr. Arnold will be here shortly after 11 o'clock. I will 
carry on from where Congressman Sparkman left off. 


Mr. Rogers, can you tell the committee why the Secretary of 
Agriculture has urged Congress to make fair-wage hearings under the 
Sugar Act optional rather than mandatory? 

Mr. Rogers. I don't know. I am sorry, I couldn't tell you. 

Dr. Lamb. In the Secretary's report for 1941 on page 158 he states: 

To industrial workers, legislative achievements of the past few years have 
brought the boons of fair wages and hours and a measure of social security. The 
time must come when similar benefits are extended to farm workers. 

Would you care to express an opinion as to when this time will come? 

Mr. Smith. I think I would say that I would agree with the Secre- 
tary, who stated it has come, if I understand your question. 

Dr. Lamb. As far as farm workers are concerned, he simply said 
"the time must come when similar benefits are extended." 

Mr. Smith. Then I would express my personal opinion that the 
sooner the better. 

Mr. Maddox. Dr. Lamb, isn't that a question more dependent upon 
the actions of this committee and Congress, than on the executive 
branches of the Government? 

Dr. Lamb. I might ask in turn whether it is not more the function 
of the constituents of both the executive and legislative branches of 
the Government? 

60390—42 — pt. 2S 11 


Mr. Maddox. I agree with you. 

Dr. Lamb. And, of course, secretaries have as close touch with those 
constituents as Members of Congress, and perhaps a little more, 
because they have to consult them closely only every 2 years, whereas 
the Secretary hears from them by machinery already established, 
quite continuously. 

Mr. Maddox. That is true. 

Dr. Lamb. The next question, and the last which I wanted to direct 
to Mr. Rogers and Mr. Smith is: 

The Secretary of Agriculture points out in the same page of his 
report, that improvement of conditions for farm laborers depends 
upon improved farm incomes. He then says: 

Yet the Department does not intend to wait for some set fund of larger income 
to be returned to agriculture before taking steps to improve the lot of farm 

Would you care to amplify this statement? 

Mr. Rogers. I think in amplifying it it would be purely on a per- 
sonal basis. 

Mr. Maddox mentioned awhile ago a lot of other things come into 
this picture, such as housing, and a good many other elements that go 
to make up actual living. I think perhaps those are the things he had 
in mind. I am just assuming that is the case. 

Dr. Lamb. The next questions are directed to Mr. Conrad 
Taeuber — and again, if there are points which other members of the 
panel wish to raise, I wish they would do so. 

Many persons have been puzzled by the seeming paradox of surplus 
population and labor shortages existing simultaneously in agriculture. 

Will you comment on this? 

maldistribution of farm labor 

Mr. Taeuber. I think Mr. Rogers already pointed to one of the 
reasons for that and that is it is largely a matter of geographical 

We do have a relatively large volume of underemployed persons in 
certain areas. Some of those persons are remote from the areas where 
there are large demands for agricultural workers, and some are rather 
nearby, but there are various reasons — cultural, traditional, some relat- 
ing to race and others to background and training — which have made 
it difficult to shift from areas where we have this underemployed or 
ineffectively employed volume of workers, to the area where agricul- 
tural workers are needed. 

Dr. Lamb. It is still true to say that despite the great increases 
contemplated in agricultural production, there are and will be in the 
foreseeable future, too many people engaged in agriculture? 

Mr. Taeuber. I would like to answer that by rephrasing your 
statement. I think it is true in the foreseeable future that we can 
handle the expected increases with the number of people we now have. 

Again it becomes a matter of the extent to which we can utilize 
efficiently the manpower that is available. 

Dr. Lamb. Of course, we are faced at the moment with the question 
of our full use of labor supply, using labor in its broadest terms, on 
behalf of the war effort in prospect for the next couple of years, and 
the pressure of shortages is going to be great. 


Would you give an estimate of how many people could be spared 
from agriculture at this time without impairing agricultural produc- 


Mr. Taeuber. That is a figure that is extremely difficult to give. 
I think it could be demonstrated on paper that we could spare as 
many as 2,000,000 providing we could reorganize the others on an 
efficient basis. That figure is probably too high, because the machin- 
ery and necessary funds to an agency like the Farm Security Ad- 
ministration are not available at the moment. 

The excess above replacement needs, running in the neighborhood 
of 200,000 young people a year on farms, is available. Possibly 
several hundred thousand and possibly more than a million of the 
very low income farms could readily spare at least 1 person without 
serious impairment, provided we have machinery to make the adjust- 
ment on the other end. 

We have 1940 census figures showing volumes of workers unem- 
ployed. Perhaps the inventory of manpower will give us a better 
picture of how many of those are still left in the large areas where 
relatively large numbers have been congregated. 

We recognize that during the depression years a great many people 
who also come in this category moved to neighboring farm areas, and 
now would also be available. 

Dr. Lamb. Students have been pointing out for some years — and 
in fact from time to time I feel it is the favorite statistic of the Depart- 
ment of Agriculture— that 50 percent of the farmers account for 
only 10 percent of commercial farm production. Can you amplify 
this census finding with particular studies? 

Mr. Taeuber. The one most frequently quoted is the 1929 figure. 
The 1940 census now provides similar figures. 

Dr. Lamb. Those have been computed? 

Mr. Taeuber. I believe Mr. Maddox worked it out recently. 

Mr. Maddox. Yes. Now, I believe that the estimate is that 
about half of the farmers produce 12 percent of the total value of 
agricultural production . 

Dr. Lamb. In other words, the lower half have now increased 
their production from 10 to 12 percent? 

Mr. Taeuber. Those figures are not directly comparable. That 
10-percent figure applies to marketed crops. 

Dr. Lamb. So actually the percentage may have fallen. We can't 
be sure either way? 


Mr. Taeuber. As I recollect, the comparable figure would be 13 or 
14 percent. 

Mr. Maddox. There is indication it has fallen, as a matter of fact. 

Mr. Taeuber. In that low-income group, of course, are included 
many of the persons who carry on farming on a part-time basis. Some 
of them have other incomes, that is, they work at nonagricultural 
activities for half or more of the working year. In that figure are 
included also some individuals who are part time, but do not have 
other employemnt. They are part time because of physical disabili- 
ties, or old age. 


There has been an increase in farm operators over 65. There are 
plenty of farm operators over 75, many not able to carry on full-scale 
operations. But, included in that are a large number of farm families 
who do not have the capital resources, equipment, or the skills or farm 
plant, to permit them to get, under present conditions, a large income, 
and they do not have access to any sizable amount of income from any 
other source. 

Mr. Maddox. In this connection, Mr. Taeuber, is it approximately 
accurate, do you think, to say that there are about a million farmers, 
who are now reckoned as farmers by the census, who are hardly farmers 
in the productive sense of the word, among them being an older-aged 
group, who are near retirement, and also those who work a very large 
proportion of their time off the farm? 

Mr. Taeubfr. It is probably somewhat larger than a million. 
I don't have the figures here of the number of persons reporting a 
large amount of work off the farm, but I notice in this table that there 
were, according to the 1940 census, approximately 2,000,000 farms 
which produced a gross value of products of less than $400 in 1939. 
We have no cross tabulations to tell us what kinds of farms those are, 
but we do know the number of operators working a large amount of 
time off the farm plus the number of operators over 65, is well in 
excess of 2,000,000. 

Dr. Lamb. Is there any possibility that the census will be able to 
cross table those figures? 

Mr. Taeuber. I understand the Census has made plans with respect 
to the cross tabulation. 

Dr. Lamb. Is it still pending with respect to the deficiency bill? 

Mr. Taeuber. That is my understanding. 

Mr. Black. I am afraid it doesn't get to the background we really 
want, of just the nature of this group, how many of them are real 
part-time farmers, how many are residential farmers, and people with 
pensions, and other such income, living on a piece of land. I don't 
think they have got information that will enable them to break that 
down the way we need to have it. 

Dr. Lamb. In other words, our true farm population is not well 
defined and could not be without a break-down of the kind which you 

Mr. Black. You can get a good break-down of that type for the 
State of Connecticut as of the census of 1929. 

Dr. Lamb. But only for the State of Connecticut and the census of 

Mr. Black. Yes. I am just trying to show you how far you can 
expect to get with just census information on that. 

Mr. Arnold. Mr. Taeuber, does the Department have any evi- 
dence that morale may be low among some of the poorest farm families? 

Mr. Taeuber. I am not sufficiently familiar with the present status 
of their morale to answer that. 

Mr. Arnold. Did you hear the question, Mr. Smith? 

Mr. Smith. I can't say that the Department has any particular 
measure or statistical evidence of it. I believe, however, that many 
employees of the Department who are in contact with very low income 
farm families feel that their morale probably is much lower than the 
morale of families who have an income that will give them a better 
standard of living. 



Mr. Arnold. I notice the Secretary of Agriculture in his report for 
1941, page 158, states that farmers tend to underrate the skill and 
knowledge of their workers for the purpose of keeping down farm 
wages. Would you comment on the adaptability of rural skills and 
knowledge for industrial war production? 

Mr. Taeuber. You are faced there with the obvious fact that edu- 
cational backgrounds in many rural areas are well below the average 
which is normally considered as necessary to meet modern industrial 

On the other hand, the experience gathered in recent years seems to 
indicate that the plants that have been established in some of these 
rural areas, have succeeded in getting a very high quality of worker. 
That is, they have found that with the training in manual skills which 
is required on the farm, they can very quickly develop a labor force 
which has many other highly desirable qualities. Physical stamina, 
dependability, a high degree of morale, a willingness to continue on 
the job and perhaps to forego some individual interests for the sake of 
the job, seem to be qualities that have been developed. It seems to 
me it is partly a matter of training and partly a matter of skill, manual 
skill. We have them both here. 

Mr. Maddox. Isn't it true that in any belt-line type of production, 
the job performed by the individual worker is often an extremely 
simple job? For instance, I live in an area, from which, during the 
early twenties, many uneducated people went to Detroit to work 
in the automobile factories. They had, one would think, no skill, 
and perhaps that is true. Yet they obtained jobs and drew high 
wages because the job the individual does on an assembly line is 
usually an extremely simple job. 

Mr. Arnold. I think that is true, and our observation at the 
Pratt & Whitney plant at Hartford, Conn., is that that has been broken 
down further, and men who go in there and work on the motors 
won't be mechanics when they finish. 

Mr. Smith. And I think you will find that a lot of these farm jobs 
are more technical and require more training and knowledge of a 
good many more things that, in effect, makes your farm man harder 
to replace than a man in the simple belt-line tasks. 


Mr. Arnold. I think that is true. The Work Projects Adminis- 
tration concludes from its migration surveys that the cityward mi- 
gration of farm people this past year is relatively insignificant. [To 
Mr. Taeuber.] Do you agree with that conclusion? 

Mr. Taeuber. I don't believe I could agree with that as stated. 
As I interpret their surveys, they show that the migration into some 
of these defense areas from farms has been relatively insignificant, 
but the material that we have indicates that there has been, during 
the years since the defense effort started, a considerable increase, 
just as there was an increase in preceding years, away from farms. 

Dr. Lamb. That is on the basis of out-migration? 

Mr. Taeuber. Yes; much of that out-migration is to smaller towns 
and cities, and some of it is replacement of the workers there who 
went to these defense centers. 


Dr. Lamb. These studies are of communities of 25,000 and up? 

Mr. Taeuber. Yes. 

Dr. Lamb. Has that some bearing on the failure to find those 
out-migrants, in your estimation? 

Mr. Taeuber. That has some bearing. 

Mr. Black. But that didn't cover the absorption of these people 
in nondefense industries. In this year which is ahead of us, the 
war production agencies are estimating that 10,000,000 more people 
are going to be drawn into defense industries. They are going to 
leave some awful gaps in civilian employment in cities that have 
got to be filled by somebody. The opportunities for absorption of 
people out of these congested areas, into civilian occupations, is 
going to be tremendous. We shouldn't think of this in terms simply 
of absorption of these people in defense plants. The first place 
they are liable to go is not to defense plants, but rather to these 
other industries. 

Dr. Lamb. I think we can observe that in Washington, where the 
number of youngsters coming in from southern Virginia or North 
Carolina or possibly Tennessee and West Virginia, is quite sizeable, 
in jobs such as soda fountains and lunchrooms, and places of that 
kind, where a low grade of skill is required, and plenty of energy is 
called for. These people are certainly getting jobs here, as anyone 
around can observe. 

migration of negroes 

Mr. Arnold. The Work Projects Administration also finds that 
the migration of Negroes is of minor importance. Do you expect 
that Negro migration will increase in volume in the near future? 

Mr. Taeuber. Our figures indicate that on the whole, the migra- 
tion of Negroes did not decrease to the same extent during the nine- 
teen-thirties as the migration of whites decreased, and such evidence 
as we have would indicate there will continue to be a considerable 
migration of Negroes. 

Again I think the fact Mr. Black brought out a moment ago is 
important. They may not get into defense employment in com- 
parable volume. On the other hand, they may replace some of the 
people who have gone to war employment. 

Mr. Rogers. Another thing is the extent to which defense indus- 
tries and other employers alter their requirements for workers so as 
to make certain of these groups acceptable in the plant. 

Mr. Arnold. There has been a great deal of discussion regarding 
return migration from California. Do you have any information 
on that subject? 


Mr. Taeuber. We have one bit of information secured from the 
border patrol. The Bureau of Plant Quarantine has been making 
a count for a number of years. The Bureau of Plant Quarantine in 
Arizona recently has been making a similar count. 

I might say the inspectors ask no questions. They make the 
classification simply by looking at the car and the occupants. 

Those figures do indicate some increase in the volume of persons 
coming into Arizona from California during December, as compared 



with the earlier months of 1941. However, the number moving in 
that direction is still less than the number moving in the other direc- 
tion, or was in December and has been a constant back and forth 

A large number of the migrants from California have gone back. 
Perhaps that is related to the improved employment conditions 
back home. There may recently have been some increase in migra- 
tion in that direction, but as far as our figures go it is still less than 
the volume going the other way. 

Dr. Lamb. How did the December 1941 figures for Arizona com- 
pare with December 1940? There is always a migration into Arizona 
in the latter months of the year for cotton. 

Mr. Taetjber. The figures for December 1940 and December 1941 
indicate an increase of approximately 20 percent, but the figure for 
December 1941 which is the largest for any month in 1941, is less than 
the figure for November 1940. (See table below:) 

Persons, members of parties in need of manual employment entering California and 
Arizona by motor vehicle, January 1940-December 1941 

Month and year 


















via Ari- 
zona and 






via western 




Month and year 

1941— Continued 












January.. _ 

via Ari- 
zona and 





via western 












1 Count covers only Jan. 16 to 31. 

From Monthly Border Count Reports, issued by U. S. Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Agricul- 
tural Economics, based on data supplied by California Bureau of Plant Quarantine and Arizona Com- 
mission of Agriculture and Horticulture. 


Mr. Arnold. Is the committee correct in understanding the existing 
vocational education program fails to recognize the facts of rural- 
urban migration, in allocation of funds? 

Mr. Taeuber. I am not sure that I am in a position to answer 
directly to that point. We are aware of the fact that a large share 
of the effort of the agricultural vocational training is directed to keep- 
ing young persons on the farm. 

At the moment our Bureau is engaged in some cooperative studies 
of the Georgia vocational educational program in which we are explor- 
ing the extent to which that system will need to provide training 
activities for those individuals who cannot be absorbed on farms in 
that State. We have had inquiries and requests, for instance, from 


a number of other vocational education State bureaus looking toward 
that same situation. 

On the other hand, the distribution of vocational education training 
centers indicates they have been able to reach some areas from which 
migration has taken place in large volumes in the past and probably 
will again in the future. 

Mr. Rogers. In the report made last summer, quite a few of the 
States expressed the need for vocational training in rural areas for 
jobs that would be found in urban places, anticipating that there would 
be continued migration. 

Mr. Arnold. Has the defense training program touched economi- 
cally submerged groups in agriculture to any significant extent? 

Mr. Taeuber. We have asked that same question of the Office of 
Education, and from the information which they have supplied us, I 
would say that they have not yet touched those areas or groups to the 
extent to which they might, and perhaps would need to, if we are going 
to utilize that man-power efficiently. 

Mr. Arnold. As you know, agricultural migrants in some areas are 
provided with temporary housing, mobile or stationary, by the Farm 
Security Administration. What do you think of the proposal to 
provide migrants of rural origin temporary housing in or near large 
cities, while they are receiving industrial training or seeking war jobs? 

Mr. Taeuber. It seems to me that in the present emergency in 
which we shall need to tap sources of labor that will require a good deal 
of training, we shall have to find ways and means of meeting that 
situation, of getting them to the centers and finding some way of 
assisting them during the period of training. 

Mr. Arnold. Would you recommend any other type of assistance 
to rural migrants seeking war jobs? 

Mr. Taeuber. The policy of some areas of establishing training 
centers, providing some such plan is developed in order to meet the 
subsistence needs during the period of training seems to be a possible 
alternative. This would be training them somewhat nearer the 
source; we might find the employment to be in areas rather remote 
from that source. 

Mr. Arnold. What is the Department of Agriculture doing to 
transfer surplus farm population to areas of farm labor deficiency? 

Mr. Taeuber. Going back to what Mr. Rogers said, the Depart- 
ment of Agriculture through the various local committees is attempt- 
ing to bring that situation to the attention of the Employment 
Service, which is the agency that is equipped to facilitate such transfers. 

Mr. Arnold. That is all the questions I have. Does anyone else 
have a comment to make on those questions? 

Mr. Smith. Mr. Congressman, we might present a map which 
contains some information, which has a bearing on this last topic, and 
quite a number of topics that have been discussed. 

The counties with light dots are the counties with potential labor 
reserves that might be drawn upon for use in agricultural areas of 
greater production, and for use in other phases of the war effort, 
including war industries. 

The counties with cross-hatching are counties where the farm-labor 
requirements are great and appear to need attention, the requirements 




being primarily for long-time workers, year-round workers, and the 
counties in black are counties where farm labor is a problem but where 
the requirement is largely for seasonal workers. 

Now the counties in black are the ones that would have some 
bearing on the question just discussed. I might say that this is a 
map which the Department has been preparing to give to the Employ- 
ment Service. It is just a part of our assistance to the Employment 
Service, making available to them all the information we can obtain 
in the Department, which has a bearing on farm-labor employment 

Mr. Taeuber. I believe we should also add that that map repre- 
sents a preliminary effort which has not yet been checked by reference 
to the problem in the respective States. 

Mr. Smith. Further checking in the field will be necessary. 

Mr. Arnold. Would you want to submit that map for the record 
at this point or do you need it? 

Mr. Smith. We can submit a similar map, if you care to have it. 

(Map was submitted and appears on p. 10857.) 


Mr. Black. I might state that these areas in black in Arizona and 
New Mexico don't look very large, but the infant mortality average 
rate for the States of Arizona and New Mexico is over 1 10 as compared 
with around about 50 or 60 in our congested areas shown here in the 
southern Appalachian. That means in portions of Arizona and New 
Mexico, we have had a degree of congestion of population of which 
the American people are largely ignorant. In spite of that con- 
gestion — and I might say a good many of the people in those areas are 
Spanish-Americans- -there was a demand for importation of 20,000 
Mexicans from across the border last year. 

Mr. Smith. Mr. Congressman, we would like to have the privilege, 
if we submit the map, to also submit some explanation of it, and we 
submit it with the qualification that has been mentioned, that it needs 
some further refinement in the field. 

(The following explanatory statement was submitted with the map:) 

Counties Most in Need of Farm Placement Service 
(Preliminary, February 1942) 

The accompanying map represents a preliminary effort to point out the 
counties in the United States which are most in need of the facilities of the Farm 
Placement Service, because of (1) high seasonal farm labor demand, (2) high 
nonseasonal farm labor demand or (3) the presence of a potential labor supply. 
By a "potential labor supply" is meant a considerable volume of labor on farms 
which is unemployed or is ineffectively employed, and presumably could be 
recruited for employment in war industry or in other farming areas. 

It should be pointed out that some counties may require farm-placement 
facilities both because they use a large amount of labor during certain months 
and because they have large numbers of underemployed workers during other 
months. In other words, they are areas both of demand and of potential supply. 
Some of the Mississippi Delta cotton counties, for example, would fall in this 
class. On the map it was not feasible to indicate such counties separately. 

Since this map is based in the main on data relating to 1939 from the 1940 
census, it is obvious that it requires checking by persons thoroughly acquainted 
with recent developments and local conditions not adequately reflected in the 

Further analysis and refinement of available data may show that some counties 
not designated on the accompanying map should have been included, or that 
others now designated should be eliminated. 



The basic factors used in the selection of counties were as follows: 

1. Estimated number of days hired per 100 acres of cropland. — The total wage 
bill for each county, as reported in the 1940 Census of Agriculture, was converted 
to a figure representing the number of hired days by dividing the wage bill by the 
wage rate for the State, per day without board, as reported by the Agricultural 
Marketing Service for July 1939. (The Agricultural Marketing Service reports 
wage rates only on a State basis.) The resulting total number of days hired per 
county was divided by the total acreage of cropland harvested in 1939 (as re- 
ported in the 1940 Census of Agriculture), and the data were converted to a per 
100-acre basis. The counties were then grouped in six classes. 

2. Seasonality of hired labor demand. — The 1940 Census of Agriculture, in addi- 
tion to reporting the total wage bill per county, reported the total dollars paid 
out to (a) laborers hired by the month, (6) laborers hired by the day or week, and 
(c) laborers hired on all other bases, including piecework and contract work. 
The percent of the total wage bill paid to labor of the three types was calculated 
for each county. 

The counties were thrown into a twofold classification, viz, those in which 34 
percent or less of the total wage bills was paid to month hands, and those in 
which more than 34 percent went to month hands. 

3. Size of county. — The size of the county, in terms of total acres of harvested 
cropland, was taken into account. Counties were classified in three groups: 
Those having less than 4,000 acres of harvested cropland, those having from 
4,000 to 125,000 acres of harvested cropland, and those having 125,000 or more 
such acres. 

Final classification of counties. — Counties excluded were (1) those having less 
than 4,000 acres of harvested cropland, (2) those reporting fewer than 50 days 
of hired labor per 100 acres of harvested cropland, and (3) those having from 
4,000 to 125,000 acres of harvested cropland, reporting from 50 to 99 days of 
hired labor per 100 acres of harvested cropland and paying more than 34 percent 
of the total wage bill to month hands. 

Counties included were (1) those reporting from 50 to 99 days of hired labor 
per 100 acres of harvested cropland which paid 34 percent or less of the total 
wage bill to month hands and had 4,000 acres or more of harvested cropland, 
and (2) all counties reporting 50 or more days of hired labor per 100 acres of 
harvested cropland which were not eliminated because of size. 

Among the counties included, those in which 34 percent or less of the total 
wage bill was paid to month hands were designated as having the greatest seasonal 
farm labor demand; those in which more than 34 percent of the total wage bill 
was paid to month hands were designated as having the greatest nonseasonal 
farm labor demand. 

In the final classification of counties other special factors were taken into ac- 
count. For example, in the selection of counties in the Applachian Mountain 
area the extent of self-sufficient farming (based on data in the 1930 and 1940 
censuses of agriculture) was considered. In some cases counties were either 
excluded or included because of special knowledge of the area, as, for instance, 
when it was known that a county which, on the basis of the factors listed above, 
would have been excluded, possessed a significant acreage of sugar beets or other 
specialized crop. 


Because none of the 1940 data were available for all counties, it was necessary 
to use a number of factors. Where 1940 census data were available they were 
given preference. The basic factors used were: 

1. Low farm income, including counties for which the 1940 census reports show 
a difference of at least 1,000 between the number of farms reporting gross incomes 
of $600 or less, and the number reporting that the operator worked 100 days or 
more off the farm. (In the Northern States the income limit was set at $1,000.) 

2. Where 1940 farm income data were not yet available on a county basis, a 
gross farm income of less than $600 per person engaged in agriculture, based on 
the 1930 census was used, provided the county had: 

3. Increases in rural farm population, 1930-40. Counties which qualified 
under either 1 or 2 and had an increase of 15 percent or more in the rural farm 
population, or of 10 percent in the rural population, were included. (Rural farm 
population data for 1940 were not available for all counties.) 

4. Counties including cities of 100,000 or over and those immediately adjoining 
such counties were ecxluded. 


5. In the Pacific Northwest the counties which had a large number of in- 
migrants during the 1930's, as revealed in a special survey made by the Bureau of 
Agricultural Economics were included. All of these counties also met the re- 
quirement of an increase of at least 15 percent in the rural farm population be- 
tween 1930 and 1940, as well as a minimum rural population of 10,000 in 1940. 


Mr. Arnold. These questions on farm machinery and mechani- 
zation are for Mr. Sherman Johnson, head of the Division of Farm 
Management and Costs, Bureau of Agricultural Economics. 


Can you indicate in what farm areas there are increased purchases of 
farm machinery? 

Mr. Johnson. Increased purchases of farm machinery? Do you 
mean for 1941, Mr. Congressman? 

Mr. Arnold. I should think so. 

Mr. Johnson. Of course, the situation has changed very decidedly 
since November, as you know, because of the limitation on the manu- 
facture of new machines. That limitation is down to 80 percent of 
1940, that is, 80 percent of the average of all machines manufactured 
in the year 1940 is all that is permitted to be manufactured for sale 
in 1942. In 1941 machinery sales were running something over 20 
percent above 1940. 

Mr. Arnold. You are answering my second question. The first 
question was in what farm areas there have been increased purchases 
of farm machinery? 

Mr. Johnson. I am sorry. I was trying to give a little back- 
ground there. 

Mr. Arnold. Answer in any way you wish. Tell us what areas. 

Mr. Johnson. Machinery sales have been running highest for the 
entire country in the Midwest area in the Corn Belt, and stepped up 
very materially in the eastern Great Plains area, that is, that string 
of States beginning in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, 
Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, last year, because on the whole they 
had a very good crop last year in comparison to what they have had 
over the period of the last 10 years. 

Their sales had been running very low because of these relatively 
poor crops, and so their machinery inventories today, despite heavy 
purchases in 1941, are probably poorer in relation to the national total 
than they are in the Corn Belt. 

In the Midwest and some areas of the Pacific coast are probably 
the best equipped farms, and over a period of 4 or 5 years they have 
had the heaviest purchases of machinery. • 

Mr. Arnold. I wonder if the farm program had anything to do 
with that heavier purchase of equipment? 


Mr. Johnson. Well, I couldn't answer that question directly. 
Insofar as the farm program increased farm incomes, yes, it did, 
because there is very close correlation between the income to farmers 


in a given year, and machinery purchases in the succeeding year, 

Mr. Arnold. I have in mind one of my own tenants. He used to 
subrent some grain land in the bottom to two or three other tenants, 
but under the farm program he bought himself tractor equipment and 
displaced those men who were farming with horses. 

Mr. Johnson. I couldn't say how common that is. 

Mr. Arnold. Of course, those tenants that he displaced had 
ground of their own, but they were farming some on my farm in 

Mr. Johnson. I think perhaps it should be said that the develop- 
ment of the small general-purpose tractor equipped with rubber tires 
has made it a more flexible machine and it has made it possible to 
travel great distances. 

It has made it possible for an individual operator to farm larger 
areas, and especially to farm tracts not adjacent to his own farm. 

Mr. Arnold. Are these areas, where there has been the most 
measurable increase in the purchase of machinery, subject to a drain 
of farm labor? 

Mr. Johnson. I think Mr. Rogers could answer the question with 
respect to relative shortage of farm labor better than I can, but it 
happens that these areas that are more fully mechanized, and have 
the best inventory of machinery are also relatively close to heavy 
concentration of defense industries. 

I expect that because of that they have had a relatively higher 
drain of their farm labor. Would you like to supplement that, Mr. 

Mr. Rogers. I think that is about correct. The information we 
have had coming in would indicate that. And in line with the dis- 
cussion we had earlier about the qualifications of the boys on the farm 
for industrial production, the man who knows how to repair a tractor 
is the kind of man industry wants. 



Mr. Arnold. To what extent can farm machinery overcome farm 
labor shortages by replacing human labor? 

Mr. Johnson. If machines were freely available there would be 
a great possibility of substituting machinery for hand-labor operations, 
but because of the fact that we are going to have and have as of today, 
limitations on the manufacture of new machinery, that margin of 
substitution is going to be limited much more than it would be if 
machinery were freely available. 

Of course, the limitation order — I mentioned 80 percent and by 
some computations that becomes 83 percent, depending on how they 
figure different materials — the 80 percent order, of course, is an average. 
That doesn't mean that all machines are held down to that figure. 
Some are above 100 percent. That is true of hay balers and milking 
machines. There is some flexibility there. 

Where a tractor can be used effectively, where you have sufficient 
area to use tractors, it is perhaps the greatest labor-saving machine 
there is, used with the complementary machinery that goes with the 


Mr. Arnold. What has been the effect of priority orders upon 
prices of farm machinery, and have any price ceilings been imposed? 

Mr. Johnson. I don't know of any price ceilings. I don't think 
there have been any, and I do not know that there have been any 
significant price rises. 

Mr. Arnold. Has any plan been formulated for allocating farm 
machinery in accordance with the food for victory production 

Mr. Johnson. Yes. From the standpoint of the limitation order, 
the different percentages permitted for different machines, as com- 
pared to 1940 are, for instance, milking machines, slightly over 200 
percent above 1940 — of course, dairy production being very important 
in the food-for-victory program. 

Peanut pickers are up over 200 percent and maybe more, as com- 
pared with the average of 80, and pick-up hay balers, 353 percent. 


Mr. Arnold. Why the increase in hay balers? 

Mr. Johnson. Because they are a labor-saving machine and, of 
course, roughage for dairy cattle is especially important. It is also 
a machine that is being introduced very rapidly. 

Mr. Black. In this period of shortage of food for dairy cattle in 
the East, facilitation of the movement of hay is much to be desired, 
and, of course, it has to be baled before it can be shipped. 

Mr. Arnold. I don't know that this is relevant, but I used to be 
in the hay-shipping business. I was in Kansas City yesterday and 
while there used to be 50 hay firms shipping alfalfa and other hay, I 
was only able to find 5, and only about 2 of them are doing any busi- 
ness. It must be that this hay is being baled and stored in the area 
where it is produced, rather than shipped. 

Mr. Johnson. You are quite right, Mr. Congressman. The 
pick-up hay baler has come in and is used in the areas where the hay 
is used within that same area, rather than for shipment long distances. 

I think over a period of years, it is true that the total volume of hay 
that has been shipped has decreased. 

Mr. Arnold. Of course, there is evidence as you say, Professor, 
that there has been some increase in shipments because of droughts. 

Mr. Black. It happens the Kansas area is one that has made the 
transition that Dr. Johnson has described. 

Mr. Arnold. Do small farmers find themselves handicapped in the 
purchase of farm machinery? 


Mr. Johnson. They find themselves handicapped, of course, if 
they do not have the funds or the credit to buy machinery. 

Now, on a good many farms, the machines that have been developed 
for farm operations cannot be used as efficiently or as effectively on a 
small farm as they can on a larger one, that is, considering the cost of 
the machine. It becomes pretty expensive to use it on the small farm. 

Mr. Arnold. Are there increasing trends toward pooling funds for 
cooperative purchase of farm machinery? 


Mr. Johnson. I think perhaps the Farm Security Administration — 
Mr. Maddox here represents it— has probably done more along that 
line than any other organization. 

Mr. Arnold. Is the consolidation of farming units being speeded 
up by current purchases of farm machinery? 

Mr. Johnson. It is difficult to get statistical evidence that has 
application over wide areas, to substantiate that. Now, in some areas, 
that is, over a period of years — from now on such figures would not be 
true because we don't have machinery enough for replacement needs — 
but if you take the development over the period of the last 10 years 
or so, you will find some evidences of that, especially in the wheat 
country, and to some extent in the cash corn areas. Those are the 
areas where you can get good statistical evidence of what is going on. 
There perhaps has been some of it in a good many other areas, but 
we do not have the statistical information. 


Mr. Arnold. Will you indicate briefly to the committee the differ- 
ence between World Wars 1 and 2 as regard farm mechanization 

Mr. Johnson. Of course, in World War No. 1, the tractor was just 
coming into the picture, and it was a very crude and cumbersome ma- 
chine and was suited only for operation on large farms. No special- 
ized complementary equipment to go with the tractor had been de- 
veloped. Of course, you had the large gang plows, but it was still 
confined quite largely to operations on large farms and tillage opera- 

The situation today is that we do have very much more, of course, 
in the way of power machinery — by "power machinery" I mean motor 
power and complementary equipment to go with it — and it has been 
developed to the extent that it can be used on medium-sized farms and 
to some extent even on small farms. That mechanization process 
has gone on very rapidly since 1935, and one of the important elements, 
as I said a moment ago, was rubber-tired tractors. Those rubber- 
tired tractors are fairly new. 

If the situation continues for any period of time we may find our- 
selves in very real difficulties for two reasons. One is the shortage 
of rubber for replacement needs as to those tires, and the other is that 
we are going to have a very much larger annual replacement demand 
for all kinds of equipment, because of the fact that we are mechanized 
to the extent that we are today. 


Mr. Arnold. Many people purchased tractors for the first time 
when rubber tires came in, because the steel tires packed the ground 
and made it more difficult to farm next year. In what ways can 
existing farm machinery be more fully utilized? 

Mr. Johnson. Well, we can have further extension of cooperative 
use of machinery, much more custom work by farmers who have 
machines that are not fully utilized on their own farms, by an adequate 
machinery repair program. Of course, there is a repair program 
under way at the present time that was sponsored by the Department 
of Agriculture last fall. 


Mr. Arnold. Have any community pools for repair or use of farm 
machinery been set up? Is the Department undertaking to organize 
any such repair shops or pools? 

Mr. Johnson. The Department, as such, has not undertaken to 
organize any repair shops. A good many repair shops have been 
organized by vocational education units and local implement men. 

The Secretary did send out instructions to the war boards to begin 
a machinery repair campaign and listed all agencies that could help 
in that type of program. That included the local implement dealers, 
the vocational educational units, and machinery manufacturers. 

Mr. Arnold. One more question which you have answered before 
but you may have further comment to make on it. Will you comment 
on new uses of farm machinery at present? 

Mr. Johnson. I can't think of anything that is really new. Of 
course, a good many of these things have been developed within the 
last 5 years or so. 

We are having to make some adaptations. They are making some 
adaptations on combines in Texas, to use them as peanut pickers, and 
there will probably be a good many things of that kind that will 
develop in the emergency. 

Mr. Arnold. Now, to Mr. Maddox, Director of Rural Rehabilita- 
tion Division of Farm Security, I have some questions on low-income 


Mr. Maddox, will you briefly describe to the committee the work 
of the Farm Security Administration in the food for victory campaign, 
and indicate the changes in the Farm Security Administration program 
which were occasioned by the war? 

Mr. Maddox. The Farm Security Administration, as you know, 
has had a program in operation for about 5 years, making loans and 
grants, giving farm and home planning and guidance as an aid to 
low-income families, as well as doing several other things. 

One of the important aspects of that rural rehabilitation program 
of making loans and aiding families to plan their farm and home 
operations is to help them to produce a very high proportion of their 
food and feed requirements. 

In other words, it is a home production program in great part, an 
attempt to get a diversification of the farmers' income as a means of 
adding security to his income. Our regular program has been in large 
measure along the lines that agricultural production is now being 
specifically directed because of the war program. 

Greatly increased emphasis is now being placed on food and feed 
crops, as well as peanuts and soybeans and other items which are not 
directly food or feed crops. 

However, some few months ago we thought it would be wise to 
change our loan program for the balance of this fiscal year insofar as 
it could be done with the limited funds we had, in order to put even 
greater emphasis upon producing the necessary war foods. 

Accordingly, we brought forth a special ''food for freedom" program 
in January, and it is just now being put into operation in the field, 
which program lays a great deal more emphasis on small loans to 
low-income farmers which will enable them to produce just those 


food ancl feed crops and livestock products which are now so greatly 
sought after. 

These loans will reach the same kind of farmer in general that we 
have been reaching with the regular rehabilitation loans; however, they 
will be smaller loans, so that the money will go further. They will 
be used perhaps to buy feed and seed and fertilizer in order to get 
the farmer started in production as rapidly and as cheaply as possible. 

We have also streamlined, you might say, our loaning process or 
procedures, by eliminating quite a lot of forms to make it easier, 
not only for the farmer, but also for the limited personnel. That is 
another important change which Farm Security has made in its- 
program as a result of the war situation. 

Another and in an entirely different field is in connection with tie 
migratory labor camps and our cooperation with the U. S. Employ- 
ment Service. I should expect you might have questions on that 

Briefly it is this: That the Farm Securitj^ Administration has 
increased the number of camps, particularly mobile camps, so that 
it can aid in bringing about a better utilization of the labor supply 
by encouraging it to shift from one area to another, or making it 
possible for it to shift and have decent housing conditions. 

Also, we have recently entered into an agreement with the U. S. 
Employment Service in which they agree to place an office in each of 
the camps which we open. We agree in turn to work with them in 
determining the locations of the camps, and so on. 

I can go into that in some detail, if you care to. It is an attempt 
to bring the U. S. Employment Service into direct and close line 
with the camps and hence, we hope, bring about a better utilization 
ox the farm labor force. 

We have also, in another connection, had to decrease certain 
types of construction of farm houses, particularly in connection with 
tenant purchase loans, and in connection with some undeveloped land 
which the Farm Security Administration has owned for several years. 
Practically all development has been put off until the emergency 
period is over, at least where there is any shortage of materials in the 

Mr. Arnold. There are two questions that you might want to 
answer more fully. The first is: As we understand it, emphasis on 
certain types of production by low-income farm families will improve 
their health and efficiency and lessen the need for purchasing food. 
How much can these families produce commercially in the food-for- 
victory campaign? 

The second is: Are Farm Security Administration clients and other 
low -income families supplying any part of the military demand for 
fresh food? 


Mr. Maddox. Let me answer the last question first, because I 
think it is somewhat shorter and easier. The answer is yes. Present 
Farm Security clients, and other low-income families like them, are 
now supplying food requirements for the armed forces. That has been 
particularly true in the South, and as you know, there are a large num- 
ber of Army camps in the South. The market down there has been 

60396— 42— pt. 28 12 


greatly expanded for fresh vegetables and for eggs, chickens, and 
milk. A great deal of attention has been given, on the part of Farm 
Security Administration, to increasing production among its borrowers 
of those items which are in local demand. 

"We have been particularly successful in the States of Georgia and 
Alabama in increasing the production of broilers, and practically all 
of the broilers and the eggs that are coming from the young chicks 
purchased by the borrowers last spring are being sold now to Army 

Mr. Arnold. How much can these families produce commercially 
in the food-for-victory campaign? 

Mr. Maddox. "We have quite a series of calculations on that. 
It is a rather involved question. 

In connection with this written statement much of the problem 
involved is covered. In general we think this is true: That probably 
in the Middle West and Northeast and the West, there can be rather 
extensive production on the part of those low-income farmers for com- 
mercial use through commercial channels. In the South there will 
also be an opportunity to increase production very greatly, but not 
such a large proportion of that will go into commercial channels. 
Instead it will supply the food needs of the families and relieve them 
from going to the stores and commissaries and competing with other 
buyers for purchased food. 

Even in the South, at the same time there is considerable oppor- 
tunity for increased production on the part of low-income farmers for 
commercial purposes. 

If the committee wishes to take the time to establish some figures 
for the record, I think I could answer your question more specifically 
than I have. 

Dr. Lamb. Wouldn't you say that was pretty well covered in your 

Mr. Maddox. The total production figure is rather well covered. 
The amount which could be produced for sale is not so well covered. 
I might go through just a few figures here. 


I might say that 802,000 low-income farm families is the number 
that has been arrived at that we think could be reached by a loan and 
guidance program of the general type which we now have experience 
in and have been operating for several years. There are a little 
over 2,000,000 low-income farmers in the country who could produce 
food for victory and we think 802,000 could be reached relatively 
quickly, that is, this year and next year, if funds were available. 
I will give you a few figures as to what the 802,000 might be expected 
to produce for sale: 

About 1,440,000,000 pounds of milk. 

About 501,000,000 pounds of pork and lard. 

About 36,000,000 pounds of chickens at live weight. 

About 145,000,000 dozens of eggs. 

About 1,974,000 bushels of soybeans. 

About 4,477,000 bushels of peanuts. 

I also have figures on truck crops, most of which are not very 
important. Tomatoes are an item for which there is a rather great 


need. We estimate 5,086,000 bushels of tomatoes might be produced 
by these 802,000 families. 

These are items in which substantial increases are demanded by the 
present Department of Agriculture production program. The figures 
I gave represent purely the amounts that the 802,000 low-income 
farmers would produce for sale. 

In the written statement you will find the percentages of the total 
which could be produced by these families, including that which they 
consume for home use. 

Mr. Arnold. To what extent has the Farm Security Administration 
helped small farmers to consolidate their holdings with adjoining 
farms, to make more effective the size of the producing unit? 


Mr. Maddox. I would say that outside of the tenant purchase 
program, which is a program of making loans to selected types of 
tenants with which to buy a family-type farm, not a great deal has 
been done by Farm Security Administration along the lines you 

Ordinarily we make loans to a man who has a leased farm owned by 
a private landlord. About 75 percent of the loans of the Farm Secu- 
rity Administration are to tenants, and the greater amount of funds 
which we have is not used for land-purchase loans. 

Just recently we have, however, started a bit of experimentation to 
help those groups of small owners whose farms were in the eastern area 
of the country, and running 20, 30, or 40 acres, where perhaps in order 
to have a full-time farming unit he may need twice that much. We 
have set aside this year approximately $6,000,000 to be used in the 
way of loans to the small owners for the purpose of aiding them to 
increase the size of their units and bring them up to a family type of 
farm. In no instance do we make a land purchase loan or a rehabilita- 
tion loan to enable them to carry on larger than family-size opera- 

Mr. Arnold. Is that in areas where the land has not increased much 
in price? 

Mr. Maddox. Yes, it is, and there is particular opportunity for this 
type of loan I have just mentioned in congested areas such as the 
southern Appalachian area, eastern Kentucky and Tennessee, and 
parts of North Carolina. 

If there is this increased migration, there is opportunity for families 
left behind to obtain a farm on which they may support themselves 
with a decent standard of living. 

Mr. Black. May I ask if the funds you now have available are 
sufficient for that? 

Mr. Maddox. I would say they are just a drop in the bucket. 

Mr. Black. Couldn't you arrange to handle it by leasing this land 
for the time being? 

Mr. Maddox. To a certain extent, yes. Some of that has been 
done. On the other hand, up until recently, while there has been 
some evidence of out-migration, there was not very much opportunity 
in these areas, where the need for the larger-sized unit was greatest, to 
lease additional lands. 


There is also the problem involved, particularly in the southern 
Appalachian and Ozark and the Lake States areas, that there is a 
great deal of land improvement which is needed when you take over 
an additional 20 or 30 acres, a great deal of liming and phosphating 
and — particularly in the Appalachian and the Lake States — a great 
deal of clearing and draining. That is difficult to do if you have short- 
term leases. It is an expensive operation and an owner is usually in 
no position to guarantee any compensation to the man leasing it. 


Mr. Arnold. What are the present trends in farm rents and the 
displacement of farm operators? 

Mr. Maddox. Congressman, I have no recent information on that 
question, that is to say, no information within the last 6 or 8 months 
particularly pertinent to it. Before that time there had been a rather 
noticeable rise in rents, rather general, but being greatest, of course, 
in the good-land areas of the country. 

In other words, if we think of the period of the last 6 or 8 years, 
up to say 8 or 10 months ago, the Corn Belt, the Middle West in 
general, was an area of rising rents, and the Mississippi Delta area 
from southeast Missouri to the coast was an area of rising rents. 

Since the outbreak of war, there has been some increased move- 
ment of farm workers to urban areas or small towns. My guess is 
that the trend may have been reversed, that there may not be such 
competition for farms as heretofore, but I do not have recent figures 
on it. 


Mr. Arnold. Will you evaluate rural health deficiencies as a 
deterrent to farm operations? 

Mr. Maddox. We have found in the Farm Security Administra- 
tion rehabilitation program that that is one of the very important fac- 
tors which has to be dealt with in rehabilitating a family. Poor 
health is, in a surprisingly large number of instances, a cause of the 
family being down and out, with low income and poor productive 
ability. In order to increase their income it is necessary to improve 
their health. 

In this statement, if you will allow me, I could pick up a sentence 
or two which bears particularly on that question. 

In 21 typical counties in 17 States, we made physical examinations 
of the members of the borrower families in these counties — 11,497 
people involved were examined. 

These examinations were made in cooperation with local physicians, 
oftentimes with the cooperation of the medical college or school in 
the State involved. 

We found an average of 3% defects in existence for every member 
of the family. Poor teeth and tonsils and need for glasses, or some 
kind of corrective treatment of eyes, were very important and com- 
mon ailments. 

We found a great number of hernias. In this particular survey, 
8K percent of the heads of families had hernias, 60 percent of all 
children had defective tonsils and 55 percent of the wives in white 
families were suffering from childbirth injuries. 


Every indication we have had, as a result of these surveys and 
from our experience, has, I think, surprised us all, showing that health 
is a tremendously important thing, and that these low-income people 
are in general in extremely poor physical condition. 

Mr. Arnold. I have three more questions. We will have to move 
along. I want to give Professor Black half an hour or whatever time 
he requires. 


Is it your impression that good farm land is being taken over by 
the Government for military grounds and construction? 

Mr. Maddox. I am not familiar with that as a general proposition, 
but I am quite certain there are certain areas in which very good farm 
land has been taken over for plant-site construction. 

Mr. Rogers. May I answer that a little more fully? The plant 
site board and the group in the War Department who handled the 
location of camps, check all the sites with the Department of Agricul- 
ture. We give them information as to the character of the land and 
they give that proper consideration. In quite a few instances they 
have relocated plants because of the good quality of the land first 

However, there are other factors that bear more weight than the 
question of land, so the answer is that in some cases they have taken 
good land after they have considered these factors. 

Mr. Black. When did that program begin — handling it that way? 

Mr. Rogers. It was in operation at least as early as last August, 
&nd I would say the cooperation has been increasing since that time. 

Mr. Black. The point is that previous to that time there were some 
cases in which it was not considered? 

Mr. Rogers. There were quite a few instances, I have heard — I 
was not in the Department at that time. There was quite a bit of 



Mr. Arnold. Do you have any evidence on the abandonment of 
farms by Farm Security Administration clients who are seeking jobs 
in war industries? And, what can the Farm Security Administration 
do to assist workers of rural origin in finding jobs in war industry? 

Mr. Maddox. We don't have the type of evidence there that we 
should have. On the basis of what we have, however, there seems to 
be as yet very little movement of Farm Security borrowers away from 
farms into towns or cities. 

For instance, during the last 6 months of 1940, on the basis of 
monthly reports, which were obtained from our county supervisors, 
we find that less than 1 family out of 25 moved to a town or city 
during that period, and during the last 6 months of 1941, even fewer 
of those Farm Security families abandoned their farms and moved to 
towns or cities. 

We have also a question in connection with this monthly report 
which gives us a bit of information as to the migration of farmers on 
adjoining farms to these borrowers, and we find that only one in 23 of 


these farmers living on adjoining farms moved to a town or city during 
the last 6 months of 1941. 

So I would say, on the basis of the best information we have, that 
the movement does not appear to be very great. 

Mr. Taeuber. Isn't it correct too, that, even before the present 
increase in employment possibilities, you have had some Farm Secu- 
rity borrowers leaving your farms to go into other employment? 

Mr. Maddox. That is right. 

Mr. Black. However, 1 in 25 in 6 months, means 8 in 100 in 12 

Mr. Maddox. Yes. 

Mr. Black. That is quite a few. 

Mr. Maddox. And I think we might expect some increase in that 

Mr. Arnold. We want to have Mr. Black now for any comments on 
the previous testimony or speakers, in addition to making any remarks 
of his own. 

Mr. Black. You haven't any questions to ask me? 

Mr. Arnold. You have submitted a paper which we shall include in 
the record at this point. I have not any prepared questions. 

(The statement is as follows: ) 


The Work op the Farm Security Administration 

One of the principal reasons that I am glad to appear before your committee 
and discuss this general problem of the small and low-income farmers in wartime 
is that some fellow laborers with me in the field of public policy have recently 
taken an unfortunate and mistaken position on the subject, declaring that the 
appropriation for the work of the Farm Security Administration should not be 
made in wartime. I am referring to the statement made by the Brookings Insti- 
tution. One can understand how this mistake could have been made. The 
Brookings Institution has no one on its staff now who is working upon agricultural 
problems, except very incidentally. It never has given any attention to the work 
of the Farm Security Administration. Its last serious publication on agricultural 
problems had to do with the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, and bears 
the date of 1936. I was one of three of the authors of that book. 

It happens that during the past year I and an associate at Harvard University, 
Dr. Charles M. Hardin, have been privileged to spend, under a grant of assistance 
from the Rockefeller Foundation, 8 months out in the States, mostly in the South 
and West, making a study in the field of the actual work of the Farm Security 
Administration and some other related Government activities relating to agricul- 
ture. We visited county offices, studied farm and home plans and office records, 
and went out among the Farm Security Administration borrowers. We inter- 
viewed State and regional staff members at their offices and looked over reports of 
their work. Also during the past 2 years I have had one young man devoting a 
good part of his time to studying the loan program of the Farm Security Adminis- 
tration, some of this time in the field. His report of 300 pages is on file in the 
Harvard Library. Besides, for nearly 4 years now, we have been holding weekly 
graduate seminars in our school of public administration on problems in agricul- 
tural policy, of which a considerable number have been devoted to Farm Security 
Administration questions. 


The Brookings Institution apparently made the very obvious mistake of 
assuming that the Farm Security Administration program is simply one of 
providing relief for farm families with low incomes; and that in wartime with 
larger outlets for farm products at better prices no farm family should any longer 
need relief. It is true that the Farm Security Administration has provided relief 


for several hundreds of thousands of families needing it; but it has done this, in 
the case of its standard loan borrowers, by making them more productive, through 
loaning them money with which to increase their livestock, build up their equip- 
ment, and improve their land, so that the farms will yield them a larger product 
and hence a better income. In a time when we were worrying about agricultural 
surpluses, we were inclined to think of such efforts mainly from the point of view 
of relief. That phase of it is now more largely incidental, although we must never 
forget that these low-income families are rearing a very considerable share of the 
young men and women who will help us to win the war if it lasts several years, 
and it is important that these young people be well fed and cared for while they 
are growing up. Our major immediate concern now is with the increased pro- 
ductivity of the families and farms worked by these low-income families. At 
present, they are not very productive workers; they have too limited resources. 
We must work out ways in which they can contribute much more nearly their 
proportionate share to the total war effort. 

Another phase of this subject which is often overlooked is that the Farm Security 
Administration program is essentially the production and land-use adjustment 
program for the small and low-income farmers. It does for them somewhat the 
same thing that the Agricultural Adjustment Administration program does for 
the larger commercial farmers. I do not mean to say that the Agricultural 
Adjustment Administration program does nothing to help the production of the 
small and low-income farmers but it does relatively little. By the very nature 
of its methods, the Agricultural Adjustment Administration cannot do much 
for the small producer. Its method of payment is so much per bale or bushel of 
commercial product. The low-income third of our farm families contribute 
scarcely 10 percent of our commercial farm output. To continue the Agricultural 
Adjustment Administration conservation and parity payments at this time and to 
cut off the Farm Security Administration type of assistance to the low-income 
groups would be the highest order of unequal treatment of unequals. Instead, the 
time is one in which the Nation should hasten to make up its past arrears of 
neglect of perhaps well on toward a million of these families who thus far have 
received little or no help from anybody. And the help they need now is not 
charity or relief, but help in making them more productive, by assisting them in 
obtaining the use of the means wherewith to become more productive. 


It will be well at this time to contrast two differing ways of aiding farmers with 
their production that have been employed by the Federal Government since 1933. 
One is what may be called the general "blanket" approach, under which anyone 
who joins in the program gets so much compensation per bale or bushel, plus in 
some cases an increase in average price resulting from general reduction of output. 
This is the Agricultural Adjustment Administration method. The Farm Security 
Administration method, in contrast, singles out families one by one, finds out 
exactly what is needed to make them more productive, and then loans them 
money to enable them to be so. The first method calls for little supervision, but 
the improvements in production resulting are correspondingly low. The second 
costs more for supervision, but the improvements are very much greater. Per 
dollar of public money actually paid to farm families or spent upon them, our 
studies indicate that the Farm Security Administration method produces much 
higher returns in increased productivity and permanent benefit to the families. 
It would therefore be a very unwise course of action to cut down on this particular 
type of expenditure at this time. 


In making such a calculation as just reported, one must take into account the 
circumstances that the Agricultural Adjustment Administration benefit and 
parity payments of the Federal Government to the farmers are none of them 
returned to it, whereas most of the Farm Security Administration funds, other 
than for administration and supervision, are scheduled to be repaid, and for that 
matter are being repaid at a very encouraging rate. The accounting method 
by which the loans and repayments are figured out appear to have mystified the 
American Farm Bureau Federation; but the only mystery in it is the same as 
exists in all government financing. Other folks have had difficulties with that 
too. The Farm Security Administration, I am sure, would be glad to have its 
finances arranged upon a revolving fund basis, so that what it collects on replace- 
ments each year could be used on new loans. 


In our analysis we assumed that 75 percent of the standard loans would be 
repaid. We wanted to be very conservative. If the program is expanded to 
include well on toward another million who need help with their production, I 
expect the rate of repayment may not average quite so high. But even at 65 
percent, it would be a cheaper way of getting increased production than direct 
outright subsidies with no returns directly to Government. 


There is another type of opposition to the Farm Security Administration 
program with which a person like myself finds it less easy to be patient. I en- 
countered this while addressing one of the state meetings of one of our large 
farmer organizations, a year or so ago. I had been discussing the need for spread- 
ing our farm population and our farm resources around more evenly so that the 
low-income families would have a chance to be more productive. One of the 
members, who happened to be a teacher and farmer combined, rose and pro- 
claimed himself as follows: "The professor and I hold very radically different 
philosophies. He wants to pamper and mollycoddle the poor weak members 
of our society. I am in favor of letting them fight their own battles. If they 
are any good to society, they will survive. I happen to be a biologist. He is an 
economist. I know the human race has got where it is by ruthless struggle for 
existence. That is the essence of the American idea, of the American way of 
life. Root, hog, or die is what has made us a great Nation." I regret to state 
that he was vigorously applauded by most of the farm organization members in 
the room. 

Now the American idea stated in our Declaration of Independence and in our 
Constitution, and in the splendid utterances of all our great statesmen, has 
been almost the opposite of this, It has been equality of opportunity instead, 
giving to the child of the poor the same chance to be healthy, and educated, and 
to get started in life, as greater wealth affords to the child of the rich. Free 
public education and libraries were accepted a long time ago; and free public 
highways and police and fire protection. Then came public accident insurance; 
then in the last decade several forms of social insurance — old age, unemployment, 
and so forth. For millions of our families well on toward a third of the total 
utilities that enter into daily living are provided equally to all without regard 
to any ability to contribute to the public exchequer. Provision of health has 
been moving in this general direction — too slowly much of the time, it is true. 
There have been forces and interests which have retarded the progress of public 
health as compared with public education — during long decades when any ra- 
tional person would have said that the health of a child was as vital to the welfare 
of the Nation as its ability to read, write, and cipher. 


We can probably get as clear an idea as possible of the opportunities for use- 
fulness awaiting the Farm Security Administration during the war if we consider 
briefly the cases of a number of different types of small and low-income farmers. 

Type 1: A type which is very numerous, which may be described as follows: 
Not working enough good land where they are to be anywhere near fully productive, 
still able to work hard, but so far along in years that it is too late for them to 
make a fresh start in some other area or occupation. Few families with the head 
of the family over 50 to 55 years old should consider moving to another area or 
type of job. Readjustment is too difficult. 

For these, building up their productivity where they are is the best solution. 
First of all, get them more land to work if it is in anyways possible — by lease or 
purchase. Also help them buy the additional livestock, tools, and supplies they 
need to work this land. If no more land is available, work out a farm plan under 
which they can. increase their output for sale and for home use on their present 
acres, and loan them any amounts reasonably necessary to make such expanded 
output possible. 

This is the type of case now handled by the standard rehabilitation loan. 

The same general procedure should be followed for new loans, except that 
there are so many new ones that need helping in this way that the Farm Security 
Administration field staffs cannot possibly get to all of them except by short- 
cutting some of its procedures and leaving out some of the details of administra- 
tion. The Farm Security Administration must learn to extensify its methods 
somewhat in the emergency. 


Type 2: Families also short of land and productive resources, but not likely 
to expand their output much because too old or feeble, or improvident. About 
the most that can be done for such families is to loan them a little money to buy 
seeds, or fertilizer, or some baby chicks, or a sow, or perhaps a cow or a mule in 
some cases. They won't increase the wartime output much, but they can be 
helped to provide a better diet for their families. 

In this emergency period, it is important that the Farm Security Administration 
field staffs consider carefully how much of its time it can now afford to spend on 
this type of cases. They could easily go too far with them. 

Type 3: Families like type 1, also without enough land and other resources, 
but differing from that in that they are young enough and capable enough so 
that they are well advised to move out either into another farming area, or into 
another type of job. 

The new job need not be in a war industry, as is too commonly assumed. 
Millions of workers are going to be needed before the year is over to replace men 
and women now in civilian jobs who will be drawn into production of direct war 
materials. The war agencies are estimating that 10,000,000 more workers will 
be drawn into direct war industries by the end of the year. Some part of these 
must be replaced by men and women drawn from the farms. They should come 
mostly from the farms in the congested farming areas of the Appalachians, the 
Ozark's and other parts of the South and Southwest. The Farm Security Admin- 
istration should work vigorously with the United States Employment Service 
in helping to get the workers transferred to these urban employments. 

There is also going to be a great shortage of farm labor in the major commercial 
farming areas of the Nation — in the Corn Belt, the great dairy regions, the fruit 
and vegetable areas. We cannot afford under these circumstances to have a man 
puttering away with a mule and handplow on a few acres of poor land in the areas 
where the great bulk of present and potential Farm Security Administration 
borrowers are now found. There will be housing for new families in the com- 
mercial farming areas — the housing vacated by the families that have moved 
into war • industries. For single men, there will be the accustomed provisions 
for such workers in these areas. There will be opportunities for some of these 
families as tenants in the new areas. 

Here again the Farm Security Administration must take a vigorous part in 
collaborating with the Employment Service in getting these workers moved to 
the new areas. It may need to make loans to help them, get moved. It the fami- 
lies are already Farm Security Administration borrowers, the Farm Security 
Administration will need to help them dispose of some of their property and settle 
their obligations to the Government. 

There will be many cases in which young people in families should be encouraged 
to move when the parents are too old to move; others in which both can move 
together to good advantage. 

I regret to state that the Farm Security Administration is not now giving 
evidence of handling this part of its job as vigorously as it should. It shows some 
tendency to want to hold onto its borrowers and keep them on the land even in 
very low-income areas. 

Type 4: Families with land enough, but not enough livestock, equipment, 
and other capital to work it effectively. These cases are much more common 
than supposed. A recent study of 50 test demonstration farms using free the Ten- 
nessee Valley Authority phosphate fertilizers in Tennessee disclosed 11 that had 
increased their output and income very little as yet because they had been unable 
to get the necessary cattle to use the increased feed and forage produced. The 
Farm Security Administration is making a good many loans of this type in some 
sections of the country, but not enough to expand our agricultural production as 
needs be now. The Farm Credit Administration never has reached as many of 
such cases as it should. In general, it has not reached down to the smaller types 
of family-sized farms. Some agency must get to such farms now. 

Type 5: Part-time farming families: Public credit agencies have commonly 
avoided making agricultural loans to families deriving a third or more of their 
income from nonagricultural pursuits. One cannot tell from the census data 
how many such families there are — surely a half million, and perhaps almost 
a million. Very many of these should be able to expand the agricultural part of 
their activity now. Others will contract it with longer hours and fuller employ- 
ment off the farm. Aid to part-time farming families must therefore be given, 
very cautiously; nevertheless it should be given where it leads to increased output 



The other day someone criticized the Farm Security Administration for 
"soliciting" such families as have been described by these five types. Have they 
forgotten that there is a war on? As a matter of fact, the effective prosecution of 
the agricultural war program, requires that every single farm family be inter- 
viewed, and whenever any farm, family, small or large, needs a loan to enable it to 
expand its production, it should be induced to get one from some agency, either a 
private bank, or from a production credit association or from the Farm Security 


In the rest of this statement Dr. Hardin and I have undertaken to put together 
a systematic analysis of the work of the Farm Security Administration and of its 
role in the wartime agricultural effort. Our discussion falls into three parts. 
First, given the people involved, their characteristics, locations, training, apti- 
tudes, and physical equipment, what contribution can they make to the country 
at war? Second, what are the characteristics of the Farm Security Administra- 
tion program which make it well -fitted to help bring forth the maximum war 
effort of these people? And third, what changes might be made in the Farm 
Security Administration program in order for it more directly to center upon those 
ends which the present emergency puts first? 


The most important aspect of this part of the farming population is as a reservoir 
of human resources. This is especially true since the highest proportion of the 
people involved are concentrated in the southeast where the ratio of human beings 
to resources of lands, buildings, and machinery is particularly low. Taking 
regions 4, 5, 6, and 8, which include all territory south of the nothern boundaries 
of Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Arkansas, Oklahoma (except the Pan- 
handle), and Texas (except the Panhandle), one finds that the Rural Rehabilita- 
tion Division of the Farm Security Administration had dealt with 637,836 cases 
of all classes — cumulative to the end of the fiscal year, 1940. Thus more than 
45 percent of the total Rural Rehabilitation cases in the entire United States were 
drawn from an area where families are only one-fifth as well-provided for as upper- 
Corn-Belt families in their ratio to land, buildings, and machinery, according to 
the 1940 Census. 

Besides the 700,000 standard loan families already reached in various parts of 
the country, any reasonable interpretation of the census data, after due allowance 
for part-time farmers with other sources of income, and other necessary allowances, 
makes clear that very far from all of the low-income families in agriculture have 
thus far been reached by the Farm Security Administration. Hence these people 
are a great reservoir of potential labor power that may be tapped for needed agri- 
cultural and industrial workers. Here we may note the report of the Farm Place- 
ment Committee of the Social Security Board Federal Advisory Council. In its 
recommendations, it stated: 

"6. Particular attention should be given to the development of effective pro- 
cedures for recruiting individual workers and whole families, with farm experience, 
now located in urban areas or in overpopulated rural areas such as the Appalachian 
Region and the Rio Grande Valley. Commonly the people living in rural areas 
such as indicated, do not realize the extent of the congestion and the full conse- 
quences of the prevailing low ratio of resources to population. Accordingly an 
intensive form of effort is required in such situations." ! 

It is not anticipated that these areas of great overpopulation can be drained 
dry ; it is maintained only that the more heavily these sections can be drawn upon, 
the more efficient will be the ratio of men to resources — -in the densely populated 
sectors of the economy as well as elsewhere. 

This leads to a second point regarding the human resources of the lower-income 
agricultural areas. It is well known that rural folk more than reproduce them- 
selves; this is especially true of exactly these rural people in question. Big 
families among Farm Security Administration clients are the rule, particularly in 
the South and Southeast. The war may last 5 years; and the younger people in 
this pool must be thought of as growing up to take part in the war effort over the 
whole period that the war may last. 2 

1 Report of January 9, 1942. 

s At the moment, no reference is made to the highly important post-war utilization of this labor force. 


Again considering the South particularly, the crowding of the population on the 
land has frequently forced the growing of cotton and tobacco, crops from which 
farmers could get the highest returns on limited acreages. Much new purchasing 
power is now opening up in the South that will assist a shift toward livestock and 
livestock products, dairying, poultry raising, etc. Over expansion is hardly 
possible in these lines, providing that the marketing problems can be solved. 
Thus it is estimated that as a long-time goal, milk production could well be raised 
in the South by 50 percent. 

"If the farm and urban people of the South were to have only a minimum of the 
foods regarded as adequate by home economists, southern farmers would need to 
put 13 million more acres in food and feed crops and 23 million more acres in 
pasture." 3 

Of course, one of the greatest problems here is that of creating skills adequate to 
expand dairying, poultry raising, and the like among people in whom are ingrained 
quite different farming customs. But again, if we think of production over the 
whole wartime period, we may find that an extremely valuable part of the war effort 
may be the work necessary to create such skills, even though the full fruits of such a 
program might not be realized the first year or two. 

To sum up thus far. In considering the possible contribution of low-income 
agricultural folk to the war effort, we have thought of them as reservoirs of labor 
at present disadvantaged by their unfavorable relationship to the physical 
factors of production. Partly, then, they can be drawn upon for labor elsewhere, 
labor which will be in part industrial, but more largely in commercial agricul- 
ture ; partly their contribution will best be made when they are through increasing 
their production of food for home consumption as well as of surpluses for market- 
ing, especially of foods in which shortages exist and which they are able to produce. 
In all events, this pool of inadequately employed labor should be thought of over 
the number of years that the war may reasonably be predicted to last. 

Some of the many difficulties involved in making the best use of such labor are 
the deplorable inadequacies in the type of skills needed, resistance to change (of 
habitat as well as function), and the frequently low level of education among the 
people concerned. Further light can be thrown on some of these points in the 
discussion which follows as to the adequacy of the Farm Security Administration 
as the agency best suited to call forth the maximum effort from these groups. 


It seems defensible to assume that if the sectors in question of the agricultural 
population are to be efficiently drawn upon for the war effort, some administra- 
tive group will have to be employed. The heaviest concentrations of Farm 
Security Administration clients lie, as has been said, south of the Ohio River, and 
south of Missouri and Kansas. In these Farm Security Administration regions 
(comprising regions 4, 5, 6, and 8 as of 1940), the field personnel reported that 
average white borrowers were 44 years old, with five in the family, with education 
for the husband averaging 6.5 years and for the wife averaging 7.2 years. Negro 
borrowers averaged 47 years in age, with six in the family, and had gone to school 
about 4 years. Only a vigorously administered program, which emphasizes 
personal contacts with the farm people themselves by administrative personnel 
who "speak the same language," can effectively tap this human resource. With 
these remarks, let us consider the Farm Security Administration: 

The Farm Security Administration is a going concern, with personnel already 
in the field and administrative procedures worked out. The county supervisors 
and their staffs are personally acquainted with many of the members of the agri- 
cultural groups in question; better acquainted than the workers of any other 
agency. The Farm Security Administration field personnel should be well-fitted 
to judge as to exactly which persons and which families can best be shifted out of 
their present areas, and which can best remain in place. 

The Farm Security Administration is also in the best position to help develop 
the new skills needed. 

"An old problem in the South is the need for the development of skills among 
farm people that will permit the expansion of dairy, poultry, and other industries, 
and relieve the congestion that now presses farms into more intensive cultivation 
than is good for either the soil or the people." 4 

« Kenneth L. Bachman, in the Agricultural Situation, Bureau of Agricultural Economics, U. S. Depart- 
ment of Agriculture, November 1941, p. 16. . 
* Sherman E. Johnson and Robert C. Tetro, the Agricultural Situation, op. cit. November 1941, p. 3. 


The Farm Security Administration has had several years' experience trying to 
establish exactly the agricultural skills now needed. To continue with the southern 
sections of the United States, the Farm Security Administration has made every 
effort to diversify the farms of these people by shifts toward milk, pork, and 
poultry production, home gardens, and the like, away from the undue emphasis on 
single cash crops which is one of the South's worst evils. Livestock has not been 
added to Farm Security Administration farms in one operation; usually a milk 
cow, a brood sow, and perhaps 50 hens, may be planned for purchase with the first 
loan. When the family has learned how to care for one cow, it is assisted in getting 
one or two more; and presently it may be looking for a market for some milk. 
At the same time, pressure cookers and jars for canning have been purchased with 
money lent by the Farm Security Administration — purchased to such an extent 
that H. A. Tolley has described the pressure cooker as "the artifact that is changing 
the present culture of the rural South." 

The Farm Security Administration estimates that for the United States as a, 
whole, milk production for home use on farms receiving loans increased from 6*0 
gallons per person before entering the program to 78 in 1940; meat increased 
from 52 to 78 pounds per person; canned fruits and vegetables from 29 quarts per 
person to 53. Taking region 5, which includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and 
South Carolina, the comparable gains were as follows: Milk, from 43 to 65 gallons; 
meat, from 47 to 77 pounds; and fruits and vegetables, from 13 to 40 quarts per 
person. These figures are presented because they deal with increases in physical 
quantities of the kinds of foods of which we are now attempting great national 
increases. These are not spectacular increases. The task of calling forth great 
agricultural surpluses from low-income agricultural classes is not simple and easy. 
Nevertheless, the figures bear out the conclusion to which nearly every observer 
who visits a broad sample of Farm Security Administration work will find himself 
coming; that there is a real possibility of considerable expansion of production 
among low-income farm people, given the proper approach. 

The Farm Security Administration will also be in a position to help these farmers 
make the best use of the limited amount of farm machinery which will now be 
available. Its supervisors should know where farm implements are, and where 
they can be placed in order to secure their most efficient use. Here will come into 
good use the Farm Security Administration's experience with its community and 
cooperative services program, under which groups of farmers all over the country 
have been able to employ jointly a long list of implements that would have been 
out of their reach as individuals. These cooperatives provide mowing machines, 
binders, rakes, tractors, hay-grinders, combines, and the like. As is typical of 
the Farm Security Administration programs, such cooperatives combine low 
interest rates for the money involved with supervision by Farm Security Admin- 
istration personnel. 

Then there is the question of rural health. Society is extremely interested in 
the long run in the health of rural people, since it is only this group that much 
more than reproduces itself. Taking that part of the rural population with which 
the Farm Security Administration deals, its birth rates are higher than those of 
other agricultural classes. 5 The health and medical service of this group is im- 
portant. The Farm Security Administration has embarked on an ambitious 
program to improve the distribution of such services in the United States, working 
under agreements with State and county medical associations. About 100, 000 
Farm Security Administration families, according to the National Child Labor 
Committee, ''are now receiving medical care at prices they can afford through 
group medical programs by local physicians." One sees the benefits of this pro- 
gram at their fullest in counties now supplied with at least one doctor where pre- 
viously no doctor had been able to make a living. With the heavy drain on doctors 
for active war service, some such cooperative program seems more strongly indi- 

4 Although coal miners' wives aged 35-44 years bore more children in 1929 than any other group (8.0), 
the farmers' wives in the same age group came close after them (7.1). At the same time, the net reproduction 
rate for the United States fell below the replacement level in 1930-35 (from 1.078 to 0.961); but, again, there 
is a marked difference in the reproduction rates between the rural and urban communities, those for both 
native white and Negro women being nearly twice higher in the rural communities with less than 10,000 
population than in all urban communities taken together, and the rural-farm reproduction rates being 
higher than the rural-nonfarm rates. Moreover, considering the sectors with which the Farm Security 
Administration deals: "While the specific birth rate, or the number of children 5 years of age per 1 ,000 women 
aged 35 to 44 years, was 719 in 1930 for the rural farm population in nonproblem areas, it was 754 for those 
areas in which less than 20 percent of all farms were recommended for transfer to other uses, and 909 for those 
areas in which 60 percent of all the farms were to be transferred from agricultural uses." A discussion fo 
this point may be found in Amando M. Dalisay, Supervised Credit for Low Income Farm Groups in the 
United States, Ph.D. thesis, Harvard University, 1941, pp. 149-159. 


cated even than before, in order to mitigate the tendency toward a disastrous mal- 
distribution of medical services away from those sectors of the population from 
which the future American is mainly to be drawn. 

Finally, there is something of extreme value in the present emergency in the 
mental habits of the Farm Security Administration. Its personnel is accustomed 
to think boldly and then to act vigorously. In a period characterized by unpre- 
cedented shifts in working populations, in kinds of employment, in manners and 
methods of production, and in ways of living, it would seem highly worth while to 
keep functioning at full capacity so useful and so strategically placed an agency 
as the Farm Security Administration. The Farm Security Administration will 
of course feel called upon broadly to redirect its own program in light of wartime 
needs. But its personnel will find these adaptations very easy to make. 


In summary, we have been impressed by the pertinence of the qualifications 
possessed by the Farm Security Administration to the present needs. Chiefly, 
these qualifications include: first, Farm Security Administration acquaintanceship 
among farmers in low-income brackets; second Farm Security Administration 
experience in the sort of work now seen needed in calling forth the major con- 
tribution of such agricultural groups: the experience in dealing with the people 
involved, the training in developing the sort of skills which are now at a premium, 
and the advantage of having operated many cooperatives of the kinds which it 
now seems we ought to be actively spreading; and third, the familiarity with 
programs requiring broad adjustments. 

Before closing this part of the discussion, however, two other points should be 
mentioned. First, it should be said again that the alternatives before us are not 
whether we shall have any such agency at all, but whether the Farm Security 
Administration or some other agency is best fitted to assist the low-income groups 
to their fullest war effort. We have already the report of the Farm Placement 
Committee of the Social Security Board, Federal Advisory Council. The fifth 
point in the committee's report indicates a useful role for the Farm Security 

"5. The plans for the organization and functioning of the National, Regional, 
and State organizations must provide for the movement of workers within States 
and between States wherever and whenever necessary. Such movements are 
comparatively easy to arrange in the matter of itinerant and seasonal workers. 
The more difficult problems relate to year-round, regular workers, particularly if 
whole families are involved. Directing such movements will call for full coopera- 
tion of other agencies, such as the State Extension Services and the Farm Security 
Administration, with the employment service." 

Moreover, the general tenor of the report indicates the breadth of the problem 
and implies, where it does not clearly call for, the vigorous cooperation of every 
available agricultural agency, cooperative, and farm organization. 

The second point involves the question of economy. It is, of course, essential 
that the costs of governmental functions be reduced in inverse proportion to the 
proximity of those functions to the war effort. At the same time, there is another 
way of thinking about costs that should be stressed; that is, we should consider 
costs on the farms as well as costs to Government. We should consider the 
actual expenditures in physical materials involved as balanced against other uses 
of the same physical materials more directly in the war effort. Here there would 
seem to be many local materials on farms for which no very valuable alternative 
use exists, that may be put to good employment by the Farm Security Adminis- 
tration. Thus, trench silos or box silos would help the feed-storage problem in the 
South, especially in humid areas where hay is not easily cured. 8 Other examples 
could be given, but in general, it may be said that the Farm Security Adminis- 
tration is again well equipped in its manner of experience for making these kinds 
of economies; the people with whom it has dealt have had to watch costs closely. 


Inevitably, agencies of the Federal Government have found or will find their 
programs in need of modification in the present emergency. While considering 
the qualifications of the Farm Security Administration for the war effort, one 
finds himself also thinking, of course, about the kinds of changes that might be 
made in the program. This opportunity is now taken to set forth some such 

• Kenneth L. Bachman, op. cit., p. 19. 


In general, the way in which the Farm Security Administration can serve best 
is in acting as the channel through which low-income farm folk may be drawn off 
into more productive employment, either in commercial agriculture or- in in- 
dustry. This is in line with the recommendations of the Farm Placement Com- 
mittee already quoted. We have already noted the remarks of Kenneth L. 
Bachman regarding the perennial pressure on the land in the South and its pro- 
spective alleviation by other alternatives of employment incident to the emer- 
gency. If the war does have the effect of draining population from the congested 
areas to the fullest possible extent, it will in this respect serve the long-time in- 
terests of agriculture. 

However, unless these possibilities are fully realized and implemented by de- 
termined administration, much of the potential gain will be lost. The Farm 
Security Administration needs to expand its effort along these lines, collaborating 
fully with the United States Employment Service. 

The Rural Rehabilitation program will probably need to be adapted somewhat 
to the new situation. It is into the Rural Rehabilitation Division (R. R.) of the 
Farm Security Administration that new borrowers will largely enter, if the Farm 
Security Administration is expanded for the wartime food-production program. 
The objective of this war program is the greatest possible production of dairy 
products, poultry and poultry products, fruit and vegetables, soybeans, peanuts, 
and the like, while at the same time maintaining high production for home use. 
This may well call for some redirection of the general ends of the rural rehabilitation 
program. For example, farms peculiarly well-suited (even, let me say, at the ex- 
pense of some soil conservation benefits) to produce soybeans or peanuts should 
probably concentrate on such crops as these. There should be less attention to 
showing increases in net worth and in building up of inventories, except insofar 
as the war food production calls for these things. In short, the planning of pro- 
duction and the servicing of production would be pointed nearly altogether to- 
ward to the maximization of the desired foods. Supervisors and their assistants 
ought to be spared all the paper work possible, for it is essential that they spend 
the maximum amount of time in the field. 

It is difficult to overestimate the importance of carefully planned supervision 
to the success of the war food production program. In the first place, no one in 
the Farm Security Administration is satisfied with the present record of planning 
versus performance, i. e., the present amounts of various crops actually harvested 
as set over against the amounts stated in the farm plan. Sometimes mistakes 
have been made in the farm management, it is true; but most people in the Farm 
Security Administration would attribute unsatisfactory performance to failure of 
supervision — especially to the physical inability of supervisors to get around to 
borrowers at the critical times in the crop year: times of planting, harvesting, or 
some other special operation. If this has been true in the normal pursuance of 
Farm Security Administration work in peacetime, the problem will be aggravated 
now. For if the Farm Security Administration is authorized to expand and take 
up the entire slack in the low-income farming field, it will run into farming people 
who, at best, will be new to the program, new to the supervisor and Farm Security 
Administration methods, and at worst, will have been out of the program because 
they have been considered below the levels which Farm Security Administration 
has believed necessary for successful rehabilitation. 

The so-called resettlement program will have an important place in the 
work to be done, whenever a situation develops calling for movement of families 
to a new area, either to function there as farm laborer families, or as tenants, or 
even owners. In the latter case, the tenant-purchase type of operation is called 
for. In some cases, where considerable groups of families need to be moved — for 
example, when lands are taken for military use — it will be necessary to take over 
especially large farms or plantations which come on the market and fit them to 
the use of these incoming families. The object will be to increase production on 
this land by providing good management and supervision. Any land thus taken 
over should be turned over to the new occupants on reasonable financing terms 
as soon as possible at the end of the war. There will be an especial place for such 
a program as just outlined in areas such as the Mississippi Delta, where new land 
is being brought into settlement. Another type of adjustment which the Farm 
Security Administration should be authorized to undertake in whatever manner 
is necessary is to help families remaining in congested areas to enlarge their farms 
by taking in land left behind as people are drained off into other employment. It 
will do no harm to mention that the Agricultural Adjustment Administration 
program may need to be revised if both these tendencies — the intensive develop- 
ment of the fertile Delta, and the general shift to livestock in the area of poorer 
soils — are to be fully exploited. 


The Federal Security Administration will also need to adapt its cooperative 
service work to the new situation. The recently introduced county purchasing 
and marketing associations, although they may have important uses, should not 
be expected in all cases to solve the perplexing marketing problems that exist 
today. The first problem here is to get an administrative area and a cooperative 
set-up that corresponds to the natural marketing area. Again, regarding medical 
cooperatives, it may be necessary to abandon one of the cardinal principles on 
which the program has operated: Free choice for borrowers among cooperating 
doctors. With the need to save time and wear and tear on cars and equipment, 
some division of the territory among available doctors may be called for. 

Finally, it would appear that on almost every point of the possible Farm 
Security Administration program, as outlined above, some fruitful cooperative 
arrangements may be made. For example, in the food production program, the 
relationships between Farm Security Administration and the Extension Service, 
particularly the county agent's staff, as well as with the agricultural defense 
boards, should be very close. Personnel of the Soil Conservation Service may 
help ascertain what conservation practices may be applicable after decisions have 
been made as to what land must be cultivated for the defense program. There 
should be the closest possible relationship between the Farm Security Adminis- 
tration and the Farm Placement Service of the United States Employment Service. 
Officials of the Farm Placement Service will know the labor needs in the various 
local markets and between markets, including both the character of the labor 
needed, and the amounts. The Farm Security Administration, on the other 
hand, should be the best agency for ascertaining just which of these needs can be 
met in the whole low-income farming sector. 


Mr. Black. All right; I can go ahead. There was a question asked 
me by Mr. Maddox about the possibility or advisability of using farm 
labor supplied from Central America or South America to deal with 
our shortages here. 

Mr. Maddox. Also women and youths. 


Mr. Black. I might use that as a starting point. I would not be 
in favor of any such program until we had fully exhausted the possi- 
bilities of using our own unemployed people and our own underem- 
ployed people. 

Now, I don't know that we get the full significance of this under- 
employment. For example, I am not sure about the areas on that 
map. If you describe those areas as areas in which there is surplus 
farm labor, it is surplus in what sense of the word. Does that mean 
there are young people on farms that don't have enough to keep them 
busy or anywhere near it the year round, or that there are farm labor- 
ers in the territory that do not have full employment the year round? 
Is it unemployment in that sense, or is it underemployment in the 
sense that they have such a limited amount of good land and equip- 
ment to work with that they don't turn out very much in the way of 
production in the course of the year? 

Now, it is this latter phase of it that is highly important and which 
is the real phase we are concerned with. 

Someone asked the question about whether the Selective Service 
registration would not get at these people. It will get at the people who 
don't have jobs, or who hang around home and don't have very much 
to do, but it certainly won't get at the matter of unemployment. 

You have asked about your local farm labor committees as an 
aid to handling this problem. I can tell you that the local farm place- 
ment committees are not going to tell you about underemployment. 
They don't know it exists. 


I worked with farm placement work in the last World War in the 
State of Wisconsin, and we have sections in the eastern central 
part of the State where the population was quite largely Polish and 
Bohemian, where the prevailing rate of wage was $25 a month and 
farms were small, and in other sections of the State the farms were 
large and the wages were $45 or $50, and when we talked about going 
up to the Bohemian section and getting people to help out they said, 
■"Our boys are going to war and we are short of labor." 

Now, we are trying to get peanuts grown in the South. You can't 
begin to get as much income from an acre of peanuts as you can from 
cotton. You don't put in as much labor. 

The only reason cotton has persisted down there is that so many 
people need jobs that you have to put these crops in in order to give 
the people jobs. If you put in peanuts in place of one-third of the 
cotton, why, there won't be work enough for them. 


Those folks, according to any proper adjustment of the agriculture 
of the South out of intensive cotton growing, are not needed down 
there. They ought to move into the areas where there is a deficit 
of agricultural labor, where labor is not fully employed at the present 

We have set up, of course, an Employment Service to deal with that 
problem, and we have the Farm Security Administration helping 
out with it. But I don't believe the procedure that has been talked 
about this morning is going to handle that problem. I don't think 
you can set up an employment office 15 or 20 or 30 miles away which 
registers anyone who comes in and asks for a job, and get very much 
registration or very much movement of the people out of these areas 
by that means. You have to use some different technique than that. 
You can't rely on your local planning committee to do it because they 
wouldn't admit there is any surplus labor there. You have got to 
develop some procedure that will really get hold of these people and 
move them out into other jobs. You have to have other jobs ready 
for them. You have got to know where you want them to go and you 
have got to help them get there. 


This map you have before you shows all these cross-hatched areas. 
Those are areas where there isn't a shortage of labor now for the sea- 
sonal crops, but for general farm work the year round. That is the 
part of farm-labor problem that has been neglected most and is going 
to be neglected in the future. Supplying labor in the black areas, the 
seasonal areas is a kind of spectacular thing. You can bring in people 
from other parts of the country, Negroes from some section or Mex- 
icans from Mexico. You can recruit a lot of boys and girls to do that 
kind of thing, but to get somebody to go out and work on the dairy 
farms and Corn Belt farms where they want year-round labor, that 
is another story. 

You have got to get hold of families and year-round people for that, 
and the Employment Service is not now set up to handle that problem. 
It has got to learn to handle it this year, and it is going to have to 
go to those places where there is underemployment and get families 
and single people to move out and move into these other areas. Some- 


one must find a place for them to live and help them move, and the 
Employment Service and Farm Security Administration have a real 

Some of those folks ought not to move into agriculture but should 
move in to opportunities in the city, and they have got to have help. 
They must have these opportunities presented to them, and jobs have 
got to be found for them. individually. 

Now, that is what 1 mean by saying that until we have fully ex- 
hausted our possibilities in the way of moving these people and thus 
taking care of our labor shortages, there isn't any need for any talk 
about moving in Mexicans or Puerto Ricans or folks from South 
America or the like. 

It may turn out, if this war lasts until 1943 or 1944 or 1945, that 
the demands for the military output will be so great that not even 
using all of our own people out of these underemployed areas, using 
all our high-school boys and girls, closing down the schools for a 
month or two at critical periods, and the like — in spite of all that, 
we may not be able to handle the harvesting of our crops; and when 
that happens it is time to talk about bringing in these folks from 
Mexico first, and then from other areas, but it should be considered 
as something to be postponed and done as a last resort. 


We have to remember that if these people are brought in here 
and kept here it would lower our wage level and the general standard 
of living of all our agriculture. European countries faced with this 
same problem have brought in people. They have brought them in, 
but they have moved them out afterward. 

My own judgment is that if we do bring in these people the Govern- 
ment should handle it by means of passports and visas so it could get 
them out again, and that it should stand the expense of it, and not 
leave them in this country as part of the general labor supply. 

A good many years ago an American group went over to China 
to study possibilities of building banks along the Yangtze River as 
a way of preventing famines. The report said in part: 

An expenditure of a certain sum of money would make it possible to support 
10,000,000 more Chinese people in the valley of the river. , 

But the report ended up by saying 

What for? Until the Chinese people learn some method of intelligent control 
of their resources, you don't help them any by increasing their hordes. 

The same thing would happen if you accept the population of 
Puerto Rico. You have to help them with their sanitation and help 
them get their birth rate properly adjusted to their own resources. 

I am not ready for any proposal for wholesale immigration of 
people from those countries. I think it is not a well-considered 
way of dealing with the problem. 

This problem you are dealing with this morning, I think in a way 
might be summarized by 

Mr. Sparkman. Before you go into your summary, I wonder if I 
may ask one question? What about the idea or the system of grant- 
ing furloughs from the services for farm boys to return to help out 
with seasonal crops? 

60396— 42— pt. 28 13 


Mr. Black. I think that can bo worked out on an intelligent sort 
of basis without interfering with the military program. The details 
of it would have to be worked out very carefully. 

Those who have studied the history of American agriculture know 
that the heavy immigration out of Europe onto our farms in the last 
century and early decades of this century had a great deal to do with 
maintaining low standards of living on our farms. Those people 
farmed according to low standards of living and helped maintain the 
low returns to the farms. 


It would be a lot more sensible, if we need more food, to make a deal 
with the South American countries to produce it down there, leaving 
the people down there where they produce it, than to bring them up 
here and ship them back again. 

In those South American countries there are plenty of resources. 
They have not begun to develop their resources. If we want to do 
something we could help those governments in producing the things 
down there that we need in this country. 

First, they could produce war products, and then agricultural prod- 
ucts primarily of types that don't compete with our own production. 
In some of these countries, there is a real congestion of population. 
Puerto Rico is the real example. You might say we are being human- 
itarian if we permit large numbers of these people to come into this 
country to help us out and to stay here; but it has long been recognized 
that you don't help a densely populated country very much by 
accepting its immigrants. The folks behind fill up the gap, and there 
is just as much population pressure as before. 

I wonder if we can't get a clearer idea of the possibilities of oppor- 
tunities for usefulness awaiting the Farm Security Administration 
during the war if we stop and consider briefly a number of typical cases 
that are likely to arise? 


This first one is of a type that is very numerous and can be described 
as follows: 

Here is a man that is not working and hasn't got land enough to be 
anywhere near fully productive. The farm doesn't have enough 
resources to contribute to the war effort of this country. 

Here is a family that is able to work hard but is rather along in years 
and it is too late for them to try to make a start in some other area 
and other occupation. 

I doubt if many families with the head of the family over 50 or 55 
years of age should consider moving to another area or taking a differ- 
ent type of job. 

Now, for this type of family, and it is a very numerous group, the 
program which Mr. Maddox has outlined fully, the food for freedom 
program, the original rehabilitation program modified as he suggested 
it, seems to me a type of procedure that is right. They should be 
given the loans to buy seed and feed and fertilizer and equipment, and 
in some cases some livestock, so they can make their present acreage 
more productive than it is now. 


I realize Mr. M add ox is cautious about talking about purchasing 
livestock because he knows you can't buy more dahy cows advan- 
tageously right now because you take them away from somebody else. 
But it is possible to start building up herds of dairy cows by taking 
heifer calves and rearing them and probably by the time the war is 
over we will need their products. 

Now, I am going to talk about families that are also short of land 
and productive resources, but are not likely to expand their output 
very much, even with loans, because they are too old and too feeble 
and too improvident. I don't need to tell you there are a lot of folks 
like that. 

What can you do for them? I say that you can make small loans 
to them to buy seeds and fertilizer and a few baby chicks and maybe a 
sow or a heifer calf, but this $300 loan that Mr. Maddox is talking 
about is too big a loan for them, and in tins emergency period we can't 
afford to be spending too much time of the Farm Security Administra- 
tion with these people. We may do something but we should not go 
too far. 


My third type of family, like type 1, are also without enough land 
and other resources, but they differ from type 1 in that the families 
are still young enough and capable enough so that they are well ad- 
vised to move out into another farming area or into another type of job. 

I do not believe that we have tackled that kind of family vigorously 
enough. We have not developed our facilities for removing those 
people to the extent that we should. Some of those people should 
move into other farming areas, and I may mention that very frequently 
there will be houses waiting for them. 

Many farms will have a house for a farm family that is vacated 
because there isn't anybody available locally. I know a farm family 
in south Wisconsin that spent $300 repairing its tenant house to 
make it attractive and it is still vacant. 

If it is single people that move, rather than whole families, you have 
the usual arrangements for taking care of single people on farms. 

There will be many cases in which the young people should be en- 
couraged to move when the parents are too old. There are others in 
which the young folks moving with the old folks make a combination 
that makes it feasible. 


Type 4 are families that do have land enough but do not have 
enough livestock and equipment and feed and fertizilizer and other 
capital to work then farms effectively. These cases are much more 
common than supposed. 

A recent study of 50 test demonstration farms using free T. V. A. 
phosphate fertilizers in Tennessee disclosed 11 that had increased 
their output and income but very little in the past 5 years, because 
they had been unable to get the necessary cattle to use the increased 
feed and forage produced. 

The Farm Security Administration is making a good many loans 
of this type in some sections of the country. I spent 8 months with 
an associate at Harvard in the field, and visiting various different 
agencies, the Farm Security Administration more than others. We 


talked with the local officers,the local staffs of the local Farm Security 
Administration; we went out on farms and looked over farm and home 
plans, and I know that there are sections of the country where the 
Farm Security Administration has done very effective work in helping 
these people to get more cattle. 

Your best example of it would be in the better livestock areas of 
Kentucky and Tennessee. It is surprising the number of families 
that don't have enough cattle in order to make their contribution as 
they should. 

Now, the Farm Credit Administration never has reached as many 
of these as it should. The Farm Credit Administration in general 
has not reached down to the smaller types of family-sized farms, and 
the Farm Security Administration has not reached up to them. There 
is some agency that needs to take care of these people now. 


My type 5 are the part-time farming families. I don't know how 
many there are in this country. 

There are at least a half million, and there may be nearly a million. 
Very many of these should be able to expand the agricultural part of 
their activity now, but I am certain more of them will contract it 
when they get longer hours of work and better wages for employment 
off the farm. 

I saw that fact demonstrated very effectively in New England. 
In 1937, when we had a pick-up in employment, . a lot of part-time 
farmers who had purchased two or three cows, sold their cows and 
worked double shifts, long hours, one member of the family working 
days and the other at night, and that will take place this time. Never- 
theless, this group should be worked with and some aid given to any 
part-time families that are in position to increase their output. 

I read the newspapers occasionally, as the rest of you do, and I 
noticed someone the other day criticized the Farm Security Adminis- 
tration for soliciting such families as are described under these five 
types. I have a feeling that a man like that has forgotten for the 
moment there is a war on. As a matter of fact, the effective prosecu- 
tion of the agricultural war program requires every single farm family 
be interviewed by somebody, and whenever any family, large or small, 
needs a loan to enable it to expand its production, it should be induced 
to get that loan from some agency, either a private bank, or from a 
production credit association or from F. S. A. 

You can call that soliciting, if you want to, but it is the kind of 
effort you need, family by family, in this country. 

I have other points that I can discuss here, but I don't want to use 
all the time. If you want to ask some questions, I had better save 
some time for that. 

Mr. Arnold. Perhaps some of the members of the panel would 
like to ask some questions. 

Mr. Smith. Could I make one comment? I would like to suggest 
that the underemployed type of farm families I mentioned are not 
limited to the dotted areas on the map. We have many of them in a 
great many of the States, probably some of them in every State. 
The dotted area is not the only area where we have unemployment in 


Mr. Maddox. I was wondering if Mr. Black would expand on this 
idea as to the mechanism that might be used to transfer these families 
from one area of the country to the other, that is, underemployed 


Take, for instance, the illustration of the family down in eastern 
Kentucky or the one in Congressman Sparkman's State of Alabama, 
who might better use its labor on a Corn Belt farm in Illinois or Iowa. 
The mechanics for making that transfer is the thing I would like to 
hear discussed, because I think most everyone would agree with you 
as to the need for that. 

Mr. Johnson. Will you include also the transfer within the State 
of Alabama and the T. V. A. area, both the farm and nonfarm? 

Mr. Black. I would think if the Employment Service had properly 
functioning offices in the Corn Belt where this labor was needed, that 
these would record families that wanted various types and descriptions 
of farm labor. That is one end of it. 

Now, at the other end of it, if the Employment Service could be 
expanded in the underemployed and surplus-labor areas, so that it 
could get around to the various communities, so that all the com- 
munities would be reached — I know that in addition to the 1,500 
local employment offices that the United States Employment Office 
has, it lias about 3,000 part-time or temporary offices, where a man 
spends 2 or 3 hours a day or 1 day a week. 

Now, another question is how you are going to get through to these 
families. I think maybe you have to do some footwork. Just 
putting a statement in the local newspapers isn't enough. You have 
got to talk to them. Publicity will help. Publicity on the whole is 
sometimes a little dangerous and stirs up the local people more than 
is necessary. 

You work with the local people and talk with them and get their 
help and that will be more effective. All right. We spot these 
workers and get the information about them. The Employment 
Service should be able to put together this information and say "Here 
is a family that will fit in up there." 

The question is how you are going to move them. I think in most 
cases they are going to need a little money to get moved. They 
haven't enough resources to go up there. I think the F. S. A. and 
Employment Service should work out a way to assist them in making 
the move. 

Mr. Taeuber. Mr. Black, it might be of interest to tell how we 
came to make that map. It was at the request of Employment 
Service, recognizing the importance of getting into these areas in the 
sense of low productivity, and finding some mechanism to do the 
kind of recruiting you are talking about. 

Mr. Black. I know the Farm Security and Employment Service 
are pushing into this. I don't think they are pushing anywhere near 
fast enough. 

Mr. Maddox. If we could get by the difficulty of having that 
known as "resettlement," it might help a great deal. 

Mr. Sparkman. How about calling it "replacement"? 

Mr. Maddox. That might help. 



Mr. Sparkman. I am a little interested in looking over the counties 
on this map. I notice black shows counties of greatest seasonal 
farm labor demand. I notice every county in my district happens 
to be black. I wonder why? ' 

Mr. Smith. I can't give you the exact definitives, but the boys 
that marked the sections did it on the basis of the amount of money 
spent in those counties for hired farm labor. 

Mr. Sparkman. Census figures? 

Mr. Smith. Census figures. The census shows how much was 
spent for day hands and week hands and piecework and regular 
month hands, and that is the basis on which they made the division. 
It doesn't mean that everything in the black would be seasonable. 
There would be a lot of year-round hands. 

Mr. Sparkman. Of course, the reason I am taking my district, 
is because I am more familiar with it than any other. I notice every 
county in my district happens to be black. Of course, the principal 
crop there is cotton, and cotton is a rather seasonal crop. But I 
notice another county over here is white, De Kalb, right next to 
mine, which is a heavy producing cotton county, whereas Jackson, 
which is black, is a light producing cotton county. De Kalb is largely 
individual farms owned and operated by their owners, small farms 
generally. I wonder if that would account for that being white? 

Mr. Rogers. Yes. This was worked here on the basis of the 
census figures. To make this a little more realistic and giving con- 
sideration to a lot of changes which might include increased produc- 
tion here and there, no doubt they should be checked with someone 
who knows the distinction better. 

Mr. Taeuber. The distinction is based largely on the proportion 
of the total wage bill that goes to month hands. If one-third or more 
of the total wage bill went to other than day hands, it was included 
in the other category. 

Mr. Arnold. I notice these three counties in southern Illinois. 
Those counties perhaps have the poorest soil down there. 

Mr. Taeuber. They reported more than the minimum number of 
farms with a very low value of products in 1939. 

Dr. Lamb. I would like to ask Professor Black if there are any 
other comments he wishes to make? 

Mr. Black. No; I think I have covered everything. 

Mr. Arnold. We thank you gentlemen very much for coming 
here and for the fine contribution you have made to these hearings. 

Dr. Lamb. I wish to introduce for the record several exhibits from 
persons who are not witnesses. 

Mr. Arnold. They will be accepted. 

If that is all, this committee will stand adjourned. 

(Whereupon, at 1:05 p. m., the committee adjourned.) 


Exhibit 1. — Day Care of Children of Women Employed in War 


report by katharine f. lenroot, chief, children's bureau, united states 
department of labor, washington, d. c. 

February 4, 1942. 
The reports of the Women's Bureau and of the Labor Division of the War Pro- 
duction Board to this committee will describe the present effort to make greater 
use of women as a new source of labor essential to full war production. As this 
movement gains impetus with the acceleration of war production and with in- 
creased numbers of young men drafted into the armed forces, it will involve the 
employment of women who have never been employed before as well as those who 
formerly were in the labor market. It will also involve the employment of women 
in occupations new to them and the employment of women for longer hours and 
at hours to which they have not been accustomed. These developments will 
require widespread adjustments in the lives of the women workers, especially 
among those with family and home responsibilities. An urgent problem faced 
by many of these women is the provision of adequate care for their children. 
The increased employment of women immediately creates the need for measures 
to safeguard the welfare of the children of the community. 

Children's Bureau conference on day care of children of working mothers, July 81— 

August 1, 1941. 

Even as early as last spring there was considerable evidence of serious problems 
relative to the day care of children in certain defense areas, which led the Children's 
Bureau to call a conference on July 31-August 1, 1941, to consider problems of 
the employment of women as it affects the welfare of their children and the pro- 
vision needed for the care of children whose mothers are at work. This confer- 
ence was attended by representatives of various national and local agencies, both 
public and private, concerned with health, social welfare, education, and labor. 
Col. Frank McSherry and Mr. Charles Taft of the Office of Defense Health and 
Welfare Services participated in the meetings. The Bureau of Employment Secu- 
rity was also represented. There was unanimous agreement in the conference as 
to the urgency of immediate measures to meet the need for day care of children 
in defense areas and for over-all community planning to make adequate provision 
for the children of women going into employment. 

The conference recognized the extreme importance of the national defense effort 
and considered it imperative as part of this effort that family life be protected 
and that children should not suffer because of the various social and economic 
dislocations inevitably arising out of the defense program. The members of the 
conference emphasized that every effort should be made to safeguard home life 
and to provide programs for the care of children that will strengthen family rela- 
tionships. The conference adopted 10 recommendations, the chief of which may 
be summarized as follows: 

(1) In this period when the work of women is needed as an essential part of the 
defense program, it is more than ever a public responsibility to provide appropriate 
care for children while mothers are at work. 

(2) Every effort should be made to maintain standards relating to the employ- 
ment of women. 

(3) The welfare of mothers and children should be given due consideration at 
every point in the development of employment policies relating to national defense. 

(4) Mothers who remain at home to provide care for children are performing 
an essential patriotic service. 

(5) Community plans for the care and protection of children of working mothers 
should include as many of the forms of day care as are required to meet the needs 
of children of all ages for whom such provision should be made. 

(6) Individual counseling service provided as part of a unified community pro- 
gram should be available for mothers planning to enter employment or already 
employed. The object of this service is to assist parents in making plans which 
will safeguard family life and make adequate provision for the health and welfare 
of parents and children. 



Action growing out of the conference. 

The conference further recommended the appointment of four subcommittees 
to consider questions relating to Federal-State responsibility, community plan- 
ning, standards and services for day care, and recruiting and training of personnel. 
The conference appointed an executive committee to carry out the recommenda- 
tions of the conference. 

On October 16, 1941, on the recommendation of the executive committee the 
Children's Bureau appointed a permanent advisory committee on day care to 
supersede the various conference committees and provide a more permanent 
basis for continuing their work. 

Another action taken as a follow-up of the initial conference was the issuance 
on September 19, 1941, of instructions by the Bureau of Employment Security 
to its field offices relative to day care of children of working mothers. These in- 
structions were accompanied by the recommendations of the conference called 
by the Children's Bureau and directed public employment offices to assist in fur- 
thering the recommendations by furnishing local councils of social agencies with 
information regarding plans for the employment of women in order to facilitate 
effective planning to meet problems growing out of this employment, by participat- 
ing in unified counseling programs designed to assist mothers entering employment 
and by referral of job applicants who need assistance in the care of their children 
to appropriate agencies providing facilities for the care of children. 

An important development growing out of the conference of July 31-August 1 
was the setting up of an interagency committee known as the Joint Planning 
Board on Day Care of Children, composed of representatives of the Office of 
Education, the Work Projects Administration, and the Children's Bureau to co- 
ordinate the work of these three agencies in the field of day care. 

The conference was followed by increased and widespread interest in the prob- 
lems of day care and consideration by the Federal agencies with responsibil- 
ities in this field of the programs which they could undertake. 

Employment policies in relation to home responsibilities. 

The following statement of policy regarding the employment of mothers of 
young children was recommended by a conference of the Women's Bureau advisory 
committees held on January 22, 1942: 

"The welfare of mothers and children should be given due consideration at 
every point in the development of employment policies relating to national defense. 
Although barriers against the employment of mothers with young children should 
not be tolerated, such mothers should not be actively recruited as a new source of 
labor for either training courses or employment until other sources of labor supply 
in the local community have been fully utilized. Where need is demonstrated for 
the employment of mothers with young children, or where in individual cases 
mothers seek employment, they should be placed on shifts which will make it 
possible for them to discharge their responsibilities for the care of their children 
with such supplementation from community facilities for child care as may be 
necessary. Every effort should be made to avoid the employment of mothers 
with young children on the night shift." 

Miss Perkins, Secretary of Labor, recently made the following significant state- 
ment concerning the employment of mothers of young children: 

"In this time of crisis it is important to remember that mothers of young children 
can make no finer contribution to the strength of the Nation and its vitality and 
effectiveness in the future than to assure their children the security of home, in- 
dividual care, and affection. Except as a last resort, the Nation should not recruit 
for industrial production the services of women with such home responsibilities." 

Proposals for the establishment of facilities for the 24-hour care of children or 
facilities operating 24 hours a day in caring for different groups of children should 
be weighed carefully. Where it is reported that such facilities are required in a 
community it may indicate the need for careful examination of employment poli- 
cies, community resources, and other related matters, to determine whether alter- 
native plans cannot be developed for the proper care of children of mothers em- 
ployed in occupations essential to national defense. 

Growing need for day-care facilities. 

The need for additional facilities for day care of children and for coordinated 
planning in this field has become increasingly acute in areas where there is a con- 
centration of war industries. The following brief reports are illustrative of the 
type of situations which local communities are facing. 

The Office of Defense Health and Welfare Service recently reported: 
"Nursery school problems in the industrial areas have been aggravated by the 
increasing employment of women, particularly in the airplane plants of Califor- 


nia * * *. Often there remains no one in the home to care for the children. 
* * * Rarely is there a nursery school program in these communities of 
either a public or a private nature." 

"In one California defense area a large aircraft plant in hiring of women is 
giving preference to the wives of men already employed at the plant. They have 
adopted this policy to avoid future housing difficulties, traffic complications, and 
the influx of additional nonresident persons. In order to provide supervision for 
the children of employed parents, the aircraft company has requested the Federal 
Government to establish nursery schools." 

In another State it was reported that in communities X and Y: 

"Many women are working either in the local mills or in a nearby town. They 
are leaving preschool children indiscriminately with neighbors or relatives * * *. 
The community is becoming concerned and has asked help to develop some 
protection for these children. One of the local mills has already added another 
nurse to its staff and is also concerned with this problem." 

Community Z in this State reported: 

"At present the community offers some type of day care to 225 preschool 
children in groups. Fifty-one school children receive after-school care. All 
present programs for both preschool age children are filled to capacity with long 
waiting lists and these cannot be expanded to any marked degree. Through 
questionnaires, seventy families of employed mothers requested day care for 145 
children, 67 of whom are preschool age, 78 of whom are 6 to 14 years. The 
community is being asked to arrange care for 340 children who are about equally 
divided between preschool and 6 to 14-year old age groups. Indications are that 
many more women will go into employment. Industrial training courses are now 
admitting women. The Office of Production Management is encouraging 
defense industries in these communities to employ women." 

A study of the needs for day care of children in the fall of 1941 in still another 
community with war industries showed that 116 children of 58 mothers, who were 
already employed, were not receiving adequate care or supervision. In addition 
28 women with 64 children wanted day care provided for their children, so that 
the mothers would be free to work. 

The situation in another State is described as follows: 

"In regard to the need which is felt in this State for day care of children, we 
wish to say that the need has been intensified in the areas in which defense projects 
are located. Both the public and private agencies are being requested daily to 
provide day care for children whose mothers are employed or who come from 
homes or communities where conditions make supplementary or substitute care 
necessary. Facilities for meeting these needs are limited." 

The superintendent of schools in a town in the East was reported to have 
declared : 

"At least 500 families here have part-time orphans in their ranks because of 
the employment of mothers in defense industries." 

In a town in another State it was found that — 

"The mothers of approximately 1,000 children are employed. Of this number 
225 are preschool age. One plant alone employs approximately 1,200 married 

Last December a certain State reported: 

"There is a definite increase in employment of women. Over 10,000 more 
women are employed as of November 30, 1941, than were of the same date in 
1940. There is a great need for care of children in small communities which have 
suddenly become overcrowded and congested due to defense activities." 

The Child Welfare League of America in December sent questionnaires on 
trends in requests for new services to 25 member agencies on the east and west 
coasts. 1 This inquiry showed that the greatest demand being made of these 
agencies is for the care of children of working mothers and that "this need has 
been felt increasingly during the past 6 months." 2 These reports showed that 
between 14 and 40 applications for day care were received in 1 month in some 
relatively small communities. The report further states : 

"There is evidence of the urgent need for service to children of working mothers 
in all parts of the country. The following replies from the various sections, from 
California to New Jersev and from Maine to Florida, show not only how wide- 
spread is the need for this service, but how limited are the available resources for 
serving these mothers and children * * *." 

"The subject of day care was not a part of a community plan but has developed 
rather suddenly since about the first of September. We have not been able to 

1 Child Welfare League of America Bulletin. January, 1942, pp. 9-11. 
1 Ibid., p. 9. 


render services for all of these requests and if we do plan for that we will require 
additional staff * * *." 

"All over the country mothers are beginning to ask for foster home and institu- 
tion placement as a solution to the problem of the care of their children." 

"We have a great many applications to board children so that mothers can go 
to work * * *." 

The League concludes: 

"The overwhelming numbers of children of working mothers needing day care 
challenge every resource that sound community planning can make available." 

The needs reflected in these reports will become rapidly intensified during the 
next few months as the present program for the utilization of the woman power 
of the nation in war production is put increasingly into effect. These needs for 
services and facilities to supplement the home in the care of children of working 
mothers will undoubtedly mount month by month and continue throughout the 

Limited resources to meet needs. 

The present resources for day care of children of working mothers during the 
war emergency are limited in character and inadequate to meet the rapidly 
mounting need. This is especially true in sections where war industries have been 
located in rural areas, or in small towns, where there are practically no com- 
munity organizations or social welfare agencies to meet the needs, or to develop a 

The report on a survey of day care facilities in one county showed that: 

"Good standards for care are lacking. Some persons open their homes for such 
care, have no equipment, crowd many children into one room and give a minimum 
of care. In some cases basements of churches are used. Untrained, poorly quali- 
fied workers were found in many instances. It is evident that there is need for 
planning for new services, for coordination of those in existence and for developing 
certain standards for agencies providing day care. The committee on family and 
child welfare of the coordinating council is bending its efforts to secure regulation 
and supervision of day nurseries." 

"One Negro school reports 156 mothers working in that area with 167 pre-school 
children and no nursery care available. One house-to-house survey in another 
community shows out of 277 families surveyed, 114 mothers working with 236 
pre-school children and no nursery care available. In one Negro housing project 
there are 125 mothers working and 198 pre-school children with no day care 
available. This gives a total of 395 Negro mothers who are working whose 601 
infant and pre-school children have no nursery care." 

This survey further reported that day nurseries are open as long as 8 to 12 
hours, while nursery schools, kindergartens and play schools are open for 3 to 6 
hours. Only a few mothers reported that they knew where their children went 
after they left kindergarten. Some went to neighbors and others to relatives. 
In a few cases the mothers came home early in the afternoon. Some of the 
nurseries accept children after school hours. Some of the nurseries reported 
many applications which cannot be accepted because of lack of facilities. 

It is of the greatest importance to avoid the establishment of types of care 
that are inappropriate or are not needed or do not meet accepted standards of 
child care. It is evident that the resources and efforts of local communities and 
of States must be supplemented if proper provision is to be made to safeguard 
the welfare of children whose mothers are going into war industries. 

Federal services available to help meet the problems of the day care of children 
of working mothers have been limited to those provided by the Work Projects 
Administration and the Farm Security Administration. 

Dr. Grace Langdon, specialist, Family Life Education, Work Projects Adminis- 
tration, reported at the Children's Bureau Conference July 13 to August 1 that 
the Work Projects Administration had 1,500 nursery schools designed to serve 
children from relief or other low income groups. 3 These schools provide oppor- 
tunities for all-round development. Some of them provide care for as much as 
10 hours of the day. The nursery schools take children from 2 to 4 years of age; 
other types of child-care centers which have been organized under the Work 
Projects Administration provide care more on the day nursery type for a wider 
age range. 

The Farm Security Administration with the cooperation of the Work Projects 
Administration and National Youth Administration have provided nursery 
schools, or day nurseries, to care for the children of working mothers living in 
its various projects, including labor camps for migratory agricultural workers 

i Verbatim Transcript of Statements and Discussion, Conference on Day Care of Children of Working 
Mothers, Washington: July 13-August 1, 1941. P. 79. 


and resettlement projects. As part of its program of providing temporary defense 
housing in defense areas, the Farm Security Administration undertakes to see 
that through the utilization of resources in the community and with the coopera- 
tion of the Work Projects Administration nursery schools are made available in 
the area where its trailers, or portable structures, are located. 

The facilities provided through these two agencies, although extremely helpful 
and frequently the only resource in a community, are able to meet only a fraction 
of the rapidly mounting need for day care of children. 

Funds for day-care jjrograms under the Community Facilities Act (Public Law 137). 
It has been determined that funds appropriated by Congress for "community 
facilities" in defense areas under the Lanham Act may be used for the construc- 
tion, equipment, and operation of day-care centers for children of mothers work- 
ing in activities essential to national defense where the State and local com- 
munities are financially unable to provide such care. The Office of Defense 
Health and Welfare Services has designated the Children's Bureau of the U. S. 
Department of Labor as a technical agency to certify day-care projects. ' Under 
agreement between the Bureau and the Office of Defense Health and Welfare 
Services the State welfare department will be the State agency responsible for 
supervising projects certified through the Children's Bureau. The State depart- 
ment of education is the State agency responsible for supervising projects certified 
through the United States Office of Education. An agreement has been reached 
with the United States Office of Education to the effect that it will be the technical 
agency certifying projects sponsored by local departments of education for the 
extension of school facilities for the care of children after school hours or before 
school hours, for the development of nursery schools and kindergartens, and for 
similar related activities, such as school meals. 

Community planning for day care of children. 

Suggestions regarding the ways in which a community plan may be developed 
have been made in an article entitled "A Community Program of Day Care for 
Children of Mothers Employed in Defense Areas," by Emma O. Lundberg of the 
staff of the United States Children's Bureau, a copy of which is appended. Com- 
munities in which women are employed in occupations essential to the national 
war effort need to take immediate steps to plan a comprehensive and unified 
program which will insure adequate care and protection of the children of such 
mothers. The responsibility for the development of such a program should be 
taken by some organization which represents community wide interests, such as 
the council of defense or the council of social agencies. Executive leadership in 
developing community project may well be taken by the local public welfare 
department, which has general responsibility for child welfare, and school projects, 
by the department of education. In determining needs and policies there should 
be participation by representatives of other public and private agencies concerned 
with children, the Work Projects Administration, which conducts Work Projects 
Administration nursery schools in many localities, the employment service, 
recreational agencies, and industry, organized labor, church and other civic 

In planning for emergency programs the long-range needs of the community 
must be given careful consideration; of first importance is adherence to standards 
of care that are essential to the safety and welfare of the children. Facilities 
required for the emergency should not be so permanent in structure that they 
cannot be changed or discontinued when the temporary need is over. 

Community plans for the care and protection of children of working mothers 
should include as many tvpes of dav care as are required to meet the needs of 
children of all ages and should be integrated with the whole community program 
for public and private family assistance, social services to children, health pro- 
tection, education, and recreation. 

It must be determined, first, on the basis of studies of the situation in each 
community, how far the emergency needs can be met by existing agencies within 
their present capacitv for service; second, what services can be expanded or 
readjusted to meet the new demand; third, what new types of service it will be 
necessary to develop. 

Types of service which should be considered include: 

(1) Counseling or advisory service to mothers concerning problems related to 
day care. 

(2) Daj^-care centers. 

(3) Programs outside of school hours for children of school age. 

(4) Foster-family day care. 

(5) Supervised homemaker service. 


Mothers who are working or who are considering employment should have 
someone to whom they can go for advice and help in planning for the care of 
their children. Not all situations which present themselves will be solved by the 
simple expedient of placing the children in a nursery center or under some other 
type of care available in the community. The mother must be helped to think 
through her problem and to make plans that will safeguard the health and welfara 
of her children. The entire family group and their mode of living must be con- 
sidered. The community has a stake in the plans from a production as well as 
from a social and financial point of view. 

Individual counseling service should be provided as a vital part of the case-work 
service which should be available to parents who need help in planning for the care 
of their children and those who heed continued guidance and assistance in order 
that the welfare of their children may be assured. Such service might be provided 
by the central day-care office or by individual day-care centers. The decision as 
to the method to be used in a particular community or section of a community 
should be made after careful study of the best means of making the service avail- 
able to parents. Social workers with case-work training and experience should 
be employed for this service. 

The child's health — mental as well as physical — must be considered in determin- 
ing the kind of care he is to receive, and while he is under care his health must be 
protected. Whether the child is of nursery school or kindergarten age or of 
school age, the educational process which guides his development is an important 
part of his care. Recreation is related to the health, education, and social- 
service functions of day care. A program of parent education is essential in order 
that there may be continuity in policies regarding the management of the child 
and understanding of his needs and his development from day to day. 

When day care has been established as one of the child welfare resources of the 
community in ordinary times, the provision made for emergency needs should be 
integrated with this program and should utilize these facilitiesso far as possible. 

In most communities the major part of the care made available for young 
children whose mothers are employed in defense industries will be provided by 
day-care centers equipped for all-day care. 

The day-care center should include the recognized features of a good day 
nursery, incorporating the methods and equipment of a nursery school. During 
the past few years day nurseries have increasingly come within this definition 
by adopting nursery-education methods, and recently many nursery schools have 
readjusted their programs so as to provide the full-day service of a day-care center. 

Group care in a day-care center is particularly adapted to the needs of children 
2 to 5 years of age, inclusive, the "pre-school age." If the center cares for school 
children outside of school hours separate provision should be made for these older 

When a defense industry operates on two or three shifts, an effort should be made 
to secure arrangements whereby mothers of young children are employed during 
hours when they can reasonably expect to obtain care for their children. This is 
essential for the protection of the health of the children and of the mothers, and 
in order that proper care may be provided by day centers. 

Although the functions of nursery schools operating under a half-day plan are 
comparatively limited with respect to furnishing the care required for children 
whose mothers are employed long hours in defense industries, they play an im- 
portant part in the varied programs of child care needed in defense areas. Work- 
ing mothers who are employed only part of the day and families in which a 
responsible adult in the home can care for the child outside of nursery school hours 
while the mother is at work can obtain the day-care services they require in a 
nursery school instead of in a day-care center. The counseling service of the 
community plan should take into account the needs in each situation. 

Care and supervision of children of working mothers should be available not 
only for children of pre-school age, but for children of all ages. 

Children of different age groups require varying types of provision for after- 
school care. Day nurseries or other day care centers frequently look after children 
from 6 to 10 or 12 years of age, during the time when school is not in session. If 
they have proper space and equipment to give these older children an opportunity 
for wholesome activities without undue disturbance of the program for preschoo/ 
children such care should be made available, especially when it seems desirabl* 
that all children of one family should be cared for in one place. When a nieghbor- 
hood house or other center of this kind is located near a day care center which 
cares for young children, a very desirable plan may be worked out for the after- 
school activities of the older children. Schools, churches, clubs, and recreation 
centers have an opportunity to perform a constructive service in making facilities 
available to children of school age. 


The major responsibility for safeguarding children of school age falls naturally 
to the public and private schools of the community. Schools located in neighbor- 
hoods where considerable numbers of working mothers live should be equipped for 
after-school activities of various kinds which will appeal to children of grade- 
school ages, and to older groups of boys and girls. 

The Conference on Day Care of Children of Working Mothers held under the 
auspices of the United States Children's Bureau included the following statement 
in its recommendations: "Infants should be given individual care, preferably in 
their own homes and by their own mothers." When it is necessary to provide 
care for children under 2 years of age away from their own homes, the most suit- 
able form of care is placement for day care in a foster-family home. Health 
hazards involved are such, however, that care away from the child's own home 
should not be resorted to without special safeguards. 

Foster-family day care is desirable for children 2 years of age and over who will 
do better under individual care than as members of a group. This form of care 
may be useful when the family lives at some distance from a day-care center. 
Several children of various ages in one family may be cared for together in a 
foster-family home which serves as a substitute for their own home during the 
mother's absence. 

When possible, arrangements should be made to have preschool children in the 
care of foster families attend a nursery school just as their older brothers and 
sisters will attend school. 

Foster-family day care as yet has been developed extensively by social agencies 
in only a small number of communities, but indications are that it will be used 
increasingly as a community resource for the care of children of working mothers. 
In the absence of provision by recognized agencies, many working mothers will 
doubtless continue to make their own arrangements for this type of care. Com- 
munity plans for day care of children should include provision for assisting these 
mothers to find suitable foster-family homes. So far as possible, however, re- 
sources for day care in foster-family homes should be developed by established 
social agencies in the community, thus providing needed case-work service and 
safeguarding the health of the children. 

Supervised homemaker service has been developed in a number of cities to pro- 
vide services when the mother is absent from the home or when she is in the home 
but because of illness or for some other reason is unable to give proper care to 
her children. This service is provided by family-welfare or child-welfare agencies 
and is made available to families with low incomes who need service in order to 
keep the home intact while it lacks a mother's care. Homemakers are carefully 
selected and trained for the service which they are to give, and work under the 
direction of the agency which also provides casework service needed by the 
family. By this plan the children have the continuity of care and the security 
which their own home can afford and their usual living habits are maintained. 

Homemaker service can make a significant contribution to a day-care program. 
When a child is sick and unable to go to a day-care center, foster home or school, 
care in his own home should be made available, as otherwise the mother would 
have to leave her work. 

Training of the "homemakers," must be supplied by an experienced agency 
which also supervises their activities. Facilities for training for this service 
should be developed in communities in which it can be carried on successfully. 

A community program for day care cannot be effective unless there is a plan 
for sound financial support which will ensure services of the kind needed, main- 
taining standards of health, education, and social service in accordance with the 
best practice. Planning cannot lead to constructive action unless means can be 
made available for adequate financing from public or private sources. 

Day nurseries and other facilities for day care of children have been supported 
mainly by private organizations, through community chests or otherwise, part 
of the cost being paid bv parents of the children under care. In communities 
where the needs are greatly increased by the defense emergency existing day-care 
centers mav not be able to finance additional work through their own funds, 
parents' contributions, or allotments by community chests already heavily taxed 
to help maintain established health and welfare services. If day-care programs 
are to be established which will meet the needs of defense communities, it will be 
necessary for public funds to provide some part of the cost. 

The cost of adequate care in a day-care center must be determined as part of 
the plan. Consideration should be given to the availability of free food supplies 
through surplus commodities and to the use of volunteer service supplementing 
paid service. The rising cost of living must be taken into account in planning 
the budget. 


The cost of day care in foster family homes will be influenced by the prevailing 
rates paid for foster family care in the community. The cost of supervised home- 
maker service will also depend upon the wages paid for trained service of this 

State leadership in the development of day-care programs. 

"Federal and State agencies and national organizations have a continuing re- 
sponsibility for exerting leadership in upholding standards of child care. These 
agencies have the further responsibility of stimulating action by local commu- 
nities and assisting them in their efforts to meet the increased demands for care 
and protection of children which have grown out of or have been augmented by 
the expansion of defense activities." 4 

Official agencies in a number of States have recognized the necessity for State 
assistance in planning community programs of day care for children in defense 
areas. In several States the department of public welfare or some other State 
department is studying the needs of defense communities and helping them to 
plan programs of day care. Such action is essential especially in States where 
there are a number of defense areas. In Connecticut and Utah, and perhaps 
also in some other States, leadership has been assumed by a social-welfare com- 
mittee of the State Defense Council. 

Whether the responsibility for State action is centered in one of the existing 
State agencies or in an official organization created for this special purpose, it 
is desirable that the State planning group shall include representatives from the 
departments of welfare, health, education, and labor and from the State Defense 
Council and the Work Projects Administration. State-wide organizations which 
can make a contribution to the work of the State committee on day care should 
also be included, as well as representatives of councils of social agencies or other 
community-wide organizations in cities in which there is likely to be need for 
special provision for children of working mothers. 

The State department or committee should inform itself concerning the need 
for provision of day care for children in defense areas throughout the State in 
order that it may be in a position to stimulate local action when needed. 

State agencies should take responsibility for stimulating action by local com- 
munities, for assisting them to meet the increased needs for day care of children 
of women going into war industries and for upholding standards of child care. 

The State department of public welfare, which is responsible for the adminis- 
tration of State child-welfare programs including child-welfare services receiving 
Federal aid under the Social Security Act, and the State department of educa- 
tion are the State agencies which should be chiefly responsible for carrying out 
a State-wide program. They should act in cooperation with State departments 
of health and labor, and other interested agencies. State departments will need 
to be in a position to provide expert consultation service to communities, to 
prepare material, and to develop and secure compliance with standards of 
service. 5 

The representatives of the public welfare and education departments, as the 
two agencies carrying primary responsibility in this program, will frequently 
need to make joint visits to areas with special problems and participate in joint 
planning conferences with the responsible agencies in the local community. 

The State agency or agencies which assume leadership in helping communities 
plan a coordinated day-care program must be alert to the dangers of unregulated 
day-care activities by individuals or groups which are not equipped to provide 
safe care for children. Day nurseries, nursery schools, and play centers are 
springing up overnight in many communities, sometimes activated by purely 
commercial motives. The State departments of welfare, health, and education 
must be enabled to fulfill their responsibilities for safeguarding children who re- 
quire day-care service. These three agencies of the State should act in harmony 
for the protection of children. 

Responsibility of the Federal Government. 

A program for day care, of children cannot be developed as a separate program 
but must be related to other services providing health protection, educational 
opportunities, recreation, and social service. Federal agencies carrying programs 
of cooperation with the States in extending and strengthening these basic services 
are planning together concerning the special problems of care and supervision of 
children whose mothers are employed in defense areas and methods of utilizing 

* From the recommendations adopted by the Children's Bureau Conference on Day Care of Children 
of Working Mothers. 

» Suggested standards for day care prepared by a committee created as a result of the conference called 
by the Children's Bureau last July are about to be issued by the Children's Bureau. 


to the fullest extent the Federal and State resources available within the local 
communities. 6 

The Federal Government should stand ready to give leadership in stimulating 
the development of day-care programs, in suggesting standards, and providing 
consultation services for State agencies. 

The Children's Bureau should have the resources to render the following types 
of service: 

1. To serve as a center of information regarding the needs for day care of 
children throughout the country. 

2. To advise the States and local communities regarding the development of 
day-care programs and supply material concerning their operation. 

3. To promote standards which will prevent the growth of hasty and ill- 
conceived day-care programs and will assure the provision of adequate care. 

4. To aid and encourage training of both paid and volunteer workers in the 
field of day care. 

5. To cooperate with other Federal and national agencies in planning steps 
which can be taken to meet emergency needs as they occur. 

6. To serve as a medium through which Federal funds may reach States and 
local communities. 

Problems of day care of children of mothers employed in occupations essential 
to the war effort must be met if child neglect and delinquency are to be prevented. 
They could be met through the programs of Federal aid to the States at present 
carried on by the Children's Bureau under the provisions of title V, parts 1 and 3, 
of the Social Security Act, if additional funds could be made available, accom- 
panied by provision for Federal aid administered through the Office of Education 
to State departments of education for before- and after-school programs, nursery 
schools, and school meals. Such a program would provide the basic services 
needed by the Federal and State agencies and would be available for types of 
community services outlined in this statement which cannot be met at all or fully 
under existing programs. 

Exhibit 2. — Women in War Production 

report by susan b. anthony ii, chairman, committee on national defense 
and community welfare, united federal workers' auxiliary, congress 
of industrial organizations, washington, d. c. 

February 2, 1942. 

When the Tolan committee recently revealed that less than a third of the pro- 
ductive capacity of the largest automobile plants in the Nation would be converted 
to war use by the end of 1942, the Nation was shocked. 

Equally shocking is the fact that less than one twenty-fifth of the woman labor 
force of the Nation is being utilized for war production. Only one-fourth of all 
American women, 12.8 million, are in the labor force, and of that number only 
500,000 are engaged in war industries. 

Yet the experience of our allies — Britain, Russia, and China — has clearly 
shown that the effective utilization of womanpower is one of the vital factors 
determining the outcome of this war. For this war depends on production, and 
the volume of production depends to a large degree on the number of women 
workers who can be recruited to replace men serving in the armed forces. 

The experience of our allies also proves that women can do almost anything in 
war production, if — and there are two important "ifs" — first, they are released 
sufficiently from household chores and the care of small children, and secondly, if 
they are given vocational training so that they can attain necessary skills. 

America's largest labor reserve is comprised of its 28 million housewives. 
Today, those housewives are working at home in hand tasks, only indirectly 
related to the Nation's major war effort. Tomorrow, those same housewives 
can provide an efficient, productive body of war workers. 

The United Federal Workers Auxiliary, Congress of Industrial Organizations, 
is convinced that the Federal Government must take immediate steps to release 
sufficient numbers of America's 28 million housewives for war production. First, 
in importance, is a national war nursery program. Mothers cannot go to work 
unless provision is made for their preschool children. Defense areas, where this 
problem is most acute, are not in most cases, the areas that can afford or are willing 

( Especially the Children's Bureau, the Oflice of Education, and the Work Projects Administration. 


to set up, free, public nursery schools. The District of Columbia, an example of 
a defense area, has but 100 preschool institutions, caring for only a small fraction 
of the children of the Nation's Capital. 

At present, seven Federal agencies are interested in the national problem of 
preschool care. Centralization of authority or responsibility is completely 
lacking. A single war agency must be empowered by an appropriating act of 
Congress to coordinate all child care efforts and to establish day care centers in all 
defense areas in the United States. Professional nursery educators can be 
assisted in this program by large numbers of volunteers who are now being trained 
for the work. 

Child care is only one of the housewives' tasks that prevents them from taking 
their full part in paid and unpaid war work. If women are to go out of the 
household into the factory or office, increased facilities for the provision of meals 
must be made. This means an extension of the school lunch program, and the 
establishment on a large scale of factory and office lunches for defense workers. 
With the extension of the working day to after 6 in the evening, provision for the 
evening meal may become necessary as in England. 

Vocational training is the second major need, if millions of American women are 
to be utilized effectively in the war program. Although Government agencies 
concerned with this problem have issued memoranda urging equal training 
opportunities for women, they have as yet not devised standardized means of 
obtaining the necessary willingness of employers to hire trained women. Voca- 
tional training for women is ineffective unless the Government enunciates an 
official policy that jobs must be open to women equally with men. 

It is essential for the maintenance of hard won labor standards in wages, seniority 
rights and other working conditions, that the Government insure women equal 
pay for equal work and equal promotions for equal merit. This is a necessity not 
only for the women workers concerned, but for all organized labor which has fought 
for these standards. 

The United Federal Workers Auxiliary, Congress of Industrial Organizations, 
believes that the problem of the utilization of women in the war effort merits the 
attention of an over-all war agency, which will integrate American women into 
the war program and will coordinate the present numerous and scattered activities 
of various departments, divisions, and committees. 

Exhibit 3. — The Day Care of Young Children 




/. Statement of the problem. 

The question of labor supply of women in defense industries is directly contin- 
gent upon the care that can be provided for young children. We are just begin- 
ning to feel the impact of war in the United States in terms of family disruption. 
Yet the need for daytime care of children below school age whose mothers are 
engaged in or needed for defense work is already widely apparent. 

Examples of needs for day care. — The following are illustrative needs for day care 
in defense areas, particularly, where the population has changed practically 

1. Children from trailer homes where living is crowded, where there are no play 
facilities, and where the father must work nights and sleep days. 

2. Children of working mothers who (a) are domestics and have no one to care 
for their children while they care for those of women who have gone to work in 
defense; (b) have returned to work because of the need for skilled workers to 
increase production. Brig. Gen. Lewis B. Hershey says that America will ulti- 
mately require the service of between 16,000,000 and 17,000,000 women in the 
Nation's industrial plants; 1 (c) have gone to work to help support the family 
because of increased living 1 costs, or because father is unemployed due to new 
conditions, e. g. filling stations and roadside stands closed, tire shops closed, 
garment workers out, and taxi drivers out. 

3. Linda Vista, outside of San Diego, a defense housing project, a community 
of 3,000 homes with a population of 12,000, where more than half the children are 

i Speech in Philadelphia, January 30, 1942. 


below school age. Two hundred women are employed in the Consolidated Air- 
craft factories already, with no provision made for care of young children. 

Additional examples from communities are furnished in Katharine Lenroot's 
statement to this committee. 

Preschool children present greatest -problem. — The problem of day care of children 
of working mothers is not limited to children under school age, since care for 
school-age children both before and after school hours is a necessity if safety and 
morale are to be preserved. Educational facilities and recreation programs 
provide a partial, though inadequate, answer to this need. We deal in this paper, 
however, only with the day care of young children for three reasons: (1) Because 
the mothers between 20 and 30 with younger children will probably constitute the 
largest number recruited into defense industries; (2) because there is little or no 
Government provision in most communities for the care and education of young 
children outside the home 2 and (3) because there is no governmental regulation or 
licensing provision (local or Federal) for private nursery schools, play groups, 
etc., in most communities. 

//. English program for nvrsery care. 

In England today there are 7,000,000 women working in full-time jobs — 
5,000,000 in industry, and 2,000,000 in war organizations (including military 
forces) . 3 

There are no figures available on how man_v of these are mothers, but this num- 
ber must constitute a large proportion of English women under 40 who are mothers 
of England's coming generation. 

The English experience can serve as an invaluable aid to planning in the United 
States for the use of womanpower. Public concern and Government responsibility 
in Great Britain for the care and education of very young children date back well 
over a century. Children from the age of 3 have been admitted to Government 
schools in industrial communities, where mothers were working, since 1816. Gov- 
ernment funds have been granted for education of the "under fives," as they are 
called, since 1872. 

At the outset of the war in England, there were the following types of provisions 
for children under 5: 

1. Nursery schools, administered by the medical branch of the board of 

2. Nursery classes in elementary schools, under the board of education. 

3. Ordinary infant departments in elementary schools, admitting children 
from 3 up, but with no special provision for them, under the board of education. 

4. Day nurseries under the ministry of health. 

In accordance with evacuation procedures in 1939-40, 4 most of the children 
enrolled in these groups were transferred to large country homes in reception 
areas for 24-hour care. Three hundred and thirteen such residential nurseries 
have been established to date. The success of evacuation of children under 5 
was closely related to the facilities existing before the war for this age group. 5 
However, centers soon became necessary for the care of young children who had 
evacuated with their mothers and were billeted in homes in reception areas. 
Conditions in the billets were crowded and there was usually no space for the 
preschool children to play. Consequently in January 1940, the board of educa- 
tion and the ministry of health jointly issued a circular outlining in detail how 
nursery centers could be organized by local authorities with financial support 
from the Government. Within a year, 86 approved nursery centers, mostly 
in reception areas, with accommodations for 2,700 children had been set up. 6 

Meanwhile the ministry of labor had found it necessary to set up day and 
night nurseries for the children of women workers in armament plants in order 
to obtain the requisite number of workers. These have proved inadequate to 
meet the need partly due to lack of adequate housing available in congested areas, 
and partly to lack of sufficient trained personnel for child care. 

Daily guardians.— Therefore, the ministry of labor and national service has 
devised a scheme for recruiting women who can care for two or three children in 
their own homes. These women are termed "daily guardians" and are regis- 

3 Nursery schools organized by Work Projects Administration and Farm Security Administration are an 
exceDtion to this, as shown below. 

3 British Press Service, Washington, D. C. 

4 Evacuation of children will not be dealt with in this paper, since it has been so ably and completely de- 
scribed in Dr. M. M. Eliot's report, Civil Defense Measures For the Protection of Children. 

{ Evacuation Survey: Padley & Cole. 

• London Times, Educational Supplement, February 19, 1941. 

60396—42 — pt. 28 14 


tered by the local maternity and child-welfare authorities and supervised by a 
health visitor. Under the terms of the plan, the daily guardians can draw State 
payment of 4s. per week for each child under 5, in addition to compensation 
from the working mother. 

Wartime nurseries. — The most recent development in nursery care is outlined 
in a plan released jointly by the board of education and the ministry of health 
on December 5, 1941, entitled "The Care of Young Children of Women Workers: 
A Vital Need." All nurseries for children under 5 will be known henceforth as 
wartime nurseries and the Government will take over full financial responsibility 
for these. These nurseries may be part time, open during school hours; or full 
time, 12-15 hours a day. Mothers will pay Is. per day for full-time nurseries 
with 3 meals given, and 3d. a day for part time. No payment will be asked from 
evacuated mothers who are not working. They will be open to the children of 
all women who go out to work for the whole day in any kind of employment. 
Wartime nurseries are to be administered by a joint staff of the ministry of health 
and the board of education. Three hundred and sixty-five such nurseries are 
reported to date. 7 

Child-care reserves. — The lack of trained personnel to handle the group care of 
young children in emergencies proved a series handicap in the early days of evacua- 
tion. To remedy this situation, training for child-care reserve was organized 
in June 1940 by the national council for maternity and child welfare. Volunteer 
women between the ages of 18 and 55 were given a 2- week course of instruction, 
consisting of 12 lectures accompanied by practical demonstrations and followed 
by an examination. Fifty hours of practical work at a recognized institution 
was then required of successful candidates. Child-care reservists are paid at the 
general rate laid down for women's civil defense volunteers. £2 a week and room 
and board if necessary. (1) At present there is a recruiting campaign for girls 
of 16-20 and women over 30. Payment of 10s. a week plus an arrangement for 
billeting students near the center of instruction is offered. The ministry of 
labor's recent statement that "the care of children is a national service" (2) indi- 
cates the importance attached to this work. 

III. United States Federal program for day care of young children. 

In the United States, we have little precedent for the expenditure of State or 
Federal funds, exclusive of Work Projects Administration, on the care of young 
children in nursery groups. 

Of 285 nursery schools listed by the Office of Education in 1936, 11 were in 
publicly supported elementary and high schools, 19 sponsored by philanthropic 
institutions, the others privately run. 8 At the present time, there are 8 Federal 
Bureaus that have a program concerned with the day care of young children. 
Three of these bureaus have programs in operation now. 

Work Projects Administration. — The Work Projects Administration family life 
education program has been operating nursery schools for children of unem- 
ployed workers since 1933, under the general provisions necessary for education 

In October 1941, there were 1,192 units or nursery schools with a total enroll- 
ment of 35,401 children in 48 States and Hawaii, excluding the District of Colum- 
bia. Today there are approximately 1,300 nursery schools. To staff these schools 
a training program has been organized in each State among unemployed women 
eligible for Work Projects Administration to work under the supervision of a 
trained supervisor. 

Some assistants have been furnished for the nursery schools by the program 
of the National Youth Administration as will be shown below. Within the last 
6 months, another type of group has been inaugurated in defense areas, called 
Child Development Group Units, to supplement the nursery school program 
where dislocated populations are concentrated and where educational facilities 
are not available for young children. These may be organized in B areas adjacent 
to Army camps, naval bases, aviation fields and in any other area where families 
of enlisted men are concentrated; and 10 in areas where industrial workers are at 
work on some specific project related to defense preparations. 

Another new development of the Work Projects Administration family life 
program to help meet the needs of defense areas is the establishment of public 
child-care centers. These may be organized for children from 18 months to 6 

7 British Press Service, Washington, D. C. 

1 Report of M. M. Eliot. 

• Handbill distributed bv Ministry of Labor and National Service. 

>° School Life, vol. 22, No. 4, p. 117. Most recent figures. 


years, and the length of day will be determined by the hours of employment of 
the mothers. 

All three types of unit operate under the sponsorship of the local public educa- 
tion authorities, and are supervised by the State technical supervisor of nursery 

This program is the only widespread Federal plan operating at present that 
attempts to meet the need for day care of young children of working mothers, 
but it is far from adequate. It is restricted by lack of funds, and the increasing 
difficulty of obtaining personnel. 

Since the Work Projects Administration rolls have been drastically cut with 
increasing employment, and since the schools and day care centers must be staffed 
by those eligible under Work Projects Administration regulations, the number 
of potential teachers is constantly dwindling. 

National Youth Administration. — Another factor in the labor supply of trained 
workers for day care planning on a national scale is the training program for 
assistants in nursery schools supervised by the National Youth Administration. 
National Youth Administration has maintained work experience projects for girls 
aged 17-24 in group care of young children since 1935. These girls have been 
placed in nursery schools or day care programs sponsored by local education or 
housing authorities or Work Projects Administration for in-service training. In 
addition, related training classes ranging from 40 to 60 hours are being conducted 
by the Vocational Education Section of the Office of Education. This program 
included 2,035 girls working in nursery schools in November 1941. These nur- 
sery schools are serving such defence communities as East St. Louis where the 
mothers are employed in munitions plants and California where the mothers are 
working in the aircraft industry. But under a ruling of the Labor Supply Division 
of the former Office of Production Management, training in child care is not 
considered defense training at present. If we are to expand, the number of 
working mothers as rapidly as seems imminent, a change will be necessary to 
include this type of training as part of the defense program. 

Farm Security Administration. — -The Farm Security Administration has nursery 
school Or day care facilities in all permanent camps for migratory workers and 
some of the resettlement communities. The most recent figures (January 1942) 
comprise 50 units of nursery care: 5 in Florida, 10 in southeast Missouri, 3 in 
Arizona, 12 in California, 4 in Idaho, 5 in Oregon, 4 in Washington, and 7 in Texas. 
These include 23 of the mobile units operating along the west coast which move 
with the crops; nursery centers being set up in tents for the duration of the crop 
season because all adults and older children participate in the field work. 

The number of children per unit fluctuates from 25 to 70 children according to 
slack or busy season. The usual age of children served is from 2 to 5, but in 1 
center in Florida children of packers ranging from 6 months to 6 years were given 
24-hour] supervision. In one community in Missouri where the workers were 
slow to take advantage of the day care facilities offered, largely due to ignorance 
and fear, two little children locked in the house for the day were badly burned. 
The next morning the nursery center was swamped with children presented for 

The nursery schools are staffed and equipped in cooperation with the Work 
Projects Administration and with National Youth Administration assistants. 

As the need for care is increasing with more workers and longer hours needed for 
agricultural production, there is a decreasing number of people available in rural 
areas for staffing the nursery centers. With the cut in Work Projects Administra- 
tion rolls cited above, there is insufficient personnel in any category to operate the 
nursery centers. Hence these facts point to the necessity of instituting a training 
program for the care of children among lay people in rural communities whose 
formal education stopped at about the third or fourth grade. There remains a 
need for adequate equipment, for personnel, and for the training of personnel. 

Procedure under Community Facilities Act. — The present plans for increasing 
facilities for care of children under funds obtained through the Community 
Facilities Act lie with four Federal agencies: the Office of Defense Health and 
Welfare Services, Office of Emergency Management, Defense Public Works 
Division of the Federal Works Agency, the Children's Bureau of the Department 
of Labor, and the Office of Education, Federal Security Agency. 

"It has been determined that funds appropriated by Congress for community 
facilities in defense areas under the Lanham Act (Public Law 137) may be used 
for the construction, equipment, and operation of day-care centers for children of 
mothers working in activities essential to national defense, where the State and 
local communities are financially unable to provide such care. Projects may now 



be submitted for the establishment and operation of day care centers under the 
same procedures as now obtain for other projects under the Community Facilities 
Act." « 

Projects for day care of children under this law may be initiated locally by the 
appropriate State or local welfare agency or by education authorities. The Office 
of Education will issue certificates of necessity for projects submitted by city, 
county, or State education departments. The Children's Bureau will certify 
day care projects other than those certified by the Office of Education. All 
projects for day care centers, of whatever origin, will be cleared through the 
Regional Director of the office of Defense Health and Welfare Services. 

Legal and financial review of all projects is carried out by the Defense Public 
Works Division of the Federal Works Agency which is the agency responsible for 
administration of the community facilities law. 

Upon approval, funds will be paid over directly to the local authority submitting 
the project which will administer and supervise the day care center in consultation 
with the regional representative of the certifying Federal Bureau. It is urged 
that community plans be made in conjunction with labor, health, and other local 
agencies concerned with the day care problem. 12 No projects have been approved 
as yet for operation under Public Law 137. 

Office of Defense Health and Welfare Services. — The Office of Defense Health 
and Welfare Services thus performs a coordinating function but does not actually 
operate programs. It is concerned with the day care of children of mothers 
working in defense areas as part of its general interest in health and welfare but 
leaves the actual approval of standards and budget, and the finding as to local 
necessity of individual projects to the technical agency involved (either the 
Children's Bureau or the Office of Education). 

The Recreation Section of the Defense Health and Welfare Services is responsi- 
ble for certifying recreation buildings in defense areas, which may offer facilities 
for day care of children. 

Children's Bureau. — The Children's Bureau has organized a Day Care Unit 
which is prepared to render various kinds of service to local communities for the 
protection of children in the emergency if funds can be made available to ade- 
quately implement this program. Since Miss Lenroot, Chief of the Children's 
Bureau, is presenting here own statement to this committee, it is unnecessary 
to outline their program for day care here. 

Office of Education. — The Office of Education, as has been stated above, is con- 
cerned with the operation of nursery schools under local departments of educa- 
tion in defense areas by means of Federal funds obtained through Public Law 137. 
Any program certified insofar as possible will require payment for such services 
particularly if both parents are working. The State school administration section 
is given over largely to this emergency function, and will aid in working out State 
plans to meet the additional burdens cast upon defense areas. 

In the opinion of those working on the program, provisions under Public Law 
137 do not by any means meet the problems of education in local communities. 
Consequently a second program is being planned for supplementary services 
which will require appropriation of additional funds. This will apply to com- 
munities where there is severe overcrowding, serious unemployment due to defense 
industrial displacements, inadequate housing, and lack of adequate financing 
where mothers have had to become the breadwinner of the family. The plan 
includes: Employment of personnel to work on school gardens for supplying school 
lunches, the care of school children both before and after school hours, a com- 
pulsory attendance service for schools in areas where children are moving about 
with migratory families, and a child counseling service for children of these families. 
Extension Department of Department of Agriculture. — The Extension Depart- 
ment of the Department of Agriculture has maintained an adult education pro- 
gram since 1926 in child development and parent education. Twenty thousand 
leaders in rural communities are trained every year by means of groups organized 
with the aid of the home-demonstration agent. Planning a program for defense 
needs will be worked out by State colleges with the cooperation of the advisory 
councils of farm women in counties. It should be possible to utilize these services 
of many of these trained leaders as volunteers in rural areas, where day care of 
children of working mothers becomes a necessity. 

n Katharine F. Lenroot, Chief. Children's Bureau, U. S. Department of Labor, February 2, 1942. 
1 3 For further details on procedure between agencies under Public Law 137, see release of Children's 
Bureau, January 24, 1942. 


Experience gained in the making of toys and play equipment and in the organi- 
zation of community play groups should be put to useful service for emergency 
needs. With the cooperation of the National Youth Administration, community 
playgrounds have been organized which may permit of expansion to include needs 
for day care of young children. 

Office of Civilian Defense. — Working with the other agencies on their programs 
in an informative capacity, stimulating their activities on the basis of reports 
furnished through Office of Civilian Defense, Division of Information. It will 
help communities to work out. plans through their own agencies, and will refer 
requests made to them to the proper technical agency for reply, e. g. educational 
requests to the Office of Education, general child welfare requests to the Children's 
Bureau, etc. 

It will publish information of a general character to go out to local offices on: 

1. Protection of children in schools. 

2. Training of volunteers in child care. 

3. Advice to parents and teachers on how to handle children in an emergency. 
Defense hoiising groups. — The defense housing agencies may play a potential 

role in providing day-care facilities. Community buildings or community space 
in defense housing projects may be used for day care. In some instances this 
has already been done. These day-care centers may be operated by the Work 
Projects Administration or bv local authorities or by the regular procedures under 
Public Law 137. 

Joint Planning Board. — The Joint Planning Board, an interdepartmental group 
composed of the Work Projects Administration, the Children's Bureau, and the 
Office of Education was inaugurated following the July conference on day care 
problems called by the Children's Bureau. The purpose of this Board was to 
insure a joint planning and clearance of their respective programs by the three 
bureaus involved on all day-care problems. In view of the emergency situation 
which has developed, it has become necessary to curtail the joint planning but to 
emphasize only the clearance of programs, and discussion of over-all policy. 

Conclusions. — The statements above thus constitute the Federal program in 
the United States for the day care of young children of mothers working through 
defense areas. It is clearly indicated that the bureaus most concerned with the 
problems of children have been alert to the rapidly mounting need for day care 
and have geared their work to meet that need within the limitation of funds avail- 
able. The importance of maintaining a continuous and understanding contact 
between the eight Federal bureaus involved cannot be overemphasized if we are 
going to meet the needs of American children in the war effort. These statements 
point to the necessity of appointing some central coordinating body for the 
educational welfare of young children to insure the fullest utilization of all pro- 
grams now in existence. Without the appropriation or allocation of additional 
funds and the training of additional personnel, the care of children in the national 
emergency cannot be met on a national scale. We may well review the experience 
and program of the English in this connection as we set up our own plan for 
utilization of woman power. 

Private organizations: National Association for Nursery Education. — Private 
organizations also contribute their share. The National Association for Nursery 
Education, a professional organization, has inaugurated the following defense 
program for young children: The National Commission for Young Children 
(2 to 6) was organized to aid and safeguard, insofar as possible, the mental and 
physical health of young children during this emergency. The Commission works 
closely with those Federal agencies concerned with young children. It has State 
committees which in turn operate with groups in local communities. 

In all cases, the committees work with the available defense councils. _ The 
chairman in each state are professional workers, who, in cooperation with existent 
public and private agencies and professional workers, are training personnel and 
placing them where they are most needed. In Ohio, there are 90 trained volun- 
teers at work on various projects, e. g. training courses, surveys, etc. Training 
courses and programs are organized in cooperation with existent educational, 
social, and health community agencies. 

IV. Program for day care in the District of Columbia. 

We can do no better than to quote Chairman Tolan's vivid description of the 
situation in the Nation's Capital 13 "Obviously community facilities for the 

18 January 8. 1942. 


hundreds of thousands of men and women who have come to the District of 
Columbia to assist in hastening America's victory over tyrant powers are tragically 
inadequate. Washington is now a great city. It is the seat of our Government 
engaged in a world-wide struggle for democracy. Center of interest for the entire 
Nation, Washington is inevitably the example to which all American munici- 
palities will look and should be the master model — in organizing all means for 
protecting its residents in wartime." 

Washington not officially designated defense area. — In spite of this, Washington 
has not been officially designated as a defense area. This fact has prevented the 
District from receiving any of the funds already appropriated by Congress for 
relief of such situations in defense areas throughout the country. 

Fifty-one thousand seven hundred persons migrated to Washington between 
October 1, 1940, and November 1941, ,4 and it has been estimated that 40,000 more 
will be drawn to the city by Government employment in the next 6 months. 
Already congested housing with inadequate space for young children coupled 
with the lack of domestic workers increases the need for care of children outside 
of the home. 

Cooperating groups. — The Council of Social Agencies has initiated a compre- 
hensive program for increasing facilities for day care of children in which the 
emergency committee for day care of young children, a volunteer group com- 
posed of preschool specialists and representatives of interested organizations, is 
cooperating. The plans are closely coordinated with the work of the committee 
on child care and protection of the voluntary participation of the District of 
Columbia Defense Council. 

Survey of need. — 1. A survey of the need for day care is being made by recording 
on appropriate forms all requests for nursery schools or day care that come to 
child welfare agencies. Private nursery schools and employee counselors of 
Government departments have also been asked to cooperate. In this way 
information will be gained as to which sections of the city are most in need of 
additional facilities for day care, and for how many hours this service is necessary. 
Within the past 6 weeks, 189 such requests (132 white, 57 colored) have been 
received. The northeast section of the city has been shown thus far to be most 
in need of additional facilities, although requests have come from all sections of 
Washington and the suburbs. Eighty-eight percent of the children for whom 
care is requested are under 6. Of the mothers, 59 percent are working, 30 percent 
being in the Government. An additional 20 percent want work, and for the others, 
no data are furnished. 

Additional facilities wait upon funds.- — (2) A survey of possible houses by the 
committee on child care and protection has yielded two suitable locations for 
day-care centers, one colored and one white. An operating budget and estimated 
repairs are ready. The realization of this necessary project waits only upon 
appropriation of funds through Congress. 

In addition, the board of education acting through the committee, has a plan 
ready for before- and after-school care of children in school buildings which could 
be implemented at once by the appropriation of necessary funds. In order to 
make school buildings available for day care of preschool children, the law pro- 
hibiting their use for children under 5 must be changed. 

Survey of existing facilities. — (3) A survey of the present facilities for day care 
in the Metropolitan area of Washington is being conducted to determine the 
resources of and the standards maintained in existent preschool groups. For 
this purpose, the emergency committee for day care of young children called 
two open forums, inviting all preschool and day care groups to send representa- 
tives, to discuss the widespread need for specific information on nursery care. 
It was agreed at the forums to set up machinery for conducting a city-wide survey 
of existing institutions. The research group of the emergency committee there- 
upon drew up questionnaires on the basis of informational items agreed upon at 
the forum meetings. This questionnaire has been mailed to all institutions 
offering day care of preschool children, and followed by a visit to each unit by a 
member of the visitor's committee. A preliminary report on the survey shows 
that there are 109 groups, white and colored, scattered throughout Washington 
and the suburbs. Some are open for care as little as 3 hours, 5 days a week; 
some as long as 12 hours, 6 days a week. They serve a group of children ranging 
in age from a few months through 5 years. Tuitions vary from zero in the few 
philanthropic groups to $35 per month for a 5-day week. The groups range in 
size from 7 children to 61. Some serve 3 meals a day. Most of the groups are 

14 Work Projects Administration Study— Recent Migration into Washington, D. C, January 5, 1942. 


filled to capacity with a waiting list. Eleven groups are completely heterogeneous 
as to manner of operation, standards maintained, and type of services offered. 
The fact that there is still a growing number of requests for day care indicates 
that existing private and philanthropic groups are inadequate to meet the need. 
It is interesting to note that this survey has been carried out completely by trained 
volunteer effort without expense to the community. 

Health regulations. — (4) Preschool groups for day care in the District of Colum- 
bia are required to obtain a license from the Health Department. A new set 
of health regulations is being set up now which will standardize not only pro- 
visions for physical set-up and health requirements, but also personnel qualifica- 
tions regarding training, experience, and health requirements. These new 
regulations are being used now as the basis for recommendations for permits. 

The Bureau of Maternal and Child Welfare of the Health Department has 
also been furnishing information to parents about day care groups which has 
been obtained by health visitors. 

Information and counseling service. — (5) It is proposed to set up in the Office 
of the Emergency Committee for Day Care of Children, which is now organized 
as a full-time volunteer information center on day care, an additional counseling 
service with the cooperation of social agencies and trained volunteers. Counsel- 
ing will aid mothers who are working or considering employment in planning 
for the adequate care of their children. 

Neighborhood homes. — (6) A study of day care in neighborhood homes is in 
progress, chiefly among the Negro population. Blanks are sent home from a 
junior high school in a sample area to ascertain how and where young children 
are being provided for while the mother works. In this way sufficient data may 
be obtained to set up a registry of neighborhood homes providing day care and 
will also permit of regulation. 

Expansion of present facilities. — (7) A committee of specialists in preschool 
education is exploring the possibility of expanding existing groups or locating 
new day care centers in downtown churches or other community buildings. 
Possible locations are inspected by committee members as to their suitability, 
and recommendations made as to the number of children that can be accommo- 
dated, staff and equipment requirements, etc. A bulletin is in preparation, 
Preliminary Considerations for Setting Up Day Care Centers, to aid groups or 
individuals in organizing programs to meet this need. 

Training course for volunteers. — (8) A training course for volunteers in nursery 
school procedures in being given now which includes 10 lectures 5 observation 
periods or field trips, and 50 hours of practice. There are 50 volunteer students 
enrolled through the cooperation of the Defense Volunteer Bureau, the American 
Women's Voluntary Services, and the Women's Auxiliary of the C. I. O. The 
plan is that upon successful completion of the course, these volunteers will be 
able to give a stated amount of time in new or expanding centers for day care of 
children. This course, sponsored by the Council of Social Agencies, is conducted 
entirely by volunteer services of professional people. 

Exhibit 4. — Services of Women Psychologists in the Emergency 


The women psychologists of the United States, like all groups of professionally 
minded persons, are eager to render services which will contribute to the welfare 
of the country in this time of emergency. There are certain activities in which 
their background, training, and experience have given them proficiency, and 
which can, they believe, be directed at this time toward developing programs 
greatly needed in our present national crisis. It therefore seems appropriate to 
place on record some of the services to which women psychologists throughout 
the country would be able and glad to contribute time and energy during the 
war period. 

(1) Women psychologists can institute psychological testing programs in 
order to screen out those men who because of limited mental capacity or educa- 
tional deficiencies could not be trained to adjust successfully to life in the Army. 
In order that such a screening process may occur early enough to avoid waste 
of time and resources on the part of both the individual and the country, such 
projects should be developed in connection with local draft boards. In some 


areas such testing programs have been inaugurated and have functioned success- 
fully, and manj- men who would otherwise have been sent back later from induc- 
tion centers because of illiteracy or poor mental ability have been detected before 
leaving their homes, giving up jobs, and altering irrevocably their way of life. 
Psychologists would welcome the opportunity of developing such testing projects 
with local draft boards in many places throughout the country. 

(2) Women psychologists are in a position to participate in the processes of 
selection, classification, placement, and training of workers in industry, in farm 
operations, in defense agencies, and in many other situations where inevitably 
many women must now replace men. Trade tests, some of them already con- 
structed on the basis of job analyses, but used heretofore chiefly for men, must 
be standardized for women, and new tests must be devised in fields where no 
adequate instruments now exist. Placement of the individual in work for which 
he possesses aptitude cannot be haphazard, but demands experience and judgment 
which psychologists working in this field have developed after many years of 
training. It involves not only the selection and application of appropriate tests, 
but the evaluation of the applicant's history, background, and experience in 
relation to the occupational opportunity. Scientific methods of selection can be 
employed helpfully not only with women in industry and agriculture, but among 
volunteer workers in civilian defense agencies, where it is of utmost importance 
that the worker be allocated to that task which he will perform most competently. 

In training programs, also, women psychologists who have devoted thought 
and research to methods of learning will be able to perform a helpful function. 

(3) Many nursery schools are now being established for children of women 
workers in defense industries. In the inauguration and operation of these 
nursery schools women trained in child psychology can play an important part. 

(4) Participation in training programs for child-care volunteers is already 
going on by some women psychologists, and many others would be glad to serve 
in such courses. Training of child-care volunteers would demand rapid and exten- 
sive development if plans for evacuation of children should be carried out. 

(5) Long-range planning for post-war problems of reeducation and readjustment 
of wounded soldiers is already under way. Such plans present a wide range of 
problems in many of which women psychologists can function usefully. In 
reeducation after cerebral injury, in consulting services in connection with occu- 
pational therapists, in projects involving vocational rehabilitation and vocational 
and occupational guidance, women psychologists with the necessary specialized 
training and experience can contribute valuable and constructive work. 

(6) Special social problems are already arising in connection with mentally 
deficient women and girls in neighborhoods of Army camps and in thickly popu- 
lated industrial centers. These problems are of such a character that their study 
and attack by women psychologists is strongly indicated. 

(7) Classes in reading and writing for men rejected by the Selective Service on 
account of illiteracy are urgently needed, especially in the South. In some 
localities work of this kind is already initiated, and it can be organized in connec- 
tion with local schools on a very simple basis. 

(8) In time of war, the training of leaders in civilian life becomes a problem of 
major and immediate importance. The training of leaders has been the concern 
of educational, religious, political, occupational, and social welfare organizations 
since time immemorial. But only in recent years has there been study of the 
effects of different types of leadership on groups and on the limitations and 
possibilities for effective training. Needless to say, the great success of totali- 
tarian leaders has brought the matter sharply into the focus of attention of social 
scientists. The literature in this field offers some suggestions that can be imme- 
diately applied in the training of civilian leaders, particularly such leaders as 
teachers in defense courses, nursery school teachers, air-raid wardens, leaders in 
clubs of all kinds, or chairmen of emergency committees in small civic centers. 
Psychologists trained in the use of these methods can at this time contribute to 
the war effort by applying them to situations demanding the training, or retraining, 
of leaders. 

(9) From psychology departments in colleges and universities throughout the 
country comes the question: "What shall we include in our courses for under- 
graduates that will fit them for their part in the emergency?" A group of women 
psychologists are working on suggestions for content of courses in psychology, on 
outlines, and on bibliographies which may be made available in partial answer 
to this question. The material which they are assembling includes mention of 
courses in child psychology, in mental hygiene and psychiatry, in construction of 
interview schedules, in statistics and techniques of test construction, in training 
for group leadership, and in the principles and analysis of propaganda. 


(10) Because strong nations must be built by healthy people, food for defense 
suggests an important part of the national war effort. A diet adequate for good 
nutrition is now the Nation's goal. Besides the problems of production and dis- 
tribution involved in this aim, the country will be confronted by an important 
psychological and educational problem. Food habits well established are known 
to yield slowly to attempted change. Knowledge of food values essential for 
health must be spread throughout the country by every possible medium, and the 
inertia to change in eating habits must be combatted by many psychological 
techniques. Psychologists can participate in this national program by testing the 
usefulness and appeal of the various educational materials which will be used in 
the nutrition campaigns; they can study the eating habits of crucial groups in the 
country as a base line before changes occur; they can explore the possibilities of 
"prestige influence" as a factor of change in food habits; they can study the rela- 
tionship between eating and fear; and they can carry out a variety of applied 
research projects in this little-explored field of food habits. 

(11) The problem of morale is crucial in the present war effort. Social psy- 
chology during the past decade has furnished new techniques for studying the 
phenomena of interacting personalities and social groups and for the measure- 
ment, analysis, interpretation, and direction of these phenomena. The psycholo- 
gist can diagnose and remedy various destructive influences aimed at morale; he 
can test the effectiveness of propaganda; he can study the morale of special 
groups and apply methods for its improvement; he can apply his knowledge of 
leadership training and guidance within the units of our social organization. 
There are many services that women psychologists can plan and execute in the 
study and building of morale. 

(12) Since this country is to continue to function as a democracy, the adults of 
the future must be educated and trained and clinics maintained. As men go 
from our colleges and universities into the armed services, women psychologists 
will be called upon in ever greater numbers to replace them in academic work for 
graduate and undergraduate students and in clinical positions. For this task 
these women are able and ready. 

Note. — This Subcommittee on Services of Women Psychologists in the Emergency was compiled by 
Theodora M. Abel, Steuart Henderson Britt, Alice Bryan, Edna Heidbreder, C. M. Louttit, Bertha 
Luckey, Harriett O'Shea, Helen Peak, Ruth Tolman, chairman. 

Exhibit 5. — Report by Courtenay Dinwiddie, General Secre- 
tary, National Child Labor Committee, New York City 

February 10, 1942. 
Because of our interest in child labor and the fact that school systems in many 
communities are releasing children from attendance in order that they may engage 
in emergency agricultural work we have some suggestions to offer your committee 
as to points that should be brought out and as o twhere constructive planning is 
needed as follows: 

Neglect op Agricultural Labor Needs 

Particularly in highly industrial States the tendency of placement agencies is 
to give far less consideration to agricultural labor needs than they deserve and to 
do too little thorough planning in advance for the meeting of such needs. It is in 
the industrial States that pressure for labor for war industries is greatest. There 
is always a certain ebb and flow between agricultural labor and industrial labor in 
spite of the differences in demands for each and the differences in the competence 
of workers for each type of work. The failure to consider the relative importance 
of agricultural demands and the failure to plan sufficiently far in advance causes 
unnecessarily acute temporary shortages in the agricultural labor supply. 

We hope that the Tolan committee will bring out clearly what measures are 
necessary to remedy such conditions and the extent to which the United States 
Employment Service and other agencies are preparing to do their part in putting 
these measures into effect. 

It would be a pertinent question to raise whether the practices of the State of 
Oregon, for example, in making careful and thorough advance estimates of 
agricultural labor needs and in keeping these estimates up to date so far as pos- 
sible, could not be generally observed throughout the States rather than confined 
to a few. 


Your committee has done a great service in bringing out the extent to which 
unwillingness to pay wages commensurate with the increases in the prices of farm 
products has been the cause of claims of shortages of labor which only represent 
the unwillingness of persons to accept wages at an unjustifiedly low level. We 
trust that the hearings will bring out clearly how the public will be able to deter- 
mine whether any such demands in State or locality are due to this unwillingness 
to pay fair wages or not; what Government agencies will furnish the necessary 
data for sound judgment on this point. 

Advance Planning for Migrant Labor 

In highly specialized crop areas where much planting or cultivating, or both, 
is done by machinery, the peak loads of demand for hand harvesting is creating 
a situation which has been clearly brought out by your committee and others 
who have studied the subject. The problems raised by this peak-load demand for 
labor, in areas where such farming methods presuppose a migrant labor supply, 
deserve especially serious consideration in this war emergency. In the past the 
migrant laborers and their families have had to bear most of the wastage and 
burdens involved in the transportation of large numbers of workers and their 
families, often far beyond the number needed, to points of peak demand. The 
wastage in both economic and human values have been excessive. To the extent 
that such migrant labor is needed to meet wartime emergencies, steps should be 
taken to reduce to a minimum the uprooting of families from their homes, denial 
of education and wholesome living conditions for the children, and the payment 
of indecently low wages. 

Some of the questions that should be considered are: Should there be an exten- 
sion of the mobile camp program? Should funds be made available and from 
what source for transportation for migrant workers? With the shortage of tires 
it may be very difficult for migrants to transport themselves. Cannot the selection 
of migrants for such services by placement agencies be so organized as to avoid 
the highly antisocial conditions involved in the transporting of young children 
continuously from place to place without satisfactory residence or schooling? 

In any measures that are being planned is care being taken not to establish as 
permanent policies, those which are determined to be essential in the emergency, 
but which involve steps that would not be desirable in peace? 

Availability of Local Labor 

Observers of practices in recruiting agricultural labor in the different States 
are of the opinion that far more should be done in most States in the way of 
taking a census of available sources of local labor supply. Reports from Dela- 
ware, which have not been checked on the ground, indicate that that State has 
done some very constructive work along this line and has thus avoided, at least 
to some degree, the problem caused by an inrush of migrant labor with all of its 
attendant evils. 

Registration of adults and older youth willing to do farm work in case of 
emergency demands could well be carried out long in advance of peak harvest 
needs. Such registration should not be confined solely to the extremely poor. 
Too often the tendency has been to look upon poverty as a test of the availability 
of such workers for emergency service. 

Labor Demands and School Children 

Widespread demands are being heard to release children from school so that 
they may engage in planting or harvesting. The trend of these demands is 
unfortunately too often in the direction of releasing children as a first resort rather 
than as a last resort after careful consideration of all the circumstances and careful 
planning to safeguard the interests of the children where it is convincingly shown 
that their work is needed. The National Child Labor Committee has given 
thoughtful study to this question and you will find attached a statement of the 
policies which it believes should govern any release of children from school for 
agricultural labor. 

Also, you will find attached a very illuminating digest of statements received 
from some of the State departments of education of the country with which we 
have been in communication on the subject. A number point out the hysterical 
nature of some of the demands for the release of children from school without first 
ascertaining the real facts and the availability of adult labor. The attached 


digest quotes statements from some of the States which have given most thoughful 
consideration to the subject. 

In other States the State commissioner of education reports working closely 
with the Employment Service so that release of pupils from school may be on the 
basis of genuine need and may be guided and safeguarded in the interest of the 
pupils themselves from the standpoint of their education and their welfare. New 
Hampshire and Massachusetts have put into effect plans of this kind. Other 
States are considering such steps but such practices are by no means general or 
uniform. On the contrary, in many States children are released locally or the 
school term is shortened with very little thoughtful consideration of whether the 
need for labor can be met in other ways or of how the children's education and 
welfare can be best safeguarded. 

We believe that it would be most helpful if the House Committee Investigating 
National Defense Migration could publicize such practices. It is also quite 
desirable to differentiate between paper suggestions and the actual use of genuine 
safeguards. For example, in New York State last fall an improvised plan was 
put into effect for releasing children from school. The chief safeguard proposed 
was that there should be a certification of the need for the labor of such children 
by the chairman of the county farm defense council. An examination of 100 
certificates of such need on file in Albany (selected at random) showed that in the 
case of the great majority the date of the certificate was later, often weeks or even 
months later, than the initial date for which the children's services were asked. 
Such a paper provision has little if any value for the children. 

We hope that the House Committee Investigating National Defense Migra- 
tion will secure the testimony of competent school authorities on this subject of 
safeguarding the interests of children. We also hope that the committee will 
get on the record the availability of reasonably accurate advance estimates of 
demands for agricultural labor in the various States and of sources of labor supply 
to meet such demands. It would be most helpful for the public generally to 
know the extent to which the surveys which are being carried on in the States 
by the Agricultural Marketing Service will furnish the desired information on 
agricultural demands, the extent to which such information can be kept up to 
date and the extent to which the United States Employment Service can outline 
available sources of labor. The possibilities for the United States Employment 
Service's acting in cooperation with State and local school authorities and labor 
departments in outlining orderly, thoughtful, and well safeguarded methods of 
releasing children from school and supervising their work where it is really es- 
sential, also need to be established. 

The National Child Labor Committee is deeply concerned with this whole 
problem because of its relationship to the protection of children with respect to 
their education and their work and will welcome any opportunity to cooperate 
with your committee or any other agency concerned. 

School Pupils and Agricultural Labor 

some replies from state commissioners of education to inquiry from the 
national child labor committee 

In view of widespread moves or suggested moves for releasing pupils from 
school for agricultural work, the National Child Labor Committee wrote to the 
State commissioners of education. They were asked what the experience in 
their States had been with respect to such releases or proposals for release; also 
what methods had been found most satisfactory for safeguarding the health and 
the welfare of the pupils, where they were released, or what methods were sug- 

References to or excerpts from the replies from some of the State commissioners, 
who seemed most deeply concerned over the problems raised by proposals for 
release of pupils, follow: 

Arizona. — In Arizona 40 to 50 schools permitted school children, most of 
them 14 years and over, to be absent for work on the crops. Permits were 
issued, in most cases valid for 1 week. These were renewable when the child 
submitted home work assignments that had been given. Permits were given 
only in cases where there was a definite need. 


Indiana. — The State superintendent of public instruction on January 19, 1942, 
sent the following bulletin to city, town, and county superintendents: 

"The State board of education at the regular meeting, January 16, 1942, made 
the following statement: 

" 'The State board of education sees no emergency at the present time, which 
would make it advisable to shorten the terms of the public schools either by 
adding more days to the week or more hours to the day or by reducing the num- 
ber of days of the school term below the established number.' " 

The State superintendent of public instruction writes that, "if a situation 
arises where it may be advisable for students to assist in harvesting crops, these 
will be handled as individual cases. The best patriotism and the only patriotism 
upon which a democracy can rest is that of educating its children. We shall 
be ready and eager at all times to do whatever is deemed necessary and advisable 
to further our national defense program. The State of Indiana will, however, 
maintain a firm attitude concerning the education of the children." 

Kansas.- — The State superintendent of public instruction of Kansas on January 
14, 1942, sent a bulletin to school administrators which stated that they had 
received a number of inquiries from localities as to the advisability of adopting 
a 7-hour day or 6-day week for the remainder of the year. The bulletin states: 

"Before any such sweeping change is undertaken the State Department, if its 
approval is given, must be convinced of its necessity. At present it is not. Those 
proposing these changes perhaps do not realize how far-reaching they are and 
how deeply they affect the integrity of the public-school system. Before they 
are agreed to and initiated the absolute need for them must be clearly evident. 
As was stated before, the State Department is not yet convinced that it is so 

"The program of the National Government is not yet so clearly defined as to 
enable us to see what is demanded of the schools. When that program is clearly 
set before us we shall all of us be ready to do what is necessary to carry it out. 
Meanwhile the proposals of those who urge hasty, ill-considered, and ill-devised 
measures should await developments. 

"It would be regrettable indeed if it affected adversely the system of education 
throughout the State. It is suggested, therefore, that we proceed to deal with 
the problem for the present at least, on an individual basis." 

The bulletin suggested that, when it was necessary, a senior high school student 
with a record of 3 years and 8 months of good work could be given a special 
examination, advanced credit, or other acceptable device and be released from 
school. A similar plan might be adopted for students in other classes in case of 
real emergency. It adds: 

"The State Department makes an appeal for sanity and steadiness in the 
present hour. Hysteria is by no means absent from some of these proposals. 
Let us imbue our young people with courage and confidence, and set ourselves 
against fear and panic. Above all we shall have to defend the structure and 
support of education from those who unwittingly will do much to weaken it. 
Someone has said 'The first major casualty in war is education.' Let it not be 
true of us in this case." 

Maine. — The Commissioner of Education of Maine reports: "At the present 
time the State department of education is working closely with representatives 
of various State and Federal agencies to determine the scope and acuteness of the 
farm labor problem. As soon as this information is available an attempt will be 
made to adjust school schedules in various parts of the State on a basis of the 
necessity for school children in agricultural work. Preliminary planning has 
resulted in the following suggestions: 

"1. Through the cooperation of agricultural instructors with the Maine State 
Employment Service to recruit in-school youth to be assigned to farmers needing 
this labor in the immediate area. 

"2. To recruit, in urban areas throughout the State, school youth who can be 
organized as a mobile labor pool available in any part of the State where a particu- 
lar shortage threatens. 

"Every attempt will be made to prevent disruption of the regular educational 
program in the public schools. Since our heaviest problem is anticipated during 
the harvest season, it is quite likely that plans will be made to open schools later 
in the fall and continue later in the spring." 

Massachusetts. — The Supervisor of Agricultural Education of Massachusetts 
states: "Early in the year, Commissioner Downer sent a letter to all superintend- 
ents of schools asking them to cooperate with the State employment service in 
the matter of enrolling school youths for farm employment. All superintendents 


cooperated splendidly in this respect and the State employment office registered 
5,500 students. By July, the employment service had placed 351 of these enrollees 
on farm jobs. 

"This registration of school youths had a twofold effect because in addition to 
the youths placed in farm jobs, 1,034 were placed in industrial employment or as 
trainees for such employm&nt as well as in various miscellaneous forms of 

"In the late spring the Massachusetts Fruit Growers Association, upon recom- 
mendation of the department of education, notified heir membership to get in 
touch with their local school authorities and arranged, wherever possible, for the 
release of school youths from school for certain definite periods in the fall so that 
these students might assist in the harvesting of fruit crops. In this situation the 
schools again cooperated and arranged for the release of students, and I know of 
no great loss in the matter of our fruit harvest. 

"At the present time our State is being organized with rural policy and war 
action committees organized in each town. It will be one of the duties of such 
committees to contact each farm in their area and find out the number and type 
of workers that will be needed for the coming season. The State employment 
office proposed to contact each high school in this State and enroll students desiring 
to help in farm work this summer. A coordinating organization and war action 
committee will then work out a scheme by which local youths interested in securing 
farm employment will come in contact with farmers desiring such an employee 
and students, in areas where the enrollees are more than the farm jobs are avail- 
able, will be informed of the employment opportunities elsewhere within the State. 

"When we know the number of employees needed, the basic skills that the 
employer desires them to have, and the names of those enlisting for farm employ- 
ment, the vocational agricultural service intends to set up training opportunities 
to give these enrollees some training in the basic skills desired." 

New Hampshire. — The commissioner of education on August 28, 1941, ad- 
dressed a communication to high-school principals "in or adjacent to the apple- 
growing areas." This recommended cooperation with the State employment 
service in providing assistance for the apple harvest. It stated: "Arrangements 
have been made between the Apple Growers' Association and the Employment 
Service so that all requests for the services of high-school pupils over 14 years of 
age will be made by the apple growers to the employment service and all arrange- 
ments for securing the services of boys to meet these demands shall be made 
through definite arrangements between the representatives of the Employment 
Service and the headmasters of the schools. 

"The present situation is as follows. The apple growers have been asked to 
report at once their estimate of the amount of help required and where and when 
it will be needed. Meantime, the State employment service will contact the 
head of each high school in the areas where help is needed to secure an enrollment 
through the high school of students who will volunteer for this service. The 
registration in the Employment office will be through a student application form 
which will be supplied to the headmasters of the schools contacted. This refers 
only to the apple picking program. The form permits the pupil to indicate, if 
he so desires, any special preference in the employer for whom he shall work. 

"This opportunity, under a definite plan of organization, seems a highly desir- 
able one for students physically competent and doing satisfactory work in school, 
to contribute toward the solution of this problem which has arisen entirely as a 
result of defense activity." 

Four hundred and seven boys, coming from eight high schools, participated in 
the apple-picking project. 

Pennsylvania.— The Pennsylvania Superintendent of Public Instruction re- 
ported: "At the present time, the department takes the attitude, and seems to 
have the support of many Legion posts which have taken action as well as persons 
in governmental and industrial positions, that the school program of children 
should not be disturbed if avoidable. In case of any disruption, it should affect 
only those whose interests could best be served in our emergency program by 
withdrawing from school or by being in part-time attendance." 

It recommends: 

1. Excusing pupils 14 years and over who have completed the sixth grade 
under the regular provisions of the child-labor law through the issuance of farm 
or domestic service permits. 

2. If the absence is to be for a few days only, dismissing the school v provided 
that the great majority of the pupils are needed for work) and shortening normal 
vacation periods. 


3. As a last resort, shortening school sessions to 4 hours — although this will 
not be recommended at the present time because it is not believed to be legal. 

Rhode Island. — The Rhode Island Department of Education reports that last 
summer they had an organized program of work for students during vacation 

"Through the principals of the schools we conducted a registration of those 
who could and would be interested in certain types of farm labor, working after 
school on week-ends and school holidays. We cleared this registration through 
the Director of Agricultural Extension to the county agricultural agent who 
contacted farmers directly. The plan worked in a limited way. We found a 
few weak spots. The plan, with modifications, is under consideration for the 
coming summer. 

"Just now we are attempting to forecast the labor shortage situation in the 
summer of 1942. If the situation seems to warrant it, we may consider some 
form of emergency legislation to protect the normal attendance structure after 
the emergency passes." 

Vermont. — Vermont conducted a program, with the assistance of the State 
employment service, to supply workers during the apple picking season. Thirty- 
seven schools, mostly senior high schools, participated in this program. 

Wisconsin. — The State superintendent of public instruction last fall sent a 
notice to local school officers, suggesting that, if it were necessary to make changes 
in attendance regulations due to emergency agricultural work the following be 

1. Changing the date of the spring vacation so that it falls at a time when 
help is needed or, if advisable, omitting spring vacation. 

2. Permitting children to be absent to assist their parents during April or 
May for a limited time and marking them present provided they satisfactorily 
complete daily assignments. 

3. Continuing school on alternate Saturdays during January, February, and 
March, and closing 1 or 2 weeks earlier. 

4. Providing an opportunity, before the end of the school year, for city boys 
and girls who wish to work on a farm during the summer, to contact farmers. 

Exhibit 6. — Report by Kathryn McHale, General Director, 
American Association of University Women, Washington, 
D. C. 

This association, composed of 73,000 women college graduates organized in 920 
communities throughout the United States, is conscious of the large numbers of 
professionally trained women whose services should be used in the war effort. 
Some of these women are now employed, others would willingly be drawn into 
employment to aid the war effort. 

A chief difficulty appears to lie in the lack of a national clearinghouse for the 
placement of professional women. More than one firm has said, for instance, 
"We can use a woman physicist. Where is one?" And no one has the immediate 

It occurs to us that a solution might be found in extending the scope and use 
of the National Roster of Scientific and Specialized Personnel so that it will serve 
more widely as a national clearinghouse of information about professional and 
scientific women workers. At present comparatively few women are listed in the 
national roster, chiefly those who were reached through their membership in 
professional and scientific societies. We suggest that trained women generally 
be urged to register with the national roster, and that the roster then be used more 
extensively for placement. Many national women's organizations, including the 
American Association of University Women, would be glad to broadcast a message 
to their members, asking them, when professionally qualified, to fill out the na- 
tional-roster questionnaire, and would be glad to cooperate in other efforts to have 
the national roster serve more widely as a national clearinghouse for placement 
of professional women. 

We believe, too, that employment of women in the war effort might be furthered, 
and numerous problems solved, if the United States Employment Service would 
arrange to give special attention to the placement and guidance of women workers, 
professional, subprofessional, office, and industrial groups. As the public em- 
ployment offices are now set up, no special facilities are provided for the placing 
of women. Women's departments do not exist, and women interviewers are not 


erupted for the distinct purpose of interviewing women and securing placements 
for them. Trained women interviewers, especially interested in the employment 
problems of women, might do much to educate employers concerning the ability 
of women to fill many positions for which they are not now used. 

Professional and business women do not, under present conditions, think of 
registering for employment with the public employment offices. If the special 
facilities suggested above were provided, professional and business and industrial 
women could be influenced to use the public employment offices as placement 
centers. National women's organizations, such as the American Association of 
University Women, could be counted upon to further a program of education 
toward that end. Furthermore, in many communities having public employment 
offices the local branches of national women's organizations, including the Ameri- 
can Association of University Women, have already registered the training and 
abilities of their local members, and, if the facilities for women's placement were 
provided, these local branch organizations would be glad to cooperate with the 
public employment services in making available the information from their 
records, supplying the names of women trained and able in certain fields. 

A number of the local branches of the American Association of University 
Women are at present studying ways in which they can assist in the solution of 
problems concerning industrial women growing out of the war program, and a 
number of branches have cooperated with public employment offices in efforts to 
improve the. guidance and placement of women workers. The association is 
directly interested in the whole problem and desires to do what it can to further 
the employment of women in the war effort. 

We wish to stress also the need of clearance between the people who employ 
trained women and the colleges that give the training. At present there is no 
Federal agency that clears this information. Consequently the colleges are at a 
loss to know what training courses they should offer their women students to fit 
them for employment in the war effort, and employers are at a loss to know how 
to secure women appropriately trained. A solution might be reached by entrust- 
ing this clearance function to a Government agency. Advice and assistance may 
be obtained from the Committee on College Women and Defense of the American 
Council on Education, a committee that is now endeavoring to assemble, for 
college presidents' guidance, information on the present and future needs for 
trained women. 

Exhibit 7. — Report by Jeanetta H. Welch and Norma E. Boyd, 
for the National Non-Partisan Council on Public Affairs, 
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Washington, D. C 

February 9, 1942. 

When the Tolan committee turned its attention to the role of women in war- 
time industries, the National Non-Partisan Council of Alpha Kappa Alpha Soror- 
ity visioned the development of increasing opportunities for training and employ- 
ment of women in our victory program. Indications are that the increasing labor 
demands will have to be met by the increased employment of women. Increase 
in the tempo of our productive effort will demand even wider induction of women 
in those industries now engaged in producing implements of war. 

We recognize that a large number of women are already employed in our war 
efforts, and there is reason to assume, according to facts presented before your 
committee, that approximately 2,000,000 new workers will be women. 

As we shift our manpower from production to the armed forces, it follows that 
the training and employment of women must proportionately increase. In this 
connection it is our desire to indicate that there is a vast labor market of Negro 
women available for war production. And our war efforts demand that they be 
given equal opportunitv in training and employment. 

During the first World War, Negro women joined the large and effective army 
of American women engaged in defense pursuits of all kind. In the war indus- 
tries in arsenals, in navy yards, Negro women assisted in the making of shells, 
gas masks, and other munitions. In World War No. 1, employment of these women 
in mechanical industries alone increased by more than 50 percent. 

While it is true that many war industries have undergone technological changes 
since the First World War, it is also true that women as a whole have become more 
mechanical-minded. This includes Negro women. Many of them have studi- 
ously kept up with the many technological changes in most productive industries. 
In one instance, a voung Negro woman holding a commercial pilot's license and 


an aviation mechanics certificate, won the confidence and admiration of a local 
board of education. The United States Civil Aeronautics Administration spon- 
sored ground and flight instruction classes, which the young woman directed. 

Current employment records also show that Negro women have already quali- 
fied for jobs in metal foundries. Others are optical goods workers, sheet metal 
workers, press and punch-press operators. In terms of the huge defense work 
ahead of us, these are but small dents in today's all-inclusive defense war effort. 
They indicate, however, a virtually untouched labor supply that proved its worth 
during the world conflict of 25 years ago. 

This labor market is not being utilized to its fullest extent, either as to training 
or employment. The National Non-Partisan Council feels that this potential 
market of available labor is essential to the constant flow of war materials. 

The President of the United States has already made clear to the Nation that 
the total effectiveness of the arsenal of the democracies demands the complete 
utilization of our human resources. Further, that "we must be particularly vigi- 
lant against racial discrimination in any of its ugly forms." Therefore, any failure 
to train and to employ the vast reserve of Negro women will definitely affect the 
successful prosecution of our victory program. 

Together with the rest of American women, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority be- 
lieves that there must be the fullest utilization of women in defense industries in 
order to achieve and quicken total war production. 

The Tolan committee is charged with the responsibility of determining the use 
of women in war production. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority urges that the com- 
mittee give consideration to the important part that Negro women can play in 
this vast program, and make appropriate recommendations to that end. 

Jeanetta H. Welch, Representative. 
Norma E. Boyd, Chairman. 

Exhibit 8. — Report by Mary S. Ingraham, President, the 
National Board of the Young Women's Christian Associa- 
tions of the United States of America, New York, N. Y. 

February 5, 1942. 
Congressman John H. Tolan, 

House Committee Investigating National Defense Migration, 
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. 

Dear Sir: The national board of the Young Women's Christian Associations, 
with its large constituency of working women of varied race and nationality and 
occupations, is very conscious of the pressures upon young women working in the 
present scene. 

City after city reports Negro women are not being taken into factories, stores, 
or offices in any large number despite the apparent need for workers and the 
availability of able Negro workers. There is some expansion of opportunity for 
these women in service industries such as laundries, cafeterias, cleaning establish- 
ments, etc. In some instances definite campaigns have been organized under 
the leadership of the Young Women's Christian Association to open up better 
work opportunities for Negro women in employment. To date they have met 
with very small response. The tendency is to take them on at low wages and for 
the most part in jobs which have the longest hours and the least desirable con- 

The next group of workers for whom we find increasing concern expressed is 
the group of young people who are out of school and who have never had work 
experience. These young women are being taken on in many establishments 
again at a low wage, possibly on an apprentice theory, but when proficiency 
develops, their pay is seldom increased. The hours and conditions of work 
surrounding them vary, naturally, but are of great concern and should be given 
very special attention. 

In December reports received indicated that young people still in school were 
being taken on for work after school and on Saturdays, and some even working 
at night and going to school during the day, and others were leaving school in 
order to work. The withdrawal of the wage-earning men of the family for 
military service has naturally increased the need for these younger people to make 
a contribution to the family income. It is extremely important that the needs 
of these young people in particular should be given intelligent consideration and 


that they should be directed to suitable jobs, that their training should be basic 
and should be provided under the auspices of agencies qualified to deal with their 
age and experience as well as with the technical matters involved. 

A group of household employees discussing the problem of job change reported 
as follows: "The problem of job changes was very widespread among club mem- 
bers. Many club girls had changed jobs recently and almost everyone was con- 
sidering or had considered it in recent months — almost every girl had something 
of the urge to try some other type of work." 

Girls in household employment, store, office, and factory are asking the same 
questions. Shall I change my job? If so, how do I decide? Where are the other 
jobs I could do? Could I find a job if I follow my boy friend or husband? Are 
the jobs I'm trained for no longer to be found? What should I try to fit myself 
to do? 

These and many more questions are of great concern and importance to thou- 
sands of full-time workers who need not only jobs but the right jobs. If max'mum 
efficiency is to be attained, the right answers are important to society as well as 
to the individual. Where are the millions of new or returning workers to turn for 
the information needed for a sound answer to these important questions? Our 
information to date indicates that for the most part women have not been admitted 
to courses or, where admitted, have not taken such courses because of unlikelihood 
of getting work. We are therefore facing a definite lag in equipping people to 
meet the needs of the coming situation. 

We are also aware of the problems of married women with children returning 
to either factory, white collar or professional work. The withdrawal of the 
economic support of their husbands because of military services presses heavily 
on many of them. They are being sought out by former employers and by public 
pressure to use' their skills in time of need. This raises a series of important prob- 
lems dealing with the maintenance of the family unit and giving adequate care 
and protection not only to the young children but to children throughout school 
life. The British experience raises many serious questions and this is an area 
which needs much further exploration and study before final conclusions are 
arrived at. 

Another important factor is illustrated by the fact that in several instances 
girls are making long trips each day to work in jobs which they know will be 
relatively short-term jobs rather than take work on defense jobs close to their 
homes. We have gathered in our conversation with workers evidence of the bad 
preparation which is made for handling a woman labor force by people who have 
formerly been accustomed to deal only with men. Prejudice against women in 
specific jobs, failure to accord women workers a reasonable degree of consideration, 
lack of ordinary dignity in the treatment of workers by their immediate superiors 
heightens tension and lowers morale. It leads to restlessness and high turnover 
in the group essential to expanded production. 

Closely related to this is the definite prejudice which is expressed all too vocally 
toward second generation workers without regard to their competence. A 
number of instances have come to our attention of our girls' changing their names 
in the hope that they will be less subject to discrimination in getting a job or to 
prejudice on the job. 

We find too many instances of the discharge of some workers and the consequent 
lengthening of hours for the remaining workers. The reflection of strain from 
long hours and high speed production are evidenced daily in the change of attitude 
of our constituency as they come to the Young Women's Christian Association 
complaining of headaches or other discomfort, preferring to sit and talk rather 
than take part in active programs. The effect on health of long hours and a 
long work week does not need to be elaborated here but the necessity for applying 
our knowledge and eliminating these dangers is evident. The increased emotional 
tensions which come from uncertainty and change and from anxiety about their 
men in the armed forces all makes added pressure on the health of working women 
and raises to greatest importance the question of suitable conditions, hours and 
wages sufficient not onlv to meet the rising cost of living but to provide some of 
the leeway which alone' can ease pressure and provide a stake in the immediate 

60396 — 42— pt. 28 15 


Exhibit 9. — Training and Transfer of Defense Labor in England 

Report by Isaiah Berlin, British Press Service, New York, N. Y. 

I. Industrial Training Program 

It is, of course, desirable so far as possible, to train local people for employ- 
ment in factories in the locality. In the first place, it enables people to live at 
home, or at any rate to be near their homes during training and subsequent 
employment. Further, it enables contact to be established between the training 
establishment and the firm to which the trainee will go, so that training can be 
related to the exact work which the trainee will do afterwards. These have 
been found to be factors of great weight, and when it comes to the training of 
women particularly the first, since a large proportion of women are prepared 
to work in industry near their homes but are not prepared to go away (often 
for domestic reasons are not able to go away). On the other hand it is not 
always possible to adopt this policy because the distribution of demand for 
trained workers is not the same as the distribution of supply of traiuees, and 
this is particularly the case when it comes to the training of workers who are 
expected to have some real degree of skill. 

This situation is reflected in the arrangements for training workers under the 
Government training scheme. Broadly speaking, it is expected that employers 
will provide the necessary short-term training for persons requiring very little 
skill, such as machine minders, but with very rapid expansion this is not possible 
in all cases, since new factories or factories taking over entirely new work may 
not have the necessary skilled staff to do the training. To meet this the Govern- 
ment have instituted a seheme of short-term training at about 300 establishments, 
roughly half of which are technical colleges and half employers' works. These 
300 establishments, are distributed all over the country, and are primarily in- 
tended for the training of local personnel for the local factories in need of them. 
In addition, the Government runs 3~> Government Training Centres, each of which 
can accommodate from 1,000 to 3,< 00 trainees at a time if working on three 
shifts, and these give a course lasting from three to five months and produce 
workers who have acquired some real degree of skill if only over a narrow range. 
Here, too, the principal of recruiting and placing locally is observed so far as 
possible, but some of the Centres are situated in areas where there is a large 
population but not a very great demand in industry, and these act as a source of 
supply for areas where the demand is heavy. 


The upgrading of labour is a process which, in conjunction with the breaking 
down of the job, is going on continuously throughout the engineering industry. 
Nevertheless, the Government have felt it necessary to supplement this by a 
special upgrading scheme. 

II. Transfer of Labour From Declining Industrial Areas to More Active Areas 

There are very few, if any, industrial areas which can strictly be described as 
declining. The various parts of the country may be more conveniently classified 
into areas — 

Where there may be more than sufficient labour to meet local demands; 
Where local demands can be met but there is not likely to be surplus labonr ; 
Where there is no prospect of meeting demands from local sources alone. 

In order to make good local shortages of labour for vital war work, every 
effort is made to find persons who are not already employed on such work and 
whose domestic circumstances are such that they are able to transfer to other 
districts for employment on important work. 

For the purposes of surveying the national labour resources men and women in 
certain age groups, in general younger women and men over military age, have 
been required to register under a scheme of National Industrial Registration. 
From the information obtained steps have been taken and are still being taken to 
separate those who are already employed on work of national importance from 
those not so employed and to transfer as many as possible of the latter class to 
more important work. Those who are free to transfer to work anywhere may be 


required to leave their home areas and by this means the shortage of workers in 
other areas is made good. Every effort is made to avoid dislocation of industry 
by prior discussion with employers and by endeavoring to arrange for substitute 
labour to be supplied where it is essential. 


Efforts aje first made to persuade the workers to transfer voluntarily, and 
ordinarily these efforts are successful ; persuasion can be made more effective 
because the Minister has the power to compel. 

Compulsion, which is used only when persuasion has failed, is effected under 
Regulation 58A of the Defense (General) Regulations, 1939. Under this Regula- 
tion the Minister of Labour and National Service has power to direct anyone in 
the United Kingdom to perform any specified service. Ordinarily it is the Man- 
ager or Deputy Manager of an Employment Exchange who exercises this power. 
For this purpose he holds a document appointing him to be a National Service 

There is no statutory right of appeal against a National Service Officer's direc- 
tion, but since local appeal boards were set up to deal with Appeals under the 
Essential Work Orders, people who have received directions have been allowed 
to appeal to these boards. Maximum penalties for refusing to obey directions 
are, on summary conviction, imprisonment for anything up to three months or a 
fine not exceeding f 100 or both ; there are heavier penalties for conviction on 

In practice the great value of having compulsory powers has been shown to 
arise from their mere existence. The fact that the powers are in the background 
materially assists the work of voluntary transfer and resort has had to be had 
to the exercise of powers in only a comparatively limited number of cases. 
Up to date 67 people have been prosecuted (62 of them successfully) for failing 
to obey directions to go to new employment or stay in their present employment. 


The following allowances may be paid to workers who are transferred by an 
Employment Exchange or Trade Union approved for the purpose to work of na- 
tional importance beyond reasonable daily travelling distance from their homes. 
The allowances have been introduced at various dates since 1st June 1940. They 
do not apply to persons transferred before that date. 


A free fare to the job is granted and also an allowance of 5/- or 10/- for the 
journey according to the time taken. (Payments are slightly less for persons 
under 16 years.) If the allowance is not sufficient to cover loss of earnings for 
the period of travel, a worker may be reimbursed for such loss subject to a maxi- 
mum (including travelling allowances) of £1 per day. 


Workers who cannot pay their way for the first week may borrow up to £1 
from an Exchange. The loan must be repaid from the first full week's wages. 


A lodging allowance of 3/6d. per night (including Sundays) is paid to workers 
who live and work in the new area and maintain a home and dependents in the 
area from which they were transferred. In certain circumstances, the allowance 
may be paid if the dependents have gone to live with friends or have been billeted 
elsewhere, but the allowance ceases if the dependents join the worker in the new 

The allowance is payable to married men or unmarried workers, men and 
women, with similar domestic responsibilities. 



Workers not entitled to lodging allowances may receive a settling-in grant of 
24/6d. after remaining seven nights in the new area. The grant is to help the 
worker to "settle-in" and meet miscelleaneous expenses which frequently arise 
upon transfer. 

Women may receive an additional grant of 10/- when they have been fourteen 
nights in the new area. 

The following allowances may be paid when the worker's dependents join him 
in the new area : 

dependents' fares 

The fares of the dependents will be paid by the Ministry of Labour. 


Furniture may be removed at State expense and, if the worker moves into 
unfurnished accommodation, he may also claim £2 for incidental expenses. 


Workers who have liabilities on property in the old area, of which they are 
unable to dispose may receive an allowance of not more than 24/6d. per week 
towards meeting payment of rent, rates, or mortgage interest or in respect of 
the weekly equivalent of the net annual assessment for rates where the prop- 
erty is owned outright. In some cases, cost of storage of furniture may be 
paid. This allowance is not normally payable to workers who have been granted 
Household Removal Assistance, but it may be paid in cases of hardship. 


The following emergency allowances can be paid to transferred workers in 
cases of hardship : 


Pending admission to hospital or return home a worker not previously entitled 
to it may receive a lodging alowance of 3/6d per night (or the difference between 
3/6d per night and any amount received as Health Insurance or Workmen's 

A personal allowance of 5/- per week may be paid while the worker is in 
hospital. Lodging allowances are not however payable. 

A free fare can be given to a wife or other near relative to visit a sick worker. 

A sick worker's fare home can be paid and also the return fare of a travelling 
companion if one is necessary. 


A worker who is called home for a serious domestic emergency may be granted 
a free return fare. 

None of these allowances is payable where a similar allowance is payable by 
the employer under customary practice or industrial or voluntary agreement. 

Building and Civil Engineering workers on important jobs are covered by a 
special scheme. They are not eligible for household removal assistance (being 
mobile workers), but otherwise they may receive most of the allowances described 
above, although fares, travelling time, and, in certain circumstances lodging al- 
lowances, are paid by the employer. 

Dockers who are transferred temporarily to work in other ports are covered by 
special arrangements. 

III. Programme for Shifting Labour From Non-Defense Industries to Defense 
Industrles and Description of Economic) Effects 

With the transfer of the nation from peacetime to war conditions the needs of 
the civil population must be subordinated as far as possible to the ever-growing 
demands for war production. It has, therefore, been necessary to define certain 
industries whose normal production can be described as less essential, or whose 
output for civilian requirements can be severely curtailed. 


Two methods are employed to secure the maximum release of labour cor- 
responding to the reduction in capacity in the industries concerned in order that 
the work people so released may be transferred to vital war work. 

These methods are known as — 

The concentration of production ; and 
The contraction of industry. 

Under the concentration scheme, the firms in the industries affected are encour- 
aged to submit voluntary arrangements for the absorption of the production of 
one or more factories by another factory, or group of factories, in the same 
industry- If voluntary schemes are not submitted within a reasonable time, the 
Government Department concerned designates the factories which should con- 
tinue in production. Schemes which are approved are put into effect by the 
firms concerned and labour and factory space is released. Steps are taken to 
ensure that as far as possible the labour released is in areas where demands 
for more important work are most urgent and is of the young and adaptable type 
which can be employed on vital war work. 

The responsibility rests on the firms which continue in production to provide 
a measure of compensation to factories which close down in the same industry. 
The plant of the closed factories must be kept intact and their proportion of the 
reduced production is maintained by the firms by whom they have been absorbed. 
The Government Departments concerned keep a record of the factories closed 
down and of the workers released, so that assistance may be afforded to the firms 
to resume normal production after the war. 

As regards the second method mentioned above, steps are being taken with 
the cooperation of the Associations of employers and work people affected, to 
effect an organised withdrawal of women workers from less essential industries. 
These will be additional to those covered by the concentration scheme. The 
scheme may, so far as any individual industry is concerned, be applied generally 
over the whole country or in particular areas where there is a specially urgent 
need for .women for vital war work. Advisory Committees, consisting of repre- 
sentatives of the industry, are established to advise on labour-supply problems 
in the industry or to deal with any question of doubt relating to key workers. 
Normally a key worker is not withdrawn from her existing employment before 
a substitute is obtained. 

Women released under the scheme are diverted to the Women's Auxiliary Serv- 
ices or to any one of a limited number of types of vital war work. In the event 
of refusal to take up vital work compulsory powers may be used. 


A scarcity of skilled engineering labour exists in all parts of the country, and 
the problem of supply of skilled engineering labour is intensified by inequalities 
in different parts of the country in relation to demand and the supply which can 
be made available by dilution. To meet this position certain of the Ministry's 
administrative regions were required to find stated numbers of highly skilled 
men of defined types for transfer to other regions standing in greater need of 
them. In deciding the numbers to be transferred account was taken not only of 
the extent of the demand for the grade of labour in question but also of the 
amount of labour which could be expected to be made available in the different 
regions as a result of dilution, transference of men from less important work, etc. 
Somewhat similar arrangements have been made in regard to the supply of labour 
for a few particular establishments engaged on especially important work and 
for some special classes of work. 

These arrangements have been only partially successful in securing the transfer 
of skilled labour between regions, since regions are concerned to meet their own 
priority demands before supplying labour for transfer to similar vacancies in 
other regions. 

The comb-out of skilled men for transfer to other regions and to firms within 
the region in greater need of their services is carried out by the Inspectors of 
Munitions Labour Supply working under the direction of the Regional Controllers. 

Labour Supply Subcommittees of the Regional Boards have recently been set up 
in each region to assist Regional Controllers to meet demands for labour in the 
Munitions Industries and in particular to meet demands for skilled engineering 
labour which cannot be met without special measures being taken to transfer 
the labour required from establishments in which it can be spared. The inten- 
tion is that the Labour Supply Subcommittees will encourage Regional Repre- 
sentatives of the Production Departments to agree with the Ministry of Labour 


the measures to be taken to secure that labour shortages for work of vital im- 
portance are met by the transfer of men from less important work. 

IV. Subcontracting as Factor Related to Utilization of Full Labour Supply 

The Regional Boards of the Production Executive in each Region have attached 
to them Capacity Clearing Centres, whose function it is to ensure the full and 
continuous utilization of the available productive capacity. The Centres arrange 
for subcontracts to be allocated to firms which may not be working to full capacity, 
thus reducing the load on the parent firm. The effect of these arrangements for 
continuous review of the allocation of contracts and subcontracts in relation to 
productive capacity (plant and labour) is to help to secure that munitions labour 
is continuously and fully employed. Subcontracting is largely used in the build- 
ing and civil engineering industries. At present close attention is being given 
to the problem of bringing the small employer into the subcontracting scheme. 
There is a danger that he may be squeezed out of business by the withdrawal of 
his labour for important work. A subcontractor can only usefully be brought 
in, however, to the extent to which he can be given managerial responsibility for 
a definite piece of work. The Ministry of Works and Buildings is promoting the 
formation of associations of small employers with a view to some degree of pool- 
ing of their resources. 

V. Controls Over Competitive Bidding for Labour 

The movement of labour to employers in the general engineering and building 
and civil engineering contracting industries is controlled by means of the Restric- 
tion on Engagement Order. This Order provides that an employer carrying on an 
undertaking in these industries shall not seek to engage or engage any worker for 
employment in that undertaking except by notifying the vacancy to a Local Office 
of the Ministry of Labour and National Service and engaging a worker submitted 
to him by the Ministry. An exception is made in the case of managers, salesmen, 
or clerks (other than costing clerks, progress clei'ks, and draughtsmen) or do- 
mestic servants. 

It is, however, permitted that engagement of workers may be arranged between 
employers and Trade Unions which have approved arrangements for this purpose. 
Briefly these arrangements provide for collaboration between the Unions and the 
Ministry's Local Offices in order that the Ministry may know what is being done 
and that Unions may be kept advised of priority considerations. It is also pro- 
vided that there must be consultation with the Local Office where the Union 
wishes to place a worker who is already in employment or has left it in order to 
secure other employment. 

The Order also provides that no employer outside the coal-mining industry may 
seek to engage or engage a worker whose normal employment is in that industry. 
There is a similar provision regarding agricultural workers. In addition the 
Essential Work (Coal-mining Industry) Order provides that employers in the 
coal-mining industry shall not seek to engage or engage any person for work 
except through a Local Office of the Ministry of Labour and National Service. 
The Order also provides that a worker shall not engage for work with a coal- 
mining undertaking except through a Local Office. The Essential Work (Agri. 
culture) (Scotland) Order provides that a farmer shall not engage any person 
for employment as an agricultural worker without previously obtaining the ap- 
proval in some form, of a Ministry of Labour Local Office. 

There is a Restriction on Engagement Order in similar terms to that described 
above for the electrical contracting industry and the Essential Work Order for 
the Shipbuilding and Ship Repairing contains similar provisions as regards that 

A very drastic control of the movement of labour is effected by means of the 
Essential Work Orders which are listed in the Appendix. 

The Orders vary slightly but so far as the control of movement of labour is 
concerned the basic principle of all of them is that the right of the management 
to discharge and of the personnel to leave is strictly controlled, and is, in general, 
subject to permission of a National Service Officer and to at least one week's 

Apart from the Merchant Navy, Agriculture (Scotland), and Dock Labour 
Orders, particular undertakings are scheduled on the recommendation of the Gov- 
ernment Department concerned that they are engaged on work which is essential 
to the efficient prosecution of the war or the maintenance of services or supplies 
essential to the life of the community. To be scheduled an undertaking must sat- 



isfy certain requirements regarding terms and conditions of employment, provi- 
sion for the welfare of employees and provision for the training of workers where 
this is necessary. Under the Building and Civil Engineering Order a particular 
site, as well as an undertaking may he scheduled. The effect of this latter provision 
is to "freeze" all the workers on a particular job, whether or not the undertakings 
employing them are scheduled. 

When an undertaking or site is scheduled none of the employees, male or female 
(and including managerial staff) may be discharged (except for serious miscon- 
duct), nor may they leave their employment without the permission, in writing, 
of a National Service Officer of the Ministry of Labour and National Service. 
Provision is made for appeal to a Local Appeal Board by nn employer or worker 
who is aggrieved by the decision of a National Service Officer. 

To counterbalance the loss of the worker's freedom to transfer his labour 
it is provided that subject to certain conditions, persons employed in the under- 
taking at time rates are entitled to receive as a minimum for each week the 
normal wage for a normal week at the time rate applicable to them, and those 
employed otherwise than on a time rate basis are entitled to receive as a mini- 
mum for each day (whatever may have been earned on other days) the time 
rate applicable to them in respect of that day. No payment becomes due under 
this guarantee unless the amount otherwise earned for the week by time workers 
or the clay by other workers (including any payment for overtime) is less than 
the guaranteed amount. 

In order to he entitled to this guaranteed minimum wage the person concerned 
must be during the normal working hours: (a) capable of and available for work 
(the guarantee, therefore, does not apply to periods of sickness or if the person 
concerned fails without leave to present himself for work during normal working 
hours) ; (b) willing to perform any services outside his usual occupation which 
in the circumstances he can reasonably be asked to perform during any period 
when work is not available for him in his usual occupation in the undertaking. 

Under the Merchant Navy Order all men in the industry are covered by the 
Order. The Agriculture (Scotland) Order applies to all male farm workers 
(excluding certain juvenile and seasonal workers) while the Dock Labour Order 
covers all workers in certain ports. 

The General Provisions, Shipbuilding and Ship Repairing, Building and Civil 
Engineering, Coal Mining, and Merchant Navy Orders also contain certain pro- 
visions for dealing with absenteeism and indiscipline. 

Exhibit 10. — Statement of John A. Coover, Chief, Nebraska 
State Employment Service, Division of Placement and Unem- 
ployment Insurance, Lincoln, Nebr. 

(This statement was received subsequent to the publication of pts. 21 and 22 dealing with the Nebraska 
situation and is published here as a matter of reference.) 

The Nebraska State Employment Service, through its 18 local offices in the 
State of Nebraska, had an active file total of 43,015 persons who were available 
for work and seeking work, as of November 1, 1941. Of this total, 31,645 were 
men and 11,370 were women. The distribution of these persons by the 18 
Employment Service offices in the State is indicated below. 

Nebraska State Employ- 
ment Service local 




Falls City... 


Grand Tsland 




acti ve 



















Nebraska State Employ- 
ment Service local 




Nebraska City 


North Platte-. 












19, 093 










13, 393 







The total active file of persons seeking employment through the Nebraska 
State Employment Service for each of the calendar months of 1941 is shown 


January. . 




45, 900 
48, 086 
47, 591 
50, 997 
49, 552 


37, 379 
39, 138 

39, 079 

40, 458 


10, 539 







46, 337 
44, 770 
43, 710 


35, 769 
34, 051 
33, 264 
32, 741 
31, 645 


10, 568 
10, 719 
10, 554 
10, 969 

It should be noted that the active file does not include all persons who are 
unemployed and who are available for job openings. It should also be noted 
that a certain proportion of persons seeking work through the State Employment 
Service are employed. These persons desire to secure different employment. 

A report as of October 18, 1941, shows that approximately 2,000 persons are 
available in the active file of the State Employment Service for selected skilled 
and professional occupations which are considered essential to national defense. 
Again, it should be pointed out that this does not include all unemployed workers 
who are available for employment in these selected occupations. 

During the first 10 months of 1941, a total number of 36,041 placements were 
made through the Nebraska State Employment Service. This, compared with 
the total of 29,443 made during the same period of the year 1940, or an increase 
of 6,608 placements — a percentage increase of approximately 23 percent. This 
increase is attributed to an increased use of the Service by employers, as well as 
a general increase in the level of employment in the State. Placements of persons 
in employment outside the State also accounted for some of the increase in the 
total volume of placements made thus far during the calendar year 1941. 

In connection with migration out of the State of Nebraska, we estimate that 
approximately 13,000 workers left the State either to take jobs in other States or 
to seek employment opportunities in other States. This estimated volume of 
out-migration covers the 12-month period ending November 1, 1941, and is 
exclusive of seasonal labor requirements in connection with the harvesting and 
processing of agricultural crops. Included in the out-migration estimate are 
building trades workers who migrated to construction projects located out of the 
State. It is expected that most of these workers will eventually return to 
Nebraska. Many will return earlier if employment opportunities are available 
in the State. The out-migration also includes a large number of young single 
men who have migrated primarily to the west and east coasts for employment in 
defense industries. In connection with this group of migrants, we believe that a 
large number will return to Nebraska if and when employment opportunities 
become available. While it is characteristic for labor to be attached to a given 
industry, and, in fact, to a given employer, we do not think this attachment can 
be made in a period of less than 4 or 5 years. With the uncertainties of defense 
employment for these migrant workers and the difficult living conditions encoun- 
tered in the industrial areas, we believe that migration is essentially temporary in 
character and that the workers will return to the State if comparable employment 
opportunities are available. Our local offices are continually receiving inquiries 
and correspondence concerning local job opportunities from former Nebraska 
workers who migrated into other areas. 

In connection with total in-migration as well as migration within the State 
from the farms to the larger centers of population, we do not feel that we have a 
measure that adequately reflects this movement. We believe, however, that the 
movement from the farms, not only to cities in Nebraska, but also out of the 
State, will constitute a serious problem with respect to an adequate supply of 
farm labor. While the supply of farm labor was adequate with respect to the 
requirements for the current calendar year, we are fearful that the 1942 require- 
ments may exceed the available supply. 

Related to the total demand made on our labor force in Nebraska is the with- 
drawal from the State of a total of 6,936 men who were inducted into the armed 
forces within the period November 23, 1940, through October 31, 1941. This 
figure does not include approximately 2,000 National Guards who were called to 
service the latter part of December 1940, enlistments in the Army and Navy 
and related service, and officers who have been called into training. The figure of 
6,936 does include, however, some men who have returned from the service to their 
homes in Nebraska. 


There are several reasons why workers have migrated from Nebraska. In the 
first place, employment opportunities have not been available to hold the workers 
in the State. Defense contracts have not been available in the volume necessary 
to provide job opportunities for our reservoir of unemployed labor. In addition, 
contraction of job opportunities has been experienced, caused by the scarsity of 
certain materials and supplies, resulting directly and indirectly from the applica- 
tion of priorities. Wage levels in Nebraska, in addition, have not been so high as in 
other areas. Low levels of farm income, prolonged periods of drought, and general 
agricultural depression have also contributed to the movement of workers from the 

During the past 6 to 8 months, nationally known employers have recruited 
workers from our Nebraska labor market. These employers have worked in 
each case through the Nebraska State Employment Service, and their recruiting 
programs were undertaken through the Employment Service. Points of inter- 
view were established throughout the State, and pooled-interview methods were 
used to recruit labor. Listed below are companies which recruited workers on an 
organized basis throughout the State, using the facilities of the Nebraska State 
Employment Service. The estimated number of workers placed with each of the 
respective companies is also listed. 

Name of company: Number 

Lockheed Aircraft Corporation "800 

DuPont DeNemours & Co 65 

Consolidated Aircraft Corporation 30 

John Deere Tractor Co 15 

During November 1941, Boeing Aircraft Co. will recruit labor from Nebraska 
through the pooled-interview method. This company is seeking highly skilled 
and professional workers for employment in their aircraft factories. It is expected 
that other large employers holding defense contracts will recruit labor in Nebraska 
for their outstate plants. 

Large aircraft manufacturing companies have also utilized trainees from com- 
mercial training schools to meet their labor requirements. Lincoln Flying 
School, Morton Aircraft, and Frye Aircraft of Omaha have been able to refer their 
graduates to employment in aircraft companies. 

Effective utilization of the local supply of labor, particularly in connection with 
the production requirements of the Martin bomber plant, requires training of 
various types to qualify workers to the level of needed skills. To achieve this 
level, preemployment training is being undertaken through the defense training 
courses sponsored by the vocational education department of the State. In 
addition, a program of up-grading within the plant will be required. 

Training facilities of the vocational education department have been used during 
the past year and a half for preemployment and refresher purposes. A large 
proportion of the trainees who have completed these courses have secured employ- 
ment in defense industries in other States. 

With respect to training courses which are offered at the present time in 
Nebraska, we are listing below the location, the name of the course, and the 
number of trainee? for each training project. 

Two specific defense training agreements have been worked out with defense 
employers. A power-sewing-machine course is being started very shortly to 
supply power-sewing-machine operators. Defense training courses in the city 
of Omaha, sponsored by the department of vocational education, were planned 
to meet specifically the requirements of the Martin bomber plant which is located 
in that area. 

While Nebraska has lost a portion of its labor supply to defense industries in 
other States, a relatively large supply is still available in the semiskilled and 
unskilled classifications. There are shortages in certain highly skilled occupa- 
tions. These shortages, however, are Nation-wide in character and are not 
limited to the Nebraska labor market. 

In connection with the construction of the bomb loading plant at Wahoo, 
Nebr., it is anticipated that no difficulties will be encountered in furnishing the 
required labor force. Also, the semiskilled and unskilled labor requirements for 
production in both the Martin bomber plant at Omaha and the Wahoo bomb 
loading plant can be adequately supplied from local sources. Certain classes of 
skilled and professional workers required for the operation of these plants will 
have to be recruited from sources outside the State. 




Name of course 

















Machine shop 














Nebraska State Training School 

Automotive electricity 








Do _ 

Pattern making 


Nebraska City 





North Platte.. 










.... do 























Exhibit 11. — A Symposium on the Question of the Labor Mar- 
ket Policy of the united States 

The following questions were submitted by the committee to a number of 
Federal agencies and to labor organizations. Their statements follow the 

Questions on Labor Market Policy for House Committee Investigating 
National Defense Migration 

1. Do you recommend Federal assistance for the transfer of workers from 
civilian to war work? If so, what kind of assistance? 

2. Do you recommend that the Federal Government render financial assist- 
ance to workers who must migrate to obtain jobs in war production? If so, 
how should such assistance be given? 

3. What deficiencies are there in current statistical data on the labor market? 
What suggestions for improvement can you make? 

4. What current hiring practices hinder the full utilization of our labor force 
in the most efficient manner? What proposals can you offer for their elimination? 

5. Do you think that there is duplication of effort and/or lack of coordination 
among the different Government agencies dealing with problems of labor supply? 

6. Do you think that the defense-training program has suffered from lack of 
uniform policies and single administrative direction? 

7. In your opinion, is a consolidation of agencies needed at this time to effec- 
tuate a national labor market policy? 

8. Do you think it desirable to establish a department of labor supply and 
national service similar to the English Ministry of Labor Supply and National 
Service? Conceivably, such a ministry of labor supply would include some or 
all of the following agencies: the Selective Service Administration, the Depart- 
ment of Labor, the training and supply work of the Labor Division, the Employ- 
ment Service, parts of the Work Projects Administration, the Civil Service 
Commission, parts of the Office of Education, and the farm labor work of the 
Department of Agriculture. 


9. Should such a department of labor supply be a civilian agency? 

10. What functions should management and labor organization have in the 
department of labor supply, if one were established? 

Exhibit A. — Statement by Claude R. Wickakd, Secretary op Agriculture, 


I believe that some Federal assistance will be required for the proper transfer 
of workers from civilian to war work. I am assuming that expanding the pro- 
duction of food for our own people and for several of the United Nations is very 
definitely war work. Since the farm labor supply is not distributed properly 
in relation to the need for such labor, some assistance will be required in trans- 
ferring farm workers from areas of relative abundance to those of shortage. 
Assistance in the way of additional training and housing also will be needed. 

Due to the shortage of rubber tires it appears that farm workers who must 
migrate to obtain jobs on farms may need some special assistance from the 
Government in connection with transportation. While many farmer employers 
in areas of labor shortage and in areas usually dependent upon migratory workers 
will, no doubt, be in position to arrange to transport workers, it may be necessary 
for the Federal Government to assist with this problem through direct methods. 
It also may be necessary for the Government to give grants to farm workers 
for all or a part of their living costs during the time when they are moving to 
areas of job opportunities and possibly for a short time thereafter until specific 
jobs become available. 

The Congress at its last session made additional funds available to the Depart- 
ment of Agriculture for obtaining statistical data in connection with farm labor. 
We believe that the obtaining, analysis, and interpretation of more adequate 
farm labor information in this way will be helpful in eliminating previous de- 
ficiencies in current statistical data on the labor market. 

In some cases farmer employers who, during the past decade have become 
accustomed to large reservoirs of surplus farm labor, have followed hiring practices 
in which they have used large numbers of laborers for very short periods, par- 
ticularly in harvest operations. We believe that many farmer employers will be 
able to lengthen the harvest season and other periods of peak labor requirement 
in such a way that by employing fewer workers for somewhat longer periods they 
may be able satisfactorily to harvest crops and perform other farm operations. 
The expansion of the Employment Service in such a way as to offer more effective 
farm placement service both to farmer employers and to farm laborers also should 
be very helpful. An increase both in the number and in the services rendered by 
local farm placement offices or employment exchanges should bring about fuller 
employment of the existing labor supply and bring about some reduction in the 
number of workers who would be required in an area to perform necessary farm 

In the Department of Agriculture we have had contact with many different 
Government agencies dealing with problems of labor supply through representation 
on the National and Regional Office of Production Management Labor Supply 
Committees. Most of our contacts, however, have been with the Employment 
Service of the Federal Security Agency. We are attempting in the Department 
of Agriculture to be of the maximum assistance to the Employment Service in 
expanding and improving its farm placement activities. I am under the impres- 
sion that the work of the Department of Agriculture and of the Employment 
Service has been very closely coordinated, particularly through the efforts of the 
Office of Agricultural Defense Relations. We have not encountered any par- 
ticular problems of duplication of effort or of lack of coordination among different 
Government agencies dealing with problems of farm labor supply. 

We recognize that as the war program accelerates the problem of the most 
equitable and efficient distribution of the Nation's manpower, in terms of national 
objectives, among the armed forces, the war industries, production and service 
for the civilian population, and the agricultural industry, which is expanding food 
production in the food for freedom program, will become a more acute problem. 
However, it had not occurred to us that consolidation of the various Government 
agencies dealing with labor problems would be needed, at least at this time. 
Sincerely, „ 

Claude R. Wickard, Secretary. 


Exhibit B. — Statement by Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor, 


1. Do you recommend Federal assistance for the transfer of workers from 
civilian to war work? If so, what kind of assistance? — A. The unemployment 
of civilian workers so transferred should be reduced (a) by spreading available 
work among qualified workers; (b) by encouraging the absorption of displaced 
workers into plants with expanding war production programs wherever located. 

The Employment Service should first attempt to find work in the locality where 
the man has previously worked. If that is impossible, they should arrange a 
transfer to some other community where there is a definite job for him. 

I believe that assistance should be given in the form of loans to make it possible 
for a man to get to his new job. Relief funds should be available to provide for 
those who are in need. 

Unemployment insurance in 4 the social-security program should be extended 
at this time to meet peculiar needs. It should be on the basis of payroll taxes in 
conformity with a present program. To extend social security I suggest: 

1. Extending social security benefits to as many workers as it is administratively 
feasible to cover. 

II. Enforcement of the provision that benefits continue only if suitable employ- 
ment is not available, and the provision of funds whereby the Employment Service 
could make it possible for a man to travel to a job from which he might wish to 
return when work for which he is best fitted becomes available in his home com- 

III. The extension of benefits under the existing payroll taxes to an amount 
that is financially sound, and the elimination of tax reductions arising out of 
experience rating provisions of State laws. 

IV. If these benefits are inadequate in the circumstances, I would favor a special 
pay-roll tax to cover the estimated costs of the proposed extended benefits. 

2. Do you recommend that the Federal Government render financial assistance 
to workers who must migrate to obtain jobs in war production? If so, how 
should such assistance be given? — A. To facilitate and expedite the movement of 
any substantial number of workers from one area to another, the Federal Govern- 
ment undoubtedly should be prepared to provide transportation expenses for 
those individuals who require it. It should be recognized, however, that many 
workers are able and willing to provide their own transportation. In fairness to 
them and to avoid misuse of funds provided by Government, it would seem 
advisable that any transportation expense assumed by the Government be deemed 
in advance against future wages and refundable in whole or in part under certain 

It would appear advisable that any such Government transfer assistance be 
handled through the United States Employment Service by means of a fund 
allotment for this, specific purpose. This would assure reasonable care and 
judgment in the selection and assignment of workers to be transferred and would 
be the mcst practical method of operating a Government transportation fund. 

In the last war there was admittedly much waste of time and money and man- 
power incident to labor recruiting practice of war industries. Thousands of 
workers were recruited by representatives of the shipyards and other war-produc- 
tion plants, through the newly created United States Employment Service. 
These recruits were rather indiscriminately provided free transportation on 
Government requisitions, ultimately charged against a so-called revolving fund. 
It is estimated by competent observers that not one in four of these recruited 
workers remained on the job long enough to cover transportation costs or to be 
of any material aid in war production. This experience clearly indicates the need 
for greater care in the selection, allocation or placement of workers to be trans- 
ferred from one industrial district to another, particularly when done as a Govern- 
ment project and at Government expense. 

3. What deficiencies are there in current statistical data on the labor market? 
What suggestions for improvement can you make? — A. The major deficiencies 
with respect to current statistical data on the labor market have been filled during 
the past year through the extension of the work of the Bureau of Labor Statistics 
and the Bureau of Employment Security. Two important deficiencies that 
exist at the present time should be met within the next few months on the basis 
of current plans. The tabulation of occupational information collected in con- 
nection with the Population Census of 1940 is of fundamental importance and 
should be expedited as much as possible. In connection with the draft registra- 
tions in February 1942 and the program for subsequent interview of skilled workers 


by the Employment Service, we will secure essential information with reference 
to the present location of workers with essential skills in occupations in which a 
shortage of workers exists. 

Plans have not yet been completed for taking a complete Census of Manu- 
factures for the year 1941. Such a census will be needed in connection with many 
problems that will arise in 1942 and 1943 and in connection with the later recon- 
version of our economy from wartime to peacetime operations. It will also be 
extremely important to make sure that the sample surveys of the labor force which 
are now being conducted with emergency funds by the Work Projects Adminis- 
tration are continued in the fiscal year 1943. These surveys should be conducted 
as part of the regular operations of the Federal Government and would appro- 
priately be conducted by the Department of Labor rather than financed from 
precariously available relief funds. 

At the present time we need more information than exists with reference to the 
movement of persons not now in the labor market who can be drawn into employ- 
ment to sustain an all-out war effort. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is cooperat- 
ing with the Work Projects Administration to make sure that additional informa- 
tion in this important field becomes available through the sample surveys now 
conducted by the Work Projects Administration. 

It may eventually become necessary to have accurate occupational information 
with reference to the entire working population. It is improbable that there will 
be need for such information or that such information could serve any useful 
purpose until 1943. Plans are being formulated by the Employment Service for 
the gradual extension of registers derived from the draft registration this February. 
Premature efforts to develop a comprehensive register of all persons would impose 
such a load on the Employment Service as to cause a break-down of its essential 

Additional occasional studies of migration and of the occupational sources from 
which jobs are being filled are needed. Studies with reference to geographical 
migration have been conducted in a number of localities by the Work Projects 
Administration. Information on the movement between occupations is less ade- 
quate, but is compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as opportunity permits. 

4. What current hiring practices hinder the full utilization of our labor force in 
the most efficient manner? What proposals can you offer for their elimination? — 
A. Certain hiring practices are hindering the full utilization of our labor forces. 
Indiscriminate hiring by individual employers of highly skilled workers has 
materially increased turn-over and hindered war production. Subcontractors are 
competing with prime contractors for the same type of skilled labor. Advertising 
for labor and the use of fee-charging employment agencies has also added to the 
confusion and the waste. These hiring practices could be brought under control 
if employers would clear their recruiting practices, hiring and lay-offs with the 
public employment offices in order to reduce turn-over and assure the best possible 
use of the limited labor supply in certain key occupations. 

Full use of our labor supply is also dependent upon changes in hiring specifica- 
tions. Specifications have not been adapted to war conditions. Persons with 
the same degree of strength, skill and experience are asked for as under normal 
conditions. Persons with no particular skills must be hired in the future and 
trained on the job. Skilled workers already employed can be supplemented by 
less skilled. Physical standards which are so high that few of the now available 
workers can meet them must be modified. Age requirements must be modified 
and persons up to any age or handicap hired on basis of ability to perform the 
task. Preemployment physical examinations eliminate from war industry the 
same group that is being eliminated from active service in the armed forces and 
this is wasteful. The persons eliminated in most instances are quite capable of 
carrying on industrial activity, particularly if they are carefully selected with 
reference to the type of work. Full use of the supply of female labor, Negro 
labor, and alien labor will increase the labor market and overcome certain shortages. 

5. Do you think that there is duplication of effort and/or lack of coordination 
among the different Government agencies dealing with problems of labor supply?— 
A. Yes; there is some duplication, but a better word would be that there is multi- 
plicity of effort with not quite enough coordination. As a matter of fact, there is 
real cooperation between all the agencies and I doubt if there is much actual 
duplication of work, but there are a great many agencies dealing with labor 

Many of the problems of coordination are now being worked out under Colonel 
McSherry in the Office of Production Management, The particular agencies 
that occur to me in this field are the Work Projects Administration, National 


Youth Administration, Vocational Guidance, who often do their own labor supply 
and recruiting, United States Employment Service, and the Labor Supply Division 
in the Office of Production Management. 

6. Do you think that the defense training program has suffered from lack of 
uniform policies and single administrative directions? — A. The training program 
has probably suffered somewhat from lack of a uniform program and coordination. 
Employers and labor have been confused by the number of agencies involved, 
each with its own techniques of training. More progress might have been made 
in setting up an over-all training program in defense plants if there had been 
greater uniformity in approach and purpose on the part of the training agencies 
and a closer working relationship at the local as well as the national level. Greater 
emphasis on in-plant training as the most efficient method of training for imme- 
diate production would have resulted in fuller cooperation of management and 
labor in the whole training program. An agreed common program with clear-cut 
division of responsibility among agencies, a greater use of established agencies 
supplemented where necessary by emergency agencies would meet the present 
needs. A single administrative head is not essential if the agreed and authorized 
program is established, and the time lost in reorganization can be saved by calling 
on existing agencies to do a specified job where they are. 

7. In your opinion, is a consolidation of agencies needed at this time to effec- 
tuate a national labor-market policy? — A. I think that the activities of these 
agencies may need some coordination. Any new action should be based on the 
existing activities, and rather than disturbing them, they should be allowed to 
grow together. We ought to work out a program rather than a policy, it seems 
to me. 

8. Do you think it desirable to establish a department of labor supply and 
national service similar to the English Ministry of Labor Supply and National 
Service? Conceivably, such a Ministry of Labor Supply would include some or 
all of the following agencies: The Selective Service Administration, the Depart- 
ment of Labor, the training and supply work of the Labor Division, the Civil 
Service Commission, parts of the Office of Education, and the farm labor work of 
the Department of Agriculture. — A. I think our situation is somewhat different 
from the English situation where the Ministry of Labor had long conducted a 
public employment service which had offices in every town and in almost every 
village in England, and where the office was already a commonplace part of 
national life in a homogeneous population. We have a variety of agenies now, 
some of which are mentioned in the question. It would appear that more inte- 
gration of their work should be brought about. 

9. Should such a department of labor supply be a civilian agency? — A. Yes. 

10. What functions should management and labor organizations have in the 
department of labor supply, if one were established? — A. They should be members 
of an advisory committee, giving advice to the administrative agent on all matters 
which he brings before them. 

Exhibit C. — Statement by Paul V. McNtjtt, Administrator of the Federal 

Security Agency 

January 29, 1942. 
1. Q. Do you recommend Federal assistance for the transfer of workers from 
civilian to war work? If so, what kind of assistance? — A. Two kinds of Federal 
assistance are needed in the transfer of workers from civilian to war work. The 
actual mechanics of the transfer can be greatly facilitated by the use of the United 
States Employment Service in directing workers displaced from civilian employ- 
ment to employment in war production. The Employment Service should be 
informed currently in advance of lay-offs arising from curtailment of civilian 
production and should take immediate measures to register and classify the 
workers displaced. The Employment Service should also be informed of current 
and prospective demands for workers in war production. Armed with such infor- 
mation, the Employment Service can arrange for the transfer and, if necessary, the 
training of displaced workers. Furthermore, foreknowledge of displacement, 
when transmitted by the Employment Service to the contracting authorities, 
should put them on notice of plant facilities and labor available for war production 
and thereby facilitate the speedy conversion of civilian industries to war work. 
Up to the present time this machinery has worked but imperfectly. It has been 
difficult for the Eemployment Service to obtain the necessary information far 


enough in advance, partly because of the uncertainty in the plans of the Office of 
Production Management, partly because of the lack of foreknowledge by the em- 
ployers themselves. Furthermore, the Office of Production Management has 
not found it possible to take advantage of the information that plants were going 
to close down and to place their contracts accordingly. For these reasons the 
lag between the curtailment of civilian work and the substitution of war produc- 
tion has been in many cases, longer than it needed to be. 

The Federal Government can and proposes to assist displaced workers also by 
making available to the States grants to supplement and extend State unemploy- 
ment compensation benefits. A proposal has already been placed before Congress 
for the appropriation of funds to permit the Social Security Board to increase the 
eligibility, supplement the benefit amounts and extend the duration of unemploy- 
ment compensation. This proposal would help meet the financial needs of workers 
laid off during the period of plant conversion, and would aid in preventing needless 
migration of workers during this period. It is recommended that this committee 
lend its support to the enactment of this program. 

2. Q. Do you recommend that the Federal Government render financial assist- 
ance to workers who must migrate to obtain jobs in war production? If so, how 
should such assistance be given? — A. The mobility of the American worker has 
already been recognized as an asset to our economy, and has never been more 
clearly demonstrated than in the mobilization of manpower for armament pro- 
duction. Willingness of workers to move in great numbers has made it possible 
to man industries in areas of labor shortage and out-of-the-way places. The 
voluntary movement of workers in response to job opportunities has, so far, 
proven adequate. However, if conditions should become such that voluntary 
individual motives no longer suffice to produce the necessary mobility, the Govern- 
ment might undertake to pay the cost incident to transporting workers from one 
locality to another if such migration is vital to war production. Under these 
circumstances the immediate cost should be defrayed by the Government, but 
should be recovered either from the employer or from the employee. In no case 
would worker's transportation be paid except where the Employment Service 
certified to the need of the employer and his willingness to hire the worker. 
Workers whose transportation costs were so defrayed would have to agree to re- 
main in the employ of the prospective employer, under terms no less favorable 
than those offered at the time of hiring, for a minimum period, say, 3 months. 

3. Q. What deficiencies are there in current statistical data on labor market? — - 
A. (a) Data on labor demand. — In order to plan administrative measures to meet 
labor demands for war production, the administering agencies should have data 
on the prospective labor demands of employers, available sufficiently far in ad- 
vance to permit the planning and execution of measures for labor recruitment. 
The United States Employment Service currently obtains information from some 
12,000 employers in war industries concerning their labor requirements 6 months 
in advance. However, many employers find it difficult, considering the uncer- 
tainties of war contracts, to forecast their labor needs; and a number of important 
establishments, including some establishments operated by the War and Navy 
Departments, and some plants leased by them to private operators, do not report. 
The coverage of the reports on anticipated demand should be complete. 

(b) Data on available labor supply. — The supply of labor available for employ- 
ment in any area changes rapidly, depending on the level of employment and the 
inducements currently offered marginal workers to make themselves available. 
The most comprehensive statistics on labor supply so far available are those 
derived from the active files of the public employment offices. However, it is 
well known that these files do not include, by any means, all available workers in 
any area. Many actually available workers do not use the facilities of the Em- 
ployment Service; many others are only potentially available, depending on the 
demand. While there are broad estimates of the number of persons in the United 
States who might be drawn into war production under certain circumstances, it is 
extremely difficult to estimate this number for any given area. The registration 
of manpower now projected under the Selective Service Act will do much to supply 
the required information on males. However, much of the potential labor supply 
consists of women and no way has been devised to obtain statistics on their avail- 
ability, except by canvassing or registering them. 

(c) Data on agricultural labor supply and demand.— The drain of agricultural 
workers from rural areas to urban centers of war production, coupled with the 
increased agricultural production under the "food for defense" program has in- 
creased the need for accurate statistics on the agricultural labor market. The 


Agricultural Marketing Service of the Department of Agriculture has recently- 
initiated a program for gathering statistics on farm employment which, when 
linked to the data on acreage and crop production, will permit accurate forecasting 
and estimating of labor demand in agricultural areas. 

The data on agricultural labor supply are even more elusive than those on the 
industrial labor supply. While there are some workers who engage exclusively 
in agriculture, a great part of the supply of labor available for farm work from 
time to time is also available for nonagricultural employment under certain cir- 
cumstances. It is, therefore, difficult to speak of statistics on farm labor supply, 
as such, except at a specific time and place. Moreover, it has been found that the 
number of persons available for work in a specific farming area can be increased, 
if necessary, almost to the limit of the entire population between 15 and 65 years 
of age in the area. The greater the urgency of the demand and the more important 
the crop, in terms of the local economy, the greater the supply which makes itself 
available. Under these circumstances it has been extremely difficult, if not im- 
possible, to measure accurately the labor supply except to the extent that recruit- 
ing devices are successful in producing workers for employment at a given time 
and place. 

4. Q. What current hiring practices hinder the full utilization of our labor forces 
in the most efficient manner? What proposal do you offer? — A. Hiring practices 
of three principal kinds are preventing the full and efficient utilization of the labor 
force. In the first place, the indiscriminate and irresponsible recruiting by 
individual employers, in competition for limited supplies of skilled workers, has 
accelerated turn-over and interfered with the production in war industries. 
Various employers, all engaged in war production of varying degrees of urgency, 
recruit in the open market for skilled labor who are not to be found except in the 
employ of other war producers. As a consequence, workers are enticed to leave 
one employment for another with consequent interruption to production. Prac- 
tices of this kind might be brought under control if employers were required to 
coordinate their recruiting activities with those of the Employment Service in 
order to reiuce the turn-over and assure that the available supplies of skilled 
labor were being used where they were the most urgently needed. 

In the second place, many employers have failed to modify their hiring specifica- 
tions, with respect to skill and experience, to conform to current labor market 
conditions. Skill and experience requirements established during the era of labor 
surplus are still maintained, even though they are in excess of the requirements of 
the jobs to be performed. Many employers have not yet reviewed their processes 
in order to simplify complex jobs to bring them within the grasp of less skilled 
workers. Many employers also have not taken the advantage of the techniques 
of up-grading to make the best use of the skills already available in their plants. 
It is possible that as the labor shortages become more widespread and more 
intense, we shall find it necessary to resort to the practice successfully employed 
in England of having Government-employed inspectors to review the use of labor 
and particularly the use of skills in plants producing armament. 

Finally, much disorganization of the labor market has resulted from discrimina- 
tion against certain groups of workers on the grounds of sex, race, and national 
origin. Relatively few employers have fully utilized the resources of female 
labor, although the experience of the British has shown that there are hundreds 
of jobs in war production on which women can perform as well as men. Equally 
important in many parts of the country is the exclusion from the employment in 
war production of Negroes, solely on the grounds of their race. In many areas 
also persons of certain national or religious groups are systematically excluded 
from employment; and the exclusion of aliens is almost universal. As a con- 
sequence of these types of discrimination, artificial labor shortages are generated 
in centers of war production, resulting in excessive and unnecessary inmigration 
with consequent overcrowding and strain on housing, transportation, and other 
community facilities. To overcome these practices it is necessary that the War 
Production Board and the Army and Navy use all means at their disposal to per- 
suade employers to drop these artificial barriers to the use of important segments 
of the labor force. In the Executive orders of the President, in the policies of the 
War Production Board, and in war contracts themselves, are ample authority 
for razing these barriers which not only interfere with production but breed 
disunity and disaffection. 

In addition, the requirement by practically all defense, and recently by many 
nondefense employers, that applicants produce birth certificates as evidence of 
native birth is onerous in the extreme. Over 50 million of our people were born 
before birth registration was required in their birthplace. For these, the pro- 


cedure of obtaining a delayed birth registration is time-consuming and causes un- 
necessary delay in going to work when men are desperately needed. The volume 
of applications for -delayed registration is so great that in some States a month 
or more elapses between the request and the issuance. These States need financial 
assistance to care for a problem created entirely by the war-production program. 
Birth certificates must be obtained from the State of birth which is in many cases 
hundreds or even thousands of miles away from the present residence of the appli- 
cant. This is another source of endless delay. All employers should be notified 
that proof of native birth is necessary only in case of workers engaged in special 
and secret defense processes and should be informed as to the procedure for proof 
of native birth. 

5. Q. Do you think that there is duplication of effort and/or lack of coordina- 
tion among the different Government agencies dealing with problems of labor 
supply? — A. I believe that there is need for more effective coordination among 
the several Government agencies dealing with various aspects of defense supply. 
It is essential that we provide for more effective interagency understanding of 
basic labor supply policy and for continuous review of labor needs and labor 
market conditions so as to adjust policy to current experience and demands. 

The successful prosecution of the war makes it imperative that all the avail- 
able manpower of this country be mobilized quickly, efficiently, and effectively. 
In my opinion this objective can be attained without consolidation of the various 
agencies which are now engaged in the direct recruitment of manpower. 

6. Q. Do you think that the defense training program has suffered from lack 
of uniform policies and single administrative direction? — A. Like all defense pro- 
grams, the training activities suffered in the early stages from loose organization. 
The trend has been definitely toward uniform policies and unified administrative 
direction. The vocational education training has been integrated within the 
Federal Security Agency by definite procedures, allocating specific functions to 
the Employment Service, National Youth Administration, and Office of Educa- 
tion. This program has in turn been integrated with the training within indus- 
try in the Labor Supply Division of the War Production Board (OPM). 

7. Q. In your opinion, is a consolidation of agencies needed at this time to 
effectuate a national labor market policy? 8. Q. Do you think it desirable to 
establish a department of labor supply and national service similar to the English 
Ministry of Labor Supply and National Service? Conceivably, such a Ministry 
of Labor Supply would include some or all of the following agencies: the Selective 
Service Administration, the Department of Labor, the training and supply work 
of the Labor Division, the Civil Service Commission, parts of the Office of Edu- 
cation, and the farm labor work of the Department of Agriculture. 9. Q. Should 
such a department of labor supply be a civilian agencv? 10. Q. What functions 
should management and labor organization have in the department of labor sup- 
ply, if one were established? — A. Coordination of policy could be achieved through 
the creation of an interdepartmental board made up of the heads of the various 
agencies concerned with this problem. Because of the great importance of the 
policy questions involved in this field, it would seem to me that such a board 
must consist of the top policy-forming officials, such as members of the Cabinet 
and administrative officers charged with similar responsibility. 

I am not prepared to recommend the establishment of a Department of Labor 
Supply and National Service such as is suggested in question No. 8. Such a step 
would involve many organizational problems, such as that of placing the Civil 
Service Commission within a Cabinet department. It seems to me that a policy 
board consisting of the heads of the agencies responsible for carrying on labor 
supply functions would be a method of meeting the situation without the danger 
of disorganizing the operations of some of the present agencies whose programs 
must continue at full speed during the war. 

If a Department of Labor Supply and National Service should be created, I 
feel very strongly that it should be a civilian agency. The Interdepartmental 
Board which I have suggested as an alternative would definitely include represen- 
tatives of the Army, Navy, Selective Service Administration, and of the several 
major agencies concerned with labor supply problems, such as the Department of 
Labor, Department of Agriculture, the Labor Division of the War Production 
Board (OPM), the Civil Service Commission, the Office of Civilian Defense, and 
the Federal Security Agencv. 

I believe that management and organized labor should be represented in any 
organization charged with the development of labor supply policy. This might 
be accomplished through an advisory committee which would actively participate 

60396— 42— pt. 28 16 


in the formulating of the program and which would be consulted on all major 
policy matters. I believe that the actual promulgation of policy and the admin- 
istrative action necessary to assure compliance with such policy would have to 
be the responsibility of either the Labor Supply Board or of the administrative 
head of the Department of Labor Supply, if such an agency is created. 

Exhibit D. — Statement by F. H. Dryden, Acting Commissioner of the 
Work Projects Administration, Federal Works Agency, Washington, 
D. C. 

1. Do you recommend Federal assistance for the transfer of workers from 
civilian to war work? If so, what kind of assistance? — A. Loss of work and earn- 
ings caused by the shift from civilian to war industry is compensated in part by 
existing unemployment compensation systems. Many workers not covered by 
these systems are expected to be given compensation under the war displaced 
benefit plan now before Congress. Employment on the Work Projects Adminis- 
tration program is open to those in need of work and not otherwise provided for. 

Short-term displacement will be handled largely by unemployment compen- 
sation. Over a longer period, those displaced workers who are still out of work 
and have exhausted their benefits should be given employment on work projects. 

If the expansion of armament employment in the future requires the Govern- 
ment to shift workers from one locality to another, it might be necessary to 
provide financial assistance to move these people. A policy of moving labor as 
a public measure is not likely to be necessary until the labor market becomes 
considerably tighter than it is now. Meanwhile, it is probably wise to inaugurate 
plans to facilitate whatever movement may become necessary, and to consider 
what kind of financial assistance may be required to carry out the plans. 

2. Do you recommend that the Federal Government render financial assistance 
to workers who must migrate to obtain jobs in war production? If so, how 
should such assistance be given? — A. As indicated above, financial assistance 
may be required if Government finds it necessary in the future to transfer workers 
to other localities. 

3. What deficiencies are there in current statistical data on the labor market? 
What suggestions for improvement can you make? — A. Labor market reports 
need to be improved. Fundamentally, such improvement depends upon more 
effective channelization of labor demand and supply through the public employ- 
ment offices. A considerable volume of reports on labor market needs are based 
upon theoretical considerations, and operating agencies have difficulty in making 
effective use of such data. 

With respect to current needs the following suggestions are offered: 

(a) The various statistical series [on employment service registrations, place- 
ments, initial claims, benefit payments, etc., need to be improved. The reports 
of labor shortages by occupations, based on comparison of registrations and 
employers' reports of labor needs, leave much to be desired. Trained analysts 
permanently located in the field could interpret these statistical reports and pre- 
pare local analyses of the situation with better results than now obtained. 

(b) Estimates of labor requirements by industry have been too few. Over-all 
industrial analyses by broad geographical regions, tied in with war needs, are 

(r) Existing statistical data relate principally to manufacturing industries. 
More information is needed on nonmanufacturing industries. 

4. What current hiring practices hinder the full utilization of our labor force in 
the most efficient manner? What proposals can you offer for their elimination? — 
A. Despite the efforts of Government agencies and individual employers, recruiting 
is still done on an unorganized, competitive basis, without regard for the most 
effective utilization of labor available in each locality. Discriminations against 
minority groups, aliens, Work Projects Administration workers persist to the 
detriment of the war effort and public morale. 

Recommendation is made for (a) fuller utilization of employment offices; 

(b) adequate number of offices and staffing of such offices with operatnig personnel; 

(c) the required use of such offices as they develop to the point where they can 
adequately serve employers' needs. 

5. Do you think that there is duplication of effort and/or lack of coordination 
among the different Government agencies dealing with problems of labor supply? — 
A. Yes. Efforts have been made to overcome these deficiencies by establish- 
ment of committees. However, when representatives on thsee committees are 


responsible to different agencies each following its own policy, it is exceedingly- 
difficult to formulate a uniform labor supply policy, to effectuate such policy 
efficientl}', and to fix responsibility. 

6. Do you think that the defense training program has suffered from lack of 
uniform policies and single administrative direction? — A. Yes. 

7. In your opinion, is a consolidation of agencies needed at this time to effec- 
tuate a national labor market policy? — A. Complete consolidation is not practi- 
cable because of diversity of interests among interested agencies. Parts of in- 
terested agencies might be consolidated and final authority concerning labor 
supply given to a single labor supply agency. 

8. Do you think it desirable to establish a department of labor supply and na- 
tional service similar to the English Ministry of Labor Supply and National 
Service? Conceivably, such a ministry of labor supply would include some or 
all of the following agencies: The Selective Service Administration, the Depart- 
ment of Labor, the training and supply work of the Labor Division, the Civil 
Service Commission, parts of the Office of Education, and the farm labor work 
of the Department of Agriculture. — A. The establishment of such an agency 
would undoubtedly contribute to the solution of the problems of labor supply. 

9. Should such a department of labor supply be a civilian agency? — A. Yes. 

10. What functions should management and labor organization have in the 
department of labor supply, if one were established? — A. Labor and management 
should be represented in the establishment of policy. 

Exhibit E. — Statement by William Green, President, American Feder- 
ation of Labor, Washington, D. C. 

1. The Federal Government must take responsibility for planning for the fullest 
use of production facilities and workers to assure adequate material equipment 
for our armed forces when and where needed. 

The Federal Government must take responsibility for the rapid transfer of 
workers from civilian to war production in order that few man-hours of labor 
may be lost. The central agency in this transfer is the United States Employ- 
ment Service. This agency should, of course, work in cooperation with union 
officials, especially in those unions which have developed extensive placement 
facilities for their members and those which have provided in their contracts 
for placement through the unions. 

Training on the job is basic in efficient transfer of workers to war work. The 
Government should encourage employers to institute such training, and should 
require it when contracts are placed for war work which involves the complete 
or partial abandonment of former civilian output in any plant or industry. 

In order to plan effective transfer of workers to war work, two kinds of infor- 
mation are needed by plants, localities, and regions: (1) A continuous inventory 
of plant facilities and their potential war production, so that we may know where 
contracts can be placed to get needed goods without delay; and (2) a paralleling 
inventory of work skills available and the work experiences of all employees. The 
employment agency is the agency to make inventory of skills, and to determine 
where and what types of training should be given for the work. 

My second recommendation respecting transfer of workers to war work is that 
we should immediately set up an adequate national system of unemployment 
compensation to tide workers across the period between jobs if they are not placed 
immediately when civilian work is stopped. The State laws have proved inade- 
quate to the task. It is estimated that some eight millions of workers will be 
affected by conversions — some continuing at war work, some losing their jobs. 
The Labor Division of the War Production Board with the Administrator of the 
Federal Security Agency have presented an emergency plan to provide Federal 
funds to supplement State pavments to workers displaced by priority or limitation 
orders to bring the total benefits up to 60 percent of their normal wages to a maxi- 
mum of $24, paid for a period of 26 weeks. This supplementary Federal payment 
is necessary only because we do not have adequate benefit provisions under the 
51 separate State laws. Unemployment is a national problem and, like placement 
through employment offices, should be met by a permanent Federal program. 

The post-war readjustment to civilian work will be more rapid and more 
devastating in its impact on jobs than this transfer to war production has been 
to date. We must not come to that period without a strong national program 
for finding work for those who want it and paying adequate compensation pending 


placement. The Federal Government recognized the national character of the 
unemployment problem when it instituted national work relief programs during 
the depression. Unfortunately, that lesson was not applied when we provided 
for statutory compensation for unemployment by States. We should correct 
that mistake now and establish a single unemployment compensation fund with 
adequate benefits for all workers who are unemployed through no fault of their 

A national system could easily, and should, provide compensation for those 
patriotic workmen who are building defense bases for the Nation's safety on our 
island outposts and on foreign shores leased to us. Many workers who are now 
wholly without protection against unemployment should be brought under such 
a single national system. 

My third recommendation is that whenever the transfer of workers to war 
work involves moving large numbers of men and women to communities not 
large enough to provide proper living facilities, the Federal Government should 
be responsible for providing directly, or by grants-in-aid to the communities, or 
through supervised commercial agents, proper living quarters, eating facilities, 
and adequate community services for health, welfare, education and recreation. 
Especially when large new plants are erected in rural areas, the Federal Govern- 
ment should require as a part of the community planning the erection of adequate 
facilities for the workers who necessarily will be brought from other communities. 

2. Whenever the United States Employment Service, unable to fill job orders 
locally, finds for the employer men and women who are willing to move to the 
community where war work is available, the employer should pay the travel 
expense. It might be possible to consider that expense part of the production 
costs for which the employer would be reimbursed. 

The most desirable as well as the most economical employment practice is that 
of hiring local workers, as far as they are available. Orderly hiring practices 
through union offices and the United States Employment Service should dis- 
courage unnecessary movements of workers to new areas on the chance of finding 
work there. 

If shifting workers involves their moving so far from home that they must 
dispose of property and move their families, the Federal Housing Authority might 
be able to help such persons to work out home exchanges so that the worker would 
not only not lose his equity in his home but would have a satisfactory dwelling 
in his new location. 

The purpose of this assistance should be to facilitate necessary transfer of 
workers to defense jobs* without loss to them in the shift but not to encourage 
unnecessary migration. 

3. The Bureau of Employment Security has excellent statistical data on the 
labor market and labor supply available in selected occupations. Its general use 
is limited to some extent by the lasc before its publication. Undoubtedly the data 
are available for use by future Government agencies even before publication. 
Some difficulties in reporting future needs may develop if certain types of pro- 
duction are considered too confidential to permit open reporting. 

The difficulty in preventing unemployment, as I see it, is not with the data on 
labor supply currently available, or even the forecasts of employers' demands, 
though they have sometimes been wide of the mark, but rather, that we lack an 
accurate picture of our production potential in every plant, hence we do not know 
where contracts can be placed to maintain maximum production and where both 
machinery and manpower could easily be converted to war production. 

I believe the Government agency in charge of production and the employment 
service in charge of all matters pertaining to labor supply and training need to 
collect and exchange information on the industrial potential and the labor skill 
potential for war production in each plant, that contracts should be placed to 
utilize production capacities to the full, and that training on the job be under- 
taken in fields in which the employment service study shows labor shortages will 
otherwise delay production. Workers will help in training and conversion of 
machinery if only their production capacities are included in plans for production. 

4. The practice of Army and Navy Procurement Divisions of awarding the 
overwhelming proportion of their orders to a few large concerns and the failure 
of those concerns to subcontract substantial portions and profitable portions of 
their orders to small manufacturers, has resulted in the displacement of many 
skilled workers while other unskilled workers were being hired and trained in 
Other plants to do jobs those skilled men were immediately ready to do. For 
example, we have affiliated with the American Federation of Labor a Union of 
Metal Polishers. Many of their members, highly skilled men, were working 


for independent contractors who for 3 r ears had done polishing of parts under 
contract from automobile companies. Yet when these same companies got large 
Government orders for airplane production, they expanded their plants to set up 
their own polishing departments, duplicating existing facilities unnecessarily 
and adding to the load on the machine-tool industry. They are training unskilled 
men to do polishing and are spoiling much valuable material in the process, while 
the skilled platers and polishers are thrown out of work by the end of automobile 
production and are not given the new aircraft work to do. Skilled workmen, 
scarce material, and valuable time are all being wasted because the work was not 
being put out but was kept to enlarge the company receiving prime contracts. 

One automobile company has installed nine new polishing lathes for its aircraft 
work, while modern lathes and skilled men are idle in the same city. A large 
aircraft company built a whole new department and duplicated available existing 
equipment for plating, polishing, and buffing. They have set up their own 
training school and are taking on men at about half the wages of skilled workers 
who could be hired right now. Those untrained men are spoiling an enormous 
quantity of material seriously needed for defense work. An old established 
metal plating and polishing concern reports that it has been receiving material 
spoiled by the unskilled workers at that aircraft company, with instructions to 
strip the valuable metal and do the work over again in its own shop. They could 
have done the job right if it had been given to them in the first instance. Training 
should be given when skilled workers are not available, but it should not serve 
as a means of breaking down skills and getting cheap labor at the expense of 
unemployment of skilled men, waste of materials, and duplication of machinery 
and plant facilities now idle. 

Another bad situation occurred in the stove industry, which, as a whole, has 
suffered from priority and limitation orders. In some places skilled stove mount- 
ers were kept at their regular jobs while men were brought in from other com- 
munities for the new defense work the plants were undertaking. Then when 
stove output was curtailed, these men could not continue their normal jobs and 
could find only unskilled work to do at half their former wages. They should have 
been given a chance to qualify or take training for the more highly skilled defense 
jobs instead of bringing in new workers from outside communities. This is a 
common complaint — that new workers were brought in without an adequate 
attempt to use the existing local supply first. 

One aggravated case of that sort is occurring in Indiana, where a large aluminum 
company is bringing in a great many new workers from the farming area for miles 
around while another company in the same city is giving its men only 2 or 3 days 
of work a week because its production of parts for refrigerators has been sharply 
cut. These skilled men are not earning a satisfactory income on part-time work, 
yet they are not permitted to go to the plant which is hiring new men because the 
latter has agreed not to take any worker from the other plant unless the manage- 
ment has released him, which it will not do. Their skills are being wasted because 
of obstructive employment practices of the two companies, and farm workers 
who are needed to produce the Nation's food supply are being hired away from 
the farms and brought into a city which has unused labor supply. 

The local employment service should be responsible for determining when 
training is necessary and when workers must be recruited from distant com- 

Some employers are still discriminating against older workers. Men in their 
fifties and sixties find it hard to get a chance to train for new jobs when their old 
ones are lost, or even to get jobs unless they possess high degrees of skill. Often 
the employer prefers to import younger men than to use older ones available in the 
neighborhood in spite of the fact that these men would be competent to do the 
job. The Employment Service has made an effort to correct this situation, but it 
is still hampering full utilization of the labor force in many places. 

The key to effective use of labor is widespread placing of war contracts so that 
workers may have the jobs brought to their home communities instead of wasting 
time and money traveling to find work elsewhere. 

5 and 6. There has been confusion in the training field through failure to use 
existing agencies to the fullest extent, Practically 90 percent of all training must 
be done on the job. Whatever preemployment training is given cannot take more 
than a week's time, for production must get under way. The agency already m 
the field which can be safely and effectively expanded to take care of all ln-plant 
training is the Division for Apprentice Training in the Department of Labor, 
headed by the Federal Committee on Apprentice Training. With experience and 
responsibility for apprentice training, this committee can break down apprentice 


courses into training for single operations so as to get workers into production 
and provide for promotions and continued learning. In-plant training in the 
factory should be planned and supervised by the joint apprenticeship committee. 
This committee should arrange with vocational schools for whatever related 
instruction may be necessary. 

Preemployment war training should be arranged for by vocational schools 
when notified by the United States Employment Service. 

Only an educational agency with the necessary standards and safeguards should 
be concerned with training. 

7. The first step in effectuating a national labor market policy is to locate re- 
sponsibility in some one person or agency and to give representation to those 
concerned in the formulation of guiding principles — employers and workers. 

Experience up to the present time has demonstrated the impossibility of getting 
effective cooperation between various governmental agencies unless authority is 
definitely lodged in some individual or agency together with responsibility for 
the whole program. What is involved in labor supply is planning so that our 
citizens are wisely distributed between war production, military service, and 
strategic civilian production and services so that our total national efforts pro- 
gress regularly. The primary agency, as I have said before, is the Employment 
Service. Its work must be coordinated with that of the Selective Service Ad- 

There is no conclusive reason for combining management of labor supply and 
control over war production in one agency. On the contrary, the fundamentals 
underlying planning for the mobilization of human beings, have their roots in 
our philosophy of life. 

With definite responsibility for administration of labor supply and the counsel 
of an advisory committee consisting of equal number of employers and em- 
ployees, policies equally mindful of the welfare of human beings and of the needs 
of a world war could be expected which would facilitate action on national- 
emergency problems. The work must be carried on through the Employment 
Service aided by social-security provisions, the war-training agencies, the War 
Labor Board, and the Conciliation Service. Its work must be coordinated with 
the Selective Service Administration and the needs of civilian defense. 

Collective bargaining through chosen representatives is the only democratic 
way of deciding the basis for joint relations between groups. The advisory com- 
mittee system with representatives designated by the group concerned carries 
this procedure into governmental administration. It provides a democratic 
check on blanket grants of power, and keeps the Government in touch with 
practical needs and experiences. The representative committee performs in the 
administrative field a function similar to that of union executives in the economic 

8. Planning of labor supply for war production is coequal with planning of 
materials and should be organized independently. It is important to have sim- 
ple, direct machinery so that allied or related interests shall not be able to develop 
degrees of control to promote their own ends, thereby diverting the main effort. 
The machinery should be centralized for policy-making but decentralized for 
putting policies into effect. Planning labor supply is planning human life. 
Free men and women are responsible for directing their own lives. Obviously 
we can delegate that responsibility only in limiting degrees and to representatives 
of our own choosing if we intend to maintain personal freedom. 

We are shifting from a civilian to a war economy. Our Government is respon- 
sible for the most stupendous war-production program ever formulated. National 
economic planning for total war effort replaces the planning in individual enter- 
prises. The War Administration makes plans for war production which take 
priority over civilian production. The efficiency of that transition is in propor- 
tion to the care with which the placement of contracts is made. If this place- 
ment is made in the li^ht of inventories of machine tools and other production 
facilities and the available labor supply so that work skills and machines are used 
to capacity, not production resource is discarded wastefully. The maximum of 
waste of facilities and delay in getting out production comes from continuing to 
rely upon competitive bidding for contracts. The net result of that procedure 
has been to concentrate contracts with the largest companies and to rely upon 
these companies for distribution of the volume by subcontracting. Small com- 
panies have no place in war production and cannot stay in business. There can 
be no constructive labor supply planning until production is allocated on a nego- 
tiated basis. 



For purposes of policy-making the agency responsible for mobilizing labor 
supply should be independent of the agency mobilizing for the material side of 
production. Labor policies should — as in a civilian economy — be determined 
independently. The primary need in initiating labor supply administration is 
the United States Employment Service recently nationalized to facilitate admin- 
istrative operations. It reaches maximum efficiency when all workers seeking 
jobs register with the Service and all employers seeking workers register their 
immediate and prospective service. In addition to certifying workers of the 
locality to jobs in the vicinity, the Employment Service must decide when more 
and different training is needed and when workers must be sought in other local- 
ities. Its file of information will indicate occupation trends and the interrela- 
tionship of work skills basic in adapting past training and experience to new jobs. 
Union placement work can be coordinated under this primary agency as can the 
special agencies charged with welfare services, but the Employment Service 
must be in control. 

9. It is essential that such an agency should be directed by a civilian and that 
personnel and procedure should be civilian. 

10. In order for such an agency to operate most effectively and with the fewest 
mistakes possible, such an agency should not only have an advisory policy com- 
mittee of employers and employees at the Federal level, but should have similar 
committees advising in administrative matters at each level of operation, regional 
and local. 

Exhibit F. — Statement by A. F. Whitney, President, Grand Lodge 
Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, Cleveland, Ohio 

Question 1. I favor Federal assistance for the transfer of workers from civilian 
to war work. Such assistance should include the aid of the Government in placing 
employees in work, with comparable pay, and locations as nearly the same as 
those formerly enjoyed by the employees. This necessarily comprehends a 
unified supervision such as only the Government can give. Transfers from 
civilian to war work should not involve unnecessary hardships upon any employee, 
such as might be the case if employers were permitted to make the transfers 
without the voice of labor and the Government being made effective. 

Question 2. I favor Federal financial assistance to workers who must migrate 
to obtain jobs in war production. This assistance should save the employee 
from losses entailed as a result of leaving a house on which he may have a mort- 
gage, and should include transportation costs for the worker, his family, and his 
personal and household effects. 

Question 3. I have no helpful sugguestions to offer with reference to improving 
current statistical data on the labor market. 

Question 4. One of the current hiring practices that hinders full utilization of 
our labor force is the refusal to employ men over a needlessly low maximum age 
limit. This is especially true in the railroad industry, and it results in the sacrifice 
of the services of men with years of valuable experience. Furthermore, such men 
are too old for military service. 

Questions 5, 6, and 7. I have the general impression that a greater centraliza- 
tion and coordination of governmental agencies and efforts would be helpful. 
Our great national effort should be and is one unified program to achieve victory. 
The individualistic policy of "business as usual" necessarily runs counter to a 
unified national effort. It, no doubt, results in needless migration of labor and 
in the failure to locate workers with a maximum efficiency in the employment of 
their services and a minimum of sacrifice to the individual worker. 

Question 8. I do not believe it would be necessary to establish a separate 
department of labor supply; it would seem to me that it would be sufficient to 
achieve a greater centralization and coordination under our existing Department 
of Labor. Just as the Department of Commerce serves the interests of business, 
so all of the interests of labor should be coordinated under the Department of 

Question 9. The establishment of any department of labor supply should be a 
civilian, rather than a military agency. 

Question 10. Labor has nothing to sell but its services and certainly it should 
have a voice in directing the utilization of these services. Labor's voice should 
be expressed through its legitimate democratic organizations and its representa- 
tives should be selected by the workers' own organizations. 


Exhibit G. — Statement by Philip Murray, President, Congress of 
Industrial Organizations 

The most essential resource of this Nation in war is its manpower. In war, 
that manpower must be so distributed and so utilized that every person's capacity 
is used to its maximum for the Nation's welfare. 

All the questions relating to manpower are in essence labor questions and are, 
therefore, of concern above all to labor. 

Manpower in wartime is indivisible. The men in war production are just as 
essential to military strategy as the soldier. Only by a sound balance of man- 
power between the armed forces and industries can a maximum effort be made. 

There are at least three major aspects of the manpower job — 

1. The proper division of the working force between the armed services and 
industrial life. 

2. The adjustment, allocation, and training of industrial and civilian manpower 
to the maximum possible use. 

3. The maintenance of the work force at fullest efficiency both physically and 


There are now some 20 agencies or bureaus scattered among several depart- 
ments which carry on functions vitally affecting manpower in one way or another. 
For the most part these agencies are uncoordinated with one another. They are 
subject to controls from several sources which conflict. Several of the agencies 
are not yet equipped to carry out the functions that they should perform and 
many gaps of function exist. 

Most serious of all is the lack of a single policy-making agency on the whole 
question of manpower. This lack has caused the most bitter and unseemly 
struggle for control on the part of the various agencies in the field. It has pre- 
vented the establishment of a coherent manpower policy and of effective agencies 
to carry out such policy. 


The direction of all manpower problems should be immediately vested in the 
Department of Labor. This would serve two fundamental purposes, first it would 
concentrate under one head all policy and operations relating to manpower. This 
is the most necessary reform in the whole picture. Secondly, it would place all 
aspects of the questions most vitally affecting labor in the war mobilization in the 
hands of the Labor Department where by function, by definition, and by tradition 
it rightfully belongs. All manpower questions in Great Britain are in the hands 
of the Ministry of Labor presided over by the trade-union leader, Ernest Bevin. 
It is acknowledged by experts that the British have done one of their best jobs in 
the field of manpower. 


The fundamental lesson which the British experience teaches is that success in 
handling manpower can come only by the full participation of organized labor and 
industry in the policy and operation of the manpower agencies. This principle 
must be effectively recognized in the American approach to the problem. So far, 
this recognition has not been forthcoming. 

The task of effectively utilizing manpower is so tremendous and carries with it 
such dislocations in the accustomed way of doing things that it can be accom- 
plished effectively in a democracy only by the willing participation and cooperation 
of employer and employee. 

Exhibit 12. — 1942 Oregon Agricultural Placemens Program 

Statement by L. C. Stoll, Director for Oregon, United States Employ- 
ment Service in Oregon 

Part 1. Scope of Employment Service agricultural program. 

Part 2. Administrative organization of farm-placement program. 

Part 3. Analyzing the demand for agricultural labor (sources, methods, etc.). 

Part 4. Analyzing the supply of agricultural labor (sources of labor supply). 

Part 5. Administrative correlation of "demand" and "supply" data. 


Part 6. Execution of -the farm-placement program (methods, procedures, etc.). 
Part 7. Conclusion. 


Agreement between extension service of the State college and United States 

Employment Service in Oregon — Local agricultural labor subcommittees. 
Agreement between Farm Security Administration in Oregon and United States 

Employment Service in Oregon — -Employment practices in farm security camps. 
Requested seasonal agricultural branch offices of United States Employment 

Service in Oregon, 1942. 
Chart of recommended mobile camp locations for 1942, showing locations and 

United States Employment Service in Oregon: Registration referral and employer 

order forms used in seasonal agricultural placement. 
United States Employment Service in Oregon: Weekly agricultural labor report 

submitted by local offices. 
United States Employment Service in Oregon: Weekly report of agricultural 

placements submitted by local offices. 
United States Employment Service in Oregon: Statewide summary of crop status 

and labor supplies and demands. 
Comparative statement of labor demands of canneries in Oregon, 1939, 1940, 1941. 
Agricultural Committee of Oregon State Advisory Council to United States 

Employment Service — Statement of purpose and list of members — Sample 

committee agenda. 
Oregon census of women — Steps in conducting census of women — Sample registra- 
tion form. 
Census of school youths — Oregon plan for work registration of school youths — 

Sample registration form. 

1942 Agricultural Labor Program 
• i. scope of employment service agricultural program 

Into the farm lands of Oregon could be crowded the entire States of Vermont, 
Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, and Massachusetts. Gross farm income 
during 1940 exceeded $111,000,000. 

Farm-land maps of the State show heavy concentrations of cultivation scat- 
tered unevenly over the State. The major block centers in the Willamette Valley 
but other commercially farmed areas are located near The Dalles, Pendleton, 
Ontario, Bend, Klamath Falls, and in the entire coastal region. 

The major agricultural problem of the Employment Service in Oregon is that 
of supplying labor for seasonal cultivating and harvesting operations. Until the 
potential sources of agricultural labor for the year 1942 were examined, our past 
experiences had indicated that labor permanently attached to farms was able to 
carry the maintenance and regular farm-work loads without special attention to 
recruitment problems. However, it is the opinion of the agency that anticipated 
stringencies in year-around farm labor will necessitate added attention to the 
regular farm land problem in 1942. 

Demands for additional, temporary workers during regular recurring annual 
periods have necessitated planning activities on a year-around basis. From early 
in April until well into November, seasonal labor requirements for sugar beets, 
potatoes, lettuce, onions, strawberries, cherries, beans, prunes, nuts, peas, apples, 
pears, hops, and tomatoes follow and overlap each other in a manner requiring 
continual planning and adjusting of the available labor supply. From December 
through March plans are formulated for correlating the next year's anticipated 
supply with its anticipated demand for seasonal workers. 

In addition to supplying seasonal and year-around workers to farmers, growers, 
etc., 1942 estimates indicate that considerable attention will have to be paid to 
demands of canneries, principally fruit and vegetable processors. (See appendix 
for comparative statement of cannery labor demands for 1939, 1940, and 1941.) 

The Oregon State Advisory Council to the United States Employment Service 
has created a permanent committee to study and make recommendations con- 
cerning agricultural problems. 

This committee has performed yeoman's service in bringing the attitudes of 
farmers, growers, producers, and processors throughout the State to the attention 
of the Employment Service director for Oregon. 






The magnitude of Oregon's agricultural problem in comparison with its other 
placement activities dictates a complete farm-placement program on both the 
administrative and local office levels of the Employment Service. Directly- 
responsible to the State director has been established a Farm-placement super- 
visor. He is administratively responsible for planning the agricultural program. 
Functional authority — the determination as to how' the local offices shall pursue 
the farm program — is also vested in this officer. Line authority, however, lies 
with the regular area supervisors and local office managers. In practice it has 
been demonstrated that these lines of authority grow vague in direct proportion 
to the intensity of current farm-placement needs. On many occasions theie is 
little time for determination of proper line procedure. Often the failure of a 
crop hangs in the balance, waiting the cumulative recruitment efforts of the 
combined administrative and local office staffs. 

Both administrative and functional powers of the farm-placement supervisor 
are delegated — that is, he determines local office procedures and the methods of 
analysis employed in the administrative office, with the director, of course, re- 
taining final vetoing authority over decisions involving administrative policy. 
The farm-placement supervisor, a stenographer, and one senior employment 
officer constitute the Farm Placement Division on the State administrative level. 
Part-time efforts in the program are made by some three to five members of the 
research and statistics division in the analysis of statistical data and the prepara- 
tion of agricultural reports. 

Each local office maintains a designated farm-placement representative re- 
sponsible to the local office manager. He is a regular local office staff member 
and takes part in other placement activities when time permits, but his primary 
responsibility is farm placement. In like manner, the entire local office personnel 
often assists him during harvesting periods. 

In addition to the local farm-placement representative in each outlying office 
two, and often three, such representatives are maintained in the Portland local 
office. 'By themselves, these men could not handle Oregon's seasonal farm pro- 
gram. Regular employment officers, therefore, are assigned temporarily to 
seasonal placement offices and Farm Security Administration camp offices as they 
are needed. Any statement as to the total number of personnel used in the 1941 
farm program would be misleading. The seasonal character of labor demands in 
Oregon allows the same employment officers to be used in several temporary 
offices during a single season. The use of four or five experienced farm-placement 
men for continuous special assignment at temporary offices and Farm Security 
Administration camps is contemplated. The additional officers required will be 
temporarily detailed from regular local offices. 

Integration of administrative planning and local office operation in the conduct 
of the farm-placement program is accomplished through the regular line of 
authority. Procedures, analyses, suggestions, etc., prescribed by the Farm 
Placement Division on the State administrative level, are put into effect and 
carried out by line officers, field supervisors, local office managers, and farm- 
placement representatives on the local office level. It should be emphasized that 
in exercising his functional delegated powers on the local office level the farm- 
placement supervisor spends considerable time in the field, counseling and advising 
the line personnel on farm problems. 

Other staff officers in the administrative office give freely of their time in 
analyzing labor markets, anticipating demands and supplies of labor, and in 
sustaining the flow of informative materials, instructions, interpretations, etc., 
between the administrative and local offices. The Division of Research and 
Statistics is outstanding in its cooperative efforts. Upon this division falls the 
immense task of compiling and analyzing the numbers of reports, surveys, and 
questionnaires gathered in the normal course of anticipating future agricultural 
labor markets. 

Since Oregon is primarily an agricultural State, an active farm-placement 
program is a major and definite phase of the activity of each of our 24 local offices. 
In addition, some 14 temporary offices were established at strategic points in 
1941 to serve farmers and workers adequately. The majority of these temporary 
offices were operated as branches of nearby regular offices. (See appendix, 
p. 10949 for location and duration of 1941 temporary and Farm Security Adminis- 
tration camp offices, and for additional offices and camps recommended for the 1942 


program.) Experienced interviewers were also dispatched to some 15 Farm 
Security camps during the 1941 season. These men operated employment offices 
under a written cooperative agreement with the Farm Security officials. No 
new personnel are sent to the Farm Security camps for placement work, but 
regular personnel in the local office are used and any new persons are assigned to 
the local office where they will be under supervision. (See appendix for copy of 
agreement.) While the charts show 16 interviewers, events of the past few 
months have made it imperative that this number be increased to at least 30 in 
order to carry out the "food for victory" program. 

In estimating personnel requirements for the 1942 farm-placement program, 
certain data not now available are necessary. Most assuredly the increases in 
farm production dictated by the "food for freedom" campaign will proportionately 
increase the agricultural placement job of the United States Employment Service 
in Oregon. Before estimating actual numbers of additional interviewers required 
the following must be known: 

1. Anticipated demands for farm workers. 

2. Anticipated supplies of farm workers. 

3. New camps to be established by the Farm Security Administration. 

The calculation and determination of these factors will not be completed for 
several weeks. Therefore, other than to indicate that additional interviewers 
will be needed, the Oregon agency cannot accurately estimate personnel needs 
for the 1942 farm program at the present writing. 


A. Kinds of data required 

(1) Anticipated acreages. — Each year it is essential to get adjusted figures cover- 
ing crop acreages throughout the State. Farming methods, crop prices, Govern- 
ment controls, and many other factors operate to expand, contract, or eliminate 
the different kinds of crop from year to year. 

(2) Resident farm labor. — In forecasting both supply and demand, careful dis- 
count must be made for persons living on farms. These people fall into two 
classes: those who, although living on the farm, do not ordinarily work there, and 
those who both live and work on the farm. 

(3) Man-hour requirements for each crop.- — It is not only essential to know the 
average n:an-hours required to produce every kind of commercial crop, but each 
crop must be reduced to its component parts and man-hour measurements estab- 
lished for each phase of growth, from preparation of the soil to the ultimate 
harvest. It is only through minute time segregations of labor requirements that 
adequate plans can be made for recruiting, then disbanding or transferring, groups 
of workers whose services are not needed continuously. Frequently, for example, 
the harvesting of a crop in one part of the State is overlapped by some operation 
on an entirely diflerent crop in another part of the state. In these instances it is 
often possible to transfer whole blocks of workers from one crop to another. The 
application of component part man-hour criteria permits timing such moves with 
a minimum of confusion and wasted, aimless migrations. 

(4) Prior years' production records.- — Where crops are duplicated year after 
year — that is, where substantially the same products come out of substantially 
the same areas — the records of operations of previous years are invaluable. 

It is also necessary to obtain as much current information as possible from the 
individual farmer, such as: 

1. How many acres did you harvest last year? 

2. How many bushels, pounds, tons, etc., per acre last year? 

3. How many men did you use to harvest your crop? 

4. How long did it take them? 

5. What percent of normal was your crop yield? 

6. Do you contemplate increased or decreased acreage for the coming year? 

B. How will these data be obtained? 

The Employment Service is not in a position to gather the statistical data 
deemed necessary for adequate operation on a statewise basis nor would such an 
effort be reasonable in view of the several Federal and State agencies whose 
primary responsibilities are found in gathering and compiling this data. 

(1) Employment Service surveys. — It is desirable that local office farm placement 
representatives make personal inquiries of farmers in their areas, and conduct 


occasional surveys of agricultural conditions, in order to be well informed on 
labor needs. Information gathered in this manner becomes part of the offices' 
regular weekly reports on crop conditions and labor demand and supply. (See 
appendix for sample Weekly Agricultural Labor Report.) 

(2) Contacts with employer organizations and cooperatives. — Much of the data on 
labor needs and other agricultural information is obtained from packing and pro- 
cessing firms, cooperative marketing associations, etc. 

(3) Analysis of prior years' employer orders. — The Division of Research and 
Statistics, through analysis of last year's farm labor orders, .secures data on area 
labor demands, man-hours required for harvesting operations, and the resident 
supply of labor. 

(4) Analysis of data from, other governmental agencies. — 

1. Agricultural Marketing Service of the United States Department of Agri- 

2. Bureau of Agricultural Economics of the United States Department of 

3. Extension Service, Oregon State College, a. County agricultural agents. 

4. Farm Security Administration. 

5. National Resources Planning Board. 

6. State and county war boards. 

7. County land-use planning committees, a. County agricultural labor sub- 

8. Wages and Hours Division, United States Department of Labor. 

9. Children's Bureau, United States Department of Labor. 

10. Oregon State Labor Commissioner. 

11. Oregon State Department of Agriculture. 

Man-hour crop measurements: Studies and reports furnished or to be furnished, 
by several of the agencips listed in (4) above provide the Employment Service 
with data from which the man-hours required in each phase of crop production 
can be estimated. In addition, these reports furnish the factual basis for estab- 
lishing time schedules on various crops — approximate starting and stopping dates 
for each phase of crop production. (See Appendix for sample schedule of unit 

(5) Analysis of 'prior years' weekly crop status reports. — During the active season 
in each local office area, reports are sent weekly to the administrative office out- 
lining recent developments. These reports are combined in the administrative 
office into a State summary indicating active crops, type of work being done, 
starting and stopping dates, workers now employed, shortage of workers, pre- 
vailing wages, and living accommodations available. From the State summaries 
can be anticipated probable demands for workers during identical periods in the 
following year. (See Appendix for weekly State summary of crop conditions, 
labor demands, and shortages.) 


Since the available supply of agricultural workers is a much more dynamic and 
variable factor in the labor market than the demand for such workers, it follows 
that supply cannot be anticipated with the degree of accuracy which we apply to 
demand. Wages, available facilities, weather, conditions of crops in other areas, 
and countless other influences tend to upset even the best laid plans for conserving 
local labor supplies. One general principle must prevail in the analysis of the 
supply side of the agricultural labor market. Prepare to exhaust the local com- 
munity supply first. Every possible means should be anticipated for reaching and 
putting into service those members of the community or township who do not 
ordinarily consider themselves attached to the labor market. Oregon has used 
this technique to advantage on numerous occasions. It is only when such reser- 
voirs as this are exhausted that efforts to effect wholesale migrations from other 
areas and/or States should be made. 

Oregon's approach to the supply problem has been the careful analysis of all 
local sources of agricultural labor. These sources are then cultivated through 
standard means for bringing economic problems to the community's attention. 
Priming of this kind is begun well in advance of the dates upon wnich workers 
will be needed. When the time for action arrives the amount of recruiting re- 
quired to bring workers into the fields depends upon the difference between (1) 
farm resident and regular migratory laborers, and (2) the predetermined number 
of workers needed to harvest, or cultivate, the crop. 


A. Oregon's sources of agricultural labor supply 

(1) Local office registration files.- — In addition to the regular employment regis- 
tration files from which local offices can make agricultural placements, Oregon's 
local farm placement representatives build up, during the winter and spring 
months, a supplemental file of registrations for seasonal agricultural work. A 
special form, No. 342 (see appendix), designed exclusively for farm placement 
allows over-the-desk registration of families intending to work in the fields well in 
advance of the harvest periods. The form provides space for listing equipment 
held by the family or party. This last information is valuable in placement areas 
where adequate living facilities are not maintained by growers. 

(2) Local office surveys. — In the early stages of the annual program, local mana- 
agers and farm-placement representatives provide the administrative office with 
estimates of the numbers of resident workers now living on farms. Farm-to- 
farm canvassing is rarely necessary. County agents, city and county clerks, 
growers associations to whom crops have been contracted, grange, Farm Bureau, 
and farmers' unions, and packing houses, all contribute to the pool of information 
concerning each local office area. 

(3) Census of women. — In February 1942 the Oregon Board for Mobilization of 
Women conducted a census of women who are willing to take employment in the 
event of a State or National emergency. Provision has been made on the census 
form for each woman canvassed to indicate her availability for full or part-time 
agricultural work. Locality preference, and crop preference questions are also 
included in the census form. Files established from the women's survey will be 
used extensively as a method of exhausting the local labor supply. (See appendix 
and/or sample census registration form.) 

(4) County welfare commissions. — Regular procedures have been established 
through cooperative arrangement with county welfare commissions for the orderly 
notification that local employment offices have openings in the harvest fields 
suitable for many relief clients. Administrative study of the forms used in such 
notifications during previous years determines the approximate number of workers 
available through welfare commissions in each area. 

(5) Other agency studies of migratory labor.- — From reports published or provided 
by the College Extension Service, the Bureau of Agricultural Economics, and the 
Marketing Service Division of the United States Department of Agriculture, the 
Employment Service can glean a picture of that group of migratory workers that 
follows the annual sequence of crop harvests. Under normal conditions this 
group of labors would be classed in the same category as those living on farms the 
the year around. In 1942, however, it will not be a normal year in this respect. 
There is reason to exclude the migratory worker from our pool of workers that will 
be on hand at harvest time with little or no recruitment effort. It will be neces- 
sary to depend more heavily upon our ability to dip more deeply into the class of 
field workers whose services cannot be enlisted except in cases of emergency, school 
children, wives of professional men, industrial workers on Sundays and holidays. 

(See appendix for chart of crop harvest sequence.) 

(6) Civilian Conservation Corps. — All company commanders are under orders to 
permit Civilian Conservation Corps enrollees to volunteer for agricultural harvest 
work in cases of emergency. Transferring boys from camp to farm, and farm to 
camp, is arranged by farm representatives in cooperation with company com- 

(7) Work Projects Administration Reemployment Division. — An intensified pro- 
gram of recruiting Work Projects Administration workers who will be available 
for agricultural work is being carried out by the Division of Training and Reem- 
ployment of the Work Projects Administration, in cooperation with the farm 
placement representative of the United States Employment Service throughout 
the State. This program will make available an additional supply of labor for 
the 1942 season. 

(8) Census of school children. — In March 1942 Oregon's school authorities will 
conduct a registration of all children from the seventh grade through college who 
would be available for referral to industry or agriculture. The registration forms 
will be furnished by the Employment Service, and the completed forms will then 
be turned over to our local offices for use in recruiting industrial and agricultural 
workers. (See Appendix for plan of school registration.) 

The census of school children has been approved by all the administrative heads 
of the various school systems in the State of Oregon. 
_ Every effort is being made by the Employment Service to assist local communi- 
ties in working out transportation problems under present conditions. Since farm 


trucks and school busses appear to be the only vehicles that will be eligible for 
tires, it will be necessary to depend heavily on these types of transportation for 
agricultural workers. 

It is advisable to encourage the registration of school teachers in order to have 
a definite indication of the availability of persons who would be willing to super- 
vise groups of school children in the harvest program, efforts will be made on the 
local office level to organize such a program. 

(9) National Youth Administration. — A joint statement of policy between 
National Youth Administration and the Employment Service on the State and 
local level concerning the use of National Youth Administration youths in agri- 
cultural work provides an emergency supply of labor. 


A. Sources of statistical data used in correlating "demand" and "supply" agricultural 

labor data 

1. Under a negotiated agreement between the United States Employment 
Service and the Bureau of Agricultural Economics of the United States Depart- 
ment of Labor, the latter Bureau will furnish the United States Employment 
Service with the following basic statistical data needed to forecast agricultural 
labor supply and demand factors. 

(a) Man-hour labor requirement estimates. These estimates will be submitted 
showing — 

(1) Man-hour requirements per acre for the State's major crops. 

(2) Man-hour labor requirements by months for the State's major crops. 

(3) Man-hour requirements per head for livestock. 

(4) Man-hour requirements per head per month for livestock. 

2. Under a negotiated agreement with the Agricultural Marketing Service of the 
United States Department of Agriculture, that Service will furnish the United 
States Employment Service the following data on anticipated agricultural produc- 

(a) Acreage. 

(b) Livestock. 

(c) Poultry. 

(d) Reports on anticipated crop maturity dates. 

(e) Reports on anticipated seasonal agricultural cultivating and harvesting 

(f) Estimates of the "on-the-farm" labor supply anticipated to be available for 

B. Estimated demands 

The farm placement supervisor and the Division of Research and Statistics 
collaborate on an analysis of data gathered in advance of the active agricultural 
seasons. Acreages by crop, by county, are the starting points in forcasting the 
manpower needed during the coming season. From the information pool are 
taken the experiences of past years, the number of man-days actually expended 
in cultivating and harvesting. Statistical treatment establishes unit productivity 
for past years. Weighted according to "percentage" estimates of last year's 
crops, the unit measurements are expended and applied to acreages for 1942. 
When State figures are thus obtained, it requires only additional statistical and 
clerical treatment to reduce man-hour estimates to counties. In this form, our 
estimates assume an immediate value to the local office farm representative. 

For example, we know that in 1941 Umatilla County harvested approximately 
26,000 acres of peas. From our local office surveys prior to the season, from our 
agricultural placement reports, from reports obtained from processing plants, and 
from data furnished by the various Federal agencies, we find that the number of 
resident plus migratory workers employed in the harvest was 2,800. We also 
determine from the above sources that approximately 18 days were consumed in 
harvesting peas in Umatilla County, and that the average working day during the 
18 days was 11 hours. 1941: 20,000 acres, 2,800 workers, 18 days, 11 hour aver- 
age working day, 27.72 man-hours per acre. 

Bv extending the 1941 man-hours per acre (27.72) to the anticipated 1942 pea 
acreage we find: 26,000 acres, will require 3,300 workers, for 18 days, at 11 hours 
per man per day. 


Through statistical manipulation it is possible to weight the estimated demand 
for pea pickers. Unusual crop conditions, weather conditions, kinds of available 
labor, are among the factors which make adjustment of raw "demand" estimates 

C. Estimated supply 

Although supply estimates are subject to even greater variations that demand 
forecasts, pre-season planning required only determination of two factors, resident 
farm labor, and regular migratory labor available without recruitment effort. 
Following the example in A above, from the sources listed in section 3 of this 
report the administrative office in collaboration with the local office serving 
Umatilla County, determines that 1,500 resident workers, and 500 regular migra- 
tory laborers will be on hand at the beginning of the harvest. After consideration, 
it is decided to weight the 500 figures, because of increased work opportunities in 
bordering States. This action cuts the "on hand" figure down to 1,700. 

D. Labor market statement 

Comparison of the estimated supply with the estimated demand, now reveals 
a potential shortage of 1,600 workers. With this information the local farm place- 
ment representative knows that he must (1) explore additional local sources, (2) 
arrange for clearance of needed labor from other areas of immediate clearance, or 
(3) place orders with the State central clearance office. 

Identical procedures for analyzing labor markets for other areas and other 
crops, are followed by the administrative and local offices. Some crops require 
the use of seasonal labor on different phases of production. Sugar beets, for 
example, are thinned during one season of the year, and harvested during another. 
Estimates in these instances are prepared for both the thinning and harvesting 
operations. By adapting these procedures to individual crops in the various 
agricultural areas, the farm placement supervisor, with the advice and assistance 
of the Research Division, can prepare a balance sheet on the agricultural labor 
market within the State. Reflected thereon would be state-wide S3hedules of 
supply discrepancies by crop, by area, and, administratively more important, by 
dates. (A balance sheet was not prepared for the 1941 season.) 


A. Administrative office, State 

Through common consent the term "deal" has come to mean the seasonal 
agricultural problem in a particular area, for a particular crop. From the State- 
wide point of view necessarily taken by the administrative staff, the entire program 
resolves itself into a continuous series of "deals." Planning and some prepara- 
tory steps are common to each of them, but execution of placement procedures 
brings out striking differences in preliminary arrangements. Thus, each "deal," 
strawberries at Gresham, beets at Ontario, pears at Medford, apples at Hood 
River, and hops at Salem, has to be considered a separate operation by the farm 
placement supervisor. Blanket instructions cannot be issued for the methods of 
recruitment. Ordinary methods of recruitment may suffice where a minor 
shortage occurs, but in a pressure deal more spectacular means would have to be 

Coordination of the numerous harvest recruitment operations is the super- 
visor's responsibility. Assisting him are the staff officers attached to the State 
central office. It should be emphasized that every preparatory step which can 
possibly be taken well in advance of the season's opening is effected. 

(1) Division of Research and Statistics. — Aside from the preseason, long range, 
planning in which the division participates, it serves a practical purpose in the 
execution of the placement program. State summaries of weekly local office 
"crop status and labor supply" reports are prepared and analyzed for the farm 
supervisor. Placement reports are audited to insure adequate data for next year's 
planning activities. Frequently weather conditions, pests, disease, or other factor 
forces an immediate change in the anticipated labor demand. The research 
division must make rapid fire adjustments in the plans for the particular "deal" 
affected, for the guidance of the supervisor and the local representative. 

(2) Training division. — The part played by the Division of Training is, under- 
normal conditions, limited to preseason months. During the actual operating 
season time out for area training conferences, reading of detailed instruction 
manuals and local office staff meetings, is out of the question. All training of 


office personnel must be accomplished before the placement action begins. Train- 
ing's primary responsibility lies in arresting the natural tendence toward com- 
pletely decentralized and individual treatment of local area problems. Uniform 
planning and execution methods can, and should, be applied to each crop — to a 
certain point. Stating the problem in another way, each local representative 
should use the same methods in planning the requirements, and in selecting the 
recruitment methods to be applied to his area. 

(3) State central clearance office. — The clearance office is, of course, directly 
responsible for up-to-date periodic statements of the condition of agricultural 
labor markets in other States, and, more important, intra-area markets within 
the State. Knowledge of markets is essential in anticipating and executing 
clearance orders. On many occasions a day's delay in the handling of an order 
bringing worker into Oregon, or transferring them from one area to another 
within the State, would cost workers and growers thousands of dollars in wages 
and profits. For this reason local offices are encouraged to place orders to clear- 
ance in advance of the dates on which workers are needed. 

Emergencies sometimes require departures from standard clearance procedures. 
On occasion workers are guaranteed transportation to and from other areas in 
an effort to speed up migration. Employment offices have organized whole 
caravans in response to a telegram from an office in another clearance area. This 
short cut saved part of a crop. 

B. Local office procedures 

The incidence of the entire farm placement program is at the local office level. 
Its success, in the last analysis, depends upon the technique with which carefully 
laid plans are carried out. The experience, intuition, sagacity, initiative, and 
determination of the local farm representative spells the success of his program. 
Local managers who have lived in the community for years instinctively know the 
answers to the supply and demand questions. Administrative officers should 
place great faith in estimates furnished by this type of local representative. He 
is seldom wrong. 

The community phase of each "deal" also begins well ahead of the actual 
operating period. 

(1) Publicity. — It is highly unsatisfactory to spring an emergency upon a com- 
munity. Local managers have discovered that much better response follows a 
gradually increasing publicity drive. Speeches to Grange groups, civic clubs, and 
growers' organizations; newspaper stories; personal calls on large employers, all 
these tactics force the community to think about its potential labor needs. Con- 
sciousness of the problem brings about closer cooperation with the Employment 
Service, which in turn results in more accurate forecasts, and less confusing 
referral and placement procedures. 

(2) Registration for seasonal work.- — The local representative who waits until a 
day or so before the season opening to register workers for agricultural work, finds 
himself in an impossible situation. The competent manager keeps his weather 
eye cocked for potential field labor all during the inactive season. He builds up a 
file of seasonal work registrations (form 342, see appendix) by questioning anyone 
who comes into his office. Migratory families are encouraged to remain in the 
community until the harvest rolls around. In 1942 local offices will have an 
additional source of registration — the "census of women" files. A manager's 
objective in building such a reservoir of available workers is, of course, to reduce 
the necessity for using the more expensive and spectacular recruiting methods of 
an emergency period. 

(3) Employer orders. — Another method of lessening the impact of a harvest 
period is the accumulation of advance orders for workers. Definite schedules 
can be prepared and matched with the Employment Service's anticipated demand 
figures. Many difficult situations are ironed out in advance through the handling 
of advance orders. Growers whose entire futures are tied up in the harvesting of 
ix single crop are prone to estimate their labor needs far too high. When advance 
oi 1ers are received, the farm representative is able to analyze them by checking 
against man-hour labor requirements and detect the out-of-line ones. Tactful 
explanations will then often reduce the size of labor requests, and thus prevent 
anticipation of a greater shortage than actually exists. 

An "order" form (No. 335, see appendix) designed especially for agricultural 
labor orders is in general use throughout the State. Directions for reaching the 
farm, living accommodations furnished, and items the worker is required to 
furnish, are examples of the special information provided on Form 335. 

60396— 42— pt. 28 17 


(4) Housing for workers. — The Farm Security Administration, with the advice 
of the agricultural committee of the State advisory council, are cooperating in 
the locating and establishing of farm labor camps. Cooperation does not stop 
with the selection of camp sites. An "admin istiation" tent is allotted the Employ- 
ment Service by Farm Security Administration from which work registrations are 
taken, and job referrals made. Standard referral cards (Form 320) given migra- 
tory field workers are accepted by Farm Security Administration at their camps, 
and tents are allocated without further qualification. A distinct advantage in 
maintaining a temporary local office at these camps is found in the accuracv with 
which the employment officer can determine the number of workers available at 
any hour of the dav or night. (See Appendix for 1941 and 1942 Schedule of Farm 
Security Administration Camps in Oregon.) 

(5) Temporary branch offices. — Two other kinds of temporary offices are used 
to advantage. In some areas, growers' associations furnish quarters and office 
space for employment officers. During the heat of the harvest period registrations 
and referrals can be made more quickly from this kind of branch office. 

On other occasions and in other areas, it has been determined to be adminis- 
tratively sound to set ud temporary offices for the duration of the active season. 
Acces3ibility to the harvest fields is a prime consideration in locating such tem- 
porary placement offices. (See Appendix for Schedule of Temporary Offices 1941 
and Recommended Offices for 1942.) 

(G) Referrals. — In some instances the referral of agricultural workers is accom- 
plished by the standard card (Form 320). In more general use, however, is a 
referral form in triplicate (Form 340, see appendix) that is better adapted to the 
agricultural type of referral. The standard card becomes difficult to use when 
directing entire families to a particular harvest field. 

Referrals in rural communities are further complicated by the obvious difficulty 
found in giving the workers directions fox reaching the farm. In many areas the 
local manager has prepared a "master" road map showing the location of each 
grower to whom referrals are likely to be made. Sections of the large map are 
then duplicated for distribution to workers being directed to different farms. 
For example, the employment officer can, on one of the reproductions, draw a 
colored line from the employment office to the place of work, give it to the worker 
and tell him to follow the red line to the spot marked "X." 

(7) Emergency recruiting methods. — The following recruitment devices have 
been used successfully by our local managers. Many of them are reserved for 
emergencies where the answer to the recruitment problem lies in arousing public 
opinion to the point that ordinarily unused sources of labor supply have to be 
tapped. Generally, it is the responsibility of the local farm representative to 
select these methods he believes will secure sufficient workmen with the least 
attendant confusion and waste motion. It should be emphasized that local office 
managers work closely with all organized groups — growers' associations, producers, 
processors, etc., in determining which of the emergency recruiting devices should 
be used. 

Emergency recruiting devices: 

(a) Census of women files. 

(b) Census of schools files. 

(c) Central labor clearance procedures. 

(d) Newspaper advertising. 

(e) Radio advertising. 

(/) Posters for store windows. 
(g) Street signs. 
(h) Telephone calls. 
(i) Sound cars. 

(j) Canvasses of workers in fields for friends who might be reached by postcard. 
(k) Speeches and appeals by public officials. 

(0 Organization of employer advertising groups — Distribution of assessment' 
on basis of acreage. 

(m) Requesting school closings for duration. 

(n) Keeping the local office open 7 days per week. 

(8) Statistical reporting. — (a) Registrations: Use of the "registration fc 
sonal work" (Form 342, see appendix) is vital to accurate planning ^**>«a 
labor market conditions for the following year. Since complete 

seldom taken when families are available only for agricultural .>.&, this 
the only source of migratory labor information retained by the local offi 
the workers are once directed to the fields. 


(fi) Referrals: The number of persons referred to agricultural work is at present 
the only complete measurement of the volume of agricultural workers handled by 
the Employment Service. Since only verified