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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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Given By 










H. Res. 113 






PART 33 

(With Florida and New Jersey Supplement) 
MAY 22, JUNE 11, 19, 1942 

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









H. Res. 113 






PART 33 

(With Florida and New Jersey Supplement) 
MAY 22, JUNE 11, 19, 1942 

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





JOHN H. TOLAN, California, Chairman 
JOHN J. SPARKMAN, Alabama .' '« Ui CARL T. CURTIS, Nebraska 


Robert K. Lamb, Staff Director 



List of witnesses vn 

List of authors ix 

Friday, May 22, 1942, morning session 12413 

Testimony of Msgr. John O'Crady 12415 

Testimony of William F. Montavon 12418 

Statement by Msgr. John O'Grady 12420 

Testimony of panel of representatives of Federal agencies concerned 

with the importation of Mexican labor 12423, 12442, 12450 

Testimony of Collis Stocking 12423 

Testimony of Allan C. Devany 12425 

Testimony of William J. Rogers 12426, 12430 

Testimony of Clara M. Beyer 12428 

Testimony of Ernesto Galarza 12432 

Testimony of Walter H. C. Laves 12436 

Testimony of Al vin Roseman 1 2438 

Testimony of George H. Winters 12440 

Testimony of Elmer Rowalt 12449 

Exhibits introduced at Washington hearing 12455 

Exhibit 1 — A symposium on the question of need for importation of 

Mexican labor 12455 

A. Statement by Laurence Duggan, advisor on political relations, 

Department of State 12455 

B. Statement by Lemuel B. Schofield, Special Assistant to the 

Attorney General, Department of Justice, Immigration and 
Naturalization Service 12457 

C. Statement by John J. Corson, Director, Bureau of Employ- 

ment Security, Federal Security Agency, Social Security 
Board 12459 

D. Statement by Walter H. C. Laves, Director (Division of 

Inter-American Activities in the United States, Office 

of the Coordinator of Inter- American Affairs 12459 

E. Statement by W. J. Rogers, Division of Labor and Rural 

Industries, Office of Agricultural War Relations, United 
States Department of Agriculture 12460 

F. Statement by D. W. Tracy, Assistant Secretary, Department 

of Labor 12461 

Exhibit 2 — Letter from labor subcommittee of Tehama County Land- 
Use Committee, Red Bluff, Calif., presenting need for importation 

of Mexican labor 12461 

Exhibit 3 — Cotton and sugar-beet prices and wage rates; by William 
J. Rogers, Chief, Division of Labor and Rural Industries, Office of 
Agricultural War Relations, United States Department of Agricul- 
ture i 12462 

Thursday. June 11, 1942, morning session 12463 

Testimony of C. B. Baldwin 12463 

Statement by C. B. Baldwin 12473 

Testimony of John J. Corson 12477 

Statement by John J. Corson 12494 

Friday, June 19, 1942, morning session 12503 

Testimony of Wendell Lund 12503 

Statement by Wendell Lund 12514 

Testimony of Joseph B. Eastman 12518 

Testimony of Walter M. Pierce 12530 

Testimony of Franck R. Havenner 12533 




Florida supplement, April 21, 1942 12535 

Testimony of Joseph R. Neller 12535, 12537 

Statement by Joseph R. Neller 12535 

Testimony of Mark R. Tennant 12550 

Testimony of James E. Beardsley 12557 

Testimony of Annie Tompkins 12570 

Testimony of James Solomon 12574 

Testimony of Howard L. Haney 12577 

Testimony of William Bryant 12609 

Testimony of C. A. Sanders 12612 

Testimony of Ruth S. Wedgeworth 12615 

Testimony of Johnnie Belle Taylor 12625 

Testimony of Elnore Jackson 12630 

Testimony of Samuel H. Rosenstock 12632 

Testimony of Norman Hall 12639 

Testimony of Bryan McLendon •___ 12643 

Testimony of Jacob McMillan 12651 

Testimony of William Yearby 12653 

Testimony of Luther Jones 12657 

Testimony of Jerry Wells 12676 

Testimony of Edward Carter 12687 

Testimony of William Graber 12691 

Testimony of Thomas Tanner 12699 

Testimony of Myrtle May Walker and Thomas Walker 12701 

Testimony of Daniel De Bruyne 12703 

Testimony of C. M. Swindle 12706 

Testimony of Allison T. French ' 12710 

Testimony of Virgil Singleton 12723 

Testimony of George F. Walz 12727 

Statement by George F. Walz 12727 

Testimony of Robert Patton 12739 

Testimony of Paul Vander Schouw 12745, 12758 

Statement by Paul Vander Schouw 12745 

Testimony of Joseph G. Cassellius 12767 

Testimony of Alton Williams 12772 

Testimony of M. M. Carter 12775 

Testimony of B. E. Lawton 12778 

Testimony of P. L. Hinson 12785 

Testimony of Dorothea Brower 12789 

Testimony of George D. Ruehle 12796 

Testimony of Luther L. Chandler 12806 

Testimony of James Sottile 12831 

Introduction of exhibits 12845 

Exhibit 1 — Drainage and water control districts to which the Recon- 
struction Finance Corporation has authorized loans in the State of 
Florida; report by Albert L. Strong, Chief, Drainage and Irrigation 
Section, Reconstruction Finance Corporation, Department of 

Commerce, Washington, D. C 12845 

Exhibit 2 — Loan to South Dade Farms, Inc., by Reconstruction 
Finance Corporation; by W. E. Stroud, Assistant Chief, Examining 
Division, Reconstruction Finance Corporation, Department of 

Commerce, Washington, D. C 12849 

Exhibit 3 — Letter from J. H. Callahan, Jr., manager, Florida Farm 
Placement Service, Miami, Fla., to L. S. Rickard, director, Florida 
State Employment Service, concerning the farm placement program 

in Dade County 12850 

Exhibit 4 — Letter received from Charles H. Steffani, Dade County 
agricultural agent, Miami, Fla., with results of a labor survey taken 

during December 1941 12852 

Exhibit 5 — Migratory agricultural labor in Florida; report by Robert 
B. Beasley, Chief, Reports and Analysis Unit, United States Em- 
ployment Service, Federal Security Agency, Tallahassee, Fla 12853 

Exhibit 6 — Report on Glades Farms, Inc., by Frank W. Williamson, 

projects manager, Okeechobee, Fla 12854 


Introduction of exhibits — Continued. Paga 

Exhibit 7 — Marketing of Produce in south Florida; report by Marcel 
A. Boudet, county rural resettlement supervisor, Farm Security 
Administration, United States Department of Agriculture, Lake 

Worth, Fla 12855 

Exhibit 8 — Operation of county schools; letter from Ulric J. Bennett, 
Broward County superintendent of public instruction, Fort Lauder- 
dale, Fla 12856 

Exhibit 9 — Surplus commodity case loads in Palm Beach County; 
report by Alice Mather, director, district welfare board, district 

No. 10, West Palm Beach, Fla 12856 

Exhibit 10 — Conditions on plantations of United States Sugar Cor- 
poration in the Florida Everglades; by Clarence R. Bitting, presi- 
dent, United States Sugar Corporation, Clewiston, Fla 12857 

Exhibit 11— Extracts from Belle Glade Herald, Belle Glade, Fla 12859 

Exhibit 12 — Land Development in the Everglades; by Fritzie P. 
Manuel, member of staff, Select Committee Investigating National 

Defense Migration, Washington, D. C 12863 

Exhibit 13 — Vegetable production in South Florida; by Joan Pascal 
and Harold B. Tipton, agricultural field staff, Select Committee In- 
vestigating National Defense Migration, Washington, D. C 12888 

Exhibit 14 — Sugar production in Florida; by Fritizie P. Manuel, mem- 
ber of Staff, Select Committee Investigating National Defense 

Migration 12955 

New Jersey supplement, Saturday, May 9, 1942; May 12, 1942: 

Testimony of Francis A. Raymaley 12977 

Testimony of Carroll C. Adams 12988 

Testimony of Kenneth S. Roberts 12993 

Testimony of Joe Brown 13005 

Testimony of W. E. Wainwright 13008 

Testimony of J. M. Seabrook 13012 

Testimony of George I. Ball 13025 

Testimony of Richard Mitchell 13029 

Testimony of John Williams 13030 

Testimony of Melvin Smith 13032 

Testimony of J. Hartley Nixon 13034 

1 Testimony of Donald A. Smith 13037 

Testimony of George E. Lamb 13043 


Adams, Carroll C, senior interviewer, Farm Placement Service, United 

States Employment Service, Bridgeton, N. J 12988 

Baldwin, C. B., Administrator, Farm Security Administration, United 

States Department of Agriculture, Washington, D. C 12463 

Ball, George I., Salem County agricultural agent, Salem, N. J 13025 

Beardsley, James E., farmer and real-estate broker, Clewiston, Fla 12557 

Beyer, Clara M., Assistant Director, Division of Labor Standards, Depart- 
ment of Labor, Washington, D. C 12428 

Brown, Joe, migrant, Bridgeton, N. J 13005 

Bryant, William, migrant, Camp Okeechobee, Farm Security Administra- 
tion migratory labor camp, Belle Glade, Fla 12609 

Carter, Edward, Camp Osceola, Farm Secuirty Administration migratory 

labor camp, Belle Glade, Fla 12687 

Corson, John J., Director, United States Employment Service, Federal 

Security Agency, Social Security Board, Washington, D. C 12477 

De Bruyne, Daniel, local manager, J. C. Hutchinson Co., Belle Glade, Fla. 12703 
Devany, Allan C, Chief Examiner, Immigration and Naturalization Serv- 
ice, Department of Justice, Washington, D. C 12425 

Eastman, Joseph B., Director, Office of Defense Transportation, Wash- 
ington, D. C 12518 

French, Allison T., manager, West Palm Beach office, United States Em- 
ployment Service, Federal Security Agency, West Palm Beach, Fla 12710 

Galarza, Ernesto, Chief, Division of Labor and Social Information, Pan 

American Union, Washington, D. C 12432 

Graber, William, Box 743, Belle Glade, Fla 12691 

Hall, Norman, trucker, Belle Glade, Fla 12639 

Haney, Edward L., farmer, Belle Glade, Fla 12577 

Havenner, Frank R., former Congressman from San Francisco, Calif., 

member, State Railroad Commission of California, San Francisco, Calif. 12533 

Jackson, Elmore, migrant, Belle Glade, Fla 12630 

Jones, Luther, owner, Belle Glade Herald, Belle Glade, Fla 12657 

Lamb, George E., Gloucester County agricultural agent, Woodbury, N. J_ 13043 
Lavee, Walter H. C, Director, Division of Inter- American Activities in the 
United States, Office of the Coordinator of Inter- American Affairs, 

Washington, D. C 12436 

Lund, Wendell, Director of Labor Production Division, War Production 

Board, Washington, D. C 12503 

McLendon, Bryan, harvester, Belle Glade, Fla 12643 

McMillan, Jacob, Camp Osceola, Farm Security Administration mi- 
gratory labor camp, Belle Glade, Fla 12651 

Mitchell, Richard, Farm Security Administration migratory labor camp, 

Swedesboro, N. J 13029 

Montavon, William F., director, legal department, National Catholic 

Welfare Association, Washington, D. C 12418 

Neller, Dr. J. R., biochemist in charge of Everglades experiment station, 

University of Florida, Belle Glade, Fla 12535 

Nixon, J. Hartley, farmer, Woodstown, N. J 13034 

O'Gradv, Rt. Rev. John, secretary, National Conference of Catholic Chari- 
ties, Washington, D. C 12415 

Pierce, Walter M., Representative in Congress from the State of Oregon 12530 

Ravmaley, Francis A., Cumberland County agricultural agent, Bridgeton, 

N. J 12977 

Roberts, Kenneth S., farmer, R. F. D. No. 1, Bridgeton, N.J 12993 

Rogers, William J., Chief of the Division of Labor and Rural Industries, 
Office of Agricultural War Relations, United States Department of 

Agriculture, Washington, D. C 12426, 12430 

Roseman, Alvin, assistant to the Administrator, Federal Security Agency, 

Washington, D. C 12438 



Rosenstock, Samuel H., partner, Belle Glade Canning Co., Belle Glade, 

Fla 12632 

Rowalt, Elmer, assistant to the Director, War Relocation Authority, » 

Washington, D. C 12449 

Sanders, C. A., Camp Osceola, Farm Security Administration migratory 

labor camp, Belle Glade, Fla 12612 

Seabrook, J. M., manager, Seabrook Farms, Bridgeton, N. J 13012 

Singleton, Virgil, Belle Glade, Fla 12723 

Smith, Donald A., manager, Woodbury office, United States Employment 

Service, Woodbury, N. J 1 13037 

Smith, Melvin, Farm Security Administration migratory labor camp, 

Swedesboro, N. J 13032 

Solomon, James, migrant, Camp Okeechobee, Farm Security Administra- 
tion migratory labor camp, Belle Glade, Fla 12574 

Stocking, Collis, Assistant Director, Bureau of Employment Security, 

Social Security Board, Federal Security Agency, Washington, D. C 12433 

Swindle, C. M., Camp Osceola, Farm Security Administration migratory 

labor camp, Belle Glade, Fla_ _ _ 12706 

Tanner, Thomas, Camp Osceola, Farm Security Administration migratory 

labor camp, Belle Glade, Fla 12699 

Taylor, Johnnie Belle, migrant, Camp Okeechobee, Farm Security Ad- 
ministration migratory labor camp, Belle Glade, Fla 12625 

Tennant, Mark R., chairman of the board of commissioners, Everglades 

drainage district, Miami, Fla 12550 

Tompkins, Annie, Camp Osceola. Farm Security Administration migra- 
tory labor camp, Belle Glade, Fla 12570 

Wainwright, W. E., vice president, P. J. Ritter & Co., canners, Bridgeton, 

N. J... 13008 

Walker, Myrtle May, and Thomas, Camp Okeechobee, Farm Security 

Administration migratory labor camp, Belle Glade, Fla 12701 

Walz, George F., secretary- treasurer, Miami Production Credit Associa- 
tion, Miami, Fla 12727, 12730 

Wedgworth, Ruth S., manager and coadministrator, H. H. Wedgeworth 

estate, Belle Glade, Fla 12615 

Wells, Jerry, Camp Okeechobee, Farm Security Administration migratory 

labor camp, Belle Glade, Fla_ 12676 

Williams, John, Farm Security Administration migratory labor camp, 

Swedesboro, N. J 13030 

Winters, George H., Assistant Chief, Division of American Republics, 

Department of State, Washington, D. C 12440 

Yearby, William, Belle Glade, Fla 12653 


Of Prepared Statements and Exhibits 


Baldwin, C. B., Administrator, Farm Security Administration, United 

States Department of Agriculture, Washington, D. C 12473 

Bennett, Ulrich J., superintendent of public instruction, Broward County, 

Fort Lauderdale, Fla 12856 

Beasley, Robert B., Chief, Reports and Analysis Unit, United States 

Employment Service, State of Florida, Tallahassee, Fla 12853 

Bitting, Clarence R., president, United States Sugar Corporation, Clewis- 

ton, Fla 12857 

Boudet, Marcel A., county rural resettlement supervisor, Farm Security 
Administration, United States Department of Agriculture, Lake Worth, 
Fla 12855 

Callahan, J. H., Jr., manager, Florida Farm Placement Service, Florida 

State Employment Service, Miami, Fla 12850 

Corson, John J. A., Director, United States Employment Service, Federal 

Security Agency, Social Security Board, Washington, D. C 12459, 12494 

Duggan, Laurence, advisor on political relations, Department of State, 

Washington, D. C _ 12455 

Lund, Wendell, Director of Labor Production Division, War Production 

Board, Washington, D. C 12514 

Manuel, Fritzie P., member of staff, Select Committee Investigating 

National Defense Migration, Washington, D. C 12863, 12955 

Mather, Alice, director, district welfare board, district No. 10, West Palm 

Beach, Fla 12856 

McCoy, Leo A., chairman labor subcommittee, Tehama County Land- 
Use Committee, post office box 391, Red Bluff, Calif 12461 

Niller, Dr. J. R., biochemist in charge of Everglades experiment station, 

University of Florida, Belle Glade, Fla 12535 

O'Grady, Rt. Rev. John, secretary, National Conference of Catholic 

Charities, Washington, D. C 12420 

Pascal, Joan, member of staff, Select Committee Investigating National 

Defense Migration, Washington, D. C 12888 

Raymaley, Francis A., agricultural agent, Cumberland County, Bridgeton, 

N. J 12981 

Rogers, W. J., Chief, Division of Labor and Rural Industries, Office of Agri- 
cultural War Relations, United States Department of Agriculture 12460, 


Schofield, Lemuel B., special assistant to the Attorney General, Depart- 
ment of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Washington, 
D. C 12457 

Steffani, Charles H., agricultural agent, Dade County, Miami, Fla 12852 

Stroud, W. E., Assistant Chief, Examining Division, Reconstruction Fi- 
nance Corporation, Department of Commerce, Washington, D. C 12849 

Strong, Albert L., Chief, Drainage and Irrigation Section, Reconstruction 

Finance Corporation, Department of Commerce, Washington, D. C 12845 

Tipton, Harold G., member of staff, Select Committee Investigating Na- 
tional Defense Migration, Washington, D. C 12888 

Tracv, D. W., Assistant Secretary, Department of Labor, Washington, 

D.'C 12461 

Walz, George F., secretary-treasurer, Miami Production Credit Associa- 
tion, Miami, Fla 12727 



FRIDAY, MAY 22, 1942 

morning session 

Select Committee Investigating 

National Defense Migration, 

House of Representatives, 

Washington, D. C. 

The committee met, pursuant to call, at 10 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; 
John J. Sparkman, of Alabama; 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. 

We have invited you people here today as the representatives of 
Federal agencies interested in the question of utilizing Mexican labor 
to augment the domestic labor force, and we are very pleased to have 
you here. 

This committee has been concerned with the migration in agriculture 
of workers of Mexican origin ever since our attention was directed to 
it in hearings at Chicago and Oklahoma City in August 1940. Two 
members of the staff of this committee were sent to Texas last Decem- 
ber at the request of the Texas congressional delegation, to investi- 
gate demands for the importation of 32,000 Mexicans for use in the 
cotton harvest. 

When we were asked by various agencies to inquire into the evacua- 
tion of enemy aliens from the west coast in February of this year, we 
were compelled to cancel a proposed hearing in Texas on the importa- 
tion of Mexican workers. After our return from the coast, new de- 
mands for importation of Mexican workers arose while we were com- 
pleting our report on the evacuation. About a month ago the com- 
mittee authorized the staff to explore the question with the several 
agencies involved. This conference today reflects, therefore, our long- 
standing interest in this question. , 

We are dealing now with a sovereign Nation, Mexico, a neighbor, an 
ally, and we do not want to do anything of any kind or character that 
will in any way embarrass the great Mexican Nation so we decided to 
start at the top, not at the bottom as in the usual migration investi- 

We have called you together informally this morning, rather in the 
manner of feeling our way because we want it understood that this 
committee will never do anything final without the approval of the 
Mexican Nation. It isn't simply a question of 10,000 Mexican 



workers in the Salinas Valley of California, or in the cotton fields; it 
is a bigger question than that. 

We do not propose to conduct this discussion in the form of a hear- 
ing, but rather as an informal round-table discussion. We have 
previously asked you to submit answers to a series of questions. We 
had planned to prepare a brief resume of these replies, but since they 
came in quite late this was impossible. This material will, however, 
be made a part of the committee's published records. 

The committee is, of course, aware of the conferences which have 
been held during the past several weeks by Mr. Roseman, represent- 
ing Governor McNutt and the War Manpower Commission. Our 
staff representatives attended as observers at these meetings, and we 
have been kept informed. 

At this point I should like to make it clear that the presence of staff 
members at these meetings should not be regarded by the conferees 
as actual participation by this committee in the sessions, to the extent 
of formulating administrative policy. My understanding is that no 
formal vote was taken at these meetings and that there has been no 
final action by the Manpower Commission. 

We know that the Employment Service is prepared to certify to the 
immigration authorities that 6,000 Mexican workers are needed 
immediately for thinning and blocking sugar beets. We know also 
that a statement of labor standards for the recruitment and employ- 
ment of Mexican workers in the United States has been drafted by a 
subcommittee of Governor McNutt's committee. It is our under- 
standing that this statement has been transmitted to the State Depart- 
ment accompanying the request for the importation of 6,000 workers. 

It is the committee's view that the conference today should probably 
broaden the basis for our discussion beyond the question of this initial 
request for 6,000 Mexicans, and even beyond the question of the im- 
portation of Mexican workers. It is our view that even should the 
Mexican Government agree to the importation, the request for 
Mexican labor cannot be expected, to do more than alleviate tem- 
porarily the problem of labor supply which we can all see developing 
for agriculture in this country as the war continues. In his communi- 
cation to the committee with respect to this conference, Mr. Corson 
has indicated that the Employment Service certification of the need 
for 6,000 workers is conditioned upon the insufficiency of funds to 
enable the Service to extend its search for workers within this country. 

The Immigration Service has indicated its belief that Japanese now 
being evacuated from the west coast should be used to supplement our 
agricultural labor supply, and specifically should be used in the sugar- 
beet industry. All of these matters are actually part of the larger 
problem of mobilizing labor supply for war production. It seems to us 
important that at this conference the question of the importation of 
Mexican labor be discussed in this larger setting. If the Mexican 
Government should refuse to allow such importation, we may very 
well find ourselves just where we started. 

This morning;, before this conference began, the committee asked 
Msgr. John O'Grady, of the National Conference of Catholic Charities, 
to describe to us his observations in California and the Southwestern 
States during the last few weeks. The committee was very much 
interested in the account which he and Mr. Montavon gave us. 



Monsignor, please present what facts you think will be interesting 
to the committee. 

Monsignor O'Grady. I should like to deal with the situation as 
concretely as possible. I suppose the basic issue now is the question 
of the supply of agricultural labor in certain Middlewestern, Rocky 
Mountain, and Pacific Coast States. I think it is generally recog- 
nized that at the present time there are 3,000,000 Mexican and 
Spanish-American workers which constitute the unused labor supply. 
This, of course, is due in the Mexican border area to lack of facilities 
for employment; in southern California, and particularly in Los 
Angeles County, it is due to discrimination and to lack of preemploy- 
ment training facilities for Mexican workers. 

We have been very much concerned, and I know several of the 
officials of this Government have been concerned, about additional 
employment opportunities for Mexicans on the border. There is, of 
course, a serious unemployment problem along the entire border. 
Recently there has been a good deal of talk about labor shortages. 
In February a group of people came here from the El Paso area, and 
some of the people connected with the Employment Service, know- 
ing about their projected trip, told them about the labor supply 
available in northern New Mexico and asked them why they would 
not employ these people rather than bring workers from Old Mexico. 
They said they didn't want workers from the W. P. A. because people 
who had been on W. P. A. didn't want to work. At a recent meeting 
one of the members of the same group said, "We don't need them so 
much — that's not the question. But you know we can get them for 
20 cents an hour. That's very high wages for Mexicans. We just 
ship them over the border and when we get through with them we 
ship them back again. That doesn't cost much." Maybe that's the 
real question. 

Many of us had hoped that we might have an opportunity in this 
emergency of improving the conditions of the Mexican workers in 
this country as a matter of good relationship with Mexico. Those of 
us who deal with Mexican people know that this is a very serious 
source of irritation to them. 

There has been a good deal of talk recently about recruiting Mexi- 
can workers in Texas for the beet fields of Colorado, Michigan, and 
Illinois. There have been some 130 agents down there, representing 
the sugar companies. Of course, how far the workers are recruited 
directly or how far they are recruited by the "grapevine" I don't 
think anybody knows. On my recent trip down there in southern 
Rio Grande Valley, I had the chance of talking to many of these 
migrant workers, their families, and to chiefs of labor, and I found 
that there has been some talk along the line, through the "grape- 
vine," of employment opportunities in the North. Of course that's 
never definite, but that method has been used all over in recruiting 
workers; they have been trying for the past 2 months to get them up 
here. At the present time, at least about 2 weeks ago, they had a 
number of families, about 600 workers, recruited in Texas, stranded 
in the neighborhood of Holland, Mich. In Colorado they begin the 
first thinnings the latter part of May, but it may be postponed, if it 


is cold, for 2 weeks. Another method of recruiting has been — and I 
have no reason to believe that it has changed in the past month — is 
the method adopted by the Great Western Sugar Co., to bring all the 
pressure possible to bear on the local counties to have these Mexicans 
removed from relief the 1st of April. That's 2 months before the first 
thinning begins, and then they get them out to the fields, out to the 
valleys of the upper and the lower Platte and the Arkansas Rivers, 
and I have seen them on June 1 still without any contract. They 
didn't know how many people were needed; they didn't know how 
many people were going to get contracts. They just say, "We need 
5,000." Nobody knows whether they need 5,000 or 1,000. I don't 
know whether the Great Western Sugar Co. knows itself but I am 
quite sure our Employment Service doesn't know how many are 
really needed in Colorado or in Michigan or Illinois at the present 
time. I am afraid it is just one of these things on which there are no 
statistics available. I tried to find how many were recruited from 
Texas. There have been all kinds of rumors regarding the figure. It 
was said at the meeting in San Antonio that they had 40,000 recruits. 
I learned from the Employment Service here that it is about 19,000. 
There have been all kinds of estimates between 19,000 and 40,000. 
Now, how to get the exact figures, I don't know. Of course, they 
say that these agents have to be registered. They have to pay $1,000 
occupational tax and then they have to pay $300 besides in each county 
in which they operate. The methods they use, nobody knows. The 
Employment Service doesn't know. Mr. Maddox of the Great West- 
ern Sugar Co. has been down there and how far he recruits through 
the agents or through the "grapevine," nobody knows. That's just 
a grand mystery. 

I have talked to several of the leaders of these Mexican groups, and 
from what I can gather they are finishing around the southern part of 
the valley at this time, finishing there on onions and peas, and some 
of them are moving north. I talked to the leaders in four camps 
about a week ago and they all tell me they have about the same supply 
of labor this year as last year, and they are following about the same 
pattern. Some of them are going north. They are following the 
crops north to Dallas and then they return. Those that go north 
now return for the cotton crop and they all say that they will have the 
same number for cotton in July and August. The so-called Anglos, 
the Anglo-Saxon workers from Arkansas and Oklahoma, come south 
to the Lower Valley, the Rio Grande Valley, and then they go north 
and west to Lubbock and El Paso. There is no evidence of any labor 
shortage in the valley. I understand the representatives of the South 
Texas Chamber of Commerce have been here. I haven't talked to 
the gentlemen, but I have talked to the families and the workers and 
I have talked to the leaders of the gangs and they tell me they have 
had an adequate supply of labor there this year. I have heard no 
complaints about it. 

The farmers in Texas have become conscious of the fact that there 
is a transportation problem. I find that the workers, these chiefs of 
gangs, are getting tires somehow. They have been able to make some 
sort of a deal with the members of the rationing boards — some of the 
farmers in that area are members of the boards— and they have been 
able to get tires so I have not heard much complaint about the ability 
to get north. That is another story. I find it is different in other 


sections. The Employment Service is closer to this agricultural labor 
problem in Texas than in any other State; in most of the States the 
Employment Service has hardly touched this problem, except on paper. 
They have just made a slight beginning in Florida. Now, I find that 
in Texas most of the people who have come from the north have been 
recruited from the cities, from the large pools of employment in the 
cities. There has been a good deal of pressure to get the W. P. A. to 
reduce rolls, although there are still a considerable number on the 

In regard to the California situation, I have been in about five 
camps in the San Joaquin Valley in the past 3 weeks and I find the 
people are moving along the same as they did in other years. Of 
course, the tire shortage is beginning to affect the movements of the 
workers in San Joaquin Valley. The farmers don't seem to pay any 
attention. The workers had to furnish their own transportation in 
the years past. I think the fact that the farmers aren't conscious of 
the transportation problem is further evidence of the fact there is no 
shortage of labor in the San Joaquin or Sacramento Valleys. I 
counted the number of people in those camps and I found a consider- 
able unemployment problem among them; even in the northern parts 
of the valley they are just working about 3 days a week. Many of 
the workers told me this after they had been out all morning wearing 
out their tires and were unable to find work. That was true in many 
cases. I found only one camp in which all the workers were employed, 
but even in that area there was no evidence of shortage. 

I believe the Farm Security program has done an excellent job in 
the labor camps. In addition to their permanent camps they have 
organized quite a number of mobile camps. I visited two of the 
mobile camps, at least. 

The Employment Service at Santa Barbara showed me some figures 
about shortages in the San Joaquin Valley and I tried to find what 
those figures were based on. I have a suspicion they are based on the 
same sort of information that we have been using as evidence of the 
need for agricultural workers in the past. We just go out and ask the 
f aimers how many they need. Here is an illustration — a few weeks 
ago the farmers in the Everglades area made an appeal to the Governor 
of Florida for 5,000 additional workers. A meeting of these farmers 
was called and when they got down to brass tacks it was found that 
they bad as many workers as last year but they weren't quite as good. 
They have been accustomed to an oversupply, just as the sugar com- 
panies and the Associated Farmers of California have been accustomed 
to an oversupply of labor. I hear something about shortages in 
Montana and Idaho. I am rather inclined to believe that if I had 
the necessary equipment I could go to the San Joaquin Valley ri«;ht 
now and find the necessary number of Mexican workers to supply that 
need in Montana and Idaho, and if I couldn't find them in the San 
Joaquin Valley I certainly could find them in Los Angeles County. 
I don't think there is any question about that. 

The biggest difficulty about the matter is we. do not have the 
machinery, as yet, for the mobilizmg of our supply of agricultural 
workers. I do not want it to be understood that we are criticizing 
the present administration of the Employment Service. I think it is 
a very efficient administration, but its work has been under way on a 
national basis only about 4 months, and it has been humanly im- 


possible with the facilities at its disposal to organize an adequate 
service for agricultural workers in such a short time. I think one of 
the biggest tasks confronting us is the mobilization of our existing 
supply of agricultural workers. In the past, we haven't faced the 
problem because we have had an oversupply, and that's the reason 
why we do not have information. Organizations like the Great 
Western Sugar Co. have never taken us mto their confidence; they 
have recruited the labor in their own way, and consequently our whole 
agricultural labor situation has been in such a chaotic condition. 

I think that the importing of an additional number of Mexican 
workers will further confuse a very difficult situation. It will make it 
more difficult to struggle with the existing unemployment problem 
among the Mexicans on our side of the border. That is still an uphill 
battle. Discrimination is just as rife as it has ever been in the policies 
of the aircraft corporations in Los Angeles County. I noticed in the 
past 2 weeks a number of trained boys left Los Angeles and went to 
San Antonio because they couldn't find work, m spite of the fact that 
the aircraft corporations are talking about employing women and 
children, and about opening nursery schools for the children of em- 
ployed mothers. Yet there are a large number of Mexicans who are 
available for that type of work but whom they are unwilling to employ. 

In view of the fact that we still have this large problem of unemploy- 
ment and since we have not been able to provide adequate oppor- 
tunities for the employment of Mexicans already in our country, I 
think it would be a grave mistake to import an additional supply of 
Mexican labor. I think we will find nil the agricultural labor we need 
as soon as we set up the proper machinery for mobilizing it, as soon 
as we are ready to face the transportation problem, and as soon as 
all these large farming organizations, the Associated Farmers, the 
sugar-beet growers, and so forth, are willing to cooperate in an effort 
to make the best of the existing labor supply. 

The Chairman. Thank you Monsignor. Mr. Montavon, I under- 
stand you want to say a few words. 


Mr. Montavon. I came rather to be with Monsignor O'Grady while 
he was testifying. I am deeply interested in this whole problem. 

The Chairman. In what way are you connected with the problem? 

Mr. Montavon. I am director of the legal department of the 
National Catholic Welfare Conference. It is an association of bishops 
in the United States Catholic Church. Since early in the twenti?.s 
the Welfare Conference has had a very great interest in the Mexican 
situation largely due to an effort to harmonize the position of the 
Catholic Church with principles that were acceptable. I became 
attached to this work about the end of 1925. Prior to that time, I 
had spent 10 years in the Latin-American countries and knew them 
pretty well, first as a commercial attache and later as an executive 
representative of one of the oil companies. In the Mexican question 
I have another interest, I am a counsel for the Office of the Coordi- 
nator of American Affairs and I think evidence is growing that it is 
not only a question of labor for the seasonal agricultural industry, 


but it is being made the basis of what might develop into a political 
situation, both here and abroad. That is, there is propaganda among 
the Mexican population against our war purposes in this country, I 
believe, and there is also propaganda based on the situation of the 
Mexican in this country and other countries. 

It seems to me after tins recent visit to San Antonio, what we have 
is exploitation, rather crude and sordid, of an oversupply of labor — 
labor that is worth so little that very little effort is made to conserve 
it. So that you have a great residue of labor that through mal- 
nutrition, unsanitary conditions, lack of education, is being reduced 
to uselessness. The residue of that labor, perhaps as many as 20,000 
or 30,000 people in San Antonio aloue, are living in swamps in miser- 
able huts; they can't even rent a room in the buildings constructed 
by the Housing Administration. I think that rather than bring new 
labor from Mexico the effort should be made by the agriculture 
interests to conserve the labor that has been brought from Mexico 
and I don't think anything at all worth while has been done along 
that line. The remedy, of course, ultimately, for transient labor of 
this kind would be along the lines pursued by the present Farm Se- 
curity Administration with its camps and services. Those camps 
could be developed into cooperative communities which would make 
it possible for these families to live near the place of fieir chief em- 
ployment throughout the year. In that way they would acquire 
the social protection that they don't now have in the slums. They 
are not able to send their children to school. They don't have any 
sanitary conditions worth while. A great number of families in 
San Antonio, through the work of the Housing Administration, have 
really been driven beyond the limitation of sewers, sanitation, and 
clean water. Out of the lumber from the houses torn down, they 
are now building new shacks beyond the limits of San Antonio be- 
cause they are so poor then can't rent rooms in the housing project 
which has been constructed. It is a very admirable project. I am 
not criticizing the housing project, but am giving an example of the 
extreme poverty these people have to live in. . And where we can't 
support labor and have no interest in supporting it because labor is 
cheap across the border, I think that populations should be taken 
care of if possible within the vicinity of the place where their em- 
ployment is. 

The Chairman. If you would want to reduce this to writing, we 
would be glad to have you do so. 

Mr. Montavon. I would be glad to do that. I think it is a problem 
which has many ramifications, political and social; the labor problem 
is an inseparable part of the defense problems. 

The Chairman. Of course, I agree with Father O'Grady there 
should be a complete inventory of what we have on hand, materials 
as well as men; we should know accurately the untapped supply of 
labor we have in the United States. 

Mr. Montavon. I am fearful such an inventory will not show 
effective labor. I think a great deal of labor which is dissipated 
through maltreatment could be rehabilitated. 

The Chairman. Father O'Grady's written statement will be in- 
serted in the record at tins point. 

-42— pt. 33- 


TON, D. C. 

It is generally recognized that the 3,000,000 Spanish- Americans in the Southwest 
represent the largest unused labor supply in this country. 

On the Texas border there is a lack of employment opportunities for Mexican 
workers. Time and again one hears that they cannot be employed in public 
work because they are not citizens. In southern California large numbers of 
Mexicans and persons of Mexican extraction are unable to find work because of 
discrimination against them or because of the lack of opportunities of preemploy- 
ment training. One of our biggest social and economic problems at the present 
time is to provide new employment opportunities for Mexicans on our Texas 
border, to provide additional preemployment training opportunities for them, and 
to eliminate discrimination against them in southernCalifornia. 

Traditionally, Mexicans in the Southwest have been regarded as agricultural 
workers. They have followed the crops from the lower Rio Grande Vallev up 
to Dallas, and then west to Lubbock and El Paso. The character of Texas 
agriculture, particularly in the Rio Grande Valley, has fostered the development 
of migratory labor, and the Mexicans have provided a large part of that labor 
needed in the State. 

Every year a large number of Mexicans have migrated from the cities of iexas, 
Arizona, and California to the sugar beet fields in the valleys of the upper and 
lower Platte Rivers and the Arkansas River and also to the beet fields of Michigan 
and Illinois. Mexican workers have also followed the harvest out through the 
Imperial, San Joaquin, and Sacramento Valleys of California. Some of them have 
found their way to Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. 

A few years ago there was a great hue and cry about the number of Mexican 
workers who had become relief clients in various American cities. Provision was 
made for sending large numbers back to Mexico and the border was closed against 
the introduction of additional Mexican workers to the United States. People who 
were interested in the Mexicans felt that the closing of the border did give us an 
opportunity for improving the standard of life of those who were already here. 
They felt that it did give the Mexicans a chance of developing their own organiza- 
tions and their own leadership. But the improvement of the economic conditions 
of the Mexicans has been by no means an easy task. We have had the question 
of limited opportunities in the cities. A number of cities with large Mexican 
populations frankly did not want any new industries. They felt that this would 
bring a demand for higher wage standards. It has also been a difficult task to 
improve the condition of the agricultural laborers because of the type of work in 
which thev are engaged. 

The methods of recruiting Mexican agricultural workers have been designed to 
keep their wages as low as possible. At a recent meeting in a county not far from 
El Paso a prominent citizen stated the matter quite bluntly when he said, "You 
know, we can employ Mexicans for 20 cents an hour — that is high wages for them — 
and we can get them in and out in a very short time." 

When Mexican workers were on relief, local relief directors saw to it that 
they were removed from the relief rolls long before the crops were ready for har- 
vesting. In some counties in Colorado they were off the relief rolls on April 1 in 
spite of the fact that they usually did not receive their sugar contracts until 
July 1. , , , 

There is every reason for believing that these same methods of recruiting agri- 
cultural labor were employed in south Texas during the past 2 months by agents 
of the sugar companies from Illinois, Michigan, and Colorado. For instance, 
workers recruited by the Lake Shore Sugar Co. of Holland, Mich., arrived more 
than a month before operations could possibly begin. They did not have sufficient 
clothing and were compelled to live in the most unsanitary conditons. Many of 
them were sheltered in abandoned coal sheds. In all, nearly 600 Spanish- American 
workers have been stranded in this area. 

The sugar companies have wanted to secure as large a supply of Mexicans as 
they possibly could. I know for a fact that the Great Western Sugar Co. has 
encouraged workers to move out to the Platte River Valleys some weeks before 
contracts were available for them. In fact, the individual worker did not know 
whether or not he would secure a contract until the very last moment. 

The agents of sugar companies, numbering some 130, have been active in 
Texas during the past 2 months in recruiting Mexican labor. These agents have 
to post a bond of $5,000 to insure return transportation to the worker; they have 


to pay an annual State occupational tax of $1,000, and also a sum ranging from 
$100 to $300 for the privilege of operating in individual counties. I understand 
that these out-of-State agents charge each worker recruited the sum of $2 for a job. 

There are various estimates of the number of workers who have been recruited 
from Texas to the northern beet fields during the past 2 months. At a meeting in 
San Antonio last week I heard a number of people close to the situation say that 
they felt the number recruited was about 40,000. I am inclined to believe that 
most of them were recruited from cities and a very considerable number from the 
city of San Antonio. Skilled workers of all kinds were included — painters, 
carpenters, masons, garment workers, etc. Whether the number is 20,000 — which 
seems to be the figure given by the authorities here in Washington — or 40,000, 
nobody knows exactly. So far nobody knows the exact labor needs of the sugar 

I was told only yesterday that there are evidences of great labor shortages in 
Idaho and Montana and my answer was that if we could only mobilize the unem- 
ployed Mexicans we could easily meet the labor shortage of those two States and 
still have a large number of them unemployed. 

The officials of the South Texas Chamber of Commerce have been spending 
considerable time in Washington telling us about the labor shortages in south 
Texas. Within the past 10 days I have had an opportunity of visiting four labor 
camps in south Texas — all the way from Corpus Christi to the neighborhood of 
Brownsville. In each camp I talked to the chief of the labor crews. These crews 
varied from 20 to 40 men each. The vegetable and fruit season in the lower valley 
was about over and the workers were moving north in the direction of Corpus 
Christi. Each of the chiefs of the labor crews interviewed told me that he had 
about the same number of workers as last year. A number of the workers ex- 
pected to return to Laredo and await the cotton crop in late July and August. 
Some stated that they intended to follow the vegetable crops north to Dallas and 
later return for the cotton season. From the chiefs of labor crews, from the camp 
directors, and from those with whom I talked on the streets and on the farms, I 
learned that about the same number of workers had come in this year as last year 
and there was no real shortage of labor. All felt that they would have a sufficient 
number of workers to harvest the cotton crop. 

One must not get the impression that agriculture in the Rio Grande Valley, or 
for that matter throughout the State of Texas, depends entirely on Mexican labor. 
A considerable part of the labor is recruited from Oklahoma and Arkansas. 
Workers from these two States come down with their families to the lower Rio 
Grande in November. They follow the fruit and vegetable harvest north; they 
return south again to the valley for cotton, and follow the cotton crop north and 
west as far as El Paso. 

Last February a number of leaders in the El Paso area came to Washington in 
order to bring pressure to bear on the Government to secure workers from Mexico. 
The Employment Service out there told them about the large supply of labor that 
was available in northern New Mexico. They said they did not want these 
workers — they had been on Work Projects Administration and were no longer 
willing to work. 

The Associated Farmers of California, I understand, would also like to have an 
additional supply of Mexican workers. On what do they base their request? 
Three weeks ago I visited five camps for migratory farm workers in the San 
Joaquin Valley in California. Four of the camps were operated by the Federal 
Government and one by a private individual. The first camp visited had 200 
migratory families, 25 percent of them unemployed. The second camp had 160 
migratory families, 40 percent of them were working 3 to 4 days a week. A third 
camp visited had 130 families, all working. There was, however, no evidence 
of a labor shortage. The padrone who operated the private camp had been able 
to find work for half of his 100 families. Of the 1,660 families in all the camps 
operated by the Farm Security Administration in California, 44 percent were 
unemployed on April 15. 

Tt is really impossible to give any complete picture of the agricultural labor 
situation so far as it involves Mexican workers. The demands of those who would 
import additional Mexican workers into this country at the present time is not 
supported by such meager evidence as we have on hand. It looks very much like 
a move on the part of certain elements to keep the wages of farm workers, and 
particularly of Mexican farm workers, down to the lowest, possible level. 

On the whole, the employment service in the various States has not been close 
to the agricultural situation. Just to mention a few States: 


In California the employment service has hardly touched the problem of agri- 
cultural labor. The workers drift into the State: they try to find their own jobs 
as best they can. I have seen workers spend days and days driving around from 
one farm to another in an effort to find employment. 

The employment service in Colorado has had only the most limited contact with 
the farm-labor situation. 

The employment service in Florida has just made a beginning this year. 

The employment service in Texas has made greater progress, I believe, than 
any other State in dealing with the very difficult problems of agricultural labor. 

Now what is the result? It is simply this: They do not have adequate ma- 
chinery at hand for the mobilizing of agricultural workers. 

I do not want to criticize the present administration of the Employment 
Service. I believe that Mr. Corson has done very excellent work in his short 
period in office. But he simply has not had the staff to undertake the Herculean 
task of mobilizing agricultural labor. He knows the weaknesses of his service 
as well as anybody else. The employment service is now charged with the 
responsibility of mobilizing the manpower of America. Its first and most impor- 
tant job is agricultural labor. It is now face to face with this task and cannot 
possibly sidestep it. 

There are many reasons why we have not been able to organize this agricultural 
labor supply. In the first place, the large farms in California, Texas, Colorado, 
and other beet sugar States, did not want an organized agricultural labor market. 
Even if we had the best employment service that could be devised, they would not 
use it. They do not want to use it today if they can avoid it. 

The only real evidence I find of serious concern on the part of individual farmers 
regarding the agricultural labor supply is their concern about transportation. 
I find that farmers in the Everglades region of Florida have been providing trans- 
portation for their workers to and from their work. The same is true of the farm- 
ers in Texas. In California, however, the farmers are not showing any con- 
sciousness of the transportation problem which shows that they are not very much 
concerned about the supply of agricultural labor. 

We are facing a hard, uphill job in providing employment opportunities and of 
improving the standard of life of Mexicans in this country at the present time. 
Do we want to complicate this problem by bringing in an additional supply of 
Mexican labor? The 20,000 to 40,000 workers who have been recruited from 
T^xas for the beet fields to the north will be back in their old haunts in November. 
There will be few jobs for them. They must be subsidized for many months in 
order to be ready for the beet fields again in the spring. 

What has been done in a limited way in California, in Texas, and in Florida, 
by the Farm Security Administration through its labor homes, gives hope that 
some day we may be able to stabilize our agricultural populations; that we may 
devise a plan in which it will not be necessary for large numbers of families to 
migrate long distances each year, to the detriment of their health and their whole 
standard of family life. 

If the interests that are working for the introduction of additional Mexican 
workers to this country succeed in their objective, I believe they will also succeed 
in getting around any standards that may be set for them in the employment of 
these workers. 

Mr. Arnold. Mr. Chairman, if each of the speakers will take say 
3 to 5 minutes to describe the position of his agency with respect 
to the question of the importation of Mexican labor, this will open 
the subject and we can then expect that the members of the committee 
and staff will have various questions. 

We might start with 

Dr. Lamb (interposing). May I interrupt a moment to say that I 
notice there are representatives of other agencies present who might 
want to sit in, and who may want to answer or ask some questions 
later. I would like to take notice of the presence of Mr. Elmer 
Rowalt of the War Relocation Authority, representing Mr. Milton 
Eisenhower; I don't know whether Mr. Ennis wants to be officially 
noted as being here, or not? 

Mr. Ennis. No, Dr. Lamb; Mr. Devany represents the Depart- 


Mr. Sparkman. May I interrupt the proceedings, Mr. Chairman, 
to say that it is necessary that I attend a very important meeting 
of the Military Affairs Committee. I will have to go now and regret 
very much not being present during this conference. It may be that 
I will be able to get back later, but I do want you to excuse me. 

The Chairman. Of course the military takes precedence, so you 
will be excused. 

Mr. Sparkman. Thank you. 


The Chairman. Members of the Conference on the Importation 
of Mexican Labor are as follows: 

Mrs. Clara M. Beyer, assistant director, Division of Labor Stand- 
ards, Department of Labor. 

Mr. Collis Stocking, assistant director, Bureau of Employment 
Security, Social Security Board. 

Mr. Ernesto Galarza, chief, Division of Labor and Social Informa- 
tion,' Pan-American Union. 

Mr. Walter H. C. Laves, director, Division of Inter-American 
Activities in the United States, Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs. 

Mr. William J. Rogers, chief, Division of Labor and Rural Indus- 
tries, Office of Agricultural War Relations, Department of Agricultme. 

Mr. Angel Rosas, labor attache, Mexican Embassy. 

Mr. Alvin Roseman, assistant to the administrator, Federal Security 

Mr. Allan C. Devany, chief examiner, Immigration and Natural- 
ization Service, Department of Justice. 

Mr. George H. Winters, assistant chief, Division of American 
Republics, State Department. 

Rt. Rev. Monsignor John O'Grady, secretary, National Conference 
of Catholic Charities. 

Mr. William F. Montavon, director of the legal department of the 
National Catholic Welfare Conference. 

Mr. Elmer Rowalt, assistant to the Director, War Relocation 


Mr. Arnold. Now, Mr. Stocking, if you will take a few minutes 
to describe the position of your agency with respect to the question 
of the importation of Mexican labor; we will appreciate it. 


Mr. Stocking. At the beginning of this season it was thought for 
some 'time that it might be possible to use some of the Japanese that 
were being evacuated from the coast, for sugar-beet work. It is esti- 
mated about 120,000 Japanese are to be evacuated; of those there are 
about 28,000, I believe, that have had some experience in agricultural 


It was decided, however, by the War Relocation Authority, that 
the Japanese would not be available. That decision was made definite 

1 believe, sometime last month, although I am not sure of the date. 
This decision made it necessary to try to find other workers. We 

did redouble our recruiting effort, insofar as funds permitted, to meet 
the demand for workers for the sugar-beet fields. 

However, on the eve of the time for blocking and thinning the 
sugar-beets, it was becoming increasingly apparent that there was a 
danger of not being able to get a sufficient number of workers. About 

2 weeks ago, I believe it was, at the time of the meeting that you re- 
ferred to, held by Mr. Roseman, we were unwilling to certify the 
importation of Mexicans; that is to say, we were unwilling to say that 
the labor could not be obtained here. 

On Sunday, 2 weeks ago, a meeting was held in Cincinnati with 
our representatives from sugar-beet areas, at which they developed 
plans to meet the situation without importing Mexicans. We dis- 
cussed these plans with the sugar-beet growers and they indicated a 
willingness to cooperate with us in the recruiting program. 

Briefly, we were going to try to locate a sufficient supply of workers 
in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico, and the 
sugar-beet growers agreed to pay the transportation of the workers 
recruited from the point of recruitment to the point of employment, 
and return. 

We were to arrange for what we call pooled interviews; we get the 
people together that are suitable for the work to be done, and the 
representatives of the growers appear and hire the workers in groups. 
When we really started to work on this they turned in orders for 
2,200 workers. 

The first 2 days of our recruiting effort we recruited something m 
the neighborhood of 1,100 workers, and felt certain that we would be 
able to fill the remainder of the orders. 

However, we did not at that time have orders from all the sugar- 
beet growers that needed workers, and a survey of the labor market 
conditions by the head of our Farm Placement Service indicated that 
we would not be able to meet the full needs. This survey indicated 
that there would be a deficit of probably 3,000 in California, 1,500 in 
Idaho, and 1,500 in Montana. _ m m 

On the basis of the estimate of a deficit of workers, which inci- 
dentally was a great deal smaller than the estimates of the sugar-beet 
growers of the number of workers they would need to import, we cer- 
tified these areas as being areas in which we could not get enough labor 
to meet the immediate demands. 

Since then we have received a notification from our representative 
in Oregon that Japanese workers will be made available in that area, 
and that the sugar companies are paying transportation costs from 
Portland, Oreg., to Malheur County, Oreg., where the workers are to 
be used. The employers are buying beds and furnishing sleeping ac- 
commodations for 300 workers, and furnishing this equipment to the 
Farm Security Administration and setting up the necessary facilities 
for their employment. 

It may be that this indicates a change of attitude on the part of 
the War Relocation authorities, and it is not impossible that the avail- 
able Japanese workers may alleviate the situation in other States. 


The Chairman. At the invitation of the committee, we have Mr. 
Kosas, labor attache of the Mexican Embassy, present here as an 

Mr. Arnold. I don't want to specify the order in which any of you 
speak on this problem; just proceed as you like. 


Mr. Devany. Well, since I am next in order, I will go ahead. 
First I would like to express the regret of Major Schofield at his 
inability to attend the meeting today. 


I think it would be well to mention first the basis for the position 
of the Immigration Service from a statutory standpoint. Section 3 of 
the act of February 5, 1917, excludes from the United States both 
skilled and unskilled labor. As to skilled labor, there is authority for 
waivers as an excluding ground, where a showing can be made that 
labor of a particular kind is unavailable in the United States. 

As to unskilled labor, there is a provision in the statute, known as 
the ninth proviso, which permits the Attorney General, in his discre- 
tion, to permit such persons to enter the United States under such 
conditions as he may wish to impose. 

As regards sugar-beet labor, which has been classed as unskilled 
labor, if such admissions are authorized, it is under that ninth proviso. 

In determining whether such labor should enter, we have for the 
most part relied upon the United States Employment Service to cer- 
tify to us the need for such labor. However, the process for our com- 
ing into the case in the first place is that the applications are sub- 
mitted to the Immigration Service by the various individuals request- 
ing such labor. These formal applications come through our field 
offices. Our various field offices conduct, in some cases, an independ- 
ent investigation. In others, where conditions justify, reference is 
made entirely to the United States Employment Service. 

Whenever a report is received from that organization it is submitted 
to the central office of the Service, together with any independent in- 
vestigation conducted by the Service. 


Action has not been taken on any of these cases relating to Mexican 
labor, to date. We have, however, on hand at the present time, a 
certification from the United States Emplo3 T ment Service of the need 
for 6,000 Mexican laborers. 

The Immigration Service was represented at the meeting of the 
committee of the various departments of the Government considering 
this problem, at which time consideration was given to the conditions 
which would prevail in the event Mexican labor were permitted to enter. 

So far, this matter has not been presented to the State Department 
for the purpose of requesting the Mexican Government to permit 
such labor to enter the United States. This has not been done for 
the following reasons, first, that the exact conditions have not been 
agreed upon to date so far as the Immigration Service knows; second, 


tbe distribution of such labor, if permitted to enter, has not been 
finally determined ; third, the sugar-beet employers have not indicated 
any agreement on conditions which might prevail if Mexicans are 
permitted to enter. 

I might mention the fact that the Service has, on the other border — 
the Canadian border — during the past year considered applications 
for the admission of Canadian woodsmen, and we have, from time 
to time, permitted such laborers to enter with the consent of the 
Canadian Government. 

So far as concerns labor in the United States, and its availability, 
I have stated that we generally rely upon the U. S. Employment 
Service for advice in this regard. The Immigration Service does 
believe, however, that the use of Japanese labor has not been con- 
sidered in its full extent, and that before Mexican labor is permitted 
to enter, if in the general picture it is found that such labor is needed, 
the advisability again of considering Japanese labor should be ex- 

I thank you. 

Mr. Arnold. Mr. Rogers, Chief of the Division of Labor and Rural 
Industries, Office of Agricultural War Relations, Department of 


Mr. Rogers. Mr. Chairman, probably I should start my statement 
by going back about a year, at which time the Department of Agri- 
culture began to plan a production program which would secure the 
production of the kind of Crops that were most needed in our entire 
war effort, food for both ourselves, and our armed forces, and, since 
then, our Allies. 


That program was inaugurated last fall, in September. It was 
revised a time or two in the light of changing conditions. The purpose 
of this expanded program is, of course, to get not just more of every- 
thing, but more of the kind of things that are needed. It involved 
not only an over-all increase in agricultural production, but a marked 
shift from one type of production to another type in many sections 
of the country. 

Two of the crops, for example, which are perhaps of importance to 
this discussion, are sugar beets and long-staple cotton. 

In the case of sugar beets, we have asked for an unlimited increase 
in acreages. We had hoped to get an average increase of around 
40 percent. Whether or not that actually has been achieved will 
depend upon some plantings that have taken place or have not taken 
place within the last few days. The expansion in some areas has been 
far greater than the average of 40 percent. Some of the larger ex- 
pansion has been in States and in regions in which there apparently 
has not been a great deal of local labor available to take care of so 
lar^e an increase. 


In the case of long-staple cotton, if I am not mistaken, the limiting 
factor is the amount of seed that we have. Long-staple cotton, as 
I understand, is restricted for use only in our vital war production. 

There are other crops that have been expanded materially, par- 
ticularly the oil crops such as soybeans and peanuts. 

The Department of Agriculture is interested from the standpoint 
of securing sufficient labor to take care of these crops. That has been 
our approach all along. We realize that more labor, at least more 
man-hours, will be required. Part of those additional man-hours can, 
no doubt, be secured through a slight lengthening of the day of work 
on the part of the farmers, if that can be lengthened very much more; 
and through better utilization of the workers available. 

Even with that it is our opinion some additional workers would be 
required above those that we have had in the past. 


One of the factors that makes the agricultural labor problem 
different from the industrial labor problem is the seasonality which 
occurs simply because of nature. In the past there has been a varia- 
tion of approximately three and a half million workers from the low 
of employment, about the 1st of January, to the peak of employment 
which occurs from July through October. 

As we have approached the problem of labor in relation to our 
production, we have been working very closely with the United States 
Employment Service to assure a supply of workers which would be 
adequate to meet our needs. As soon as we establish these goals, we 
have given the information to the Employment Service and worked 
with them, and have had our Department people working with them 
cooperatively in each State and each community. We have done 
everything that we know how to do from the standpoint of working 
out an organized method of getting the workers where they are needed 
at the time they are needed, within the limitations that the Employ- 
ment Service and the Department have had. 

I think that is largely the position of the Department. 

I would like to add, however, that these agricultural problems are 
different from almost any of our manufactured products. If we have 
a machine here that is 90 percent produced, and for some reason labor 
isn't available to finish the job, usually that machine will wait, and it 
won't actually deteriorate or spoil until we do get the labor. In the 
case of most of these farm crops, however, if we don't have the labor 
at the time it is needed, our crop is gone. 

Again I might mention because they are apparently of particular 
interest to this group that these two crops — you can hardly find two 
crops that are more vital to us right now than sugar beets and long 
staple cotton. 

Mr. Arnold. Mrs. Clara M. Beyer, assistant director, Division of 
Labor Standards, Department of Labor. 



Mrs. Beyer. The interest of the Department of Labor in this 
problem is primarily that of protecting the wage earners and trying 
to improve the conditions of work. 

We firmly believe that no workers should be brought in from Mexico 
until the labor supply in this country is fully utilized. We have no 
measure ourselves of what the labor situation and labor requirements 
in agriculture are. We depend upon the Employment Service for 
those figures. 

We know from past experience that there has been a great deal of 
exploitation of Mexican workers in this country; that the wages have 
been low, the conditions of work often intolerable; that they have been 
exploited by labor contractors, and that in general they haven't been 
given the square deal that we expect for workers in this country — 
although many of our own workers are being exploited in the same way. 


I think it was the feeling of the subcommittee which worked on these 
labor standards, that if certain conditions were met in this country 
there might not be any need for importation of Mexican labor. 
Among those. conditions the committee spelled out that the differential 
between industrial wages and agricultural wages should be reduced. 
Agricultural wages are too low in relation to the industrial wages. 

The Chairman. Is anything being done about that, Mrs. Beyer? 
I think you have hit the nail right on the head there. 

Mrs. Beyer. It was discussed in this committee, but I don't think 
any solution was reached. In the committee's recommended stand- 
ards the minimum wage rate at which Mexicans could be brought into 
the country was considerably higher than the going rate in agricultural 
areas today. 

These minimum rates should aid in setting some measure as to 
what agricultural wage rates should be. 

All of us who work on this problem of agricultural labor are im- 
pressed with the inadequate housing facilities for these workers in 
the areas in which there is supposedly a shortage of labor. We 
cannot hope to hold labor in these areas unless that housing is 

The Farm Security Administration lacks the funds to do the hous- 
ing job for these areas that it has been doing for the migratory labor 
group. I think its farm camp program has been excellent, and it 
should be expanded rather than reduced at this particular period. 

In addition to that, we know that the Employment Service has 
not had an adequate staff with which to do the recruiting job that 
has to be done, and this recruiting job is no small proposition. They 
have got to have a staff, they have got to have funds if we are going 
to see that available labor in this country is brought into the place 
where it can be used most effectively. Much more emphasis should 
be given to expanding our Farm Placement Service in this emergency. 



Another thing that we have talked about before this committee in 
the past, and have had hearings on, is the need for regulation of 
private contractors that are going down to Mexico if we open up 
this question, to recruit the Mexican labor and bring them into this 
country. They are now in Texas recruiting labor for Michigan and 
Indiana and Ohio. They bring them in long before the season com- 
mences, and these people are thrown on relief until such time as the 
crops are ready to be taken care of. That situation this year is as 
bad as it has ever been. They have taken the workers out of Texas, 
brought them up to these other areas, and kept them there maybe 
for 6 or 7 weeks before there was anything for them to do. 

That situation should be controlled. There is no Federal machin- 
ery for control at the present time. It is essential that the Tolan 
bill be passed to give that measure of control. If it were passed, 
and a very close tie-up with the Employment Service worked out, 
the sugar-beet companies and these other companies would be in- 
clined to work through the Employment Service, instead of setting 
up this private recruiting system that is now demoralizing the labor 

The Chairman. Mrs. Beyer, I was just thinking that when we go 
before the Rules Committee you would be a pretty good representa- 
tive of the committee to get a rule on H. R. 5510. I want to talk to 
you about that afterward; I think you would probably be more 
persuasive than we are. 

Mrs. Beyer. If I could be of any help I would be delighted, Mr. 

We feel that the Japanese workers should be used insofar as it is 
possible to use them, because of the demoralization that is bound to 
take place among those workers unless they are brought into a job 
relationship. The sooner that we can use them effectively, the better. 
If Japanese workers can be used in the sugar-beet areas, or any of these 
other places, they should be used before labor is brought in from 


However, I think we must be realistic about this thing, and if the 
Employment Service has found that we cannot get the labor, then we 
should not let our crops spoil. However, if we bring in Mexican 
workers, we should be sure that those workers are protected and not 
exploited. It would be most unfortunate to bring in Mexican workers 
now and let them go through what many of the Mexican workers 
who are in this country at the present time have gone through. 

I think the labor standards should not only be put into the treaty, 
but that they should be enforced in this country so that we can give 
adequate protection to the Mexican workers while they are here, and 
see that they get back to their homes again at no expense to them. 

The labor standards that have been drawn up by this joint com- 
mittee, if .enforced, and if adequate machinery for enforcement is 
provided, would give that protection insofar as it is possible for the 
Government to give it. But I hope very much that ways and means 
will be found that will make it unnecessary to bring in large numbers 
of Mexicans at this time. 



The Chairman. There is no treaty at the present time between the 
Mexican Government and this Government, is there, as to the impor- 
tation of labor? 

Mrs. Beyer. Probably I used the word "treaty" in the wrong 
sense. I meant the arrangement that would be made by the Immi- 
gration Service. 

The Chairman. It is a peculiar thing, Mrs. Beyer, we have many 
agreements with the Mexican Government regarding boundaries and 
practically everything else excepting the flow of human beings from 
one country to another. As far as I know, there is no treaty or agree- 
ment of that kind between the two Governments. There should be, 
and when they come in here they should come on a national basis. 
It seems to me it should be understood between the two Governments 
on what basis they are coming in, and that they should be taken care 
of as well as we are taking care of our own people. 

Mrs. Beyer. I think that is very important. We must realize 
that we haven't been taking care of our own people in this particular 
situation. I think we should make very effort to take care of them 
and to see if they cannot be made to do this job. They should be 
recruited and brought to the place where their labor will be effective, 
and then returned to their homes again and not stranded in the 
community where they happen to work at the time their employment 
is ended. 


The Chairman. Mrs. Beyer, it keeps recurring to me all the time, 
and we run up against it in our hearings, that we talk about so many 
workers being needed in California and Texas and other States; but 
we have, as we know, and as Monsignor O'Grady stated this morning, 
really no complete inventory of just what is needed in those States, 
or how much available labor supply we have in the States which are 
appealing for aid. 

Mrs. Beyer. That is true, and that is why it is very important to 
expand the Employment Service and to expand the fact-finding service 
of the Department of Agriculture. We must get those facts before 
we can make proper use of our labor supply. 


Mr. Rogers. I might observe here that the fact-finding facilities 
of the Department of Agriculture will be much further reduced the 
first of July. 

The Chairman. It is no fault of this committee, Mr. Rogers. 

Mr. Rogers. That is right; I just wanted to make that observation. 

disparity between farm and industrial wage rates 

There is one observation, Mr. Congressman, that I would like to 
make in regard to the wage rates. I don't think there is any question 
at all of the great disparity between farm wage rates and the industrial 
wage rates. An examination of the relationship between wages, 
both agricultural and industrial wages, and between certain other 
factors in agriculture, indicates that for a good many years farm wages 


have tended to follow very closely the farmer's income, not necessarily 
prices, but his cash income. 

The wages have tended to lag 6 to 9 months behind the rise in cash 
income, when it goes up. When the cash income goes down, they 
follow it down, still with a little lag. Up until a few years ago in- 
dustrial wages bore a fairly constant relationship to farm wages, but 
in the last 2 or 2% years there has been a growing disparity between 
industrial wage rates and farm wage rates 

Dr. Lamb (interposing). While agricultural prices have been rising. 

Mr. Rogers. Yes; but industrial wages have risen far out of pro- 
portion to farm wages. Which would lead to one other thing: There 
has been, as you know, Dr. Lamb, a constant rise in farm wages 
generally in the last 3 r ear, and no doubt the farmers with better prices 
can and will pay some higher wages. But with the present prices 
you have, compared to the industrial situation, there probably is a 
limit to the wages that the farmer can afford to pay at the present 
tune. Where that is I don't know exactly, but there is some limitation 
in there and it is a pretty big problem that we have confronting us. 

Dr. Lamb. Before going to the next speaker I would like to observe, 
however, that we haven't seen any very good figures on the spread, 
for example, on long staple cotton, or on short staple for that matter, 
between the prices received not only for the cotton but for the seed, 
and the amounts paid for labor. 


I have the distinct impression that the amounts paid for labor have 
tended to lag far behind the income received from both cotton and seed. 

For example, in 1939 you had about 9-cent cotton, I think; is that 

Mr. Rogers. I don't recall; I think that is about right. 

Dr. Lamb. And you had, for instance, in Texas — well, I think it 
would be generous to say, 50-cent labor; 40 cents would probably 
be about right; how about that? 

Mr. Rogers. I believe you would be a little low on that. 

Dr. Lamb. Fifty cents would certainly be about right, 50 cents a 
hundred, around Corpus Christi, for example; and when cotton went 
to 17 cents in 1941 they were paying about 75 cents, and that reluc- 
tantly, for the cotton picked in that part of the State. 

Mr. Rogers. Other parts of the State, I believe, were paying higher, 
and other States I know were paying much higher. 

Dr. Lamb. They were paying 85 cents a hundred at the beginning 
of the season, and when they had to come up they came up to around 

Mr. Rogers. Of course we don't know yet what this year's wages 
will be. 

Dr. Lamb. What is cotton selling for, that is, medium cotton? 

Mr. Rogers. I am sorry, I don't know; I should be able to tell you. 

Dr. Lamb. I have an impression that it is well over 17 cents at the 
present time. Those spreads are pretty striking and the price of seed 
is equally high. I don't know what that is but it is over $45 a ton, 
I believe, at the present time. 


Mr. Rogers. I think that you will, no doubt, find differences in 
any one particular crop. I was speaking of agricultural income and 
agricultural wages in general. No doubt you will find variations 

Dr. Lamb. I just wanted to point out that it looks as if there was a 
very distinct lag in the rise of wages, as over against prices and income 
from the crop, particularly in cotton. In sugar beets the wages tend 
to be around the minimum. The prices, I presume, are more or less 
fixed, as well as the minimum wage. 

Mr. Rogers. I believe that the minimum wage set is within about 
2 or 3 percent of the increased price on sugar for this year. There 
may be a slight variation above in the sugar price, but the sugar wages 
increased approximately 26 percent over the country as a whole. 

Dr. Lamb. But there are great discrepancies in various part of the 
country within the sugar-beet wage, are there not? 

Mr. Rogers. That is right. 

Dr. Lamb. Particularly on an acreage basis? 

Mr. Rogers. Yes; these, I think, are due in some cases to the 
method of operations in contracting, and in other cases to some 
technical differences in the production. 

Dr. Lamb. I wonder if there would be any way for us to get hold 
of a brief statement of these wages, with some samples from around 
the country, and the prices being received for the crop? 

Mr. Rogers. You mean the sugar-beet wages? 

Dr. Lamb. Yes, and also the cotton. 

Mr. Rogers. Yes. On your cotton wages for this year you would 
have only those in the case of the cotton-chopping wage. 

Dr. Lamb. Would it be possible to get that, Mr. Stocking? 

Mr. Stocking. We could get it from the Department of Agricul- 

(This material was later received and accepted for the record. It 
is printed on page 12462.) 

Mr. Rogers. Of course we can give you the general price being 
paid for sugar, but incidentally your sugar-beet grower never knows 
for a year after his crop is in just how much he is going to get. 

Dr. Lamb. And of course the sugar-beet worker doesn't know for 
several months after he has done the job, what he is going to get 
either. ' 


Mr. Arnold. Mr. Galarza? 

Mr Galarza. Mr. Congressman, to begin with, I ought to make 
it perfectly plain that the Pan American Union is an international 
body controlled by the 21 American republics, and that the remarks 
or observations that I might make here this morning are in no sense 
an indication or a suggestion as to the policy of the Pan American 
Union on this matter, because the Pan American Union could hardly, 
with any propriety, have a policy on a matter which at this stage is 
a subject of the internal policy of the United States. I wanted to 
make that clear. 

I am h'^rcas chief of the Division of Labor and Social Information, 
with the consent and permission of my chief, because we feel that in 
the position which we occupy, being in touch with the trends of opin- 


ion and of research in the international labor field, we can probably 
suggest some of the broader problems that are involved in this 
immediate question of Mexican immigration to the United States. 


We believe — and I am personally convinced — that the solution, 
both immediate and long term, that is given to the problem of the 
coming of the Mexican worker to the Southwest, as well as the ad- 
justment that he makes in the United States, is, broadly speaking, a 
matter of deep and significant interest not only to the United States 
and Mexico, but to several other American republics as well. It isn't 
generally recognized that the United States and Mexico are not the 
only two countries in the American hemisphere that have this diffi- 
cult and complex economic and social problem. It even creates a 
political problem when, largely for economic reasons, the working 
population of one country floats over the boundary into another 
neighboring area. 

A similar problem exists in the boundary areas of other parts of the 
Western Hemisphere. I believe this committee is touching on some- 
thing profoundly significant in the relations of the American 
republics. I believe there is a possibility of setting up a way of 
approach and of suggesting a solution which will affect the welfare 
and lift the standard of living, not only of the Mexican in the South- 
west, but of the migratory worker in other areas of the Caribbean and 
of South America. 


It would be well, I think, for this committee and for the agencies 
of the United States Government who are interested in this problem, 
to take very careful note of the position which Mexican labor, organ- 
ized labor in Mexico, has always taken on this problem. 

For many years back the organized-labor movement in Mexico 
has definitely objected to and has commented upon, and has called 
attention to the orthodox and traditional way of handling the problem 
of the scarcity of labor in the Southwest United States. 

Today I don't presume to represent the opinion of organized labor 
in Mexico, but I can just pass on to you what I think is an accurate 
understanding on our part of what that attitude is: It is simply that 
the more or less haphazard emigration of Mexican labor to the South- 
west, with no provisions for standards, and with the dislocation 
always produced by the movement of large masses of workers, in 
Mexico itself, is definitely contrary to the interests of organized labor 
in the Mexican Republic. 

I believe that Mexican organized labor today would take the same 
attitude, and since it would be necessary to have the cooperation and 
the sympathy which the Mexican organized labor movement is willing 
to extend in' the defense effort — and that I want to underline also— 
in order to secure that sympathy I think it would be wise to keep this 
very important factor in mind. 

Moreover, I believe that this committee should be prepared to face 
an attitude on the part of the Mexican Government with respect to 
this problem, somewhat along-tha following lines, and again this is 


not an official statement, but a statement made to you with the desire 
to anticipate the problems that may arise and to broaden the perspec- 
tive of the committee. 


The position of the Mexican Government on this, as I stated to the 
committee a moment ago, will probably take the following form: 

1. That at the moment as things are now, there should be cate- 
gorically no further emigration of Mexican workers and their families 
to the United States, as being contrary to the interests of Mexico. 

2. That there is a recognition of the fact that this is a defense 
problem, not only for the United States but for the hemisphere; and 
that if ways and means can be found to lift this problem out of its 
traditional form and put it on a higher level, both from the standpoint 
of production and of human welfare, I believe the Mexicans would be 
willing to recognize the need to cooperate with the United States to 
assure a sufficient supply of labor. 

3. That a real need for workers in the Southwest area be established 
before further emigration is authorized. And I might say that there 
isn't general agreement, very often, in fact, there are obvious dis- 
crepancies between reports that are received as to the need for labor 
in certain areas in which Mexicans have settled. 

4. The Mexicans will, no doubt, if they are consistent with their 
past views on this matter, insist upon the setting up of standards 
along the lines indicated by the representative of the Department of 

5. It seems probable that the Mexican Government would suggest 
and emphasize the need to set up an international body composed of 
representatives of the Mexican Government and of the United States, 
to do exactly what the chairman has indicated, namely, to give to the 
human labor problem at least as much consideration as the movement 
of goods and of water and of other problems that the two governments 
have handled on the basis of international negotiations. 

I want to be very brief in what I am going to say now. I am now 
adding this as a statement, still in pursuance of the general idea of 
broadening the perspective of the committee. This is not only a 
matter of bringing agricultural workers to the Southwest, but it is a 
matter of the adjustment and the solution of certain cultural prob- 
lems, problems of friction and of ill-feeling that have grown up be- 
tween our two peoples. 


For example, when you speak of leveling out industrial and farm 
wages, I would like to call your attention to the fact that in many 
areas of the Southwest today there are dual wage standards and that 
Mexican workers today are being paid less for the same kind of work 
than the American citizens are getting. 

Secondly, in many areas, too, we find that the Mexican worker is 
subject to very serious discrimination in the matter of seniority. 
We find also that the Mexican workers who go back to their native 
land carry back some very disagreeable impressions and recollections 
of segregation in many forms. 


They find, for example, that some young man in a Mexican com- 
munity, an American citizen, volunteers to go to the armed services 
of the United States because he feels it is his job and duty to defend 
his adopted country, and he finds that he can't, that there are many 
disabilities and barriers because he happens to be of a very dark 

These are part of the complexities of the situation, and I am putting 
them on the record because the productivity of labor is always a 
matter of morale. I don't believe that is a matter of propaganda; 
it is a matter of what the worker is getting out of life; the more he is 
getting out of life the more he will give; and I am sure the Mexicans 
are no exception. 

These psychological frictions lie at the bottom, I think, of much of 
the difficulty. 


Finally, I want to say, in a much more emphatic manner, that I 
don't think it is possible any longer for the solution of the problem 
of Mexican emigration to the United States to be based on any 
principle that does not conceive of the development of the economic 
and human resources as a whole of that area that lies on both sides 
of the border. I am speaking of northern Mexico and the southwest- 
ern part of the United States. 

That is an economic area that should be considered as a unit. In 
other words, northern Mexico should no longer be regarded merely 
as a reservoir of manpower than can be tapped when certain enter- 
prises in the United States think it is timely to tap it. 

Quite the contrary. If we limit ourselves to this problem from the 
standpoint of immediate defense effort, I should like to call the chair- 
man's attention to this fact: the northwestern area of Mexico is a 
vital defense area, vital to the defense of the United States, and vital 
to the defense of Mexico. The conditions of life in that area are far 
from desirable. In nutrition, for example, there are entire areas which 
are blighted areas from the human standpoint. In northwestern 
Mexico there are food resources. One that I think of is the fishing 
industry. The fishing industry has always been an export industry 
and today, 20 miles from the center of the fishing industry in northern 
Mexico, workers cannot buy fish, they can't consume it, because it is 
all shipped either to the United States or to Mexico City where it 
sells at extraordinarily high prices. 

Moreover, under the pressure of defense needs, extraction plants 
are bemg set up in Lower California for concentrating vitamin A. 
This vitamin A is to be exported. To me that means that this tradi- 
tional drain on the food resources of northwestern Mexico, which 
should have gone into the building up of the physical resistance and 
the capacity of these people to produce, is a problem which hasn't 
been given due attention. 

Now, I think we have a problem of focusing upon that whole area 
and remembering that Mexico's manpower will produce both in the 
United States and in northwestern Mexico. I think it is primary to 
regard it in that light and to protect living standards and the drain- 
age upon labor power in northwestern Mexico, because the time is 
coming very soon when the productivity, the adjustment, the effici- 

60396— 42— pt. 33 3 


ency of the Mexican worker in Mexico itself will be an important 
defense consideration. 

The Chairman. Well, I don't know that I can disagree with your 
statements; I think they are a good deal along the lines of my own 
thoughts. Speaking for myself personally, I think if Mexican laborers 
come into this country they should have their standards, they should 
have their status. 

This committee has been all over the United States and we have 
examined this problem from the standpoint of the destitute migrant. 
Why, between Mexico and the United States, the human equation is 
the last thing to be touched, I don't know. I guess it is answered by 
the fact that it is the last thing touched between States. Here we 
have 48 States, and as far as the migration of destitute citizens is 
concerned we might as well be 48 nations; the migrants have no status 
and never did have a status in this country. They lose their legal 
residence in one State and don't gain it in their State of destination; 
they are voteless and voiceless, even to the extent that, as pointed 
out by the Supreme Court in the Edwards case, 28 States in the Union 
make it a crime to transport an indigent citizen across their boundaries. 

So we haven't done very well in our own country so far as that is 
concerned, and we can't be very proud of it. Of course this great 
migration to defense industries of millions of people might change it. 

But I agree with you on the proposition that if Mexican labor comes 
in here it must come in under an arrangement between the two Govern- 
ments, and, as you say, with the morale in no way lowered. I don't 
think there is any other way, and I repeat that I agree with you. 

Mr. Galarza. May I just add one comment, Mr. Chairman? 

The Chairman. Certainly. 

Mr. Galarza. These problems of maladjustment and discrimina- 
tion and others that I have pointed to, for many years have spread 
far beyond Mexico; they are picked up and commented upon by the 
enemies of the United States, or at least those who don't wish to see 
friendly relations between the American republics, and they build 
that up as an example of the indifference of the people of the United 
States to the Mexicans. 

Mr. Arnold. Mr. Walter H. C. Laves, director, Division of Inter- 
American Activities in the United States, and Office of the Coordinator 
of Inter-American Affairs. 


Mr. Laves. Mr. Chairman, the interest of the Coordinator of Inter- 
American Affairs in this problem springs from the responsibilities of 
the Corodinator under the Executive order establishing that office. 
These are responsibilities which relate to the war-time effort of the 
entire Western Hemisphere, efforts which involve the collaboration 
of the 21 republics in this hemisphere. They are responsibilities which 
relate also to the economic and cultural interrelationships of the peoples 
of the entire Western Hemisphere. 


I might say that these are responsibilities that are concerned with 
the Good Neighbor Policy, the Good Neighbor Policy in war as in 


Now our concern is that the problem of Mexican labor, the bringing 
in of Mexican labor, shall be handled in such a way that there is a 
maximum use of the available resources of the Western Hemisphere 
toward the winning of the war, and a maximum use, therefore, of 
human as well as material resources. 

Secondly, we are concerned because we think that this problem 
needs to be handled in a way which will not jeopardize the good rela- 
tions between the United States and Mexico, and, in a broader sense, 
the relations between the people of the United States and the people of 
the other American republics. 

We get a good many reports which indicate that many Mexicans 
go back to Mexico, to their native land, with a distinct feeling of ill 
will toward the United States because of the way in which they have 
been treated; they feel that they have been unjustly treated. 

These people, and also those in the great Southwestern States of 
this country, become the objects of propaganda of an anti-American, 
anti-United Nations, character. 

This is, as Mr. Galarza has said, in part a problem of morale, and 
so long as there is a substantial portion of the manpower of the West- 
ern Hemisphere which feels it is discriminated against, and which feels 
that it is not being appropriately treated, that portion of the man- 
power necessarily is going to be under attack from those who are try- 
ing to divide the United Nations in their war effort. 

In short, unless this problem is treated in a way which is consonant 
with the good neighbor policy, there is likelihood that we will play 
into the hands of our enemies. 

I should say also — perhaps I should Have said this first — that the 
Office of the Coordinator of Inter- American Affairs is interested in 
seeing that what is done about this problem shall not in any way 
endanger the human welfare of our fellow Americans. 

Our office has been cooperating with other Government agencies in 
a number of these hearings that have been going on, and the com- 
mittee meetings that have been taking place under the chairmanship 
of Governor McNutt, and we have answered the questions of your 
committee. I do not need, therefore, to go into detailed questions 
of policy. 


I have wanted first simply to establish what our interest is in the 
case. I would like to go one step further here, however, to indicate 
that if there is to be any bringing in of Mexican labor into the United 
States, this should take place only after there has been presented ade- 
quate evidence that there is need for that labor. 

Secondly, that we are opposed to uncontrolled private recruiting of 
Mexican labor, or any other human resources in the Western Hemi- 
sphere; and, third, that there needs to be some sort of a public author- 
ity or public agency which will lay down standards under which these 
human resources may be moved in time of national emergency. 


A statement of standards has been worked out, again by the com- 
mittee which was called together by Governor McNutt; and we have 
contributed what we could to the deliberations leading to the prepara- 
tion of the statement. 

We believe that an international authority should determine what 
the needs are. That is, beyond determining what the standards are 
under which the people are to be brought in, they should now deter- 
mine also the needs, and it is of course essential that such an authority 
should be a joint one of the governments concerned. In other words, 
so far as the importation of Mexican labor is concerned, we feel very 
strongly that there should be an international joint committee. 

I repeat what has been said by others here this morning, that this 
is a problem of the movement of men, of human beings; it is a problem 
of the human resources of the Western Hemisphere; it is a problem 
of how we can best make use of these human resources, first for the 
winning of the war, and then in the building of a longer and a more 
just social order. 

It is necessary, therefore, that the governmental representatives of 
all those people be consulted. This is a joint responsibility of the 
Western Hemisphere. 

When Congressman Tolan spoke a moment ago about the fact that 
we have paid little attention to human resources and we have paid 
much attention in treaties to other matters, there was recalled to my 
mind the remarkable address of Vice President Wallace a week or 10 
days ago, in which he referred to the war as a "people's conflict" and 
that the result of this war must show an improvement in human wel- 
fare, the welfare of the people. 

It seems to me, sir, that the problem which we are discussing here 
this morning must be viewed in this broader perspective. 

Mr. Arnold. Mr. Alvin Roseman, assistant to the Administrator, 
Federal Security Agency. 


Mr. Roseman. There is relatively little I can add to the statements 
that have already been made, except perhaps to give the committee 
a little more information concerning the interest of the War Man- 
power Commission in tins problem. 


Because of the many agencies having an interest in various aspects 
of this problem, Mr. McNutt asked me to take the responsibility for 
forming a committee representing the agencies around this table to 
review the existing situation, and to make recommendations as to 
ways of meeting it. We are very happy to have had the participa- 
tion of Dr. Lamb, of your staff, who has advised us on many aspects 
of the problem. 

The War Manpower Commission, as you know, is a new agency, 
charged essentially with the responsibility of making sure that every 
possible resource is utilized in the most effective implementation of 
our war program from the point of view of manpower. 


We are aware, of course, of both the short-time, immediate issues' 
and of the more fundamental long-time issues that have been so ably- 
stated by Mr. Galarza and the other representatives. We do recog- 
nize the fact that agriculture is an essential industry in our wartime 
program; we do know that acreage has been expanded in agriculture 
and at the same time there has been an extraordinary drain of agricul- 
tural labor to other forms of war industry. 

We are thoroughly convinced that we do not as yet have the ade- 
quate fact-finding machinery that we should have. The War Man- 
power Commission has already addressed representations to the ap- 
propriate congressional committees concerning the need for expanding 
and intensifying the work of the Department of Agriculture in this 
field, and also for a much more adequate implementation of the work 
of the Employment Service. That problem has been brought before 
you by representatives of those two agencies. 

Informally, this committee has spent a good deal of time in review- 
ing various possible standards, in building up what we tliought 
might be a feasible method of meeting this immediate issue in view 
of all the varied considerations involved. 


■ In addition to the committee members who have spoken for them- 
selves and for their agencies, I should say that the War Manpower 
Commission is definitely concerned about the basic premise that labor 
should not be imported under the same conditions that have existed 
hitherto; that we have an obligation for protecting our domestic 
labor supply or, to put it better, to make sure that our domestic 
labor supply is absolutely utilized to its maximum before we add to 
that supply and draw off from our neighboring countries' labor 
which they may need for their own war efforts. 

We are no less concerned about the necessity for protecting im- 
ported workers against the type of exploitation that has taken place 
in some parts of this country over the years. 

The War Manpower Commission is also concerned about this 
problem which Mrs. Beyer mentioned in connection with the present 
unregulated character of private employment agencies, and I antici- 
pate that at the next meeting of the War Manpower Commission the 
Tolan bill will also receive consideration in that regard. 

I might say that I have had the opportunity of having a number 
of delegations, representing both the farm groups and the labor 
groups, call upon me in the last few days, since this subject has 
gotten into the papers. 

The representatives of labor who- have talked with me and other 
members of our organization have indicated no disposition at all to 
view this question selfishly. There has been a great deal of emphasis 
upon the fact that there are available existing pools of American 
labor that are not now being utilized, and that if the Employment 
Service were more adequately staffed and strengthened, we could 
make more effective use of some of our people who are now unem- 
ployed, or underemployed, to meet some of these particular situations. 

The point of view of several groups of organized labor has been 
essentially that represented around this table: That there should be 
no discrimination in wage standards; that there is this existing. 


disparity between agricultural wages and industrial wages. Certainly 
there has been a very definite recognition of the point Mr. Galarza 
made, of the essential unity of interest on both sides of the border 
among labor groups. 

Some of the farm groups who have talked with me have also recog- 
nized the fact that they are confronted with a new and different situa- 
tion. They realize that they will no longer be able to recruit the labor 
they need, using some of the old practices or relying upon the sort of 
situation which existed when a farmer could drive to the nearest town 
and choose from a hundred men the 10 men that he particularly 
wanted to have. 

The War Manpower Commission-I should emphasize this-has not 
taken any official position with respect to this problem because its 
attention has been devoted, in the two or three meetings that the 
commission has had, to certain broad aspects of our domestic indus- 
trial problems. 

However, I should report that at the last meeting of the commission 
on Wednesday, we met with the members of the commission and the 
Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Labor, and reviewed 
this general statement of standards which is being proposed to the 
Immigration Service and the State Department. It was agreed that 
the approach the staff group had worked upon was essentially a sound 

We recognize the difficulties which are going to confront both the 
Employment Service and the Department of Agriculture in meeting 
some of these urgent demands upon them for providing labor for this 
existing and current situation. At the same time we are not yet 
thoroughly convinced that if the Employment Service were more 
adequately implemented, we could not meet our existing situation — 
I am thinking now of the situation as it relates to the next 2 or 3 
months — through a more effective utilization of our domestic labor 

I should also point out that in terms of long-time consideration — 
and when I speak of that I mean primarily in terms of next year's 
program and the years after that — we feel that there will have to be 
a much more adequate planning job and much earlier work done on 
this problem if we are to meet our agricultural labor goals. We do 
foresee a continued drain upon agricultural labor and perhaps also a 
further expansion of the agricultural production program. This will 
mean that next year we shall have to start much earlier in the game 
to plan and work out our intergovernmental and interagency relation- 
ships, so that the problem can be met on a much less haphazard basis 
than is the situation today. 

Mr. Arnold. Mr. George H. Winters, Assistant Chief of the Divi- 
sion of American Republics, State Department? 


Mr. Winters. Mr. Chairman, the Department of State, as you 
know, of course, is not in position to determine the extent of any 
actual need for the importation of labor, whether from Mexico or 
"elsewhere. "We are, however, greatly interested in the problem for 


the reason that has been so clearly brought out here — that importation 
of labor has brought on so many difficulties in the past, which have 
had an adverse effect on our relations with Mexico. Admittedly, 
there has been discrimination, and discrimination must be resented 
and has been resented. 

We therefore feel that any plan for the importation of Mexican labor 
which may be worked out must be based upon a showing of an ab- 
solute need. We feel that if there is such need, a plan should be care- 
fully formulated and presented to the Mexican Government with the 
request for their cooperation. We feel that everything should be done 
to guarantee adequate standards as to wages, housing, and trans- 
portation for any workers brought into this country. 

I would like to emphasize that we feel that the first step must be a 
complete showing to Mexico of an absolute need in this country. 
That, as I have indicated, is a matter over which the Department of 
State has no jurisdiction. 

I might clarify the statement that we sent to Dr. Lamb last evening 
with respect to the proposal of a joint commission. We would not, I 
believe, have any opposition whatsoever to an international com- 
mission. Our question was one as to the practicability of establishing 
one soon enough to take care of the immediate problem which had 
been presented. 

I believe that covers our position. 

The Chairman. Mr. Winters, that is the real reason for this con- 
ference this morning, that this committee did not want to go into 
California or into Texas and stir this whole thing up as to their imme- 
diate needs, when, over it all, hung the international problem. In 
other words this committee — and you can take this back to Secretary 
Hull — will not take any stand or make any recommendation to Con- 
gress unless we have a clearance from the State Department and the 
Mexican Government. 

So this is simply informal, we are trying to feel our way about, but 
we are not going to take any stand until you people are consulted and 
the Mexican Government is consulted. 

Mr. Winters. Thank you, sir. 

Dr. Lamb. I think probably there are a good many questions; we 
might give the reporter a 3-minute recess and then start the dis- 

The Chairman. All right, we will take a 3-minute recess. 

(Whereupon a short recess was taken, after which the conference 
was resumed.) 

The Chairman. Will the committee please come to order? 

Are there some questions you want to ask, Dr. Lamb? 

Dr. Lamb. I have a few to start off with. 

I have the impression, from things that have been said this morning, 
that the request for Mexicans at this time is conditional and that the 
conditions vary, depending on the agency speakmg. 

My impression is that the Employment Service conditions the 
request upoD the present inadequacy of funds, and in view of the fact 
that the request for 6,000 is for immediate workers, you aren't going 
to be able to get those funds soon enough to be able to make the 
search which will permit you to say whether there is a supply. Is 
that substantially correct? 



Mr. Stocking. Yes. I might have pointed out that this type of 
recruiting is at first a special type; it is relatively expensive because 
you have got to make a more thorough search; you can't rely on these 
people coining to the office, you have to carry this service x>ut to them. 

Dr. Lamb. By "these people" you mean the workers of Mexican 

Mr. Stocking. The workers of Mexican origin, that is right. 
You have got to go out and get them organized into a working group ; 
you very rarely hire them singly, you get the leader who organizes 
the group. To do that takes money. 


If I am not mistaken, we have very few people devoting their time 
to this activity in California. For traveling expenses, to go out into 
the byways, into New Mexico, a couple of weeks ago we had $400 
left for this purpose. You just can't do an adequate job under the 
present circumstances. 

Dr. Lamb. What this amounts to in effect — • — 

The Chairman (interposing) . How much money do you want? 

Mr. Stocking. Well, we are putting in a deficiency appropriation 
now, but I am sorry I don't know what the amount is; it is going to 
be put in right away. 

Mr. Rogers. Mr. Stocking, is it impossible to assign any more 
employees in California to this? Couldn't you assign additional 
employees on some such basis as the proportion of agriculture to 
other work? 

Mr. Stocking. That is not quite as easy as it may sound. After 
all, California is an area which has been very rapidly industrialized, 
and we have one of our largest industrial recruiting stations there. 
Very frequently, or generally, the people who are particularly well 
equipped for carrying on the industrial recruiting and placement 
work, are not people especially well equipped for shifting over to 
agricultural placement work. 

Mr. Rogers. I was just wondering. I have heard this, I don't 
know whether it is a fact or not, that in some States they are not 
working on domestic orders for placement, feeling that there are other 
things more important. I was wondering if the Employment Service 
felt that agriculture should be served only after the industrial em- 
ployers and workers are served? 

Mr. Stocking. No. You must remember that we have had an ex- 
pansion of crops and we have tried with the expansion of our agricul- 
tural service, to keep pace with that, and, as you know, we weren't 
able to carry out a great many of our plans because we did have a 
cut in our budget request, which limited our activity. 

Mr. Rogers. That represents an actual reduction, though, in 
employees working on farm labor in California, does it not? 

Mr. Stocking. I am not sure; maybe I have understated the 
number of people engaged in farm placement in California. But I 
want to indicate that we are inadequately staffed for doing the job 
that is now being expected of us. 


The Chairman. We talk around the table here and get the facts, 
but we must also think in terms of what is the best thing to do 
about it. 


Now, as Dr. Lamb stresses, we start off with the fundamental pre- 
mise of the need for this importation, are there any mechanics by 
which the field employment agencies, together with the State agencies, 
for instance in Texas — can get together and make a survey of how 
much labor they have on hand? 

Mr. Stocking. Mr. Congressman, we do that now, we do it more 
adequately with industrial labor than with agricultural labor, but 
now we work with the Department of Agriculture very closely in 
currently reviewing the acreage, growing conditions, and the antici- 
pated size of the crop, translating these factors into the number of 
workers that will be needed. On the basis of this information we are 
able to consult with employers and in many cases get a correction of 
their earlier estimates of how many workers they think they will need, 
or they state that they think they will need. 

But there is the other aspect of this particular difficulty, locating 
the people. After all, in this connection too, it is impossible to over- 
emphasize the differential in wages between agriculture and industry. 
In farm labor you very often find men working at 20 cents an hour. 
In industry now, beginners' wages frequently are 65 cents or more 
per hour, and as Governor McNutt said in his speech the other night, 
the loss of workers for farm work has not been brought about by the 
drafting of workers, but by the flow of workers from the farm to 

This is a very basic problem, and it seems to me that imtil this 
differential is narrowed, you are always going to have trouble getting 
agricultural labor when there are jobs available in industry. Two 
things have made the problem very acute this year — the expansion of 
the crops, and the opportunity for employment at higher wages. 

Dr. Lamb. With all respect to Governor McNutt and the need for 
higher wages, it is nevertheless true that we have some undetermined 
supply, probably a surplus, of agricultural labor in many areas, which 
is not visible because of the lack of adequate machinery first for dis- 
covering it, and second for getting it out. 

Mr. Stocking. I agree with that completely except that I would 
remove the word "surplus"; I would say that it is likely that we have 
an adequate supply if we could get it out. 

Dr. Lamb. Well, of course, the word "adequate" and the word 
"surplus" are always relative.' In agriculture, as we know, an ade- 
quate supply historically has been a surplus, and consequently if 
today we have a truly adequate supply it is the first tim.e in 12 years 
that we haven't had one which actually ought to be classified as a 
surplus. I venture to believe that in many areas we still have that 
surplus, although not in the same proportion. 

Mr. Stocking. That is quite possible. 

Dr. Lamb. What we are asking the Mexican Government to do, 
substantially, is to assist the United States Government by supplying 
labor at this time to tide us over until the case of the Employment 
Service and the other agencies involved, for example, the Farm 


Security Administration, can be brought to the attention of Congress 
for supplementary appropriations. 

Mr. Stocking. That is true. 

Dr. Lamb. That is in substance where we stand today. Under 
those circumstances I think it is a fair guess that the answer of the 
Mexican Government will be no, that they can't be expected to under- 
write with their labor the present inadequacies of our situation; it 
isn't merely a matter of their underwriting it financially, but actually, 
in terms of their human supply of workers. 

Mr. Roseman. May I inject something at this point, Mr. Chair- 

The Chairman. You may. 


Mr. Roseman. Whatever the situation is this year, we will cer- 
tainly be confronted by next year with an increasingly difficult situa- 
tion that is far beyond our present difficulties. 

Dr. Lamb. In that connection I believe we will be in much less 
difficulty next year if we do not permit the Mexicans to. come in this 
year. I mean by thai, that if we are forced to face up to our present 
problems, we are much more likely to solve them in such a way that 
next year we can rise to the occasion; whereas if we are let off the 
spot tcday, the consequences are going to be serious for us next year, 
and I say this advisedly because I think the whole country is in the 
same fix. I don't think it is a question of whether or not the Employ- 
ment Service is adequate, I think it is a question of whether Congress, 
and the Executive as well, realize what is implied in the full utiliza- 
tion of the labor supply in a war effort, and I am sure that at the 
present writing they do not. 

Consequently, I would like to see all the internal difficulties which 
this situation presents, confront us head on, and not duck and dodge 
around into one outlet or another similar outlet, which can't fail but 
to be merely temporary. I have mentioned two, getting the Mexi- 
cans in this year or using the labor of the Japanese on a large scale. 
Either of those seem to me to be mere slides out of our immediate 

Mr. Roseman. I was merely confirming, rather than disagreeing 
with you. In terms of the basic problem, no matter what we do this 
year it wili be accentuated far beyond our present realizations next 
year; to me that points to the need for much more intensive con- 
sideration of this whole question, starting now, irrespective of any 
ephemera] decision we may have to make in the next 2 or 3 weeks. 

Mr. Galarza. Mr. Chairman, I should like to raise this question. 
The location and the finding of an available labor supply in this 
country, at least so far as Mexicans are concerned, might be looked 
at in this way. There is no doubt that the consular service of the 
Mexican Government in this country has information — I don't know 
bow accurate or extensive it is — but it is perfectly evident that the 
work of the Mexican consular service, as the work of the consular 
service of any government in the world, keeps it in touch with the 
lives and problems of its nationals. 

I wonder whether the problem that you raise, as to utilizing all the 
available resources now to find out where there is labor available, 
might not include conversations through the State Department with 


the Mexican Government to see whether cooperation of that kind 
could not be set up. 

Mrs. Beyer. There are a great many Mexican workers left in 
Detroit and hi areas like that, where they have been dumped last 
year and the year before, and are not being absorbed. The next 
season they bring in another group. I think that your suggestion is a 
good one. 

Mr. Galarza. And I am quite sure from my experience, that the 
Mexican consulate in Detroit is very well informed as to where that 
labor is. I don't say that they have a statistical service, but their 
knowledge, then- general knowledge of the area, might very well be 
brought to bear in an immediate sense, and not m a remote sense. 
Of course the State Department would have to pass on that. 


The Chairman. The crying need in this country is for an inventory 
of materials and manpower. For instance, when we held a hearing 
in St. Louis it was testified to by several witnesses that a new plant 
was being built there when a lot of the same machinery in St. Louis 
was not being used. We have approximately 160,000 small factories 
in the United States and 97 percent of them employ less than 250 men. 
There is no trouble in finding out about those factories. We took the 
last census in 30 days and the census workers often had to make 
more than one trip to find the householders at home, so why can't we 
get an inventory of manpower and materials in much the same way? 

Mr. Roseman. I am sure you are weary about the complaints of 
Federal agencies that they don't have the funds to do the jobs which 
they think they ought to be doing. On the other hand, I ought to 
point out that the selective service questionnaires which are going 
out now will have to be tabulated to produce certain aspects of that 
inventory, and as yet the Employment Service has not been furnished 
with funds to do that job. 


Mr. Stocking. I would like to qualify that a little bit because I 
think that what we are doing, or what we are able to do within the 
limits of the funds we have now, is in the direction of taking such 
inventory. As you know, we are getting an occupational history of 
each of the 40,000,000 people who will register under the selective 
service and we are trying to use that as a reservoir of labor supply 
yet untapped, for shifting some of the workers to jobs in which they 
can make a greater contribution to, our war effort. I think that in 
general is along the 'line of what you are suggesting. 

Dr. Lamb. Your information will be in the form of a sample, will 
it not, plus a tallying? That is to say, you won't be in a position, 
because those materials will be segregated in the local boards and the 
local offices, to make more than a sampling use of that information, 
will you? 

Mr. Stocking. No; that is not quite right because we are sorting 
out the returns into at least two categories, those that are now work- 
ing in war production at their best skill; those that have the skills 
but are working elsewhere. 


We gave a great deal of consideration to some sort of over-all na- 
tional tabulation, but we deemed it unwise to undertake such tabu- 
lations. Information obtained by self -classification, if 50 percent ac- 
curate, is unusual. It is necessary to call the individual in and verify 
his report of his occupational experience. We use this information in 
day-to-day operations 

Dr. Lamb (interposing). For the local offices? 

Mr. Stocking. Yes, and through clearance 

Dr. Lamb (interposing). And these break-downs that you describe 
will be made in the local offices? 

Mr. Stocking. That is right. 

Mr. Roseman. You will be able to go to any local office, though, 
and get a pretty good picture of the available labor supply. 

Dr. Lamb. As of the occupational status at the moment when the 
registration was made. 

Mr. Stocking. Yes; that is right. 

Dr. .Lamb. How are the local employment offices going to be able 
to keep it up to date? As I understand it, that information will be 
kept in the draft board? 

Mr. Stocking. The basic card goes to the Employment Service and 
is kept there. 

Dr. Lamb. How is the Employment Service going to keep that card 
up to date? I can see that the draft board will keep it up to date 
insofar as changes of address and changes of occupation are concerned. 

Mr. Stocking. We gave a great deal of consideration to that point 
and decided that it wouldn't be necessary for us to keep it up to date 
because if a person is placed in an essential occupation and an essential 
industry we are now concerned in keeping check on him. It is only 
when you have a shortage, or are unable to fill a given job that you 
go back to your cards, pull out people who have the proper qualifica- 
tions and have indicated they are not, or were not at the time, engaged 
in an essential occupation in an essential industry, and call as many 
of them in as necessary, to find the number you need for filling the 
job orders. 


Dr. Lamb. Now isn't it correct to say that you made this decision 
not because it is the ideal, but only because under these circumstances 
it is the optimum? If the Employment Service represented a 100 
percent record of all working people in the country, including people 
in uncovered employments, and if, for instance, the records of the 
Unemployment Compensation Commission extended to this whole 
group, being identical with the Employment Service records in their 
locus, in the local office, wouldn't you then approach the optimum or 
ideal which you now are not even nearing? 

Mr. Stocking. No. That may be a matter of judgment, but I am 
sure our experience indicates that this is an unnecessary step for ade- 
quate operation of the Employment Service. You don't have to keep 
these things up because a man will change his job within a single plant, 
and if you tried to keep all the records up to date you would find that 
you have devoted all of your energies to keeping your cards up to date, 
rather than improving your placement activity. 

We gave a great deal of thought to this matter. A complete tabu- 
lation wouldn't be useful enough to justify the effort. It would be 


interesting, maybe, from an academic point of view, for making an 
analysis of the texture of our population; but it isn't necessary for the 
operation of the Employment Service. 

Dr. Lamb. At the present time, however, the agricultural popula- 
tion, with whom we are directly concerned, tends to fall through this 
particular sieve, does it not? I mean so far as the operations of your 
individual employment offices are concerned. 

Mr. Stocking. Not necessarily 

Dr. Lamb (interposing). I am not talking about necessarily, but 
actually. Those particular cards are going to be in what, for all 
practical purposes, is a dead file in most offices. 

In the first place, you don't have the Farm Placement people or the 
people in those offices primarily concentrating on the farm placement 
problem, to do the job, do you? 

Mr. Stocking. Only insofar as we are inadequately staffed for the 
farm services. The process of picking them out will be done in one 
process, whether it is farm labor or not. But we don't have enough 
representatives of farm labor engaged in farm recruiting and place- 
ment activity to adequately handle the results and go to work. 

Monsignor O'Grady. I would like to ask Mr. Stocking a question. 
Have you figured out, Mr. Stocking, what kind of a set-up is necessary 
to determine how many additional workers are needed in the Imperial 
Valley, for instance; you have two men at the present time? Is it just 
a matter of counting, or is it a matter of selling something to the 
farmers in those valleys? Don't you have to do a selling job besides 
a counting job? If you had the best service right there, could you 
find out from the farmers exactly how many workers they needed 
right now? Let's be realistic about it. 


Mr. Stocking. Father, finding out the needs is to a certain extent 
independent of whether or not employers give you orders. That is 
why we come out with a much different figure from the beet growers 
as to the number needed. If I am not mistaken I believe there is a 
request in for the importation of something like 30,000 workers. Our 
independent figures show that that is much too high. For instance, 
as I said a moment ago, we follow the acreage, the amount that is 
being planted and what is being planted, which we get from the 
Department of Agriculture, locally. They give us the amount that 
is planted, what it is planted in, and the growing conditions — and we 
translate these factors into the labor needs as well as they can be trans- 
lated into labor needs, making allowances for weather conditions that 
may change and have a very important bearing on the estimates. 

Monsignor O'Grady. You are talking about sugar beets? 

Mr. Stocking. Yes; and other crops. 

Monsignor O'Grady. Consider the way your sugar beets are har- 
vested ; there is the first thinning, the second thinning, and the topping. 
In between comes another group of workers; there is not continuous 
employment for the workers. There are a lot of adjustments that 
have to be made in the whole farming set-up. Wouldn't that cut 
down the need for agricultural labor in that area? 

Mr. Stocking. We have done far too little of the dovetailing of 
employment, if that is what you refer to. I think everybody recog- 


nizes that over the past 10 years we haven't been sufficiently pressed 
for a labor supply so that we have given sufficient attention to that 
matter. It has been extremely difficult to do so because each em- 
ployer, as a general rule, employed his own devices in the recruiting 
of workers, except for a few areas where that has not been the typical 

Mr. Rogers. That is one of the things that the Department of 
Agriculture has been requesting the farmers to do, insisting that they 
utilize their labor better and, as far as they can, dovetail their work. 

Dr. Lamb. I would like to ask a question with respect to the Japa- 
nese. Do you happen to know, Mr. Stocking, how many Japanese 
were customarily used in sugar-beet work? 


Mr. Stocking. Not in the sugar-beet fields, but I saw an analysis 
that we made the other day which indicated that 28,000 of the total 
group, I believe, that were of working age and had had previous ex- 
perience in agriculture of one sort or another, some in truck gardening 
and some in other types of farm work. 

Dr. Lamb. My question was rather as to whether they had really 
created much of a shortage, or whether the shortage situation, if 
tli ere is one, arises from an increased acreage rather than from any 
withdrawal of Japanese? 

Mr. Stocking. Well, it is a little bit of both, because if I remember 
correctly they proposed in the resettlement program to leave a certain 
group of Japanese in the California area as the last ones to be moved, 
so that they could take care of the thinning and blocking of the beets 
before they were moved. 

Dr. Lamb. You mean who customarily worked in beets? 

Mr. Stocking. That is right, they were m that employment and 
that was the consideration that led to making them the last ones to 
be moved in California. 

Dr. Lamb. I don't know at what time any such agreement was 
reached. I know there were a good many requests on the part of the 
farmers that the workers, not only in beets but in other areas, be 
allowed to remain; but while the committee was out there we never 
received any indication that General DeWitt would acquiesce for a 
moment in any such arrangement as that. Long before the beets 
were planted, the indications as to the probable evacuation of the 
Japanese and their unavailability were already a matter of public 

Consequently no beet grower ought to have operated, and no 
public service ought to have encouraged him to operate, on any such 
expectation. It seems to me, this shortage, if it has arisen, doesn't 
come from that source. 

Mr. Stocking. Well, again that is something to be verified, but I 
understood that the last contingent, in one of the valleys, back from 
the coast in California was to be the beet workers, and they were to 
be moved at about this time. Incidentally, there has been a delay in 
moving the Japanese so that they are not going to be moved as early 
as originally planned. 

Mr. Roseman. I wonder whether the people from the War Reloca- 
tion Authority have any report on the present utilization of the 


Japanese? We have been deluged with telegrams, and I am sure the 
Agriculture Department and the other agencies have also, from 
various local groups asking for the use of the Japanese. I understand 
that the War Relocation Authority has established certain conditions 
under which they mieht be made available. 

Dr. Lamb. I would like you to make it clear whether you are talking 
about their availability or whether you are talking about the one 
instance in which an experiment is now being conducted in Oregon by 
that Authority? 

Mr. Roseman. I was thinking, not specifically about Oregon, but 
about Montana, Idaho, and Colorado. 

Dr. Lamb. I would like to have Mr. Rowalt speak on that, if it is 
satisfactory to the chairman, and suggest that he speak first with 
respect to Oregon, because there you are having a test, as I understand 
it, of the terms under which you are willing to carry it out? 


Mr. Rowalt. About 6 weeks ago, or a little more, General DeWitt 
who has supervision of the Japanese in the assembly centers, issued a 
set of stipulations under which he would permit Japanese to enter 
private employment outside of military areas. Among the stipula- 
tions were these: The Governor of the State shall guarantee that law 
and order is preserved in the State; local law-enforcement officials shall 
do likewise — the sheriff and the county attorney; the prospective em- 
ployer shall pay the transportation of the Japanese from the assembly 
center to the place of work, and agree to pay the transportation back 
again after he has finished employing them; he shall provide adequate 
housing and pay prevailing wages. In the case of sugar beets, of 
course wage standards are set by the Department of Agriculture. 
I think those are the principal conditions. 

Oregon was the first State which met those conditions. Governor 
Sprague signed a statement to the effect that he would guarantee to 
preserve order, and the local officials of Malheur County, Oreg., did 
likewise. I forgot one particular stipulation which was that they 
should recruit through the United States Employment Service. 

Then a little less than a week ago, the United States Employment 
Service visited the Portland Assembly Center to recruit Japanese for 
. he eastern Oregon area. 

Dr. Lamb. May I interrupt to say that, as I understand that, the 
recruitment was to be voluntary? 


Mr. Rowalt. Entirely voluntary; yes. They visited the Portland 
Center, I think it was on last Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. I last 
night got a report to t s e effect that of the whole number in the assem- 
bly center, 200 volunteered to work in the beet fields, although the 
employment order was for some 480. A special train was sent in 
there yesterday to pick up the 200 who had volunteered, but when the 
Japanese came to the actual business of getting on the train and leaving 
their families only 30 left, about 6 or 8 percent of the number on order. 


Apparently the Japanese simply have a cold fear in their hearts 
about leaving their families, while in the midst of mass evacuation 
and going into Oregon, Idaho, or Montana to work in agriculture, even 
with the Governors of the States and local enforcement officials 
guaranteeing ttieir safety. Apparently they are willing to go only in 
the event that the United States Army guarantees to provide protec- 
tion for them, and of course the Army can't do that. 

So I think we are making a very grave mistake if we look upon the 
Japanese as being a very great labor reserve for us to lean upon in 
case of an emergency, such as this. 

There is one more point I would like to make. When the Japanese 
people reach relocation centers they are going to be very, very busy 
people. They are being moved from their homes, uprooted and taken 
to 15 or 20 new communities, many of them in the heart of the desert. 
The Army is putting up housing for them, that is, the minimum stand- 
ards of housing — barracks, a mess hall, and what not. 

When the Japanese arrive from the assembly centers they are going 
to have before them the job of subjugating several hundred thousand 
acres of land, levelling it, clearing it, putting in irrigation systems, and 
growing crops for their own subsistence. 

They are going to be busy building their own schools and churches, 
and thus, while they are getting established, there will not be a very 
great labor supply available from relocation centers. We are making 
a very grave mistake, I think, in looking upon them as being a very 
large reservoir of migratory workers. 


Mr. Galarza. May I ask if you have heard any reports of the dis- 
placement of Mexican beet workers in Colorado by the Japanese? 

Dr. Lamb. No; I have heard none; have you? 

Mr. Galarza. Yes. 

Dr. Lamb. You mean that the Japanese are already working in 

Mr. Galarza. Yes; the Japanese who have been moved from the 
defense area on the coast. 

Dr. Lamb. I think that those reports are inaccurate unless they 


. Mr. Rowalt (interposing). That probably goes back to the original 
voluntary evacuation period, when about 8,000 Japanese left. 

Dr. Lamb. Do you have' figures on the number who voluntarily 
moved to Colorado? 

Mr. Rowalt. A good part of them went to Colorado; that was the 
most friendly State. 

Dr. Lamb. Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask any of those who are 
present to speak on the question of the international commission, if, 
as, and when such an importation of Mexicans is satisfactory to the 
Mexican Government? 

The Chairman. I think that was touched upon by one witness, but 
if any other member of the panel cares to talk about it, we would be 
glad to hear from him. 

Mr. D evany. I might say that as far as the Immigration Service 
is concerned, at the present time we are in this position, that we have 
this certification from the Employment Service, and we have the 
sugar-beet growers demanding that they get this labor. Mr. Neal 


Kelly, secretary of the United States Sugar Beet Association, said 
yesterday that he would advise whether or not the sugar-beet growers 
would agree to these tentative stipulations which were given to him, 
but to date we have heard nothing from him. If the sugar-beet 
growers agree to certain stipulations, the Immigration Service is 
going to be faced with the problem of passing it on to the State De- 
partment. We have to give some answer to the employers because 
they are pleading for these laborers. Not only in California but in 
Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Texas, all asserting that the labor is 
not available. Apparently from what was said here this morning the 
Japanese cannot relieve that situation. 

The only other alternative, as I see it, is for the Employment 
Service to take another shot at it, but apparently they can't because 
they don't have the funds. The fact remains that the Immigration 
Service is holding these applications at the present time with the 
growers demanding some action. 

The Chairman. Is there anything else on which any member of the 
panel would care to make a statement? 

Dr. Lamb. Speaking for myself alone, I would like to say that the 
standards as set down by the group at the meetings held under the 
call of Governor McNutt seemed to me to be unworkable for the 
reason that there is no adequate machinery for enforcing them. 

administrative methods discussed 

I understand that the Department of Labor has certain responsi- 
bilities, but I am prepared to question whether the Department of 
Labor would be in position to police the other agencies involved, as 
would a commission in which was directly lodged the responsibility 
for the importation of these people and the guaranteeing of their safe 
return to Mexico. In that case, the policing machinery, which, for 
example, under the Tolan bill, would be in the Department of Labor, 
could be extended to this operation as well as to the interstate oper- 
ation, and would be under such commission rather than under a 
separate enforcement interagency which, I think, would be very 
hard to operate, whether with respect to the Department of Labor's 
policing, or the Employment Service's own guaranties, or the guaran- 
ties on the part of the Department of Agriculture, as, for example, 
the investigation of the adequacy of the housing. All of those things 
seem to me to need one central responsiblity on which the pressures 
can beat. 

Mrs. Beyer. Mr. Chairman, may I speak on that for a moment? 

There is always a tendency in this country, whenever we want to 
do something, to set up another commission. While there must be 
complete agreement here between the Mexican Government and 
the United States Government, to separate the Mexicans for 
administrative purposes from our domestic labor will lead to all 
sorts of problems and jealousies between one group and the other. 
We ought to see that the regular machinery of government is used to 
give the Mexicans the same protection we give to our own people. 

If you set them apart, you immediately set up class distinctions. 
The Mexicans will get something that the other people will not. If 
you have a separate agency saying, "for these Mexican workers we have 
to have this type of housing; for the domestic labor anything will do" 
you will lose the whole benefit of having standards in this field. 

60396— 42— pt. 33 4 


All of the agencies here represented, I feel sure, welcome the inaugu- 
ration of standards that could be used for domestic labor as well as 
for the Mexican group. I should prefer to see a close working arrange- 
ment between the agencies that have authority in the field, under 
treaty arrangements or whatever would be set up, rather than to 
duplicate that machinery for a single group. I think the Mexican 
workers would get more in the end from such an arrangement than 
they would if they were segregated and set apart. 

There is another point to be considered. I am an old Government 
worker, I nave been here for years, and I know that if you set up a 
commission and they get a vested interest in bringing in Mexican 
labor, they will continue to bring in Mexican labor. They will have 
a big staff and there is nothing for the staff to do except to see that 
the Mexican labor is protected. It will be to the interest of the staff 
to see that Mexican labor continues to be brought in; otherwise they 
will have no jobs. That is just an old phenomenon in Washington 
and I think we ought to bear that in mind. 

The Chairman. If I were a judge, sitting on this case, I would say 
that the plaintiff hasn't proved his need, that is the need of the 
importation of Mexicf n labor at this time. 

Mrs. Beyer. I think we should see what we can do here before we 
bring in the Mexicans. 

Mr. Galarza. Mr. Chairman, I would like to comment on Mrs. 
Bever's statement. 

On the matter of segregating the Mexicans for preferential treat- 
ment, I would say that the Mexican Government probably would 
limit its interest to such groups as would be brought in subseqnently, 
and not to those who are already here, who have definitely passed 
out of their control. 

I defer absolutely, almost abjectly, to Mrs. Beyer's experience in 
Government administration. But I should be unhappy to dissent 
from her views of it. But I should think that the actual setting up 
of standards that are operative, and behind which the United States 
Government agencies aie really pushing for one group of farm workers, 
would tend to level up the standards for all agricultural labor. Those 
of us who have a Mexican background could see no happier event 
than the use of Mexican workers as an instrument for the improve- 
ment of the standard of living of all agricultural labor. 

On the second point I would sav that if such a commission were 
set up, the tendency from the Mexican viewpoint, would be to restrict 
as much as possible, the flow of labor north although giving consider- 
ation to the needs of the United States, because Mexico is entering 
a period in which the use of manpower, especially in the northern 
tier of States, is a very serious national problem. 

Dr. Lamb. I think we may be talking about an academic matter 
because it is quite possible that the Mexican Government will say 
no, and that will end the thing for the time being. It will end the 
question of the importation of Mexicans; it will not end the larger 
question which we have all been talking about or talking around; 
and that is, how to improve the operations of the Farm Placement 
Service and the related agencies such as the Department of Agriculture 
and the Department of Labor, so as to get out the agricultural labor 


I also don't enjoy finding myself in a difference of opinion with Mrs. 
Beyer on the question of standards. 

However, I think that some safeguard might be worked out with 
respect to the proposed commission, to operate only for the duration 
of the war, or give it some such emergency character. I recognize that 
when the emergency is over there is going to be an effort to prove that 
the emergency still exists in a new form. 

As far as the operation of the commission itself is concerned, I have 
the impression, in view of the fact that there are at the present time 
no standards, with the possible exception of the sugar-beet arrange- 
ments of the Department of Agriculture, that any standards would be 
an improvement; but no standards would be real unless they had some 
enforcement machinery. I doubt whether the machinery which would 
be established would be effective unless it had some over-all imple- 
mentation. So many agencies would be involved that it would be 
very difficult to find under which shell the pea was at any given time. 
And I think in view of the fact that many outside pressures will have 
a very distinct interest in keeping the pea rapidly moving from shell 
to shell, thai the pressures are going to be pretty great and the desire 
to avoid facing up to the maintenance of standards is going to be 
unusually pressing. 

Mr. Rogers. I would like to make just this one observation without 
going into some of the other details. The problem seems to be one 
which goes beyond just the Placement Service. The question of 
transportation and the question of housing have been brought up here. 
So in any plans for our general farm labor program, over and beyond 
the use of Mexicans or the use of Japanese or any other group, it would 
seem that we need to go further in our thinking than just a placement 


Mr. Laves. I just wanted to raise one question. I am not sure 
that I get the conclusion of your remarks so far as this international 
commission is concerned. Do you think we should not be moving 
in the direction of attempting to establish an international commission, 
whether temporary or long range, to handle this problem, which is a 
problem in United States-Mexican relations; or are you simply saying 
that if there is to be such a commission we must go further now and 
establish additional machinery? If the latter is what you want I 
think perhaps we should give some attention to it. 

Dr. Lamb. I think that for this particular request, the question of 
whether or not you have a commission may be made academic by the 
refusal of the Mexican Government to acquiesce in the request. So 
that this crisis will pass. 

Mr. Laves. That is for the immediate 6,000? 

Dr. Lamb. Yes; and probably for the remainder of this year. If 
that comes to pass, then the question of a commission becomes a 
longer range one and I don't think it is a question which should be 
put aside necessarily. In fact, if there is any expectation that during 
the war we will import Mexicans, the question of a commission ought 
to continue to be considered. It is much more likely of acceptance 
if the pressure is not successful immediately, because obviously you 
can't set up a commission before you can bring in 6,000 workers. 


So that I would advocate a commission as the over-all supervision 
for long-range plans for importation, if the Mexican Government is 
willing to acquiesce in any importation. 

The Chairman. Of course, the panel understands that Dr. Lamb 
is speaking for himself? 

Dr. Lamb. That is right; I prefaced my remarks with that. 

Mr. Laves. I would only hope that we would not find ourselves in 
this same position when the next request comes in. Suppose that 
your expectation turns out to be wrong, and that once we pass this 
immediate crisis, even in spite of the fact that the Mexican Govern- 
ment should say no and we are unable to do anything about the imme- 
diate 6,000, supposing now that within the next 12-month period this 
problem does recur, shouldn't we be ready to meet that situation and 
be moving along in the direction of the establishment of a commission? 
Because I would hate to see us meeting in 6 months and saying, "It 
is too late again." 

Dr. Lamb. Speaking for myself I would say yes, but whether the 
committee would support that, or whether the group here would be 
willing to concur in such a proposition 

The Chairman (interposing). I will say, Dr. Lamb, that we hold 
you in the highest respect and we will give you a hearing on that. 

I want to say, folks, that we are deeply grateful to you for coming 
up here and giving us your time this morning. The idea is simply 
this, that the pressure has come to this committee from Congressmen 
and' different people, and we just held this round-table discussion to 
show to them and to ourselves that it is a big problem, that it isn't 
just one that you can toss off and say to California, "We will give you 
10,000 Mexicans," or to Texas, "We will give you 40,000"— that isn't 
it, 'it is a bigger problem. So thinking along together this morning, 
speaking for myself, at least, I think it has been a very valuable 
contribution to us, and we are touching it lightly at this time because 
we know the ramifications from the international situation. 

Thank you very much for coming here. 

The committee will now stand adjourned. 

(Whereupon, at 12:30 p. m., the committee was adjourned, subject 
to the call of the chairman.) 


Exhibit 1. — A Symposium on the Question of Need for Importa- 
tion of Mexican Labor 

The following questions were submitted by the committee to a number of 
Federal agencies. Their statements follow the questions. 

Questions on the Need for Importation of Mexican Labor 

1. Do you consider it necessary that the labor supply in the United States be 
augmented at this time by the importation of Mexican workers? If so, how many 
do you consider necessary? 

2. If you see no need for the importation of Mexican workers at this time, do 
you think we will need them in the future? 

3. Do you consider that any agency or agencies in the United States now have 
the responsibility for assessing and certifying the demand for Mexican labor? 

4. Are you in favor of or opposed to the recruiting of Mexican workers by private 
individuals, firms, or labor contractors? 

5. Do you think that any arrangement for the importation of Mexican labor 
should have the full approval of the Mexican Government? 

6. If specific requirements under which Mexican workers are to be employed 
in the United States are stipulated by the Mexican Government, should the 
American Government permit the importation of such workers under conditions 
which do not meet these requirements? 

7. Do you think that the treatment accorded Mexican workers in the United 
States has alienated any of them from our form of government? 

8. While many persons have said Mexican labor is vitally needed in the United 
States, others have said that their presence has been detrimental to American 
wage standards and welfare programs. Can you suggest how the first condition 
could be met without affecting the second? 

9. In the event Mexican labor is brought into the United States, do you think 
minimum standards of wages, housing, and other working conditions, should be 
laid down? If so, what agency or agencies should prescribe and enforce these 

10. If minimum standards of wages and working conditions were prescribed and 
enforced for Mexican workers in the United States, do you think the setting up of 
such standards would induce sufficient American labor to migrate to areas where 
shortages are claimed? 

11. In the event Mexican labor is brought into the United Sttates, do you think 
transportation expenses to this country and return to Mexico should be paid by 

12. Many persons have complained in the past that Mexican workers brought 
into certain occupations and areas fail to remain in these occupations and areas. 
Do you think Mexican workers should be compelled to so remain? If so, by what 

13. Do you approve of the proposal forthe establishment of a commission com- 
posed of representatives of the United States and Mexican Governments to regu- 
late the importation and employment of Mexican labor in the United States? 

Exhibit A. — Statement by Laurence Dtjggan, Adviser on Political 
Relations, Department of State, Washington, D. C. 

I take pleasure in transmitting herewith a statement which has been prepared 
on the basis of the questionnaire which you enclosed with your letter of May 13. 

I note that the committee would also like to receive a statement of the repre- 
sentations, if any, made to the Department during the past year by individuals 



or organizations supporting or opposing the importation of Mexican workers. In 
this connection I am pleased to advise you that no specific representations have 
been addressed directly to this Department in support of the importation of 
Mexican workers although a few inquiries have been received as to their avail- 
ability. Only one representation has been received in opposition to such a move, 
and a" copy thereof was transmitted to the executive secretary of your committee 

1. Do you consider it necessary that the labor supply in the United States be 
augmented at this time by the importation of Mexican workers? If so, how many 
do you consider necessary? — A. As the determination of the existence or non- 
existence of a labor supply in the United States is a purely domestic matter, this 
Department is not qualified to express an opinion on this question. 

2. If you see no need for the importation of Mexican workers at this time, do 
you think we will need them in the future?— A. In the opinion of this Depart- 
ment, future labor needs, like the present labor supply, can be accurately deter- 
mined only by careful analysis by the appropriate governmental agencies. 

3. Do you consider that any agency or agencies in the United States now have 
the responsibility for assessing and certifying the demand for Mexican labor? — 
A. This Department understands that several agencies could properly survey and 
certify the shortage of labor, but it is not in position to suggest to which agency 
that responsibility should be delegated in the present emergency. It is believed, 
however, that the shortage should not necessarily be considered a demand for 
Mexican labor, but for labor in general. 

4 Are you in favor of or opposed to the recruiting of Mexican workers by pri- 
vate individuals, firms, or labor contractors?— A. This Department is strongly 
of the opinion that the direct recruiting of Mexican workers by private individ- 
uals, firms, or labor contractors would be most undesirable. In this connection 
I refer to my letter of May 11 in which are pointed out the inevitable difficulties 
attendant on any large movement of Mexican workers to this country as an emer- 
gency measure, such as employment, transportation to the United States and from 
place to p 7 ace within this country, housing and other care, and return to Mexico 
upon completion of the work for which they were needed. The Department is 
of the opinion that these difficulties can only be overcome by a carefully formu- 
lated plan insuring adequate compensation and proper treatment of these workers 
and it doubts that the desired standards can be met by private enterprise. 

5. Do vou think that anv arrangement for the importation of Mexican labor 
should have the full approval of the Mexican Government? — A. This Department 
is strongly of the opinion that the full approval and cooperation of the Mexican 
Government to any arrangement for the importation of Mexican labor should 
be secured. 

6. If specific requirements under which Mexican workers are to be employed in 
the Uuited States are stipulated by the Mexican Government, should the American 
Government permit the importation of such workers under conditions which do 
not meet these requirements? — A. The answer to question 5 also applies to this 
question. It would be considered most unwise for this Government to permit the 
entrance of Mexican workers into the United States under conditions which do 
not have the approval of the Mexican Government. 

7. Do vou think that the treatment accorded Mexican workers in the United 
States has alienated any of them from our form of government?— A. It is not 
believed that any dissatisfaction among Mexican workers in the United States, or 
among those who have returned to Mexico, is directed against our form of govern- 
ment. Information is available, however, that dissatisfaction has arisen and 
has found expression in resentment against our country. This resentment has 
been one of the unfavorable factors in the further improvement of relations with 
Mexico, and it affords a field for anti-American propaganda which Axis agents 
are utilizing. 

8. While many persons have said Mexican labor is vitally needed in the United 
States, others have said that their presence has been detrimental to American 
wage standards and welfare programs. Can you suggest how the first condition 
could be met without affecting the second?— A. It would seem that the com- 
plaints set forth by those who say that the presence of Mexican workers is "detri- 
mental to American wage standards and welfare programs" are strong indications 
that the securing of any additional workers from Mexico should certainly include 
provisions as to adequate wage scales and the return to Mexico of all laborers 
when thev have completed the work for which they have been contracted. 

9. In the event Mexican labor is brought into the United States, do you think 
minimum standards of wages, housing, and other working conditions should be 


laid down? If so, what agency or agencies should prescribe and enforce these 
standards? — A. As indicated above and in my previous letter this Department is 
strongly of the opinion that any bringing in of Mexican workers should be con- 
ditioned upon the laying down of adequate wage standards and be accompanied 
by the other guaranties previously mentioned. It appears, however, that no 
existing agencies of the Government are specifically authorized to prescribe and 
enforce these standards. It is therefore deemed desirable that a special agency 
be created for that purpose if it is not found practicable to assign this responsibility 
and authority to an existing agency. 

10. If minimum standards of wages and working conditions were prescribed 
and enforced for Mexican workers in the United States, do you think the setting 
up of such standards would induce sufficient American labor to migrate to areas 
where shortages are claimed? — A. As the determination of the existence or non- 
existence of a labor supply in the United States is a purely domestic matter, as 
set forth in the answer to the first question above, this Department is not qualified 
to express an opinion on this question. 

11. In the event Mexican labor is brought into the United States, do you think 
transportation expenses to this country and return to Mexico should be paid by 
employers?- — A. As indicated under No. 8 of this questionnaire, it is believed 
that provision should be made for the return to Mexico of all laborers brought in, 
when they have completed the work for which they have been contracted. 

12. Many persons have complained in the past that Mexican workers brought 
into certain occupations and areas fail to remain in these occupations and areas. 
Do you think Mexican workers should be compelled to so remain? If so, by what 
machinery? — A. This Department is strongly of the opinion that only such 
Mexican workers as are actually needed should be brought in, and that they should 
be returned to Mexico when they have completed the work for which they were 

13. Do you approve of the proposal for the establishment of a commission 
composed of representatives of the United States and Mexican Governments to 
regulate the importation and employment of Mexican labor in the United States? — 
A. It seems of doubtful practicability to undertake to regulate the emergency 
importation and employment of Mexican labor in the United States by the for- 
mation of a joint commission. It is, however, possible that if a proposal is 
made to the Mexican Government, that Government may wish to participate in 
some manner in the handling of the movement of workers. 

Exhibit B. — Statement by Lemuel B. Schofield, Special Assistant to the 
Attorney General, Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturali- 
zation Service, Washington, May 20, 1942 

Responding categorically to the questions contained in the enclosure accompany- 
ing your letter, you are advised that the following answers express the views of 
this Service: 

1. In relation to the question of the need for the importation of Mexican labor, 
this Service is relying upon a certification in this regard submitted by the United 
States Employment Service, and to date that Service has certified that there is a 
need for the importation of 6,000 such workers. This Service is also relying upon 
the conclusion of the other interested governmental agencies that at the present 
time Japanese labor in this country cannot be utilized. This Service does not 
believe it is impossible to utilize Japanese labor, and believes that further con- 
sideration should be given to that source of supply. 

2. The need for the importation of additional Mexican workers cannot be stated 
definitely at this time, but indications point to a need for the importation of 
additional labor in the future. This conclusion is supported by the fact that this 
Service has received a number of applications for Mexican laborers from cotton 
growers, vegetable growers, and from the Southern Pacific Railroad for track 

3. It is the view of this Service that it is the province and responsibility of the 
United States Employment Service to certify the need of the importation of 
Mexican labor. 

4. The Immigration and Naturalization Service is not opposed to the recruiting 
of Mexican laborers provided Japanese labor is not available, but such recruiting 
should not take place until the Mexican Government has indicated its approval 
to the importation of Mexican labor into the United States and the Attorney 
General has authorized the admission of such laborers for a temporary period. 


5. The Immigration and Naturalization Service is of the opinion that the 
importation of Mexican labor must and should have the full approval of the 
Mexican Government. 

6. No attempts should be made to import Mexican labor except where such 
action is in accordance with the conditions and stipulations required by the 
Mexican Government. 

7. There is no definite indication that Mexican workers have been alienated 
from our form of government because of the treatment accorded them by this 
Government, but it is possible that such a feeling has grown up in the cases of 
some individuals, but whether this is attributable to the treatment accorded them 
by this country it is impossible to say with any degree of certainty. 

8. The criticism that the importation of Mexican labor has been detrimental 
to American wage standards and welfare programs can be overcome by the 
adoption of necessary safeguards which have been provided and tentatively 
approved by the committee consisting of representatives of the various interested 
Government agencies, including representatives of your committee, considering 
the matter of the need for importation of Mexican labor. 

9. For a number of reasons minimum standards of wages, housing, and other 
working conditions should be adopted not only for the protection of the worker, 
but for the protection of this Government and as an inducement to the Govern- 
ment of Mexico to permit its citizens to enter this country to engage in such labor. 

10. It is believed that the minimum standards of wages and working conditions 
which have been tentatively agreed upon by the committee composed of the 
various interested Government agencies, including representatives of your com- 
mittee, should be adopted, but it might be observed that these standards will not 
materially affect the labor supply in this country. However, a substantial in- 
crease in wages in certain agricultural fields might be an inducement to some ad- 
ditional American labor to accept this type of employment. 

11. The Immigration and Naturalization Service believes that the transporta- 
tion expenses of the individual worker from Mexico should be paid from the 
point of recruitment to the point of employment and return to the point of re- 

12. If Mexican workers are permitted to enter the United States to engage in 
specific employment, they should be required to continue to engage in such em- 
ployment unless a change is authorized by this Government, and if there is a 
failure to do so, the individual should be required to return to Mexico. Under 
the conditions of admission it would be incumbent upon the employer to keep the 
Immigration and Naturalization Service informed concerning each individual 
employed by him, and if there are any indications to the employer that any par- 
ticular alien intends to abscond he would be required to notify the Immigration 
and Naturalization Service immediately so that proper steps could be taken to 
see that the individual is returned to Mexico. Where such an alien refuses to 
either engage in employment or return to Mexico he could be arrested for remain- 
ing in the United States in violation of his status and be made the subject of 
deportation proceedings. 

13. Relative to the proposal for the establishment of a commission composed 
of representatives of the United States and Mexican Governments to regulate the 
importation and employment of Mexican labor in the United States, this Service 
does not feel justified in submitting a definite answer to this statement in view 
of the fact that the full proposal is not available to the Service, but it is the view 
of the Service at this time that the matter of importing Mexican labor can be 
handled effectively by the various interested Government agencies, such as the 
United States Employment Service, the State Department, and the Department 
of Justice. , 

Information of this Service is that approximately 120,000 Japanese have been 
evacuated from certain areas in the Western Defense Command and are gathered 
in various places in large numbers where they are idle. Further information is 
to the effect that such Japanese would volunteer in sufficient numbers to perform 
the necessary blocking and thinning in the beet-sugar fields, that they could ade- 
quately be guarded, and that no unsurmountable difficulty would be encountered 
or no adverse public opinion which could not be overcome. 

It is therefore recommended that the immediate use of Japanese labor be 
further considered before a decision is reached to import labor from Mexico. 


Exhibit C. — Statement by John J. Corson, Director, Bureau of Employ- 
ment Security, Federal Security Agency, Social Security Board, Wash- 
ington, D. C. 

The United States Employment Service is primarily concerned with the first of 
the series of questions you have presented. After diligent efforts with the limited 
staff and inadequate resources currently available to this Service to recruit all 
available workers qualified for labor in the beet sugar fields and willing to accept 
such employment, we have had to certif3 r to the Immigration and Naturalization 
Service of the Department of Justice that there was a need for the importation of 
6,000 Mexican workers. This number of workers are needed at the present time 
for the thinning and blocking of sugar beets in California, Idaho, and Montana. 

The best answers I can suggest to the other questions you have listed are, 
I believe, found in the statement of policy and standards worked out by the 
Interdepartmental Committee created by the War Manpower Commission. 
Representatives of your staff participated in meetings in which this statement 
was prepared. The statement received unanimous approval of the participants. 
I believe that representatives of your committee have copies of this statement. 
After it has been approved by the Commission, it will be transmitted to the 
State Department as a basis for negotiating with the Mexican Government. 

Exhibit D. — Statement by Walter H. C. Laves, Director, Division of 
Inter-American Activities in the United States, Office of the Coordi- 
nator cf Inter-American Affairs, Washington, D. C, May 20, 1942 

The Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs is interested in the 
question of bringing Mexicans to this country for farm or other labor because of 
the reports we have had that the experiences of this type of worker in the past has 
reacted unfavorably upon our friendly relations with Mexico. The situation un- 
doubtedly militates against improving and maintaining amicable relations be- 
tween our Government and the Mexican Government and between our people and 
the Mexican people. 

We, therefore, feel that if it is necessary to bring in Mexican nationals to do 
farm and other labor, it should be carried out with the strictest supervision so as 
to safeguard the interests of these workers while in this country and assure their 
proper repatriation after their services are no longer needed. 

Answering your questions: 

1. We consider it advisable and essential to depend upon the United States 
Employment Service to certify to the United States Immigration Service its 
decision whether or not Mexican workers should be brought in at the present time. 
If the answer is in the affirmative, the United States Employment Service should 
also specify the number needed. 

2. The answer to No. 1 also answers No. 2. 

3. No, we do not believe that there is any agency in the United States which 
now has specifically the responsibility for assessing and certifying the demand for 
Mexican labor. 

4. We are opposed to the recruiting of Mexican workers by private individuals, 
firms, or labor contractors except — 

(a) When approved by the proper authority; 

(b) When the need therefor has been determined in accordance with the answer 
to question 1 above; 

(c) When in accordance with the "Statement of Labor Standards for the 
Recruitment and Employment of Mexican Workers in the United States," 
prepared May 19, 1942, by the conference called by Chairman Paul V. McNutt 
of the War Manpower Commission; 

(d) Upon terms agreed to by the Mexican Government. 

5. Yes. 

6. It would be inadvisable for the Government to admit Mexican workers 
under conditions which have not been agreed between the United States and the 
Mexican Governments. 

7. From reports that have come to our office, there seems to be no doubt that 
many Mexican workers have been antagonized because of the unfavorable treat- 
ment they received. 

8. The presence of Mexican labor in the United States would not be detri- 
mental to American wage standards and welfare programs if the Government 


put into effect the recommendations in the "Statement of Labor Standards for the 
Recruitment and Employment of Mexican Workers in the United States," 
prepared May 19, 1942, by the conference called by Chairman Paul V. McNutt 
of the War Manpower Commission. 

9. We believe that the machinery indicated in the above-mentioned statement 
would be sufficient to enforce the standards. However, a joint international 
commission to coordinate the execution of the responsibilities entrusted to the 
different agencies enumerated in the above-mentioned statement is needed. 

10. No answer. 

11. Transportation expenses to this country and the return to Mexico should 
be paid in accordance with the recommendations contained in the statement, 
heretofore mentioned. 

12. In fairness to the employers who are to be bonded and made responsible 
for the fulfillment of the employment conditions as well as the repatriation of 
Mexican workers, these workers will remain in the employ of the bonded employer, 
in accordance with the terms of the employment contract, unless the latter consents 
to a transfer. The above-mentioned statement contains appropriate provisions 
protecting the employer and employee and providing for all contingencies that 
may arise. 

13. A commission composed of one representative of the United States Govern- 
ment and one representative of the Mexican Government should be established 
as previously indicated to regulate recruitment in Mexico, transportation, and 
allocation of Mexican labor in the United States, as well as repatriation. 

Exhibit E. — Statement by W. J. Rogers, Chief, Division of Labor and 
Rural Industries, Office of Agricultural War Relations, United 
States Department of Agriculture, Washington, D. C. 

During the 1941 crop year the Department received representations from 
persons ostensibly speaking for farmers and farmer organizations in Texas, 
Arizona, and California, urging that immigration restrictions be relaxed. These 
representations were primarily in the interest of cotton growers and were princi- 
pally for Mexican labor. Thus far in 1942 similar representations have been 
received from cotton and rice growers in the Southwest and from sugar-beet 
companies and growers in Idaho, Montana, Colorado, Utah, and California. 

Opposition to the importation of Mexicans or any labor from without the 
United States until all other sources of agricultural labor have been exhausted has 
been voiced by the Los Angeles Negro Business League, the National Spanish 
Speaking People's Congress at Los Agneles, and a group known as the California 
Progressives of Los Angeles. 

A considerable number of additional man-hours are required in the expanded 
production program of agriculture. It is estimated that the increase may amount 
to 142,000,000 man-days. While a part of this increase can be secured through a 
better utilization of those currently engaged in agriculture, practical conditions 
indicate that additional workers will be needed. 

The Department of Agriculture has been cooperating with the United States 
Employment Service, the official labor supply agency, to secure a rational distri- 
bution and use of farm workers. We have consistently suggested that farm 
employers use that Service. It is our understanding that the Employment 
Service has advised the Immigration and Naturalization Service that 6,000 
Mexican workers are needed for orders which it is currently unable to fill. As 
this agency is apparently responsible for certifying such need, we would rely on 
their estimate of the situation since it is also the only Federal labor recruiting 
agency operating in the farm field. It should be noted, however, that the peak of 
agricultural employment will not be reached until July or later. 

We had assumed that any recruiting of workers in Mexico would have to be 
satisfactory to that Government and that such workers would be permitted to 
enter this country only when the requirements of the Mexican Government, 
as well as our own Government, were met. 

While we would not feel qualified to judge the effect that bringing in Mexicans 
would have on all welfare programs, we do feel that they could be brought in 
without being detrimental to our wage standards if they were limited to areas of 
certified scarcities in this country and limited as to numbers and length of stay, 
and if provisions were made to pay them wages not less than prevailing for our 
own workers at the time the need was certified. Further assurance could prob- 
ably be derived from the requirements of the Mexcian Government and the 


establishment of standards of wages, and other working conditions. Such 
standards would probably now be enforced by the Immigration and Naturaliza- 
tion Service, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Labor. 
However, while we have considered no mature plan as yet, it is felt that a single 
agency could best administer this and similar agricultural labor operations. 

The character of minimum standards which might be set up for the use of 
Mexican workers would probably determine whether or not United States workers 
would be induced to migrate to areas where shortages might exist. 

It is our understanding that the Mexican Government would probalby require 
the payment of round-trip transportation for workers recruited there. Due to the 
nature of this recruitment it would seem reasonable for he employer to pay this 
transportation as a part of the agreement. 

At the present time, regulations of the Immigration and Naturalization Service 
require a worker to remain in the same type of employment for the same em- 
ployer unless there is a certified need for the worker with another employer or in 
another area. Due to the nature of agricultural production, it would appear 
that it would be mutually advantageous to all parties concerned if workers were 
allowed to move from employer to employer and area to area under the control 
and direction of a proper governmental authority. Under present conditions, 
this would probably have to be done by a cooperative program of the Immi- 
gration and Naturalization Service, the United States Employment Service, and 
the Department of Agriculture. It probably could best be handled through a 
single responsible agency. 

We are not yet prepared to take a final position on the exact character of an agency 
which should be established to supervise the recruiting and use of workers from 
Mexico. This is only a small phase of the farm labor problem. Other factors, 
relatively more important, need the direction of a single responsible agency. 
Machinery to handle the Mexican workers should be integrated with this wider 

Exhibit F. — Statement by D. W. Tracy, Assistant Secretary, Depart- 
ment of Labor, Washington, D. C. 

In the light of the agreement which has just been reached by the various 
agencies of the Government, including members of your staff who have been 
studying this problem, I do not believe it is necessary to comment in detail on 
the questions you have raised. These are all covered in the agreement. 

We are in full accord with the proposed standards of the interdepartmental 
committee and with the procedure whereby the need for a certain number of 
laborers to be imported should be certified by the United States Employment 
Service according to the formula agreed upon for determining that a local labor 
shortage exists which cannot be met by bringing in nonlocal domestic labor. 

Exhibit 2 

Labor Subcommittee, 
Tehama County Land-Use Committee, 

P. O. Box 391, 
Red Bluff, Calif., June 4, 1942. 
Congressman John H. Tolan, 

Oakland, Calif. 
Dear Sir: The fruit harvest labor situation in this county is desperate as it 
must be elsewhere in California. 

The Labor Subcommittee of the Tehama County Land-Use Planning Com- 
mittee has been meeting every week or two since January in an attempt to solve 
our labor problem. This committee has made an accurate survey of the total 
needs by seasons and has compiled a chart showing tonnages to be harvested per 
day, the necessary men and women to harvest these crops, using the minimum 
number of men. A brief summary of that chart is attached along with estimates 
of the supply of labor available. This chart shows a shortage of 400 men. 

This shortage of 400 men means that half of our fruit will therefore fall on the 
ground and go to waste during the peak harvest periods unless labor is secured 
from somewhere else. The only source of additional labor that we can see avail- 
able at this time would be Mexicans. The committee investigated the possibili- 



ties of using Axis aliens but find that since most of our fruit area is in zone 1 that 
they cannot be used. 

We therefore appeal to you to do everything possible to save this food and to 
prevent these fruit growers from going bankrupt. 

Your speedy help is urgent to get the consent and action of necessary Federal 
agencies to get this Mexican help here by August 1. We will need it until No- 
vember 10. We know this same condition exists in other counties. 

We want to point out that it is doubly important that Tehama County get 
these Mexicans because we cannot use Axis aliens. We suggest that these aliens 
be used outside of military zone 1 and that those farmers in zone 1 make use of 
the Mexicans. 

Yours very truly, 

Leo A. McCoy, Chairman. 

Exhibit 3. — Cotton and Sugar-beet Prices and Wage Rates 

By William J. Rogers, Chief, Division of Labor and Rural Industries, 
Office of Agricultural War Relations, United States Department 
of Agriculture, Washington, D. C. 

Cotton prices per pound in cents 




May 15, 1941 




May 15, 1942 


Cotton-chopping wages 

(per acre) 

(per acre) 

(per day) 

May 15, 1941 



$1. 00-1. 50 

May 15, 1942 

1. 15-2. 50 

In view of the fact that figures on cotton-chopping wages were not accumulated 
in an official survey in 1941, the wages for that activity in 1941 are approximate. 



prices per 






i $6. 25 





United States: 


i 6. 25 





We are informed that the marketing season for sugar beets extends for a 12-month 
period from October to October. Accordingly, the above 1940 figures represent 
the average price of sugar beets during the 12-month period from October 1940 to 
October 1941. The above 1941 figures represent the best available estimate of the 
average sugar-beet prices for the marketing season extending from October 
1941 to October 1942. 



Sugar-beet icages 

[ Comparison of contract labor wage per acre for 1941 and 1942, based 


on 1932-36 average yield 

per acre, by 



yield per 


Contract labor wage 
per acre 

Percent in- 
crease 1942 



over 1941 


7! 03 

2 $23. 47 

2 22. 38 

3 20. 32 

3 18. 73 
2 23. 18 
2 22. 24 

2 $30. 79 

2 27. 76 

3 25. 46 

3 23. 17 
2 28. 84 
2 28. 05 






















1 Preliminary estimates, not for publication. 

2 Wage includes loading of beets. 

3 "Old-method" field. 

We were glad to have the opportunity of appearing before your committee and 
will be glad "to furnish you with further information you may desire. 


THURSDAY, JUNE 11, 1942 

morning session 

Select Committee Investigating 

National Defense Migration, 

House of Representatives, 

Washington, D. C. 

The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10 a. m., in room 313, 
Old House Office Building, Hon. John H. Tolan, chairman, presiding. 

Present: Representatives John H. Tolan of California, chairman; 
Laurence F. Arnold of Illinois; John J. Sparkman of Alabama; and 
George H. Bender of Ohio. 

Also present: Dr. Robert K. Lamb, staff director of the committee. 

The Chairman. The committee will come to order. 

The first witness this morning is Mr. C. B. Baldwin, Farm Security 


Mr. Baldwin, we have asked you to come here this morning to 
give the committee some idea of the extent of the problem of securing 
transportation facilities for migrant workers engaged in war produc- 
tion. In the case of your agency, the committee is particularly 
interested in determining how large a job it will be to get the migrant 
agricultural labor to areas where it is needed to harvest the crops 
required in our war program. 

We have a few questions to ask you. 

The committee understands that the seventh directive of the War 
Manpower Commission instructs the Farm Security Administration 
to improve its camp facilities. Have any steps been taken along the 
lines indicated in this proposed directive? 

Mr. Baldwin. Mr. Chairman, I have a prepared statement, directed 
particularly to the transportation angle of this problem. I would be 
glad to suit the convenience of the committee as to whether or not 
I should read this statement, or whether I should merely attempt as 
best I can to answer your questions. 

The Chairman. We have found, in our travels throughout the 
country, that if we start off anyway by asking questions, you can 
then check on your statement to see if there is anything in addition 
that you desire to bring out, Mr. Baldwin. 

Mr. Baldwin. All right; then I may submit the statement for the 
record at the end of my testimony. 1 

• See p. 12473, this volume. 



The Chairman. We handle these hearings in an informal way and 
sort of talk the matter over. 

Mr. Baldwin. I think your first question, Mr. Chairman, related 
to the recent directive issued by the Manpower Commission. 

We have worked very closely with representatives of the Man- 
power Commission since it was created, in an effort to assist in every 
possible way in obtaining the fullest possible utilization of our avail- 
able manpower on farms. As you gentlemen know, we have been 
operating a migratory labor program for some years. That migratory 
labor program has three major features. 


The first is the provision of camp facilities and somewhat adequate 
sanitary facilities for migratory workers in those areas where specialty 
crops are grown, and where the need for that type of labor is greatest. 

The Chairman. How many migratory camps have you in the 

Mr. Baldwin. At the present time we have approximately 90 
camps in operation. We have in operation 46 standard camps 
which are more or less permanently located, and 43 mobile camps. 
Six additional mobile camps will be ready for occupancy before' the 
close of this crop year. 

In addition to the camps, we have been in position to make sub- 
sistence grants and, in some cases, limited grants for transportation 
for individual workers. However, the transportation grants have 
been very few in number and have been largely made to enable fam- 
ilies who have no hope of work to get back to the place from which 
they started. 

The Chairman. Are all these camps occupied at the present time, 
Mr. Baldwin? 

Mr. Baldwin. No, sir; they are never all occupied. I do not 
have the figures on camp occupancy at the present time. Of course, 
almost all camps are, to a degree, seasonal. We try to provide 
permanent camps in areas where work will be available for at least 
6 months in the year, that is generally the dividing line. We try 
to provide mobile camps where the working period will be much 
shorter — 3 weeks, 6 weeks, or in some cases 2 or 3 months. 

The Chairman. Well, the occupancy of these camps has decreased, 
hasn't it? 

Mr. Baldwin. I expect our total occupancy this year is greater 
than it has been before, but that is largely because we have a larger 
number of camps. In some areas the occupancy is decidedly down 
because the workers have been attracted to industry through the 
incentive of higher wages and for other reasons. 

I mentioned two of our activities in connection with migrant 
labor. The third, and a very important one, has been the provision 
in most areas of medical care for migrant families through the coop- 
eration of the State and local medical associations. We generally 
have had excellent cooperation from the medical profession. Provid- 
ing medical care has not only served to alleviate the health difficulties 
of the workers, but also, I think, has been of value to employers be- 
cause it has assured them of more healthful workers — people who were 
better able to do a successful job. 


The Chairman. What about migration in general, that is, say, from 
Oklahoma, Texas, and the Great Plains States? Has it increased or 

Mr. Baldwin. Migration, of course, has decreased. In our judg- 
ment it will decrease much more because of transportation difficulties. 
It has already decreased because of transportation difficulties. As a 
result of the rubber situation throughout the country and the gasoline 
situation on the east coast many workers who are otherwise available 
will be stranded in areas where there is little or no work. In other 
areas workers will be badly needed but will not be available to make 
and harvest the crops. 

The Chairman. Well, to what extent and in what areas will it be 
necessary to expand the camp facilities of the Farm Security Ad- 
ministration to carry out the instructions indicated in the proposed 
directive? There will be considerable expansion, will there not? 

Mr. Baldwin. There should be. 

The Chairman. Are you still looking for the money? 


Mr. Baldwin. We are in the rather embarrassing situation of 
having the Manpower Commission directing us to do something which 
we are without funds to do. For the past several years Congress has 
allowed the Farm Security Administration about $5,000,000 for the 
operation of existing camps and for the construction of additional 
camps. This year's estimate was considered by the Budget Bureau 
prior to the outbreak of war, and was reduced to $3,500,000. That 
was submitted with the President's Budget message in January. 

When the agricultural appropriations bill was under consideration 
in the House, the authority to operate camps was stricken from the 
bill by House action. It was restored by the Senate Appropriations 
Committee but a limitation was placed on us by which, if the bill 
passes in its present form, we will not be authorized to build additional 
camps, and we will be limited to $1,400,000 for the operation and 
maintenance of the present camp facilities. 

If something isn't done to remedy that situation, not only will we 
not be able to take care of the additional camps which are badly 
needed, but we will have to close approximately half the present 
migratory camps. 

The Chairman. Does that include the mobile camps? 

Mr. Baldwin. That will include both the mobile and the fixed 

Now, the Department took cognizance of this problem months ago 
and made a request for an additional* appropriation. The Bureau of 
the Budget and the President acted on that request 6 weeks ago, and 
a Presidential Budget message was sent to the Senate with the request 
that approximately $8,000,000 be provided in the agricultural bill. 

That request was not favorably acted upon by the Senate, so we 
find ourselves in a situation where we have a directive from the 
Manpower Commission and we are unable to act because of insufficient 

The Chairman. Well, your financial status at this time, regarding 
migratory camps, is that unless you get additional appropriations, 
half of them will have to be closed? 

60396— 42— pt. 33 5 


Mr. Baldwin. That is correct. 

The Chairman. Well, while the Manpower Board has issued this 
directive to you, have they got any funds of their own to give to you? 

Mr. Baldwin. As far as I know, they have no funds for such 
purpose. I assume that they only have funds from the President's 
emergency fund, for their purely administrative operations. They 
have no funds, as I understand it, for this purpose. 


Mr. Bender. The committee understands that the seventh direc- 
tive will instruct the Farm Security Administration to work more 
closely with the United States Employment Service in the location of 
additional camp facilities. Does that mean that the responsibility for 
the selection of these additional camps, selecting their location, will be 
transferred to the Employment Service? 

Mr. Baldwin. No, sir; I don't think that was the intention. We 
have worked very closely with the Employment Service. The 
working relationship has been better in some States than it has been 
in others. In many States we have consulted with them about the 
location of our camps and I think it is the intention of this directive 
that this should be done generally. 

We have recently entered into an arrangement with the Employ- 
ment Service by which they will have representatives in all of our 
camps. That grows out of our experience in the Northwest, par- 
ticularly in the State of Oregon, where we have had such an arrange- 
ment for the last 2 years. 

Mr. Bender. In what way does the camp program of the Farm 
Security Administration effect a fuller utilization of farm labor? 

Mr. Baldwin. Last year in the State of Oregon about 85 percent of 
all referrals of farm labor were made from the camps. A camp pro- 
vides a central location to which all people needing labor can come for 
their labor supply. That is one very important consideration. 

Also, the camps are placed in areas where the need for labor is the 
greatest. That results in a concentration of labor in the section where 
the need is greatest. A much fuller utilization of the available labor 
can be obtained than if the labor is scattered around on ditch banks in 
a much wider area. 

Mr. Bender. What demands has the Farm Security Administra- 
tion had from farmers for the establishment of additional migrant 
facilities in various regions? 

300 additional localities requesting camps 

Mr. Baldwin. We have received requests and have confirmed the 
need for camps in 150 localities which are not now served. This is in 
addition to the approximately 100 camps which we will have, at the 
end of this year. Surveys have already been made and we are con- 
fident that camps should be provided in those localities. In addition 
we have had requests from 150 other localities which we are still 
checking. We are perhaps a little optimistic in continuing to cheek 
in view of the financial situation in which we find ourselves. In all, 
there are 300 additional localities that are not now being served that 
we have checked on or that we have had requests to provide facilities 


for. Now that wouldn't mean, of course, 300 additional camps, 
because the mobile camps would be moved to follow the crops. 

Mr. Bender. I am interested in something that has come to my 
attention during the last couple of weeks. In many of the cities 
school children, that is junior high school and high school children, 
are asking for opportunities to work on the farms, or arc being asked 
to work on the farms. Have you any information as to how extensive 
that is? 

Mr. Baldwin. I think it has been fairly extensive. I expect 
someone else, some of the other witnesses that you will have appearing 
before your committee, can speak with greater competence on that 
matter than I can, since our work has been largely with the stream of 
migrant workers. In some cases, I know high school boys have been 
mobilized for an anticipated need for labor, but the need has not 
materialized and, therefore, they have not been used. That has been 
fairly widespread in many areas. In any event I do not believe that 
that is the best approach to the problem because there are still 
thousands and thousands of migratory agricultural workers who are 
available if we can get them to the right spots. 

Mr. Arnold. Mr. Baldwin, is there an inclination on the part of 
those wanting camps to desire that the labor be there available when 
they want it, I mean to a larger extent than they might need it? In 
other words, do they want a reservoir of labor to draw from larger 
than they might require? 

Mr. Baldwin. Mr. Arnold, I think that you generally find such a 
tendency because no person, whether he is operating a factory or 
operating a farm, wants to be without labor. There is a general 
tendency to overstate the need for farm labor. That has been our 
experience. However, I would not in any sense want to indicate to 
this committee that we do not expect very acute labor shortages unless 
something is done to better utilize our available supply of labor. 

Mr. Arnold. Do any of your mobile camps serve any of the 
strawberry areas? 

Mr. Baldwin. Yes, sir. We have some camps along the eastern 
seaboard this year for the first time, and they have served some of 
the straw r berry areas. Just how many workers have been accommo- 
dated, I am not sure. I possibly could get that information for you 
for the record. 

Mr. Arnold. None in the Middle West? 

Mr. Baldwin. Not as far as I know. 

Mr. Arnold. I had a rather sad experience in my district. The 
W. P. A. apparently didn't sense the situation early enough to lay 
off the workers from projects, and they didn't respond to the desires 
of the strawberry growers to go to the fields and pick berries, and as 
a result we had quite a loss in the Centralia, 111., area. 

Mr. Baldwin. I don't think we have operated any camps in that 

Mr. Arnold. Has any agreement been reached with the Office of 
Price Administration as regards the rationing of gasoline and tires 
to insure adequate transportation facilities for agricultural workers? 

Mr. Baldwin. I am not sure that there has been, although I did 
see a dispatch a day or two ago to the effect that O. P. A. had been 
approached and that something was being done about the problem. 


I think there was a release by one of the Senators from Maryland, 
but I am not sure just what has been done along that line. 


Mr. Arnold. The committee understands that the proposed 
Eighth Directive of the War Manpower Commission will instruct 
the Farm Security Administration, in cooperation with the Office of 
Defense Transportation, to improve the facilities for the transporta- 
tion of migrant agricultural workers. What do you consider to be 
the respective responsibilities of the two agencies in this regard? 

Mr. Baldwin. The Farm Security Administration and 

Mr. Arnold (interposing). The Office of Defense Transportation. 
What do you consider to be the respective responsibilities of the 
Farm Security Administration and the Office of Defense Transporta- 
tion to improve the facilities for the transportation of migrant agri- 
cultural workers? 

Mr. Baldwin. Of course, most of the transportation has been taken 
care of by automobile and truck transportation. Truck transporta- 
tion is a very miserable way to move people, especially with their 
families, but a good deal of it has been done. The assumption is 
that common carrier transportation Will have to be used to a much 
greater extent, in particular rail transportation, for the long hauls. 
I think the Farm Security Administration, working with the Farm 
Placement Service, would have to determine the general needs for 
transportation, and the equipment which might be needed to trans- 
port workers by rail or by bus. I assume that it would be our respon- 
sibility, if we had the funds to do it, to provide the financing by some 
means, and that it would be the function of the Office of Defense 
Transportation to see that the equipment was available. 

Mr. Sparkman. If I may ask, what arrangements are being made 
to carry out the instructions of this eighth directive? 

Mr. Baldwin. Mr. Sparkman, are you referring to the first direc- 
tive, now? 

Mr. Sparkman. The one that Mr. Arnold has just asked you about. 

Dr. Lamb. May I interrupt to say that the War Manpower Com- 
mission, as you remember, issued a series of directives, of which the 
seventh and eighth referred to the Farm Security Administration, and 
this question has reference to the eighth directive that the Commis- 
sion will instruct the Farm Security Administration, in cooperation 
with the Office of Defense Transportation, to improve the facilities 
for the transportation of migrant agricultural workers. 

Mr. Baldwin. There have been several meetings with Mr. Alt- 
meyer at which representatives of the Office of Defense Transportation 
were present. It was clearly indicated at those meetings that the 
Office of Defense Transportation felt that its responsibility was to 
see that the equipment was available and that it would, of course, 
look to us on the financing end. 

At the present time we have under consideration in the Department 
of Agriculture an additional request for funds for this purpose. If 
that request is acted upon favorably, we hope that it will be sub- 
mitted to the Congress very shortly. Of course, it will be submitted 
first to the Bureau of the Budget. It is our intention to include in 
such a request not only funds for additional labor camps, but funds 


for transportation, and a request also for additional authority to 
properly deal with this situation. We are working very closely with 
the other agencies on such a proposal. 

Mr. Sparkman. What would be the function of the Employment 
Service in this work, in connection with the transportation of agricul- 
tural workers? 


Mr. Baldwin. Insofar as our agency is concerned, we would have to 
rely almost entirely on the Farm Placement Service of the United 
States Employment Service to advise us of the need for workers in any 
area, and also to inform us, so that we could advise the workers, as to 
some of the conditions of employment, such as how long the work 
might last, what housing facilities were available, and so forth. 

Mr. Sparkman. Are we to understand that the Farm Placement 
Service would establish a placement officer in each one of these 

Mr. Baldwin. It is our understanding that they would be willing 
to do that. I understand that they have some financial difficulties in 
that regard. 

Mr. Sparkman. That would be your plan for working it out r 

Mr. Baldwin. It would be our plan that the Farm Placement 
Service would have an office in each of these camps. As I have 
previously indicated, that has worked every satisfactorily in some of 
the northwest areas. Indications have been that we could get any- 
where from 25 to 50 percent fuller utilization of available labor by 
the combination of having proper camp facilities available and having 
the representative of the Employment Service available to serve both 
the farmers and the workers. 


Mr. Bender. Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask Mr. Baldwin if 
there is any evidence that the gasoline and rubber shortages are 
interfering in any way with the "food for victory" program? 

Mr. Baldwin. To just what extent I am not sure. It is, however, 
a matter of very grave concern. One of our representatives just came 
back from the trucking sections of North Carolina and Virginia, and 
he reported that there was a tendency now to reduce the acreages of 
crops that are considered by the Department to be very essential to the 
war effort. I think, if we don't take immediate steps to rationalize this 
labor situation, that that condition is going fco become somewhat gen- 
eral and we will suffer rather drastic reductions in the production of 
essential commodities. It is already beginning to be felt and I think 
that it will be felt to a much greater extent as time goes on, unless 
some of these steps are taken. 

Mr. Bender. I would like to ask you, incidentally, what the situa- 
tion is in connection with sugar rationing. Has that had any telling 
effect on the production of foods — that is, for canning purposes, for 
example; or would that come to your attention in any way? 

Mr. Baldwin. Only indirectly; but of course there have been special 
rations allowed for canning purposes. 

Mr. Sparkman. They have been wholly inadequate, have they not? 


Mr. Baldwin. Yes, I understand they have been almost wholly- 
inadequate, and they have only provided allowances for certain types 
of canning. Of course, that is related to the whole sugar-supply 
situation. As we all know, the production of both beet and cane 
sugar requires a great deal of migrant labor; so the labor problem is 
going to be a major factor in determining our total supply of sugar. 

Mr. Bender. Mr. Baldwin, do you consider that present methods 
of recruiting and employing farm labor are wasteful of our human 
resources and detrimental to the war effort? 


Mr. Baldwin. Yes, sir; I think they have been very haphazard, 
very incomplete. I also think we have greater wasted manpower 
on small farms in this country, due to lack of financing and lack of 

Next to that I think that our greatest source of wasted manpower is 
with our farm laborers. I think it is a very great source of wasted 
energy at the present time. 

Mr. Bender. This committee has had men report to it regarding 
the difficulties of holding labor on farms because of the opportunity 
for employment and higher earnings in industry, and there have been 
reports in the press that farm workers may be frozen in their jobs. 
Do you think that tins step is feasible at the present time? 

Mr. Baldwin. Well, I think this is getting a little bit beyond my 
competence as a witness. I think it would present very great diffi- 
culties. I would be inclined to say, on the basis of our experience, 
that it would be practically unworkable. I also think at this time that 
it would be very unfair to the workers concerned. 

Mr. Bender. Has ample consideration been given, by the draft 
boards, for example, to farm managers, or has there been some abuse 
of that? That is, say the farmer himself is a young man — has he 
been given any extra consideration by virtue of his being on that farm 
and having charge of that farm? 

Mr. Baldwin. Well, of course, the selective service system is oper- 
ated on a highly decentralized basis, as I understand it, under general 
policies that emanate from Washington. I know that the national 
office has stated from time to time that special consideration should be 
given to farm labor and farm production, and I think that it has been 
given, but I think it is inevitable that a great deal of the youth will be 
drained from the farms for active participation in the military effort. 
I have heard complaints that come from some localities — I am not sure 
that those complaints are general— but the complaints are about lack 
of consideration. 

After all, the draft boards have quotas that they have to meet 
and they have to interpret these policies somewhat in terms of the 
manpower that they are expected to supply. 

Mr. Bender. In my part of the country there seems to be a greater 
abundance of fruit this year than there has been in the last 4 or 5 
years. It is a real problem that the farmer faces as to the gathering of 
that crop and giving the fruit trees the proper care. I am wondering 
if you are conversant with that situation and are taking some steps 
towards handling it promptly? 


Mr. Baldwin. Our work has been largely devoted to trying to 
provide camp facilities in the areas of greatest need. As you all know, 
the camps started on the west coast, and we have gradually spread 
them to other areas. It is only recently that the problem has be- 
come so acute in your section of the country that we have begun to 
take steps to meet it. I don't think that a great deal has been done 
yet, but I am sure that a great deal can be done tlnough the further 
expansion of the camp program. 

The Chairman. I understand that your problem, Mr. Baldwin, is 
a financial one at the present time, regarding the maintenance of these 
migratory camps? 

Mr. Baldwin. Yes. 

The Chairman. That is your problem at the present time, isn't 
it, to get them going and get money enough to keep them going? 

Mr. Baldwin. Yes. 

The Chairman. Hasn't there been an estimate presented to the 
Bureau of the Budget asking for additional sums? 

Mr. Baldwin. There was an estimate presented several months 
ago which was sent to the Senate, but as I have indicated, the Senate 
has not acted favorably on that. Now another estimate is under 
consideration and I hope that this will get a better reception if it is 
submitted to the Congress. 


The Chairman. What other means are there for housing these 
migrant workers in these agricultural districts, other than the migra- 
tory camps? The farmers haven't any means, have they, for housing 

Mr. Baldwin. Some farmers have had some facilities although 
generally they have been very poor. The small farmer who is raising 
specialty crops, or raising sugar beets, for example, has a terrific 
problem. He has not been able to provide the needed facilities; in 
many cases he has not been able to provide any facilities. I think 
that there is another thing that this committee and the Congress 
should bear in mind on this whole problem, the fact that if something 
isn't done about tins it is going to result in a greater concentration of 
farming operations. The larger operator is always at an advantage 
in dealing with situations like this because his financial condition 
generally is better and he deals with larger groups of workers. 

The facilities that are available for handling the migratory worker 
are not adequate in any section of the country that I know of. I 
might add that the facilities which are provided in these mobile camps 
are not very good; they certainly aren't very good for family living. 

Mr. Sparkman. What is going to happen to all these people that 
are being thrown off their land by the building of war plants if you 
are no longer able to relocate them? They can't find land for them- 
selves; they can't very well take to the road because of transportation 
shortages. What is your answer with reference to them? 

Mr. Baldwin. Well, I am afraid that we have no answer at the 
present time. As you know, the Agricultural appropriations bill 
which is now in conference has a provision which would prevent our 
making any loans or acquiring any land for this purpose from funds 


appropriated in that bill, and we are entirely dependent upon that 
appropriation for meeting such a problem. It is quite a serious situ- 
ation and it is growing more serious every day. We have also tried 
to take care of the situation insofar as possible, with loans and some 
grants — we have tried to assist these dispossessed farmers without 
having to make loans to buy new farms. However, a very high per- 
centage, the vast majority, of the farmers who are having to leave 
the land because of expansion of war activities are tenants who have 
no equity, and most of them will leave their places penniless. We 
are without proper resources to deal with that situation. 

Mr. Arnold. I have a question I was going to ask Mr. Corson 
when he came to the stand, but I thought perhaps we might have 
your reaction, too. 


Will you describe more fully the relation of the Employment Serv- 
ice to the work of the O. P. A. and the local rationing boards? The 
other day it was called to our attention that a State rationing adminis- 
tration in one State had instructed a county administrator to prevent 
the migration of labor away from the area by the rationing of gasoline. 
Growers in the area were demanding this labor, and growers in other 
areas were trying to get hold of it. Is this a problem for the Farm 
Security Administration or the Employment Service, or for the gaso- 
line rationing boards? If the gasoline rationing boards have complete 
jurisdiction, they can control the movement and allocation of labor. 

Mr. Baldwin. I don't see how we can more fully realize our labor 
supply, as we are all trying to do through the rationing of gasoline. 
I hope that was an isolated instance. This is the first time that 
anything of that sort has been called to my attention. Of course the 
agricultural war boards, operating in the counties, have tried to do 
what they could to help get a better utilization of available labor, 
but I haven't heard of this approach before. I think it would be an 
extremely bad approach, Mr. Arnold. 

Mr. Arnold. The committee had word of one such case in a certain 

Now you said, in reply to a former question, that undoubtedly 
transportation of migrants would have to be more largely by railroad. 
How will you get them from your camps to the fields; is there going to 
be a difficulty along that line? 


Mr. Baldwin. Yes, sir; I think there will be some difficulty hi some 
areas. I do not believe, Mr. Arnold, that the Federal Government 
can take complete responsibility for providing all transportation for 
migrant workers. I am quite sure the job is too big and I think it 
would be too costly and perhaps it would be less efficiently handled 
if we or any other Federal agency attempted to do the whole job. 

Mr. Arnold. The farmers will have to assume that, won't they? 

Mr. Baldwin. I think the farmers themselves, through cooperative 
action and through the efforts of the local war boards, will have to 
assume that responsibility. I would dislike very much to see any 
Federal agency asked to assume that particular responsibility. 


Mr. Arnold. That is all I have. 

Mr. Sparkman. The other day I was down in Alabama and one 
of the Employment Service people told me that they were trying to 
supply some labor for Connecticut. Now that is a pretty big jump 
from Alabama to Connecticut, and pretty expensive. Who bears the 
expense of that transportation, the worker, the employer, the Govern- 
ment, or a combination of those? 

Mr. Baldwin. Well, except in a few isolated cases — and I don't 
know of any in the East — the Government has not borne it. Some- 
times those arrangements have been made by private labor contractors. 
Frequently agreements were made that the workers, when they ar- 
rived in Connecticut, or wherever else they were to work, would pay 
for transportation out of their weekly wages, or daily wages; it would 
be a set-off arrangement. There have been some cases in which the 
employers have provided transportation, but I think their wage scale 
has generally been adjusted accordingly. 

So I expect in most instances, in one way or another, the laborer 
had paid for transportation through lowering his wages or through 
an agreement that it would be set off against his wages once he got 
to his new destination. That method of handling is of course ex- 
tremely haphazard, and I think extremely costly to everyone 

Mr. Sparkman. Of course you would have no supervision over the 
contract existing between the employer and the employee? 

Mr. Baldwin. That is right. 

Mr. Sparkman. That would be the Farm Placement Service rather 
than the Farm Security Administration? 

Mr. Baldwin. We would have no jurisdiction over that. 

Mr. Arnold. Are labor recruiters as active this year as usual, or 
has the rationing of gasoline and tires affected them? 

Mr. Baldwin. I don't know that it has affected them particularly. 
In some areas they have been very active. Now sugar production is 
much more concentrated than many other crops and the sugar com- 
panies in some sections have sponsored recruiting activities on a 
wider scale than ever before. I don't know that labor recruiting 
has been affected very much one way or the other. I don't think the 
efforts in this direction have met with quite the success that they 
have in some other years. 

(The chairman having left the room, Mr. Sparkman assumed the 

Mr. Sparkman. Thank you very much, Mr. Baldwin. 

(The following statement was ordered printed in the record:) 


Submitted By C. B. Baldwin, Administrator, Farm Security Administra- 
tion, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, D. C. 

Long before the outbreak of war, which brought with it a shortage of rubber for 
civilian use, transportation of seasonal farm labor in the United States was most 

The methods employed had little regard for the welfare and safety of the 
migrants themselves. Most of them rattled periously over the highways of the 
Nation in their "jallopies." Others were crowded, as cattle are seldom crowded, 
atop the uncovered flatbed trucks of farmers and contractors over long hauls 


with only one or two stops en route. Some "hitched" their way from point to 
point dependent on passing motorists' responses or on the willingness of railway 
guards to look the other way at harvest time. 

Transportation of seasonal farm labor was also unsatisfactory from the stand- 
point of efficiency. It was shockingly wasteful. Probably none could estimate 
accurately the gallons of gasoline, the quarts of oil, and the pounds of rubber 
that were consumed in useless driving back and forth by migrants in search of 
rumored jobs that failed to materialize. Formerly, a few gallons and a few blow- 
outs meant little in terms of the national economy, though the added cost often 
meant increased material deprivations for the disadvantaged migratory workers. 

Farm labor transportation was unsatisfactory even from the standpoint of 
many farm employers. It was characterized by dislocations, unbalance, inequal- 
ities. It was crude, chaotic, costly. Too many workers assembled in areas in 
response to mere rumors of jobs. Often they were stranded, lacking the few cents 
to buy gasoline or a second-hand tire to carry them farther. In areas not very far 
away' in terms of auto travel, jobs might be going begging for workers. Thus, 
even in the heyday of unrestricted motor travel, migrants could not and did not 
distribute themselves to the best advantage of the Nation's agricultural labor 

Earlier hearings of this committee, to which the Farm Security Administration 
has been privileged to contribute, have amply documented the fact that migrant 
farm labor transportation in this country even prior to December 7, 1941, left 
much to be desired. However, it worked somehow and many farm employers 
secured itinerant laborers who moved to them mostly on their own wheels and at 
their own expense. As these wheels ceased to roll for lack of tires or gasoline, 
it was inevitable that labor shortages would threaten many farms that depend on 
migrant farm workers. 

The seriousness of this situation may be fully appreciated when it is recalled 
that in such States as California and Arizona more than one-half of all farm 
workers do not live on the farms and require daily transportation to and from 
work. From two-thirds to three-fourths of the farm workers in these States used 
their own automobiles for transportation not only to and from daily work but also 
from area to area, from job to job. The need for farm labor transportation is 
more or less the same in the Pacific Northwest, along the Atlantic seaboard, in the 
Mississippi Valley, Texas, and other parts of the country which employ a large 
volume of nonlocal farm labor. 

The Farm Security Administration is administering its rural rehabilitat'on loan 
funds so as to enable hundreds of thousands of small farmers all over the 
country to increase their production. This would enale them to take to market 
as they never could before, the foods and fibers needed by our armed forces and by 
the civilian population behind them in the factories, mills, and mines. 

But these small, low-income farmers, whose economic security it has been the 
particular task of Farm Security Administration to protect and improve, are, in 
the main, not employers of wage labor. In the past and even today with the 
production increases Farm Security Administration has helped them to attain, 
they and their family members do virtually all the work performed on their farms. 
The need to replace speedily the scores of thousands of obsolete private automobile 
conveyances which formerly provided the means of transportation for a considera- 
ble number of our seasonal agricultural workers is not primarily a need felt by 
these small, low-income farmers. It is one which is felt on the commercially 
operated farms whose labor needs are supplied by hired workers. It is a matter 
of getting workers who want jobs to these farms and of moving them along to other 
areas as crops mature in seasonal sequences. 

Farm Security Administration is no stranger to hundreds of thousands of migrant 
farm workers who have followed the crops. During the 6 years in which Farm 
Security Administration has pioneered in decent, healthful housing for migrant 
farm workers, it has acquired a wealth of experience. This experience will prove 
invaluable not only to the Farm Security Administration but also to the other 
agencies, the Farm Placement Service in the United States Employment Service, 
the Office of Defense Transportation, and the Office of Price Administration, on 
whose cooperation we must rely to provide a system of farm labor transportation 
which will do the job during the present war emergency. 

The communities in which Farm Security Administration migrant labor camps 
have been established have exhibited, particularly during the past year, an 
overwhelming approval of the camp program. The existing camp program is 
the very foundation on which we will have to build an emergency system of farm 
labor transportation. Housing and transportation are inseparable; without one 


the other loses much of its effectiveness. The best system of transportation of 
farm workers will fall down deplorably if we lack sufficient well-situated, clean, 
livable shelters. 

We have in operation today 46 standard permanent camps and 43 mobile 
camps. Six additional mobile camps will be ready for occupancy before the 
close of this crop year. For their operation alone during the 1943 fiscal year we 
shall need much more funds than are provided in the agriculture appropriation 
bill now in conference. In addition, we have received requests for other camps 
and have confirmed that such need does exist in about 150 localities not now 
served. An additional 150 localities have submitted their bids for camps and 
we are now checking this list to determine their actual needs. 

Early examination of the ways in which agricultural groups in various localities 
of the country have approached the problem of farm labor transportation under 
present difficulties leads to the conclusion that these problems can be met effec- 
tively only by a federally directed and financed program. There is no substantial 
evidence that farmer-employers are successfully meeting the labor transportation 
problem which faces them now and will trouble them increasingly in the future. 
In fact the evidence is in the opposite direction. Effective group cooperation 
among farmers in this connection has not been demonstrated save in shining, but all 
too isolated, special instances. Where such efforts have been attempted, many 
difficulties have arisen affecting not only farm laborers but also farm operators. 

In some cases, for example, farmers were found not to have received the full 
use of the workers for whom transportation costs had been paid. Extreme 
competition for labor has led to "pirating" of workers at the point of arrival or 
even en route. Workers have been frequently required to pay the costs of their 
transportation in violation of verbal agreements. Smaller operators have been 
disadvantaged in securing nonlocal labor because of their inability to recruit and 
pav transportation costs. 

Farmers have expressed a need for a Government agency to assume the over-all 
responsibility for farm labor transportation. Requests of this nature have come 
to us from farmers and farm groups all over the Nation. Farm employers have 
asked us to take camp funds to pay for transportation, to take rural rehabilita- 
tion loan funds to pay for transportation, to make grants to employers or to 
workers to pay for transportation. Sufficient funds are not available for these 

With the cooperation of other interested agencies and to the extent that funds 
can be made available, the Farm Security Administration is ready to execute the 
directive of the War Manpower Commission "to assure adequate transportation 
facilities to move migrant agricultural workers." We believe that the operation 
of any svstem of transportation established for farm workers in the interest of 
the agricultural war effort would have to be shaped by the following objectives 
and policies and problems. 

First, two broad objectives should be made clear: 

1. Insure necessary production. — Transportation should be made available to 
qualified farm labor when and where necessary to provide labor for the maximum 
possible harvest of food for freedom crops. Such transportation not only should 
facilitate the harvesting of the already planted crops but also should act as a 
stimulus for increasing production next year by giving farmers assurance that 
whatever is planted on their farms can be cultivated and harvested without the 
loss of a pound or a bushel because labor is lacking; 

2. Maximize use of available labor. — A transportation system should aim toward 
the maximum utilization of available labor supply with the minimum use of our 
vital transportation facilities. Obviously, its successful operation would neces- 
sitate a greater use of the facilities of the Farm Placement Service of the United 
States Emplovment Service by both employers and workers. Similanly, its 
efficient operation will require accurate current reporting of labor supply prob- 
lems and anticipated needs for nonlocal labor. Now, turning to policies to be 
applied in meeting specific problems: 

1. Determination of labor needs and labor transportation. — The agency in charge 
of transportation should conduct its operations in close cooperation with the Farm 
Placement Service. Certification of labor shortages and requests for transporta- 
tion of workers to reduce or overcome such stringencies, for example, should be 
made to this agency by the Farm Placement Service. It would be highly advis- 
able, also, for both the Farm Placement Service and the Farm Security Adminis- 
tration to consult and cooperate with the County and State USD A war boards 
before undertaking transportation from and into affected areas. 


2. Recruitment of ivorkers. — The agency responsible for farm labor transportation 
would depend on the Farm Placement Service for information as to workers avail- 
able who are (a) qualified to do the kind of work in question ; (6) ready to accept 
work because their previous employment has come to an end; (c) willing to work 
in a new area for the length of time, at the wage rates and condition of work 
offered by the employers in that area; and (d) who will not be needed in the area 
from which they are being recruited before the completion of their work in the 
area of destination. 

3. Worker safeguards. — Workers solicited for employment in areas to which 
they will be transported by the farm labor transportation system should be well 
informed on wages and conditions of employment. No workers should be trans- 
ported to any area without first knowing (a) where he is bound for, how he will 
travel, and what will be the conditions en route; (b) the kind of crop operations 
to be performed, tools to be used, special local conditions, etc. ; (c) the minimum 
and approximate duration of work; (d) what wage rates will be paid; (e) what 
housing and other living conditions will be available on the job; and (/) what 
transportation arrangements will be made and what the governing conditions will 
be for return to place of origin. 

4. Farm Security Administration camps. — Wherever possible, workers to be 
transported should be assembled and housed in Farm Security Administration 
camps both prior to and following the journey. 

5. Cases of acute need.- — The agency responsible for the established system of 
transportation will be obliged to meet emergencies resulting from destitution of 
workers transported to areas of destination. Even with appropriate safeguards 
•concerning reasonably full employment and fair wages, it is conceivable that some 
workers may lose their jobs or fail to obtain adequate employment in these areas. 
While the Farm Security Administration has met this situation in previous years 
with outright grants of money and commodities, it is one which must be definitely 
anticipated and for which proper provisions must be made. 

6. Economies.- — The cooperation of the Office of Defense Transportation will 
probably be needed in obtaining the best possible routes and the lowest rates 
for the movement of workers. Efforts should be made to obtain benefits of large 
scale economies through transportation of substantial numbers of workers at 
any one time. On long journeys transportation by rail should probably be 

7. Transportation of families and effects. — Rules and regulations will have to 
be established with regard to payment of transportation for nonworking members 
of families and limits set to the amount of household and personal belongings 
which family units will be permitted to carry with them. 

8. Financing. — The problem of who should pay the cost of transportation is 
difficult. It could conceivably be borne by the employer, the employees, or by 
the Government. We are now confident that, in view of the low earnings of 
agricultural workers, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to solve this problem 
were the cost assessed completely against the workers. It might be possible 
to work out arrangements in some instances where the employers would pay all 
or a part of the transportation costs. However, any arbitrary requirement of 
this sort might act as a barrier to the smaller farmers in getting sufficient labor 
for their needs since, in most instances, they would not be able to meet such a 
condition. As for the workers themselves, their wages are still generally much 
lower than those of industrial workers and their assurance of any continuity of 
employment is so lacking that it is felt that the imposition of such an obligation 
would discourage workers from accepting employment outside their immediate 

Certainly, it would not be possible for the Government to assume full responsi- 
bility for transportation or its cost for all migratory workers. The problem must 
be approached in a flexible manner and handled in such a way as to provide 
sufficient labor at the points where it is needed actually to do the job. 

However financed, it is estimated that the amount of funds which will be re- 
quired to provide for assisting in the transportation of farm labor, including 
medical care, health protection, subsistence needs, administrative and supervisory 
expenses directly relating to this program, is $6,000,000. This assumes a move- 
ment of about 150,000 persons, approximately 110,000 of whom would be workers, 
each traveling an average distance of 1,200 miles per year at the rate of 1.5 cents 
per mile. The total amount would also provide for an average grant of slightly 
over $20 during the year for subsistence and other needs of the workers transported 
under such a program. 


We have watched closely the farm labor transportation situation ever since the 
present emergency threatened. Our people in the field are currently studying the 
situation and sending us much valuable information on this emerging problem. 
As I have stated, housing and transportation of migrant labor go together. For 
this reason, we have been in the "transportation picture" as well as in the migrant 
housing program. 

In concluding this brief statement, may I state that whatever final disposition 
is made of the responsibility for planning and administering a program of farm 
labor transportation, the Farm Security Administration will cooperate fully in 
this enterprise. We are ready to place our shoulders to this task in order to 
utilize fully the farm labor forces of this country to assure ample production of 
food and fiber for the war effort. 


Mr. Sparkman. Mr. Corson. 

I believe you have been before us on previous occasions, and we 
welcome you back again. 1 

We want to ask you some questions pertaining to this problem of 
employment, particularly with reference to the transportation of 
workers. What agencies, Mr. Corson, are responsible for insuring 
the adequate transportation of workers, both agricultural and 

Mr. Corson. I doubt if there are any agencies that can be said to 
be responsible now for the actual transportation of workers. The 
Office of Defense Transportation has been very helpful in endeavor- 
ing to work out transportation arrangements which facilitate the 
movement of workers, but it does not have any responsibility, nor, I 
believe, does any other agency have the responsibility for the actual 
transportation of workers. 

Now in the supplying of labor for a good many projects, workers 
have been transported at Government expense, and very helpfully 
so, in most instances by the National Youth Administration and to 
a lesser degree and in a fewer instances by the Work Projects Ad- 

Mr. Sparkman. But there is no such thing as having control by 
these agencies, they function more in a supervisory or advisory 
position, do they not? 

Mr. Corson. That is correct. 

Mr. Sparkman. Have there been conferences concerning an orderly 
arrangement for the transportation of such workers? 

Mr. Corson. Yes; there have been a variety of conferences, par- 
ticularly in relation to the labor supply needs in particular areas. For 
example, the one in which we have been particularly concerned during 
recent weeks is the movement of migratory farm workers along the 
eastern coast. We have been in conference there with the Farm 
Security Administration and the Office of the Coordinator of Defense 
Transportation, endeavoring to work out ways and means of insuring; 
that migratory workers move as in previous years, and thus provides a 
supply of labor as it has in previous years. 

Mr. Sparkman. Are these individual workers informed as to the. 
arrangements that are made, or is it more or less of a hit-and-miss 
affair with them? 

' Pt. 27, p. 10286. 


Mr. Corson. Well, we are endeavoring to inform them. The usual 
facilities for transportation, gasoline and rubber, going into the 
customary means of travel by automobile, have been so limited that 
the usual means of transportation are not available as they have been 
in the past. We have been endeavoring to work out, with the assist- 
ance of the Office of the Coordinator of Defense Transportation, special 
railroad rates that would facilitate the movement. That isn't a 
wholly satisfactory substitute, because there is still the movement 
from the railroad station to the farm location, wherever that may be. 
We haven't yet been able to obtain such preferential rates. 

We have moved relatively few workers by railroad. The bulk of 
them have so far moved by their previous means of transportation. 
The total number, as a consequence, however, has been reduced over 
previous years. 

Mr. Sparkman. A minute ago you said N. Y. A., and to a limited 
extent the W. P. A., have transported workers at Government expense. 
Is that transportation charge recovered in any way, or it it an outright 

Mr. Corson. I believe it is an outright expenditure, and it is pri- 
marily related to the movement of trainees to the resident centers 
maintained by the National Youth Administration. 

Mr. Sparkman. And the W. P. A. would be something similar, I 

Mr. Corson. Yes; and, as I have said, much less. 

(At this point Congressman Tolan resumed the chair.) 

Mr. Sparkman. Have any plans been arrived at dividing the 
authority, or the field, in which these various agencies would function 
with reference to trying to arrange an orderly transportation pro- 

possibility of movement of workers at government expense 

Mr. Corson. No; there has not been, but I think it should be 
borne in mind, as the previous witness testified, that a large part of 
the transportation will, and I think should be, borne continuously by 
the employer. Some, in certain areas of the labor market, I think, 
can and should be borne by the worker himself. There is another 
area that perhaps in the future will have to be borne by the Govern- 
ment. There are certain types of labor that will not be moved unless 
the Government subsidizes their actual movement. 

Mr. Sparkman. I wonder if you might give us some idea as to 
what type that is? 

Mr. Corson. I am inclined to think that it is a substantial part of 
the migratory farm labor that will not be moved in the future because 
farmers do not feel, rightly or wrongly, that they are able to pay 
transportation, and the worker cannot pay; and if we are to provide 
the requisite food crops, I believe we are going to have to move 
workers at Government expense to where they are needed. 

Mr. Sparkman. Particularly would that be true with seasonal 
workers, I presume? 

Mr. Corson. It would. Now it is a very difficult task to under- 
take, it requires a number of safeguards that are not readily avail- 
able — the assurance that when the worker is moved he actually works 
at the place to which you are moving him. And in many 


instances it necessitates some provision for his return as well. We 
move agricultural workers up the east coast from Florida all the way 
to Connecticut, and it is essential that they go back to Florida if they 
are to meet the need for an agricultural labor supply the following 
spring in Florida. 

Mr. Sparkman. Would you be willing to say that if the time 
comes when it is necessary to control our labor supply completely, 
that then the Government will have to assume the transportation 

Mr. Corson. If that time comes; sir, yes. 

Mr. Sparkman. Would you venture a prediction as to whether or 
not such a time is likely to come? 

Mr. Corson. I wouldn't be so bold as to venture that prediction. 

Mr. Sparkman. It is a possibility? 

Mr. Corson. It is a possibility, although to insure that I am cor- 
rectly understood, I hope that we can devise ways and means of so 
managing our labor resources as to permit their voluntary choice of a 
job and their voluntary movement for a long time, or for the duration 
of the war. 

Mr. Sparkman. Are you pleased with the progress that has been 
made so far in recruiting labor where it is needed on a voluntary 

Mr. Corson. Well, there are elements in the picture at the moment 
which lead to some discouragement. In the industrial area, the factor 
that is particularly discouraging, that raises the question as to whether 
new methods will not have to be accepted, is the pirating of workers 
from one employment to another, and the consequent needless move- 
ment of workers backward and forward. Now the worker actually 
makes the choice when the economic alternatives are so much greater 
if he moves. And yet that is coming to be a considerable handicap 
to war production in some areas, Detroit specifically. That is one 
factor that may necessitate a type of control over workers' movements 
that is not now existent. 

Mr. Sparkman. What do you consider to be the function of the 
United States Employment Service in the transportation of war 


Mr. Corson. Well, first I would say that it is the responsibility of 
the United States Employment Service, to a greater degree than the 
Employment Service has ever had to assume that responsibility in the 
past, to seek out orders from employers for the workers they need; 
then, to obtain from the employers specifications as to the type of 
workers required, including whether or not they are willing and able 
to pay transportation of workers to be brought in from other areas. 

Our second responsibility would be to communicate to available 
workers, in other areas usually, the opportunities that are existent. 
I think that much migration and much movement can be eliminated 
if we can communicate more effectively to workers than we have in 
the past, the opportunities that do exist, along with the conditions of 
employment, including particularly when transportation costs are to 
be met by the employer. 


In addition, I think the Employment Service has a third responsi- 
bility in collaboration with the other agencies that are more directly 
related to the transportation field, of trying to work out ways and 
means of getting special consideration for the movement of workers, 
particularly where there is a large group of workers to be moved, like 
the migratory agricultural workers. 

We have already taken some steps to endeavor to get other agencies 
to facilitate that movement— to obtain preferential railroad rates 
through the Office of the Coordinator of Defense Transportation; and 
to have the Farm Security Administration relate their mobile labor 
camps to the movement of these workers; and the use of railroads, if 
they are to be used, rather than automobiles. 

I don't think the United States Employment Service has a responsi- 
bility for the actual payment of transportation costs itself. It seems 
to me of first importance that the employer should pay these costs, if 
it is possible; and that, secondarily, the other agencies of the Govern- 
ment that are more familiar with the movement of workers in the 
transportation area should assume the responsibility for the actual 
shipping of workers. . . 

Mr. Sparkman. Do you exercise any control or supervision over the 
contracts that are entered into between the employer and the em- 
ployee with reference either to wages or to transportation charges? 

Mr. Corson. No, we cannot determine the conditions of employ- 
ment. Manifestly, when an employment office has orders from two 
employers, one employer offering, let us say for the sake of illustration, 
reasonable standards of employment in terms of hours of work, wages 
and living conditions; and another offering substandard, or at least, 
less desirable standards of employment, manifestly it is much easier 
to obtain workers to accept the first opportunity, and those are the 
ones on which efforts are devoted. We can refuse to fill or to assist 
an employer in filling jobs at substandard conditions, and that we do. 
We cannot choose between those that are above a level of what might 
be described as substandard conditions within the area. 


Mr. Sparkman. We learned some time back, in the early part of 
our hearings, that the eastern seaboard drew a great part of its agri- 
cultural workers for its seasonal crops, from the Southeastern States. 
Now we understand that those workers are pretty well immobilized 
this year because of lack of transportation facilities, and at the same 
time reports come to us of crop losses to a severe degree in the Atlantic 
seaboard area because of a shortage of seasonal agricultural workeis. 
Has the Employment Service made any effort to remedy that situation 

Mr. Corson. Well, the Employment Service has been continually 
working on that problem for the last 3 or 4 months. There are several 
points that you have made that I would like to comment on. 

In the first place, it is true that the customary supply of labor that 
moves along the east coast from Florida, through South Carolina, 
North Carolina, Virginia and on up to meet the agricultural labor 
needs, is immobilized, to a degree, in comparison with previous years. 
There is still a material movement of workers along the east coast by 
their customary means of travel. That is, to me, somewhat surprising, 
and yet there has been, insofar as the agricultural labor needs in South 


Carolina and North Carolina arc concerned so far, some movement 
from Florida on up through those States. 

In addition, to supplement our Farm Placement Service, we have 
placed in Florida three additional men whose whole job it is to contact 
those workers that customarily move out from where they are working 
now in the northern areas of Florida, and to make available to them 
the job opportunities that the Employment Service has been able to 
locate, and to facilitate their movement along the coast. We con- 
template that those men will stay with that group of workers for the 
whole season until it has traversed the whole area through which it 
customarily travels. 

We have as well, as I have referred to before, endeavored to obtain, 
with the cooperation of the Office of the Coordinator of Defense 
Transportation, special railroad rates to move them. It hasn't been 
accomplished as yet, but we still hope that we can, with preferential 
railroad rates, facilitate their movement along the east coast. We are 
even now bringing together our Farm Placement people from those 
States with a view to insuring that we mobilize a diminished labor 
supply so far as we can. That it is a substantially diminished labor 
supply is a factor that should not be overlooked. We are making 
those workers that do exist available where they are needed. 


Now in Florida and in other States along the east coast, much of 
the migrant labor supply that is usually counted upon has been drawn 
off into the construction of cantonments and other war projects that 
did not exist in previous years. As a consequence, there aren't as 
large a number to shepherd along the east coast as there have been in 
previous years. That makes, it seems to me, all the more important 
the intensive use of the local labor supplies. Recruiting around 
Norfolk, for instance, all of the people that can possibly be found 
around Norfolk that can be used on the farm for the season there; 
school children to the degree that they can work on farms; women 
who have not customarily been employed in the past on farms. 
Those supplies perhaps haven't been customary ones, but this year 
they will have to be used if we are to meet the aggregate need for 
farm workers. 

Dr. Lamb. Wouldn't you say that these two problems, the problem 
of distinguishing the available supply and the problem of transporta- 
tion, are so interconnected that it is a little difficult to tell where the 
one begins and the other leaves off? If you have ready transporta- 
tion and a surplus such as we have had in past years, the problem of 
discovering where these workers are is hardly any problem at all, as 
far as your office is concerned. The bulk of the orders for these work- 
ers doesn't come through the office in peace times, in normal times. 
They are a matter of arrangement between a boss or a contractor and 
the individual employer, or a group in some places, and consequently 
a whole new burden has fallen on your organization — first to deter- 
mine exactly where these supplies are. and whether they are immobil- 
ized; and then to collaborate with other agencies to mobilize them by 

Mr. Corson. Well, may I comment on two points there. There 
is still another factor. I heartily agree with you, the two problems 

60396— 42— pt. 33 6 


are inseparable. But there is a third that is likewise a part of the 
picture, and that is the problem of discrimination against certain types 
of workers and discrimination on the part of workers against certain 
types of work. 

For instance, there are available supplies of labor in the far West 
and in the Southwest, but there are many individuals among them 
who will not take jobs in beet sugar and stoop labor. That is a part 
of the problem. 

The other is that it is true that there is a burden thrown on the 
Employment Service this year that it never assumed in the past, 
because in the past there were labor contractors who facilitated the 
movement and the recruiting of these workers on a commercial basis 
for farmers. Those individuals are, to some extent, reduced in number 
by the lack of transportation facilities. In other areas, however, they 
are even more active than in the past, and that makes it difficult for 
the Employment Service to know what supplies of labor there are, 
because the labor agent has come in and drained off a supply of 
labor, and the employment office is unable to ascertain how many 
are left, now knowing how many the labor agent has taken out. That 
adds to the complexity of the problem as well. 

Dr. Lamb. What this means, in effect, is that you people have to 
invent and pioneer new methods of determining the available labor 
supplies, methods which are much more intensive than you have 
previously had to use? 


Mr. Corson. That is correct, and as well to invent new means of 
obtaining indication, in advance, of the labor demand. The employer 
has in the past had a surplus of labor, and as a consequence there was 
no necessity for him to worry about the Employment Service, he could 
go to the village store or to his front gate and there were plenty of 
workers there to be had. Now that isn't the case. Hence, he turns 
to the Employment Service, or some other means. All too frequently 
he waits until the last moment and turns to the Employment Service 
and says, "Because you aren't supplying labor, our crops are going 
to rot in the fields." 

Dr. Lamb. In fact, he has to be taught to turn to the Employment 
Service, and turn to it early? 

Mr. Corson. Well, I would add that the Employment Service has 
to accept the responsibility to a greater degree than before of bringing 
its services to the employer, since he hasn't been familiar with its 
work; and, as I said before, seeking out orders in advance of the 

Dr. Lamb. There is one more question I have in this connection. 
That is whether — because of the fortunate situation in which these 
employers found themselves in the past with a labor surplus and the 
ready transportation provided by labor contractors or by the workers 
themselves — the usual wage rates and the conditions of employment 
have lacked pulling power this year and during these war years? 

Mr. Corson. Even though farm rates this year to some extent have 
increased over previous years, in contrast with wage rates on construc- 
tion projects and other war production work, they represent an un- 
favorable contrast and they do not have the pulling power that would 


bring workers into agriculture. That is true even in an area like Los 
Angeles, where you have still, despite the large employment there, 
some unemployment, unemployment which can't be drained off to 
farms because of the differential in wage rates. 


The Chairman. Mr. Corson, the transportation by private con- 
tractors of migrant workers from Texas into Michigan, and the North 
Central States, was done by automobile. Do you think that these 
private contractors, on account of the shortage of rubber, will be able 
to continue to transport the migrant worker from the South? 

Mr. Corson. I am not sure that I am using the term "private 
contractors" in exactly the same way you are, but to the extent that 
private contractors have relied upon truck transportation in the past, 
their activities will be curtailed. However, some private contractors, 
in a sense the agents for some companies — particularly the beet-sugar 
companies — who have relied more on railroads in the past, have in- 
tensified their activities this year by reason of the apparent shortage 
of workers in relation to the demand. The demand for workers in 
beet-sugar fields is much greater this year than in previous years. 
Hence, their activities, in contrast, have been far greater this year 
than in previous years. They haven't been handicapped by a lack 
of rubber, because they have customarily used railroads, and special 
rates on railroads, to move workers. 

The Chairman. Do you think the private contractors should be 

Mr. Corson. Their elimination would certainly make for a more 
orderly management of what labor resources we have. It has been 
particularly difficult this year for the Employment Service to mobilize 
what labor there is and facilitate its movement to where it was needed, 
because of the competitive situation we were in. At the same time 
we were seeking labor, we had the labor agent of the beet-sugar 
companies, particularly, working in the same area, offering induce- 
ments with respect to transportation that smaller farmers, perhaps in 
other crops, couldn't offer. And as a consequence it created a rather 
chaotic condition in the States of Texas and New Mexico, with respect 
to the movement of migratory labor out of those States. 


The Chairman. Do you think the railroads will be able to take 
over this additional load? 

Mr. Corson. Well, from what I .have been able to learn in our 
contacts with the railroads and with the Coordinator of Defense 
Transportation, who has been very helpful in trying to work out ways 
and means of insuring movement of this labor, the railroads would 
have no difficulty in assuming this burden. It isn't large in aggre- 
gate, there may be perhaps 50,000 workers that, if moved, would 
meet the demands, if you effectively utilize as well your local labor 
supply. It is surprising when you think that whereas actually there 
may be 30,000 workers needed in New Jersey, there may not be the 
necessity of moving more than 5,000 to 10,000, at the most, from 
Florida. If you utilize the local labor supply first, the supplement that 
you need is relatively small. 


The Chairman. Has the Employment Service made any contact 
with the railroad companies regarding rates for these migrant workers? 

Mr. Corson. Well, the answer to that question is "no," but it is 
not a fair answer to the Employment Service because Mr. Otto Beyer, 
who is in charge of the Division of Transport Personnel in the Office 
of the Coordinator of Defense Transportation, has been in contact 
with the railroads daily for the last 2 weeks, at our request, and 
presenting this picture to them. 

Mr. Arnold. Do you find any State laws interfering with arrange- 
ments by the Government for the transportation of war workers? 

Mr. Corson. No; I have not. There may be some, but I am not 
familiar with them at the moment. 


Mr. Arnold. Do you find that the competition among Stetes or 
regions for the available supply of agricultural workers is interfering 
with the interstate clearance by the Employment Service? 

Mr. Corson. It has to some extent. That has been particularly 
true in Texas, and it is a very natural situation. Employers who 
have been accustomed to relying upon an available supply of labor 
are very loathe to see it drained off into other areas, even though, by 
the more effective utilization of the remainder m that State, their 
needs may be met. It is a very human and natural situation, and it 
is one that has to be faced. 

Mr. Arnold. The committee has heard that the farmers in New 
Jersey were compelled to recruit some laborers from south Florida 
by their own arrangements because the clearance and referral pro- 
cedure of the Employment Service was too slow to meet their needs. 
Have you eny comments to make on that, sir? 

Mr.' Corson. I think that the situation could be described more 
accurately by stating that the farmers in New Jersey used the Employ- 
ment Service to a minimum degree. They went to Florida to 
obtain workers without regard to the existence of an Employment 
Service. I doubt whether they gave the clearance system of the 
Employment Service a sufficient trial to justify the statement that 
it was too slow or cumbersome. Actually, the Employment Service 
did bring into New Jersey a considerable number of workers, approxi- 
mately 200 workers, from New York City, and that represented, I 
think it can be said, the difference between substantial failures in the 
asparagus crop and a harvesting of the bulk of the crop. 

Mr. Arnold. Then they probably weren't familiar enough with 
your service to properly utilize it? 

Mr. Corson. I think that is true, and I think the obligation for 
insuring that they are familiar with it is on both sides. It is in part 
that the employer should make use of the service, but in part the 
Employment Service has got to make known its existence to the 

Mr. Arnold. Now the Texas Emplo3 T ment Service is under your 
jurisdiction, is it? 

Mr. Corson. Yes. 

Mr. Arnold. The committee has been given to understand that 
that employment service has never referred any workers to other 
States. Would you sav that that is substantially correct? 


Mr. Corson. I think it is substantially correct. It has referred 
some workers, and it has referred some workers because we have 
simply insisted that workers be moved out of there when there seemed 
to be' an apparent surplus. But there are two other factors that 
should be considered. In the first place, Texas was the particular, 
perhaps, if I may say so, happy hunting; ground for the recruiting 
agents of the beet sugar companies, and they went in there and 
took out a great number of workers. As a consequence, not only 
the Employment Service in Texas, but the farmers in Texas and the 
Texas State government, were very much alarmed that so many 
workers had been moved out of the State that there would not be 
an adequate supply of workers for the needs of Texas farms. I 
think the fact that there was some substance for their fears is testified 
to now by the fact that there is at least a very narrow margin in the 
available supply of labor for the cotton crop in the southern and 
western areas of Texas; hence another demand for the importation 
of Mexican workers. 


Mr. Sparkman. Has the federalization of the Employment Service 
served to reduce to any appreciable degree the need of private re- 
cruiting arrangements by these employers? 

Mr. Corson. I think the national operation of the Employment 
Service has facilitated the movement of workers from one area to 
another, and that is one thing that the United States Employment 
Service can do that few private employment recruiting agencies can 
do. They aren't Nationwide in scope, and they can't move workers 
from one area to another. The Employment Service has moved a 
very considerable number of workers, from one section to another 
as the needs dictated. 

Mr. Sparkman. You still have the problem, though, of getting the 
employers into the habit of using the Employment Service? 

Mr. Corson. That is correct, and I think there are bases for that. 
The Employment Service in some States in the past was not the type 
of an institution that attracted employers to use it, and you can't 
change 48 different State employment services in a few months to 
an altogether efficient national institution. There is not only the 
necessity of raising the caliber of operations in those sections and in 
those States where they were below the level in other States, but 
as well the changing of the attitudes of people who have been 
accustomed to working within their areas and subject to State super- 
vision and subject to the State jealousies and State prides that dic- 
tated that labor should be used in this State without regard to the 
needs of another State. It is an attitude of mind that has prevailed 
as well as a method of operation. It takes time to combat that. 

Mr. Sparkman. I suppose as labor conditions become tighter, the 
employers turn more and more to the Employment Service? 

Mr. Corson. That is correct. As soon as it gets tough to find 
workers, then it is up to the Employment Service to find them. 



Mr. Sparkman. We understand that the Employment Service has 
certified the need for the importation of a certain number of workers 
from Mexico because it does not have the facilities for recruiting 
these workers within the United States. Is this correct? 

Mr. Corson. That is correct. 

Mr. Sparkman. That is a relatively small number so far, isn't it? 

Mr. Corson. Yes; I think the total is 6,000. 

Mr. Sparkman. That is for seasonal crops in California? 

Mr. Corson. Particularly for beet sugar. 

Mr. Sparkman. Beet sugar? 

Mr. Corson. Yes; and saying that it is for beet sugar gives some 
explanation for the necessity of importation there. Beet sugar, the 
blocking and thinning of beet sugar, described as stoop labor, is a 
type of labor which has been accompanied by a type of living con- 
ditions on farms which has been such that it does not attract many 
American workers. 

Mr. Arnold. Well, that is the type of work that the Governor of 
Idaho and his staff are doing out there. How are they doing stoop 

Mr. Corson. I don't think the Governor and his staff are going 
to do it for long, if they are doing it. 

The Chairman. When you certified the need for the importation 
of Mexican workers, did they actually come into this country? 

Mr. Corson. They have not yet. 

The Chairman. To whom did you certify that? 

Mr. Corson. To the Immigration Division of the Department of 
Justice. The Immigration Division must actually arrange for 
bringing the workers in from Mexico. I am advised that the State 
Department has instructed the Ambassador in Mexico City to 
negotiate with the Mexican Government for the movement, and the 
standards under which they will be moved. That step was taken, 
I believe, about 10 days ago. The negotiations between the Ambas- 
sador in Mexico and the Mexican Government have not been reported 
back as yet. 

The Chairman. That is the reason why no action was taken, be- 
cause the nations being at war, there was really a higher question than 
the demand, say, for 10,000 Mexican workers in California and in 
Texas, there was a higher question there. 

This committee already has taken it up with representatives of the 
State Department and the Mexican Government, and I think you 
stated very, very well the status of it. That is the status of it right 
now. In other words, there will have to be a clearance through the 
State Department of this country with the Mexican Government 
before anything is done? 

Mr. Corson. That is correct. 

The Chairman. To state how many come in and under what terms 
and under what regulations they come into this country. Is that 

Mr. Corson. Yes. 

Mr. Sparkman. If a Government agency undertakes to transport 
war workers, what changes will be necessary in the operation of the 
Employment Service, if any? 


Mr. Corson. Very minor, if any. If a Government agency under- 
takes to transport war workers, it would seem to me that it would 
facilitate our recruitment to the extent that in offering workers jobs, 
we would have that much greater likelihood of their acceptance of jobs, 

The Employment Service might be responsible, as well, for actually 
placing in their hands the Government transportation request, and 
to the extent that we had to set up the machinery for bonding our 
own employees for the issuance of Government transportation requests 
and actually seeing that the transportation request was issued to the 
worker, that would represent some minor modification in our processes 
and in our organization, but it wouldn't seem to be a great one. 


Mr. Sparkman. In some of our hearings, our attention has been 
called to the fact that a great deal of this so-called farm-labor shortage 
was the result of the failure to utilize to its fullest capacity the available 
farm labor. Now what has the Farm Placement Service done toward 
bring about a full utilization of the farm labor already available? 

Mr. Corson. I don't believe that I know of illustrations in which 
the farm-labor shortage has been due to a failure to use the available 
farm labor supply. I think there is perhaps one illustration that 
comes to mind in which it was a question of the willingness of the farm 
employers to pay what was a quite low wage rate, but one that the 
farm workers insisted upon. That was around El Paso, in the cotton 
chopping. On the other hand, I think in most areas there has been 
pretty effective utilization of what labor supply there was available, 
but the customary labor supply has been depleted by draining off 
into war industry, and secondly by Selective Service. Now the 
Farm Placement Service of the United States Employment Service 
has been substantially expanded over previous years. We have, in 
every State, individuals responsible for the farm placement job, and 
that job alone, and we have endeavored through their efforts to have 
each of our local offices concentrate on the determination of what farm 
labor was needed, and the recruitment of that arm labor and its 
direction to the employers, which frequently means the movement of 
workers from one office area to another. 

I think to the extent — and this is not a satisfying answer — but to 
the extent that the employers have placed orders with the Employ- 
ment Service, we have been able to fill the very large bulk of them. 
It has been the failure of the employers to make use of the Employ- 
ment Service that has resulted in these shortages that actually has 
caused trouble. 

Mr. Sparkman. Is every effort made to insure the full utilization 
of local labor supplies before outside labor will be imported? 

Mr. Corson. I think that can be said, surely, to be the case. 

Mr. Sparkman. That certainly would be your purpose? 

Mr. Corson. That certainly would be our purpose. 

Mr. Arnold. The committee has heard much about the difficulties 
of holding labor on farms because of the opportunities of earnings in 
industry. There have been reports in the press that farm workers 
may be frozen in their jobs. Do you think that this step is feasible 
at the present time? 


Mr. Corson. I doubt if it is feasible at the present time, and I 
doubt if it is feasible because of the factor you have mentioned, the 
differential in wages. It is a step that has been taken in each other 
country as the labor supply problem has matured as it has here. 


Mr. Arnold. Do you consider that the present methods of em- 
ploying seasonal labor on farms are causing a waste of human resources 
that is detrimental to the war effort? 

Mr. Corson. I think that would have to be answered in the affirm- 
ative, although I am not sure how the seasonal and peak uses of farm 
labor are to be smoothed out. We don't match up well the relative 
demands for farm labor and insure relative full employment for the 
individual and full utilization of our labor resources. The Texas Em- 
ployment Service that has been referred to in the past, has probably 
done a better job within that area than we have done anywhere else 
in the country in the past, in actually planning in advance as the 
season moves from the southern areas of Texas up to the north where 
labor is going to be needed, and then transferring workers in an 
orderly fashion as they finish up the harvesting on one farm, to the 
requirements on the next farm farther along. 

Mr. Arnold. The fact of the matter is, you will know a lot more 
about farm labor and the needs for farm labor before the war is over 
than you have had occasion to know in the past? 

Mr. Corson. Particularly the needs for farm labor. 

Mr. Arnold. In view of conflicting reports as to the need for farm 
labor in certain areas, what measure of need will the Employment 
Service adopt as the basis for arranging the transportation of workers? 


Mr. Corson. We have developed a reporting system from each of 
our local offices, which is designed to provide, on a weekly and bi- 
weekly basis, data from each of the principal crop areas as to the labor 
needed and the available supply. We hope that through this report- 
ing system we can keep abreast of where the available supply of labor 
is, when it will be released by the completion of the farm job in a par- 
ticular area, and how it can be moved on to the next area where the 
need is arising. 

Now this is a step that it might have been hoped that the Employ- 
ment Service had developed a decade ago if we were to effectively 
utilize our human resources. It wasn't developed a decade ago, 
primarily because we were operating within State compartments that 
weren't concerned with the labor needs of other States, and as a con- 
sequence we never had the impetus for the management of our human 
resources in the manner that we are trying to do now when the supply 
is very scarce in relation to the demand. 

Mr. Arnold. You might have heard me ask Mr. Baldwin this 
question. I wish you would describe more fully the relation of the 
Employment Service to the work of the O. P. A. and the local rationing 
boards. It was called to the attention of the committee the other 
day that a State rationing administration in a certain State had 
instructed a county administrator to prevent the migration of labor 


away from the area by the rationing of gasoline. Growers in the area 
were demanding the labor, and growers in the other areas were trying 
to get hold of it. Is this a problem for the Employment Service or for 
the gasoline rationing boards? 

Mr. Corson. The Employment Service has never considered that 
it could use the rationing machinery as a means of controlling and 
restricting the movement of labor. That is the first time I have 
learned of the fact that maybe one local employment office manager 
has sought to use that device. I question whether we should use that 
device, and we have not as yet done so. 


Mr. Arnold. Now I know the Employment Service has been short 
of funds to carry them up to June 30. Has the appropriation for the 
next year passed, and is it sufficient 

Mr. Corson (interposing). The appropriation for the next year has 
not passed, and the amount contained in the present bill now pending 
before the Senate Appropriations Committee provides for no expan- 
sion of the Employment Service over its present curtailed level of 
operations. We have, as a consequence, presented to the Bureau of 
the Budget a request for a supplemental appropriation to be available 
during the full year 1943 in order that we can meet the demands on 
the Employment Service. It was pointed out to the House Appro- 
priations Committee that the appropriation which was passed by 
the House the other day would not be adequate to provide for the 
Employment Service, primarily because the appropriation request 
was formulated and presented back in the latter part of last summer, 
before the declaration of war, and before the national operation of the 
Employment Service, and before the demands on the Employment 
Service had matured to anything like their present character. 

Mr. Arnold. Then you anticipate the appropriation will be raised 
by the Senate committee, or that another supplemental bill will have 
to be passed? 

Mr. Corson. We anticipate the latter. 

Mr. Arnold. Otherwise, you will be very short in the extension of 
your activities to meet the unusual conditions? 

Mr. Corson. Yes. May I point out that during the last 60 days 
the Employment Service has had to curtail its operations very sub- 
stantially. We have on our staff now 1,000 less people than we had 
at the end of January ; we have had to close up approximately 63 offices 
throughout the country; and we have had to allow a good many posi- 
tions, which were originally provided for in our budget, to remain 
vacant for the balance of the fiscal year. The funds available for 
next year will permit us, perhaps to fill the vacant positions, but 
nothing more; and that in the face of a pretty substantially expanded 
responsibility since January 1 . 

Dr. Lamb. I don't know whether you answered this, Mr. Corson, 
but I would like to ask it and get your answer again if you have already 


Do you think that transportation expenses for agricultural workers 
should be borne by the Government, the employer, the worker, or 
any combination of those? 


Mr. Corson. I think that to the extent they can be borne by the 
employer, they should be first borne by the employer. I am not con- 
vinced that they can be borne by all farm employers. Perhaps it 
should be a division of farm employers by crops, rather than by size. 
But the margins within certain crop productions I think are such that 
you won't get farm employers to bear transportation expenses. 
Rather they will reduce production, and that we cannot stand at this 
time. Hence I come to the conclusion that it will be necessary before 
this war is over for the Government to provide means of transportation 
for agricultural workers. 

Dr. Lamb. The problem of determining just what size employer 
should be assisted, or what crop should be assisted is probably going 
to be a troublesome one. 

Mr. Corson. Certainly as to what crops should be assisted, and 
I should think the Department of Agriculture, with its knowledge of 
the profit margins in the varying crops, and the essentialness of the 
crop to war production, could make some determinations. 

Mr. Sparkman. Before you leave that line, do you think it might be 
worked out so that instead of the Government assuming any trans- 
portation charge or responsibility, letting the Department of Agricul- 
ture decide what crops should be subsidized. In other words if, in this 
food-for-victory program, people are going to be called upon to grow 
unprofitable crops in order to meet the requirements of the Govern- 
ment hi its commitments to our Allies, as well as our own needs, would 
it be well in such cases for the Government to subsidize the growing 
of those crops? 

Mr. Corson. I think that is essentially what is going to be 
done, although I don't feel competent to pass judgment as to whether 
that is the desirable thing to do. I don't know enough about the 
relative costs of production and the price available for the crops to 
know whether subsidization is essential or whether one might expect 
the production without further subsidization. 

Mr. Sparkman. Well, of course, I assume that the Department of 
Agriculture would have those facts at hand. 

Mr. Corson. I would assume so. 

Mr. Sparkman. The point I am trying to make is that after all in 
connection with some of the crops the cost of transporting the workers 
might be only one item of the cost in an unprofitable venture. 

Mr. Corson. That is correct. 

Dr. Lamb. You mentioned earlier that one of your principal diffi- 
culties was the failure of employers to use the Farm Placement Service. 
Recently there are indications that as far as industrial employment 
for war production is concerned the employer will be required, for at 
least certain types of production, to use the Employment Service. 

Mr. Corson. For certain occupations, I would say. 

Dr. Lamb. If not for the whole operation, certainly for certain 
skilled trades or scarce trades of one kind or another. 

Mr. Corson. That has been suggested and discussed with the War 
Manpower Commission, but actually has not yet been directed. 


Dr. Lamb. I understand. But what I am getting at is there would 
seem to be a similar relationship inherent in the demands made by 
the Department of Agriculture on the grower to expand his production 


and the question is whether this expanded output will carry with it 
any responsibility for turning to the Employment Service lor getting 
out the crop, and what the responsibility of the Government is with 
respect to these demands for expanded output, whether the Govern- 
ment has a responsibility on the one hand to require the employer to 
hire through the Farm Placement Service, and on the other hand to 
give him a kind of service which it has not been accustomed to give 
in the past because the end goal in sight is the expanded food-pro- 
duction program, and if we are serious about our desire to get that out, 
then other considerations tend to become secondary. 

Mr. Corson. I think it can be said that that is inherent in the 
Government's demand for certain crops. Take for example the 
long-staple cotton crop in southern Arizona, New Mexico, and around 
El Paso. The whole crop, I believe, has been contracted for by the 
Government. If it is essential to the prosecution of this war cer- 
tainly that crop will not be as large a crop unless there is assurance 
given to those growers that there is going to be an adequate supply 
of labor. The Government then has to assume some further respon- 
sibility and that is with respect to the level of compensation that 
workers are expected to work for on such crops where the grower is 
to be provided with the service of moving workers to him. 

Dr. Lamb. In other words, once you are in the position of requiring 
the use of that service because the needs of the Nation at war require 
the output, you are automatically in the framework of requiring cer- 
tain other things also, such as the wage to be paid and the conditions 
of transportation, and whether the Government will pay those costs 
or the employer? 

Mr. Corson. That is correct. 


Dr. Lamb. You go from this voluntary procedure which the 
Employment Service has used in peacetime of being a referral agency— 
that is largely what the Farm Placement Service particularly has 
been — to being an agency for actual recruiting and placement of 
workers under fairly rigid conditions. 

Mr. Corson. There is another situation inherent in the farm labor 
problem that may dictate the same end that you described, and that 
is the movement of agricultural workers. In industry the necessity 
of compelling employers to use the Employment Service arises out of 
the waste of labor, the waste of precious man-hours of labor, when one 
employer, without using the Employment Service, steals or pirates 
workers away from another employer. The movement back and 
forth from one employer to another represents a rather costly waste 
of manpower. We have a rather comparable situation, it seems to 
me, in the agricultural labor areas, to the extent that we have a waste of 
workers who are moving from one area to another in a rather hap- 
hazard movement, without plan, without knowledge of employment 
opportimities, without any assurance that if they go into a particular 
area, that they will finish all of the work in the area for a variety and 
number of farmers, before they leave the area, when others may be 
brought in later from another section to serve the needs of other 


Dr. Lamb. In other words, you have a responsibility for the total 
labor supply being adequately used and the maximum of production 
achieved with that labor supply in an area, if this point of view is 
pursued to its logical conclusion? 

Mr. Corson. I think the Nation, irrespective of the Employment 
Service, has an obligation of insuring that if we are really to utilize 
our manpower in war production it requires more than just providing 
a large number of jobs; it requires the utilization of each individual 
for his full time to the maximum degree possible. 

Dr. Lamb. Now in that connection could you tell the committee in 
what areas the Employment Service has made positive efforts to 
mobilize agricultural labor which, for example, is stranded after a 
crop season? Do you do this also only in response to requests for 
clearance from other areas, or would you mobilize that supply and 
announce its availability to your other offices in some definite way? 

Mr. Corson. Well, in Texas, which is the best illustration of the 
fact of how it has been done in previous years, there has been for the 
last several years an effort to locate the available labor resources on 
farms, find out when that labor would no longer be needed on that 
farm, and then make advance provision for its referral up to the next 
sector of the farm area, to insure that it is available there when the 
crops are ready to be harvested there. 

Now we are at the moment trying to do the same thing along the 
whole eastern coast with respect to the migratory group that comes 
up from Florida, to take that group as it finishes its work in Florida 
and to insure that it moves along into first South Carolina, then into 
North Carolina, then into the Norfolk, Va., truck crop area, and on 
up the east coast. 

Dr. Lamb. In Texas this has depended to a considerable extent on 
the existence and the knowledge of the labor contractor, has it not? 

Mr. Corson. Yes. 

Dr. Lamb. And that is not as well developed on the east coast, and 
consequently would require time? 

Mr. Corson. It would require more effort on the part of the 
Employment Service. 

Dr. Lamb. Would you say that dealing with the labor contractor 
in Texas has been a thoroughly satisfactory experience to the Texas 
State Employment Service? 

Mr. Corson. It is not thoroughly satisfactory. I think there have 
been substantial questions raised as to the conditions of employment, 
and the conditions of transportation under which they were moved. 
It is a practice and a pattern by. which workers have been recruited in 
Texas long before the Employment Service had any substantial part 
in it. 


Dr. Lamb. Employers frequently complain that the contractor 
switches labor after a limited period of work, and that they can't 
get the full use out of it. 

Mr. Corson. They complain of the same thing of the Employment 
Service in other areas. Whenever the Employment Service attempts 
to actually insure the full employment of workers and their maximum 
employment — as in New Jersey, for example, we assigned a group of 
100 workers to a particular area — and we try to keep contact with them 
to find out when they will be through so that we can move them on to 


the next area and make use of those people and provide for their 
employment. The farmer who is loath to see them leave until he 
has everything completed, perhaps lets them wait around for a couple 
of days when he has no work for them on that particular farm, and he 
is loath to have the Employment Service come in there and take them 
to another locality. 

Dr. Lamb. It is a question of splicing the ends. 

Mr. Corson. Yes. 


Dr. Lamb. One other question. With respect to the proposed 
utilization of high-school boys and so on, in your estimation how can 
this be worked out so that it will not be detrimental either to the 
employment of the regular farm labor, or to the wages received by this 
farm labor? 

Mr. Corson. Of course we would expect that this group would be 
employed at the prevailing wage standards, and we would endeavor 
to insure that that was the case. I think there is some assurance that 
that will be the case in the fact that there is such a scarcity of available 
labor. I am not sure that we can do much more than endeavor to 
maintain, in our contacts with the farmers, the wage standards and the 
living standards under which these people will be employed. 

Dr. Lamb. Have you been able to make any arrangements, for ex- 
ample, with the State or local civilian defense agencies which in some 
places have been active in mobilizing these groups, that all referrals 
and placements shall take place through the Employment Service, so 
that conditions which are laid down, for example by the Children's 
Bureau, shall be met? 

Mr. Corson. That has been done, particularly in Connecticut. 
There we have a very effective working relationship with the State 
defense council organization. It is not only true in Connecticut al- 
though that perhaps is the outstanding example, but there are a num- 
ber of States in which the State defense councils have collaborated with 
us and have very effectively helped us to obtain the registration of in- 
dividuals who were willing to work on farms, and in that way to insure 
their placement on farms under satisfactory conditions. 

Dr. Lamb. Do you think that a directive from the Manpower Com- 
mission, worked out in collaboration with Mr. Landis and the Office 
of Civilian Defense, would be of assistance in that regard, on a Nation- 
wide basis? 

Mr. Corson. I think it might. We have been considering that and 
plan to discuss it further with the Office of Civilian Defense. I think 
it probably would be. 

The Chairman. Thank you very much, Mr. Corson, we appreciate 
your coming here very much. 

(The following letter and statement were ordered printed in the 

Federal Security Agency, Social Security Board, 

United States Employment Service, 

Washington, June 26, 1942. 
Hon. John H. Tolan, 

House of Representatives, 

Washington, D. C. 

Dear Mr. Tolan: This is with reference to your letter dated June 15, in which 
you request a supplemental statement to my remarks on reduced railroad rates 
for agricultural labor made before vour committee. 


A supplement to such remarks was included in my written testimony on Trans- 
portation of Workers in Agriculture and Industry submitted to Dr. Lamb's 
office June 18. Negotiations have been under way for several weeks with the 
Office of Defense Transportation for reduced rates for agricultural workers. 

Informal discussions lead us to believe that the lowest rates we may expect will 
be 1.6 and 2.2 cents per mile for the southern and northern territories, respec- 
tively. We are now awaiting some disposition of the matter from G. Floyd Wil- 
son, Director, Division of Rates, and we will be glad to inform you as to decisions 

We regret that we are unable to comply with your request for interagency corre- 
spondence on this matter since it has been handled entirely on a discussion basis. 

Your interest in this phase of the farm-placement problem is appreciated. 
Very sincerely yours, 

(Signed) John J. Corson 

John J. Corson, Director. 


Transportation of Workers in Agriculture and Industry 

The problem of labor shortages in the United States (with the exception of the 
shortages of highly skilled industrial workers) arises not from a shortage of man- 
power as such, but from maldistribution of the available labor supply relative to 
the areas and sources of demand. There are in the United States today at least 
several millions of workers employable, unemployed, and seeking employment. 
There are, in addition, many more millions of workers who can and will be avail- 
able when there are needs for them. At the same time there are a number of areas, 
both agricultural and industrial, in which the demand for labor, either year-round 
or seasonal, exceeds the supply immediately available to meet it. 

In such areas transportation is frequently the key to the solution of the recruit- 
ment and placement problems. Where the shortages within an area are such 
that the most efficient mobilization of all available labor reserves will still leave a 
portion of the demand unmet, the problem can be solved only by the in-migration 
of workers from outside the area. This is equally true of agriculture and industrial 
areas. On the other hand, where sufficient reserves of labor can be mobilized 
within the community or within reasonable commuting distance, it is necessary 
to provide facilities to transport workers between their homes and the places of 
employment. This is particularly true where attempts are made to mobilize the 
labor resources of rural communities by the recruitment of workers who must 
then be transported from towns and villages or from neighboring farms to the 
places of employment; but it is also true where industrial workers live at some dis- 
tance from the job site and must commute daily. 

In the variety of transportation problems which arise, in connection both with 
agricultural and with industrial employment, two general types may be distin- 

(1) The problem of transporting workers over relatively long distances between 
points served by common carriers. This is primarily a financial problem; that 
is, workers and employers are either unable or unwilliing to pay the transportation 

(2) The problem of intra-area transportation between points not served 
adequately, if at all, by common carriers. This is primarily a problem of facili- 
ties; that is, while the transportation per se is not very expensive, the absence of 
common carriers and the shortages of tires and gasoline impede the intra-area 
mobility. This is true both of commuting of industrial workers and of the 
circulation of agricultural workers from village to farm or from farm to farm 
within an agricultural area. 

The problems of transportation for war workers, both agricultural and indus- 
trial, have been brought to the attention of the War Manpower Commission. 
The Manpower Commission and the United States Employment Service are 
now working with the Office of Defense Transportation and the Department of 
Agriculture on a number of proposed measures to meet these problems. It is 
expected that specific plans will be proposed shortly. 



In many areas agriculture is dependent on large supplies of seasonal labor for 
relatively short periods of time. These areas are for the most part those special- 
izing in production of vegetables, fruits, cotton, and specialty crops such as hops, 
sugar beets, and tobacco, which require a great deal of hand labor for planting, 
cultivation, or harvesting. In many instances the areas in which such crops 
are grown are sparsely settled or, if adjacent to urban centers, have lost much 
of their labor through migration of farm workers to more attractive job oppor- 
tunities in urban employment. In the past, because of the presence of large 
reserves of unemployed labor, farmers have been able to meet their seasonal 
demands for the most part without difficulty. More recently, however, the 
increasing drain of rural population to take employment in war industries, 
coupled with the induction of young men into military service, has made it 
necessary to mobilize and utilize more efficiently the labor that is or can be 
made available to perform seasonal agricultural work. 

This can be done in two ways: First, it is frequently possible to meet the 
needs of agricultural employers for short seasonal periods by mobilizing effi- 
ciently the labor within the area itself. This means pooling and exchanging 
labor among farms, as well as enlisting school children, housewives, and some- 
times workers regularly employed in nonagricultural employment, in order to use 
the entire labor resources of the area. Customarily these workers would be 
transported from their homes in the villages or on the farms to the farms where 
they are to work by privately owned automobiles or by trucks supplied by the 
farmers. The shortages of tires and gasoline, however, have greatly curtained 
the use of automobiles and farmers are more and more reluctant to use their 
tires to transport workers in trucks. Nevertheless the growing shortages of 
workers available for agricultural employment makes it imperative that some 
means be found for mobilizing workers within an area to meet these short sea- 
sonal peaks of employment. 

In certain areas, however, even the most efficient use of local labor will not 
suffice to meet the peak needs. Many such areas have traditionally depended 
on an annual influx of migratory workers. Such workers sometimes migrate 
directly from their homes to an area in which it is known that work opportunities 
will exist; and sometimes migrate over long distances following the peak seasonal 
demands enroute. The pattern of migration on the eastern seaboard is typical 
of the problems of migratory farm labor. The migration of farm workers on the 
east coast begins in Florida. Large numbers of workers migrate to the southern 
tip of that State to harvest winter and early spring truck crops. It has been 
estimated that in normal years some 18,000 migrant workers are employed in the 
two southeasternmost counties of Florida, about one-fourth of them coming 
short distances from within the area and the other three-fourths from Georgia 
and other nearby States. As the season tapers off in these counties, some of 
these workers return to their homes, but large numbers move northward through 
other Florida counties and Georgia and later farther north through the Carolinas 
and Virginia to the Del-Mar-Va Peninsula, and finally to the truck and fruit 
farming areas of southern New Jersey. At various stages in this migration 
workers leave the migratory movement to return to their homes, but many of 
them complete the journey to New Jersey after which they return to their homes 
or to the south of Florida to start work on fall and early winter vegetables. 

Such a migratory movement involves travel of thousands of workers over 
hundreds of miles. The farm areas along the route depend, to a very large 
extent, on having these migrant workers available in the needed numbers and at 
the right time. If the migratory movement fails, serious crop losses may result. 
Similar migratory movements occur in the Southwest, the Rocky Mountain 
regions, and the Pacific coast, in addition to smaller movements of workers over 
shorter distances in other parts of the country. 

This year, it would appear that because of the expanding employment oppor- 
tunities in nonagricultural war production and because of the induction of agri- 
cultural workers into military service, both the local supphes and the migrant 
supplies of agricultural labor will be greatly curtailed. Tnis, coupled witn the 
expansion of agricultural production in many of the crops dependent or seasonal 
labor, will require a more efficient and effective use of the available agricultural 
labor than in the past. It is necessary, therefore, to see that labor does not lose 
time wandering about in search of work and that workers are promptly trans- 
ported from farm to farm within areas and from one area tot demand to another 
m order to avoid loss of precious working time. This in turn requires that the 


farm placement facilities of the United States Employment Service provide infor- 
mation on the areas and periods of seasonal demand and take the steps necessary 
to mobilize local labor and route migrant labor accordingly. In order that this 
may be done, adequate transportation facilities, both within areas and between 
areas, must be provided to replace the privately owned automobiles in which such 
workers formerly traveled. 

A number of illustrations of specific transportation problems drawn from recent 
reports of the United States Employment Service, are included in appendix A. 

In order to direct and, to some extent, to control the movement of farm workers 
over long distances (whether in one long trip or in small stages) the Government 
might arrange with the common carriers to reduce their rates for migrant workers 
when the need for such workers was certified by the Employment Service or some 
other public agency. Alternatively, the Government might subsidize in whole or 
in part travel that was considered necessary or might itself provide the means of 
transportation in Government-owned vehicles. 

The transportation of farm workers among the farms within an area is also 
becoming a problem of increasing concern. Farmers are apparently using their 
trucks as little as possible for this purpose. It is reported that some workers who 
might ordinarily stay in the Farm Security Administration camps are now being 
induced to live on the farms in order to avoid the daily movement. Frequently 
this results in inefficient use of labor since farmers prefer to keep workers on the 
farms for the duration of the crop activity even though the workers may not be 
fully occupied throughout the period. This requires more workers within the 
area than would be necessary if each one were fully occupied. It has been sug- 
gested that this problem might be met by the pooling of trucks or of funds for bus 
or truck hire by the farmers within the area. The increasing difficulty of obtain- 
ing tires is an obstacle to either one. The use of school busses or other public 
vehicles has also been suggested, but here again the shortage of rubber makes 
public authorities reluctant to permit the use of their vehicles for otner purposes 
than those for which they are primarily intended. The use of school busses to 
transport workers from farm to farm might later on make ttieir use to transport 
school children impossible. In this case as in the case ot long-distance transporta- 
tion, the Government itself may be forced to supply facilities to serve areas beyond 
the routes of common carriers. In this case, however, it is not the cost of trans- 
portation so much as the shortage of transportation facilities that creates the 


The problems of transporting workers to meet the labor demands of war in- 
dustries, like the problems in agriculture, involve both long-distance and short- 
distance movement. The enormous demands in some urban centers of war 
production will require large-scale in-migration. The most mobile segments of 
the population in the areas of labor supply have already moved in response to 
employment opportunities in the cities. To an increasing extent it is necessary 
to recruit labor farther and farther from the source of demand. This means, of 
course, increased cost of transportation. In the early days of the war-production 
program trainees and other workers migrated to the cities from nearby towns and 
rural areas. Now it is becoming increasingly difficult to recruit trainees because 
they come from longer distances. It may, therefore, be necessary for the Govern- 
ment to provide some inducement, whether by loan or subsidy, or by the payment 
of transportation costs entirely, to encourage and direct the necessary migration. 

In many cities also the war industries are manned or will be manned by workers 
already resident in or near the community. Where there is transportation by 
common carrier between the principal are" " of residence and the war production 
plants, the problem is to arrange for the n. efficient use of these facilities or if 
necessary to expand them. This will become creasingly important as the use 
of privately owned automobiles is curtailed by ; hortage of rubber or gasoline. 

In addition to this general problem there are a num of special types of intra-area 
transportation difficulties that have emerged : i the staffing of war production 
plants. Some of the more common situations are lis! d below: 

1. Metropolitan areas in which traffic congestion is bt 'ng aggravated to a serious 
extent by large increases in employment at war plain throughout the city as 
normal private transportation is curtailed. Chicago and Los Angeles typify 
this problem. 

2. Localities where a major war project is located some distance from the large 
city which is its source of labor, necessitating mass public transportation from the 


supply area to the factory. Baltimore, Kansas City, and Detroit illustrate this 

3. A variation of the above problem found in shipbuilding centers where bridges 
and ferries are required to transport workers to their jobs and where employment 
has expanded far more rapidly than transportation facilities. Seattle, Portland, 
and San Francisco are examples of this situation. 

4. Areas whose labor supply is inadequate to meet the needs of war firms but 
which can draw on a relatively centralized labor supply within commuting dis- 
tance, if suitable transportation between the two cities is provided. Central 
Long Island, N. Y., and Eudora, Kans., are appropriate illustrations. 

5. Localities whose inadequate labor supply and whose geographic position 
compel new or expanding war industries to draw on a decentralized labor supply 
in the surrounding territory. In this type of area one frequently faces the alterna- 
tive of providing satisfactory transportation over a wide area or of constructing 
additional housing and community facilities to care for excessive in-migration. 
Mobile, Ala.; Parsons, Kans.; Ravenna- Warren-Niles, Ohio; Alton, 111.; and 
Willimantic, Conn., serve to exemplify this point. 

6. Areas in which transportation difficulties due to various causes are being 
aggravated by such artificial barriers as excessive tolls and ferry fees, or by wasteful 
cross-commuting. The Hampton Roads area in Virginia is an outstanding ex- 
ample of all three of these factors. 

The transportation for construction workers presents still another difficult 
problem. These workers customarily commute over fairly long distances to jobs 
in the general vicinity of the places in which they live and customarily migrate 
from project to project over a fairly wide area. In the past they have depended 
primarily on privately owned automobiles. In the future they will be dependent 
on common carriers, where the projects are accessible to common carriers, or on 
temporary transportation facilities especially provided for the duration of a given 
project. Construction jobs which are beyond commuting distance from centers 
of labor supply will entail temporary housing for workers at the site, as in the 
past; but some special means of transportation may need to be provided to move 
workers to the site and back. 


During the first World War the Employment Service successfully undertook 
the mass transportation of unskilled construction, production, and agricultural 
workers from one area to another by using regular Government requests for 
railroad transportation. 

Under the procedures developed at that time, the employers agreed to reim- 
burse the Government for transportation expenses after the workers reported 
for employment; in the case of temporary jobs payment of return transportation 
was also guaranteed by the employer. Managers of local employment offices 
transmitted to State central offices the names, occupations, starting points, and 
destination of the workers involved. Conductors on the trains on which these 
workers were transported likewise reported to the State railroad representative 
the number, starting point, and destination of the workers in question. On the 
basis of reports from local managers, mass Government transportation requests 
were filled out in the central State office and sent to the State representative for 
the railroads. State railroad representatives checked the transportation requests 
against conductor reports and the rail fares of workers who did not arrive at 
their destination were deducted therefrom. After the railroad company bills 
were received the employers to whom the workers were transported were billed 
and the railroad's claim "was settled after the employer had sent in the required 

During the period 1918 to 1920 the United States Employment Service advanced 
the transportation costs of 29,935 workers going to and returning from war 
industries and employers reimbursed the Service to the extent of $417,404 at 
an average per capita cost of $13.94. 

Two problems arising under this plan were — 

1 . Inability to control movement of all workers. A small percentage of workers 
got off the train before arrival at destination. 

2. A tendency for employers to pass on to workers the cost of transportation 
by subsequent deduction from pay. It was difficult to develop adequate safe- 
guards against this practice. 

60396— 4:2— pt. 33- 


Statements on Transportation Problems Appearing in Reports From 
Local Employment Offices 


Syracuse area. —"One other problem that might arise in using any but very- 
local sources of supply is obtaining transportation to some of the outlying areas." 

Nassau and Suffolk Counties.— "Although many persons have signed up for 
farm work, the problem of transporting these persons and housing them in farm 
areas has still to be solved." 

One of the major problems in getting workers recruited in metropolitan New 
York to up-State farms during the summer and fall peak seasons concerns pro- 
vision of organized transportation for the recruits. 


Many of the granite workers in Washington County who registered for part- 
time farm work will not be available, because of gas rationing * * * "doubt- 
ful if many will care to use their cars going to and from the various farms and 
there is no other means of transportation available." 

Transportation difficulties were expected in the New Albany, Ind., area, where 
strawberry patches are widely separated, necessitating transporting pickers to 
and from work, and from one strawberry patch to another. 

In various towns there is a plentiful supply of labor, but no means of transport- 
ing them to farms where they could be employed. The big problem which is 
going to be the deciding factor in whether or not the crops will be planted and 
harvested this year is the transportation problem. 

The employment service in Illinois reported that the Civilian Conservation 
Corps enrollees at Camp Grant, in Winnebago, 111., could be considered a potential 
source of supply for canning factories only if transportation were provided. 


"The Lancaster office reports that difficulty is still being encountered in secur- 
ing farm labor and has indicated that lack of transportation facilities, age, and 
physical restrictions imposed are responsible for some of the difficulty in obtaining 
farm workers." 


The Employment Service office in Pierre has found some difficulty in getting 
applicants to employers because of lack of transportation. 


In their report of February 15 to March 15, the United States Employment 
Service office in this State reported that automobile tire shortages would diminish 
the number of migratory farm workers who previously traveled about in their 
own cars. Sugar companies, in their recruiting campaigns are now beginning to 
offer to pay for transportation costs, either gasoline or carfare, as an inducement 
for beet workers to come to this State. The Great Western Sugar Co. has been 
cited as an example of this practice. 

In other instances, sugar companies are faced with the necessity of arranging 
transportation for sugar beet workers. The Holly Sugar Co. at Sidney, plans to 
send busses to Texas and other points to transport recruited workers from that 

Despite the transportation situation at this point, the United States Employ- 
ment Office reports that there are still some migratory workers traveling about in 
their own cars. It is likely that this traffic will seriously decrease as the tire and 
gasoline shortage becomes more actue. 


Transportation around Ogden is causing much concern to the employment 
office. These rates are high and services are not extensive enough. 


The Utah Council of Defense has voted to commandeer, when necessary, all 
school busses in Utah for the transportation of the emergency agricultural workers 
to farming areas. The busses can only be used on petition of representative 
groups of farmers to their county council of defense. Groups applying must 
furnish bonds and insurance and must be prepared to replace any worn tires, 
tubes, etc. In other words, busses must be returned in the same condition as 
they were received. 

Concern has been expressed by sheep shearers in Northern Utah because 
priorities are likely to affect their mode of transportation to and from shearing 


Farm workers with families are in some reported cases unwilling to accept offered 
jobs because of a lack of proper housing for workers with families. They refuse 
to commute however because they are reluctant to use their own tires. 


As was reported for Kansas, the inadequacy of housing facilities has prevented 
the hiring of farm workers with families. Heretofore, many farm workers have 
lived in towns and driven back and forth to work. Now many [of these workers 
do not have cars for this purpose. 

The Holly Sugar Co., in its effort to recruit workers for the Western Slope 
area of Colorado, is offering to pay transportation costs of beet-sugar workers. 
Higher fare rates and a lack of tires is causing less migration to this area. 


"Due to the fact that tire rationing is so comprehensive, some difficulty is being 
experienced in recruiting farm labor in the more remote areas." (In the northern 
half of the State.) 


The beet growers in Midwestern States are offering beet workers in Mexico 
traveling fare in advance of their arrival. 

Some farmers in area IV have made the statement that they will not have local 
workers from the communities as they have in the past and have insisted that these 
seasonal workers move to the farms. They give as their reason the curtailment 
of tires and the possible rationing of gasoline. The average seasonal workers 
do not want to move to farms at any price but prefer to remain in the small 
communities and go back and forth to cotton chopping, haying, and picking. 

A report of the labor supply officer for the period ending March 31, included the 
statements, "In addition to the labor shortage, transportation and housing will 
be factors of greater importance this year because of tire rationing and its effect 
on migration habits and practices of farm workers." 

In the Longview area, there is little evidence of transportation being offered 
farm workers by Texas growers despite the offers of free transportation from 
northern beet growers. 

The Brownsville and San Antonio areas which furnish most of the migratory 
labor used in various parts of Texas for peak agricultural seasons report tire 
shortages will hinder the migratory movements of farm workers to a serious extent 
this year. 

The minutes of the fifteenth meeting of the Tenth Regional Labor Supply Com- 
mittee on March 30, 1942, included that policies must be set up to meet problems 
of transportation, housing, and living accommodations which have become factors 
this year because of the rationing and subsequent restrictions on habits and 
practices of migratory farm crews. 

In the San Antonio area, recruiting agents for northern beet growers are supply- 
ing transportation by car or truck to beet growers. 

In the McAllen-Brownsville area the shortage of tires for trucks will have an 
important bearing on the labor supply since, in this area, the major portion of the 
labor supply is taken to the fields in trucks by crew leaders who own the trucks. 
The trucks then are used to haul the growers' products to the packing sheds of the 
canneries. Very few trucks are owned by the grower. It is estimated that 35 
percent of the trucks now in operation will be out of tires by May and the remain- 
ing 65 percent have rubber sufficiently good to last from 5 to 6 months (report 
made in January). Many rationing boards are granting priorities to these crew 
leaders. However, dealers' stocks in truck tires are insufficient to take care of the 


present demand and those who have tires good enough to be retreaded are not 
able to have this done, due to curtailment on retread stock. If this condition 
continues to exist, it will have its effect on the out-migration of agricultural 
workers, a practice followed about the middle of August by a large percentage of 
these workers after the cotton season ends. 

In the Abilene district, some wool-warehouse operators, wool merchants, and 
sheep and goat raiser organizations have expressed considerable apprehension lest 
there be a shortage of shearing crew workers due to Selective Service, war industry, 
employment inducement, and tire and tube restrictions. 

The Employment Service office in Texas reports that exceptions may be made 
in the tire and tube restrictions for workers using trucks in essential agricultural 
services, such as lamb shearing. 

At Lindale, it is felt that farm labor shortages will be reduced if transportation 
is offered to the workers by the growers. 

The Employment Service office reports that the present inability to secure the 
replacements for automobiles will reduce the number of workers capable of moving 
to jobs and will deter farmers in transporting city workers to 'and from the job. 


The curtailment of travel by private automobile is already straining public 
carrier facilities and the availability of transportation will be a major factor in 
retaining or recruiting workers. 

The in-migration of agricultural workers is considerably below that of normal 
years and the normal movement of workers from crop to crop within the State 
will be curtailed by the present tire shortage and possible gasoline rationing. 
Inadequate transportation facilities will undoubtedly further handicap the 
efficient utilization of available workers, particularly in the San Joaquin and 
Sacramento Valleys, where distances are great and the jobs far from the labor 

For the month of January, the California Employment Service survey reports a 
border count of 6,734 persons entering California by motor vehicle as compared 
with 6,651 the year before. These were in parties seeking manual work. 

The Los Angeles County area reports a decreasing flow of in-migration. This 
is believed to be caused largely by the actual or anticipated tire shortage which 
is increasingly immobilizing pool of labor which normally moves freely from State 
to State and area to area. Out-migration has decreased proportionately partly 
because of the tire shortage — partly because of work opportunities in the area. 

The tire shortage is affecting the availability of workers. The employment 
office in the San Joaquin Valley is calling the attention of growers to the probable 
necessity of furnishing transportation in order to secure cotton choppers. 

In San Diego County, all transportation of students used in the fields will be 
carried on by school busses. 

Dr. Omar Mills, labor relations specialist of the Farm Security Administration 
on returning from a tour of the San Joaquin Valley, said that lack of tires had 
immobilized automobiles of many workers living at model Farm Security Ad- 
ministration camps. In March, only 29 percent of the available man-days of 
labor represented by 3,000 workers in camps was utilized. 

The State chamber of commerce is trying to obtain special bus and railroad 
rates for farm workers. State Senator Robert Kenny, chairman of the investi- 
gating committee, is advocating a special session of the legislature to clear up the 
legality of the proposed use of school busses to haul these workers. 

In the Tampa area the general picture is one of steadier employment, more 
days a week because of a better coordination of activities. Truckers are not 
handling as much citrus as in the past because of tire shortages. A surplus of 215 
citrus workers exists in Volusia Count}, 800 in Orange County, and 200 in Polk 

Migratory labor has been behind schedule all season, being about 30 percent 
below normal at present. There is a constant movement around within an area. 
Recently migrants have been going back toward Georgia, sooner than expected, 
before their tires wear out. 

The proposed rationing of gasoline, tire shortages, and higher wages paid by 
construction projects continued to be the prime factor adversely influencing the 
supply of agricultural labor. 


Workers are still leaving the area to get to the North prior to gas rationing. 
This out-migration continues in spite of the fact that 1,000 workers are needed for 
planting and cultivating sugarcane in the Lake Okechobee region and 400 workers 
for harvesting tomatoes and celery in the Palm Beach County area. 

The rationing of gasoline causing rapid and heavy out-migration to points in 
the Northeastern States; the lack of transportation facilities; the reluctance of 
workers to voluntarily leave their quarters to relieve shortage areas; the attraction 
of farm labor to construction jobs for higher wages characterized the agricultural 
labor market for the week ending May 13. 

The West Palm Beach-Glades area reports out-migration of approximately 
500 farm hands to the Northeastern States, despite assurances by rationing boards 
that gasoline would be available. Fifty passenger carloads were counted in 
Fort Pierce going north. Attempts to secure canning workers from Winter 
Haven were not successful. Fifty workers remained on a few days because of 
gasoline rationing. 

The citrus harvest is approaching closing date and vegetables are tapering 
off. Gasoline rationing slowed out-migration to the North Atlantic States and 
lack of transportation facilities caused a slight loss of the cucumber and bean 
harvest in the Tampa area. 

Surplus agricultural labor was available in the counties near Tampa but 
could not be brought to the Ruskin area due to lack of transportation and, in 
addition, there is no available housing in this area. 

It is expected that busses will be scheduled to Sebring while construction is 
under way there. These same busses, it is planned, will operate during next 
season's canning activities to transport labor from farms and small communities 
within a radius of 15 to 20 miles of the canning plant in Winter Haven. 

There appears to be a pool of 355 employable agricultural workers in the 
migratory labor camps at Pompano. The problem of transportation from this 
point appears to be a hold-up in putting these persons to work. 

There appears to be developing in the Gainesville area a scarcity of farm 
labor due to poor transportation facilities, and lack of housing as well as a low- 
wage scale for farm labor. 


To meet farm labor needs in the Eastern Shore area, all available help, both 
local and migratory, will be used. The farmers have agreed to cooperate so 
that workers will be moved from one farm to another as soon as possible. Migra- 
tory labor which is essential to a successful agricultural season in this area may 
be greatly handicapped by transportation which now will be affected by the 
rationing of tires and gasoline. 


It is felt that the demands for labor to harvest the peach crops in the Spartan- 
burg local areas will far exceed the supply on acccount of the diversion of the 
usual labor supply on defense projects, various cotton mills, and the Army. 
There are practically no housing facilities to take care of transient workers, and 
the shortage of gasoline and tires will prevent workers in nearby communities 
from traveling to the orchards. 


Strawberry harvesting has been in progress in Hamilton, Rhea, Meigs, and 
Bradley Counties, but the drought cut down the yield considerably. There 
were some local shortages of pickers, due not to the shortage of available workers 
but rather to inability to transport workers to their jobs. 

The committee will recess until 10 o'clock tomorrow morning. 
(Whereupon, at 12 noon, the committee recessed until Friday 
morning, June 19, 1942, at 10 o'clock.) 


FRIDAY, JUNE 19, 1942 

morning session 

Select Committee Investigating 

National Defense Migration, 

House of Representatives, 

Washington, D. C. 
The committee met at 10:15 a. m., in room 313, old House Office 
Building, 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; 
and Congressmen Pierce and Voorhis. 

The Chairman. The committee will please come to order. 
Mr. Lund, you will be the first witness. 

TON, D. C. 

The Chairman. Mr. Lund, we are pleased to have you here this 
morning. This transportation problem is a very vital one in our war 
effort. I remember your testimony in Detroit, and I think you also 
testified here in Washington, did you not? 

Mr. Lund. Yes; I did. 

The Chairman. We have a few questions. to ask you, Mr. Lund, 
but before we get to those questions, I would like to have you indicate 
just what the functions and responsibilities of your Division are with 
respect to the work of the War Production Board. 

Mr. Lund. Very briefly stated, Mr. Chairman, we speak of our job 
as one of advancing the participation of labor in the war-production 
effort; that is, we feel that in this Division, our job is to serve the 
people of the United States in their war effort through the labor 

We believe that labor deserves and must have a greater opportunity 
to contribute its ideas; that is, you might call it its mind power as 
well as its brawn and skill, to the war and the war effort. We have 
learned through our war-production drive that workers throughout 
the country have a great many excellent ideas as to how an operation 
can be made more efficient on the production line and other places in 
the plant. 

For example, an instance came to my attention just yesterday of a 
worker up in Milwaukee who had made a suggestion in riveting, which 
was his specialized job, so that they could use two hammers at the 



same time instead of only one, which cut the time in half on that 
particular process. There are multitudinous suggestions of that kind 
that labor ought to have an opportunity to make. 


Now, in our war-production drive, we have set up these labor- 
management committees on a plant level. There are some 900 of 
these committees which have been created so far, and we are anticipat- 
ing the creation of perhaps another thousand or fifteen hundred of 

On these committees are represented the workers and management; 
they meet together to discuss production problems, problems 'that 
affect the techniques of production and also worker morale. It is 
through these committees, I believe, that we are afforded an oppor- 
tunity to do something about transportation; that is, if we can work 
through these 900 committees and another 1,000 or 1,500 of them or 
whatever number we are able to establish over the country — — 

The Chairman. What is the size of the individual committees? 

Mr. Lund. They vary. We leave that largely to the local unions 
and management to decide, but they range in size from 6 to 14 or 16 
members in some cases, depending on the size of the plant. 

So the main part of our job is in connection with what we call, in 
the War Production Board, the war-production drive. We have other 
functions, but I think they would be less interesting and less pertinent 
here this morning. For example, we have a shipbuilding stabilization 
agreement which we administer, affecting 750,000 shipyard workers, 
which has to do with wages and working conditions. We just an- 
nounced yesterday a wage stabilization campaign in aircraft which 
will be held first of all on the west coast, to stabilize wages out there, 
if we can, in the aircraft plants, so as to prevent this movement of 
workers from aircraft to shipbuilding or to something else where wages 
are higher, sometimes simply because they are not equalized within 
the existing range. I think that part of our operation would be very 
interesting to your committee because it has a connection with the 
migration of workers, that is, in reducing the migration and move- 
ment of men from job to job and the retraining required and the loss 
of work. So I feel this wage-stabilization function is also probably 
important to your committee. 

The Chairman. Recent studies of the traveling habits of workers 
in some California war plants which were made by the California 
Railroad Commission, showed that 60 to 80 percent of the workers 
travel by automobile. From your experience in Michigan do you 
know how the travel habits of war workers there compare with these 


Mr. Lund. We have the same situation up there. I think the 
State highway department made a survey and found that 1 out of 5 
workers in Detroit lives more than 10 miles from the factory where he 
is employed, and that an estimated 75 percent of the factory workers 
in Michigan ride to their work in cars. They live too far from their 
work to walk or to go by any other means of transportation. The 
State Highway Department of Michigan, which has been vitally in- 











. CH DO, .« f .„.N, S LE r .O..E, S "IK. 



terested in this war transportation problem, made this survey in 750 
plants scattered throughout the State. It was a very fair sample of 
our war plants in Michigan. About half of the war workers employed 
in the State of Michigan were employed in these 750 plants. In 233 
plants, 90 percent came to work in their own cars; in 51 plants there 
was no public transportation available; they all came to work in their 
own cars. In the suburban Detroit area, where we have some very 
important work, on the periphery of Detroit, 89 percent of the workers 
are dependent on automobiles for transportation. 

I have brought with me a map which I think may be very interest- 
ing to the committee, showing 3 main concentration areas of war 
production in Detroit, and the dots show where the workers live, 10 
workers to a dot. Will you please hand it to Congressman Tolan? 

[Map handed to the chairman. See opposite page.] 

This map shows clearly the workers live some distance from their 
jobs. I want you to see this map because it suggests one recom- 
mendation I am going to make to your committee which I think might 
aid in solving this problem. 

You have mentioned the California situation, Mr. Chairman, and 
in the Los Angeles area we have reports showing 70 percent of our 
workers in the Los Angeles area ride in automobiles to work. In one 
key aircraft plant out there, the survey showed that 92 percent of the 
50,000 workers employed there, rode to work in automobiles; they did 
not use public transportation. 

Over in the Glenn Martin plant in Baltimore, the president re- 
ported that 40,000 of the 42,500 workers there went to and from work 
in automobiles. 

So you can see that in some of our main war production areas the 
workers live a considerable distance from their jobs and have to rely 
almost completely on private transportation. 

The Chairman. We can readily see what a problem that will be 
when the rubber wears out. 

Mr. Lund. That is right. I think we can say our whole factory 
program, as far as manpower is concerned, rides on the tires of our 
workers today. 

The Chairman. Do you think the rail facilities will be able to take 
up that load? 

Mr. Lund. I am positive it cannot be done in the Detroit area, but 
I speak with far less knowledge of other areas. However, my offhand 
guess would be that the rail facilities could not possibly absorb that 

The Chairman. Of course, you have the freezmg order of the War 
Production Board on rails. 

Mr. Lund. That is right. 

The Chairman. I am amazed at the high percentage of workers 
going to their work in their own cars. 

Mr. Lund. The figures are astonishing. 

The Chairman. Yes. Throughout the country would you care to 
hazard a rate of percentage — would it go as high as 75 percent, do 
you think, in war industries? 

Mr. Lund. Yes; in war industries; possibly one should say in 
centers of population of more than 50,000, I would say 70 percent 
would be a safe percentage. 


What would you think about that, Mr. Veenstra; would you think 
that would be a safe percentage in communities of over 50,000 in 
war plants? 

Mr. Veenstra. That might be a little high. The Gallup poll found 
about 50 percent. 

Mr. Lund. My thought is, in the larger communities you would 
be more likely to find them using cars. The maps show the back 
travel. People who work for Ford at Dearborn, many of them come 
from near the Chrysler plant or the Connors Creek-Mack area. 
Later on I would like to make a suggestion which I think may help 
to solve this problem, and it is indicated by what the map shows. 

The Chairman. While you have it in mind, I think you had better 
do it now. 


Mr. Lund. It seems to me an effort should be made in hiring these 
workers, to hire men who live close to their jobs, and if the situation 
becomes critical enough, the management and the union — I am think- 
ing in terms of Detroit — management and labor working through the 
management labor committee, which is a very democratic vehicle, 
could adjust this thing so that plants might swap workers in order 
that fellows who are doing the same work essentially for Chrylser 
and who live down in the Dearborn area, would be moved oyer to do 
that work for Ford and vice versa. All of this cross travel, it seems 
to me, represents a terrific waste of rubber. 

The Chairman. In other words, workers who are doing similar 
work close to the Ford plant should not be running all the way down 
to the Chrysler plant. 

Mr. Lund. If they live near the Ford plant and can work there, it 
seems to me they ought to work there. 

Mr. Arnold. Workers might even have to swap houses. 

Mr. Lund. That is being done now in California, Mr. Congressman. 
However, I should prefer this other thing, swapping jobs, to swapping 
houses. You can freeze seniority on an equitable basis. If it is an 
advantageous trading proposition, it does not seem to me Chrysler 
and Ford would refuse to guarantee seniority. 

The Chairman. A recent survey made by the Railroad Commission 
of California indicates that 40 percent of the rubber will be gone in 
6 months, 75 percent in a year, and 85 percent in 18 months. It is 
quite an exhaustive survey, and in fact the only one I know of. That 
indicates an alarming situation. 

Mr. Arnold. You mean the rubber on cars? 

The Chairman. Yes; the cars they are using now. 

What are the responsibilities of the Labor Production Division in 
the matter of insuring adequate transportation facilities for war 
workers, Mr. Lund? 

Mr. Lund. Well, Congressman, I would say our responsibility 
grows out of our realization that this war is conducted with materials 
and machines and men, and men must be got to their jobs, and that 
production is dependent on the daily transportation of workers. Our 
job, then, is to represent that point of view as strongly as we can. 
Workers feel it, and it is our job to tell committees like this how they 
feel about this thing; also, where there is not as much appreciation of 
the seriousness of the problem as there might be, to get that idea and 
full appreciation of it over to certain groups of workers. 



So far as an action program is concerned with workers, we will con- 
tinue to use our labor-management committees in working out share- 
the-ride programs. I think those programs have great possibilities 
when it comes to rationing of the tires we have left. I think the work- 
ers would be a lot more exacting on themselves than the Government 
could be. I am thinking of the allocation of the tires we have when 
the workers' tires wear out. I would like to see this thing set up so 
that the labor-management committees would have a good deal to 
say about which workers will get the tires. They could set up a list 
of requirements, including one that they could not get tires unless 
they filled their cars; that the worker took men to work with him. 

The Chairman. Do you know whether or not the labor committees 
have approached the rubber problem at all? 

Mr. Lund. Yes; in a good many plants, by working out share-the- 
ride programs. 

The Chairman. Did you say there were about 900 of these com- 
mittees in the United States? 

Mr. Lund. That is right. 

The Chairman. Is there any clearing house between them, a 
central head? 

Mr. Lund. Yes. Here in Washington we have the war production 
drive headquarters. Then we make it a point in our division to get 
these ideas and plans for share-the-ride programs which are working 
out in one plant successfully, to other plants and other unions, 
because our approach to interpreting the needs of the war program — 
in doing that we use not only the labor-management committees but 
the union groups through the country. 

The Chairman. Are there any figures available as to the number 
of war workers in the United States in all the war plants — shipbuilding 
and everything connected with the war program? 

Mr. Lund. Yes; I think there are. Let me see, what is that figure? 
It is 9,000,000 at the present time and it is expected to be 20,000,000 
at the end of next year. Those are the figures just given to me; I 
thought it was a little higher than 9,000,000. 

The Chairman. Nine million now? 

Mr. Lund. Yes; and 20,000,000 by the end of next year. 

The Chairman. That is, at the end of 1943? 

Mr. Lund. That is correct. 

Mr. Arnold. Mr. Lund, to what extent are workers doubling up 
in cars? 

Mr. Lund. They are doing a lot of it out in Detroit and in that 
area, but not nearly enough of it. You know about the Pontiac 
Plan, do you? 

Mr. Arnold. No. 

Mr. Lund. That plan was worked out in Pontiac and was initiated 
by the highway department. It had two essential features: First, 
the staggering of the traffic load by staggering the hours of workers 
in the business district and also in the plants, and, second, the share- 
the-ride feature. They found they could step up very considerably 
this share-the-ride thing. In fact, I have a figure on it here. Before 
they instituted the Pontiac plan in Michigan there were 1.3 riders per 


car, which is pretty low, and after they instituted it there were 2 
riders per car. So, something has been accomplished, but I am con- 
vinced a lot more could be done. I should think it ought to be up 
around 3 or 3.5 as an average. 


Mr. Arnold. Do you have any specific evidence that the lack of 
motor facilities occasioned by tire and gasoline shortages is inter- 
fering with war-production schedules? You mentioned Baltimore, 
and a Member of the congressional delegation from Maryland recently 
complained, I believe, that the inability of workers to maintain 
regular transportation facilities was having a directly adverse effect 
upon war production schedules. It was suggested, for example, that 
gas rationing cards were virtually useless in some areas because the 
dealers had insufficient stocks. Have you any specific evidence that 
it is interfering with war production? 

Mr. Lund. Yes; in this manner, Congressman: It has caused a very 
high turnover in manpower, the labor supply of certain plants, which 
would certainly interfere with production schedules. Two cases come 
to mind, one out in Ravenna, Ohio, where a disproportionately high 
percentage of men left after a period of 3 months, and when a study 
was made it was found they had left because of transportation difficul- 
ties. Some had used the tires on their cars and others wanted to keep 
what they had because they felt they would have to use the cars for 
a long time to come. 

In Vallejo, Calif., there was a turnover of 3,000 men in a plant out 
there in a relatively short period of time. A study was made of that 
and it was found the turn-over was produced by transportation 
difficulties, part of which was the rubber shortage. So that has 
certainly affected war production. 

The Chairman. The reason for that, Mr. Lund, is that Vallejo 
itself is not a very large city and some of the workers have a long 
distance to come from Oakland and other places. I guess that is 
why they are hit so hard. 

Mr. Lund. That is in the East Bay area up near San Francisco? 

The Chairman. Yes. 

Mr. Arnold. Of course, these men have to work, and they get jobs 
where the transportation facilities are different, or where the trans- 
portation distance is shorter. 

Mr. Lund. Obviously, it hits war production because you have to 
train a new group when they leave, and that retraining holds up 
production. Furthermore, if a plant is sufficiently isolated, I think 
it will be increasingly difficulty to get any men at all when the rubber 
shortage becomes more acute, unless we build houses there, and you 
know that requires the use of critical materials that are not easily 

Mr. Arnold. As to the rubber or gasoline shortage, do you know 
whether that caused any change in it? 

Mr. Lund. No; I do not. 

Mr. Arnold. I guess this report emanates from the statement by 
Glenn Martin. 

Mr. Lund. Yes. 


Mr. Arnold. I was wondering what the situation is at the Willow 
Run plant with reference to transportation. Is there any method 
being adopted besides private automobiles? 

Mr. Lund. Some new bus routes have been established, I under- 
stand. That is going to be a very critical situation. Part of the 
solution — let me say, transportation will be only part of the solution. 
There will have to be some housing there too, although such housing 
as there is will have to be for workers who come from some distance, 
not only 30 or 40 miles, but hundreds of miles. There is not critical 
material enough to build houses for people who live in Detroit because 
they are going to work at Willow Run ; they will have to get there by 
using busses and their own cars, and that will be a very serious problem 
as time goes on. 

Mr. Arnold. One of the most serious in the country. 

Mr. Lund. Without a doubt. 


Mr. Arnold. Do you think it may become necessary to ration 
housing so that war workers can live within working distance of war 
plants, and will this involve the displacement of persons not engaged 
in essential war work? 

Mr. Lund. I should be opposed to that except as a last resort. 
I think one of the dearest things to the heart of most people is the 
home they live in. I would much rather ration other things; I would 
much rather take private passenger automobiles that are not needed, 
or do anything else, than ration houses, although I can see a very 
considerable possibilit}^ of swapping houses on a voluntary basis, but 
rationing involves something else. If you tell folks to move out to 
make the house available for someone else — I should be opposed to 
that except as a last resort, although I would be in favor of encouraging 
the voluntary swapping of houses. There again it seems to me this 
thing of swapping workers has far greater possibilities, although 
I recognize that there, too, there are certain obstacles in the way. 

The Chairman. Has anything been done on that situation? 

Mr. Lund. Nothing that I know about. Mr. Veenstra tells me 
some of the aircraft plants in Los Angeles are trying it, but I do not 
know about that. There would have to be a lot of participation on 
the part of labor and management in that sort of program and it 
seems to me that is the key to success in our war effort when it comes 
to the main aspects and also these collateral things that are also im- 
portant, giving labor a voice and having them participate in the 
planning of any of this swapping of workers. I think you will find 
they would go along with it far better than if some Government agency, 
let us say, were to take the thing and do it. I happen to be a member 
of the War Manpower Commission and I can say, although the Com- 
mission may favor such a policy and the Employment Service might 
aid in working it out between labor and management, that the voice of 
labor and management ought to be controlling in that picture. 

Mr. Arnold. To what extent does the problem of transportation 
facilities enter into the determination of new war-plant sites? 

Mr. Lund. I understand, very considerably. We have a War Plant 
Sites Board and they formerly considered the labor supply within the 
driving area of the plant, and now, because of the increasing shortage of 


rubber, they are considering the labor supply within the railroad -com- 
muting area of the plant. On that Board there is a representative of 
the Office of Defense Transportation. It is being taken into account 
in planning the location of plants, but greater emphasis is being placed 
on railroad transportation and its availability. 

Mr. Arnold. Does this problem of transportation facilities also 
enter into the question of where civilian production is to be centered? 

Mr. Lund. I do not believe so ; at least, not to any great extent as 
yet. The major factor in deciding where civilian production is to be 
centered is the nonconvertibility of certain plants and the availability 
of labor supply. I suppose from that point of view transportation 
would be considered, but I think less emphasis is being given to that 
in the location of war plants. 

Mr. Arnold. Does your Division have any further recommenda- 
tions as to what should be done for the alleviation of transportation 


Mr. Lund. First of all, we must consider our existing transporta- 
tion equipment, particularly the existing supply of rubber. 

In the second place, we must allocate the existing supply of equip- 
ment and rubber to uses essential to the prosecution of the war. 

Third, we must plan every phase of the war program involving 
passenger transportation in such a way as not to add needlessly to 
the transportation problem. 

To promote conservation it seems to me there is urgently needed a 
plan of rationing mileage of private automobiles which would limit 
their use to essential driving. In defining essential driving, due 
allowance should be made for a limited amount of convenience and 
recreational driving. I would make an allowance for that because it 
is desirable for the maintenance of the health, morale, and efficiency 
of the worker, which is part of the war-production effort. 

I realize it is difficult to devise a fair system. I do not have the 
fear of public reaction which seems to possess some persons, provided 
the right sort of educational program were set up to put this thing 
over. I believe once the American people understand the necessities 
of the situation and are fully informed as to how the system will 
operate, their cooperation will be forthcoming, particularly if they are 
made part of the operating machinery, that is, on the plant level. I 
would suggest these labor-management committees be brought into 
the picture. Then I would suggest that these committees be assigned 
the function of organizing car clubs and swap-car arrangements, and 
that when automotive equipment, be it cars, new tires, retreads, gaso- 
line, or parts, is to be rationed to a worker, the committee, or a desig- 
nated representative, certify the need for the particular rationed article. 

I suggest further that our existing rationing boards should be made 
representative of the major groups in the community. I am thinking 
there particularly of labor. 

Then I think we must reexamine our common carrier use of trans- 
portation equipment to eliminate wasteful duplication and such trans- 
portation as may be regarded as nonessential in this war emergency. 
I think a whole lot more can be done along that line. The essential 
transportation job which must be done is so big that every piece of 
equipment must be operated to capacity on necessary runs. It also 


requires that the operating personnel be used efficiently. Then there 
must be staggering of working, shopping, and school hours, which is 
one of the features of the so-called Pontiac plan. In fact, it seems to 
me we should have that staggering in every community; I think we 
could have it in every community to great advantage. 

Transportation coordinators must be appointed to stimulate, re- 
view, and implement local transportation plans; it must be done on a 
national basis. 

I think that is about all I have to say, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. There are thousands of school busses in this coun- 
try that for 2 or 3 months during the summer are laid up and the 
rubber is depreciating; do you think there is any possibility of using 
those school busses? 

Mr. Lund. I should certainly think so. Yes; I should think not 
only during the summertime but also during the winter, Congressman, 
they might be able to stagger the hours. The men go to work for the 
day shift earlier than the youngsters go to school. However, I pre- 
sume the largest portion of the school busses are used in rural areas 
where you are not so likely to find war plants, but wherever there are 
busses in a community where there are war plants, it seems to me they 
should be used. 


Dr. Lamb. Mr. Lund, it would seem to me the first step would be 
the question of traffic coordination. If the situation is as serious as 
you indicate — and I am sure it is at least as serious as that — it might 
be a good idea to start off with such traffic coordinators and give them 
a good deal more complete powers than are suggested in what you have 
said. The situation would appear to have gotten beyond the volun- 
tary stage already, and consequently, if they are given these more 
complete powers, the work of your labor-management committees 
becomes that much more necessary as a means of conducting the office 
of the traffic coordinator democratically, particularly since the biggest 
single stake we have in transportation is in war production. In other 
words, if a traffic coordinator is appointed he ought to start with the 
problem of providing transportation to the war plants. Do you 
agree with that? 

Mr. Lund. I would agree with that thoroughly. 

Dr. Lamb. It seems to me if the plan which included mapping the 
transportation of workers in plants and the possibilities of alternative 
means of transportation for them failed, then possibly, as a last resort 
the actual switching of workers from plant to plant or from house to 
house might be invoked. In that case you would first need a much 
more complete survey. It might take the form of a semicompulsory 
agreement, possibly by the signing of a pledge by each worker that he 
will submit to whatever form of transportation is worked out between 
him and your labor-management committees, with other units of trans- 
portation taking second place behind the arrangement for this particu- 
lar problem. Would that seem to you to correspond to reality here? 

Mr. Lund. Yes; I think it is a proper, practical approach to it. I 
think you could have some sanctions, and a fellow would make a 
pledge — he would not get new tires or gasoline unless he lives up to the 
pledge — not only to do no unnecessary driving — that would be difficult 
to police — but also to drive a certain number of men to work each day 


or enter into some sort of share-the-ride agreement with other workers. 
I like your idea of having the coordinator on a community level with 
a good deal of authority, and having as much participation by the 
people affected as possible. 

Dr. Lamb. It seems to me we have to look upon this -immediately 
as an irreplaceable supply rather than something we can take care of 
in a year and a half or so ; we should not look upon the prospect around 
the corner as being anything but a mirage at the present time, and then 
if it turns out the other way, we are that far ahead of the game. 

Mr. Lund. Yes. 

Dr. Lamb. What is the distance to Willow Run from downtown 

Mr. Lund. I think it is 29 or 30 miles from downtown Detroit. 

Dr. Lamb. Which means a round trip of 60 miles? 

Mr. Lund. Yes. 

Dr. Lamb. Which means in the course of a year, sixteen or eighteen 
thousand miles of rubber and that much gas. Of course, at the 
present time, gas is not a problem in the Michigan area, but rubber 
supply and transportation are. So that very shortly the tires on the 
average car would be gone in carrying them to Willow Run. In a 
couple of years they would certainly be all through. 


Mr. Lund. I am told that at the arsenal at Berwick, 4,000 men 
are driving from 50 to 130, miles a day. 

Dr. Lamb. How many men would be employed at the peak at 
Willow Run; would it be sixty or seventy-five thousand? 

Mr. Lund. I think 60,000 is conservative. I have heard figures as 
high as 90 and as low as 45 to 50, but I think sixty to seventy-five 
thousand would be a good figure. 

Dr. Lamb. Public transportation will take care of how many; 
would it be half of that? 

Mr. Lund. I would say a good deal less than half of either present 
or prospective public transportation. I cannot see it taking care of 
more than 25 or 30 percent. 

Dr. Lamb. So, even on the basis of 4 men to the car, you will have 
10,000 cars used in that particular job every day in the week? 

Mr. Lund. Yes, I would think so. 

Dr. Lamb. That is the order of the magnitude of the problems you 
are going to find in many places in the country, and that is why some 
arbitrary intervention in this thing should be taken pretty quickly. 

Mr. Lund. Yes. 

Dr. Lamb. What about the question of smaller communities and 
their contribution to the war effort; will this not intensify the demand 
of smaller communities and smaller businesses for sharing in the war 
because they have the locations which are favorable to walking to 
work or short-run transportation jobs? 

Mr. Lund. It would doubtless be a factor, Dr. Lamb. You know, 
of course, the Small War Plants Corporation is going to be set up in 
the W. P. B., and it seems to me this may be an additional argument 
for giving them more war work because of availability of their labor 
supply, that is, the shortness of the distance between their homes and 
the plant. 


Dr. Lamb. Is there not a reverse problem which is rapidly develop- 
ing? You used 9,000,000, which is approximately correct, as the 
number engaged in war work at the present time, and 20,000,000 as the 
figure at the end of 1943, which may be low; that means an increase 
in the number now working and probably considerably more added 
on. If that is the case, you are in for quite a floodage in these com- 
munities, and any plan your traffic coordinator may make in Detroit 
today will have to be accordion-pleated to take care of the future, and 
the same thing applies all around the country, particularly in these 
areas of heavy concentration of contracts. So, you will increase your 
troubles in many of those places by actual geometric proportion rather 
than arithmetically, when you begin to pile them onto the trans- 
portation facilities, which would seem to be an argument for favoring 
the smaller war plant corporation type of solution. 

Mr. Lund. Yes. 

The Chairman. I have just one more question, Mr. Lund. Mr. 
Eastman is here. Has the thought ever been explored of asking for 
volunteers in old private passenger cars to volunteer their services to 
take workers to plants? 

Mr. Lund. Not in the area I am most familiar with, Congressman. 
I do not believe it has been thought of or tried in Detroit or in any of 
our Michigan industrial areas. 

The Chairman. It is the first time it has occurred to me. I was 
trying to think along with you. I have that much faith in the 
American people that there would be a considerable number, living 
close to the war production plants, who would get out their cars in 
the morning and also take them back at night. 

Mr. Lund. I think it is a case of less shortage of cars than tires. 
Some folks might be willing to give up their tires; I don't know. 
When they are not hauling the war workers they could have the use 
of their own cars. Yes; I would say that has real possibilities, Mr. 

Mr. Arnold. Has a survey been made to ascertain those who are 
willing to sell their cars to war workers? 

Mr. Lund. No; not to my knowledge. 

Mr. Arnold. Of course there are a large number of people, especially 
in the rationed East, who would sell their large gas-eating cars which 
perhaps have good tires. 

Mr. Lund. The tires may be more valuable than the car. 

Mr. Arnold. I know several people here in Washington who have 
expressed to me their desire to sell. 

Mr. Lund. I should think in some of those cases it might be a good 
idea to take the tires and forget about the car. It seems to me they 
would have to be approached on a community level, and that is 
where the coordinator would be very useful. 

Mr. Arnold. Large cars with large tires — there should be some 
way devised to take those over for bus transportation; some of them 
will haul six or seven or eight passengers. 

The Chairman. We thank you, Mr. Lund. Will you leave the 

Mr. Lund. Yes; and also a copy of a statement I have here. 

60396— 12— pt. 


(The afore-mentioned statement follows:) 


The Problem of Wau Worker Transportation 

As Director of the Labor Production Division of the War Production Board, I 
consider it my responsibility to point out one of the most serious problems of the 
war production program. As vital as the supply of raw materials for the tanks and 
planes and guns and ships is the supply of war workers. To a much larger degree 
than most people realize, production is dependent upon the daily transportation 
of workers, much of which is by private automobile. Our victory program rides 
on the tires of the workers. If for any leason the automobiles and busses and 
trolley cars which carry workers to the factories daily should cease to operate, this 
would be a fatal blow to our victory program. 

Your committee is concerned with the migration of war workers and the various 
problems of congestion created as a result. However, the migration we have seen 
so far will be nothing compared to that which will follow a break-down in worker 
transportation. At the present time workers are commuting from their homes 
to war production centers 20 to 30 miles distant, and in many cases 50 to 60 miles. 
Practically all these workers are riding in privately owned automobiles. If their 
automobiles are not kept running, these workers will have only two alternatives; 
namely, make their homes near their jobs, or find jobs near their homes. Either 
alternative is undesirable from the standpoint of war production. The first 
requires the use of critical materials in the construction of houses and community 
facilities; the second creates costly labor turn-over. 

Before taking up the subject assigned me, I should like to say a few words about 
the Labor Production Division of the War Production Board. It is founded on 
two premises: (1) that the implements of war cannot be turned out without full 
and intelligent utilization of our democratic labor force; (2) that labor participa- 
tion in the design and management of the war production program is essential to 
maximum production. The Labor Production Division is going to do everything 
possible to insure labor's participation in the war-production program, and to 
interpret the problems of the war-oroduction program to labor groups. 

I wish to discuss the subject of worker transportation under four headings: 
(1) Dependence of war workers on private automobiles (2) results of a break-down 
in worker transportation; (3) lack of an effective program to solve the problem; 
(4) recommended program for dealing with the problem of war worker trans- 

dependence of war workers on private automobiles 

In Michigan we recognized early what war in the Pacific and the loss of Singa- 
pore and the East Indies meant in our daily lives. Detroit, which is fast becoming 
a vast arsenal of war production, is almost completely dependent upon the private 
passenger automobile for the transportation of its workers. One out of every 
five workers in Detroit lives more than 10 miles from the factory where he is 
employed; and 75 percent of all the factory workers come to work in their cars. 
If you will run over in your mind the bomber plants, the tank plants, and the other 
great factories in the Detroit area, you can well imagine the catastrophe to war 
production which would result if a new way had to be found for transporting 
three-quarters of the fighters on the production front. 

In order to find a basis for keeping production rolling, the Michigan State 
Highway Department initiated a traffic survey as early as January 12 of this year. 
This survey covered 750 plants engaged in, or being converted to, war production. 
These plants employed at the time just over half of the 850,000 industrial workers 
employed in the entire State of Michigan. The survey sought to determine the 
extent to which the automobile revolution of the last 25 years has affected the 
living, the traveling, and the working habits of industrial workers. It revealed A 
tremendous dependence upon the automobile. The average worker determines 
the distance between his home and his job on the basis of travel line. In general, 
when that time exceeds more than an hour each way, he will seek to change his job 
job first, and then if possible, his residence. Of course, it would be impossible for 
any large group of workers to make such changes in a short time, and any large 


scale shift would undoubtedly be detrimental to the war production program. 
As I said before, three-quarters of the workers in the 750 plants surveyed came to 
work in their cars. In 233 of these plants, 90 percent of the employees use their 
cars; and in 51 plants, all of the employees come to work by car. The 51 plants 
which are 100 percent dependent upon the private car employ over 65,000 workers. 
Plants in the Detroit suburban area are 89 percent dependent on the private car. 
I have brought along a map which will illustrate better than words the transporta- 
tion difficulties of the workers in this area. 

What is true in Michigan is true throughout the United States in varying 
degrees. In the Los Angeles metropolitan area, more than 70 percent of the 
workers drive to work in passenger cars, some traveling as much as 30 miles a day. 
In one of the key aircraft companies, 92 percent of the 50,000 workers employed 
there last March drove to work. Common-carrier transportation converges on 
downtown Los Angeles in such a way as to make it practically impossible to com- 
mute between the residential suburbs and the primary defense activities, all of 
which are scattered like the ends of the spokes on a wheel. Under the circum- 
stances, failure of automobile transportation would not only create great difficulties 
and hardships for the workers, but, in addition, would result in acute housing 
shortages in many of the Los Angeles industrial suburbs, and might very well 
cause a collapse of war production in the important area. 

In the outskirts of Baltimore, 42,500 workers now work at the Glenn L. Martin 
bomber plant. Recent reports from the president of the company indicate that of 
the 42,500 workers employed, about 40,000 now drive to work. Because of its 
comparatively isolated position, this plant is now almost entirely dependent upon 
the private automobile. 

In Pascagoula, Miss., which is an important shipbuilding center, the difficulties 
of transportation antedated December 7, 1941. Not only did the majority of 
workers depend on private passenger automobiles, but at the latest report, worker 
groups had purchased 23 old school busses to alleviate the problem. There are no 
streetcar or interurban bus lines in Pascagoula. In some of the larger cities, the 
automobile situation is complicated by the overloading of common carriers and 
congestion of traffic. 


By a few examples I have attempted to picture how much the average war plant 
depends on the private automobile for the daily arrival of its workers. Now let us 
examine current realities in automobile transportation and the effects of a break- 
down in present methods of war worker transportation. 

We now possess in the United States a precious stock of 28,000,000 passenger 
automobiles with about 150,000,000 tires. From these cars and tires, we have 
been getting about 500 billion passenger miles per year, compared to a total of 
75,000,000,000 passenger miles from all other vehicles; that is, busses, railroads, 
trolleys, and airplanes. Studies recently completed by the Brookings Institution 
reach the conclusion that 20,000,000 passenger cars represent a minimum below 
which serious disruption threatens our economy. Even if we assume an ability 
to absorb serious economic dislocation, well over half of our cars must be kept 
running just to make our war economy function at its present rate; and this does 
not contemplate transportation for the millions of new war workers to be added 
in the future. 

As everyone knows, the factor which limits our ability to keep 20,000,000, or 
even 15,000,000, cars on the road is the lack of rubber tires. Outside of 8,000,000 
new tires frozen in dealers' hands, our total resource of rubber tires is on the road 
— being ground up at the rate of about 3y 2 percent a month. As these wear out, 
some of the good carcasses can be recapped with reclaimed rubber which is good 
for low mileage and slow speeds. The responsible experts tell me that all natural 
and synthetic rubber production for the next several years is going 100 percent 
to military requirements. Therefore, we should not depend on wishful thinking 
about the availability of new or synthetic rubber for the tires of civilians or war 
workers; we must concentrate on getting the most out of the tires we have. 

We are told that, if normal driving habits continue, the visible supply of tires 
will not maintain adequate auto transportation beyond the first quarter of 1943; 
and by December 1943, the number of cars onthe road will have fallen to the 
catastrophic level of 10,000,000 — but we need not wait until 1943. Already we 
are getting a picture of the manner in which transportation difficulties are imped- 
ing our war effort by fostering labor turn-over and crowded housing conditions. 
Workers who are compelled to drive long distances to war plants are quitting 


their jobs to find work nearer home. In some cases workers faced with transporta- 
tion difficulties attempt to secure houses nearer work. Any effort to solve the 
transportation problem by the construction of a vast amount of new housing will 
fail because the cost in critical materials, labor, and overcrowding would stop or 
seriously reduce the production of armaments. Just to show how the tire problem 
is already retarding war production and burdening the war housing program, let 
me read you a plea from a southern textile mill engaged in war production: 

"We used to draw hands from the surrounding country, but since the tire 
shortage has become acute those hands want houses, and we have lost several 
on account of not having houses for them. This mill is in the country and if 
we are to run we will have to house the workers. 

"Referring to the incident which you mention (eviction of a war worker's 
family), I beg to advise that there have been over 30 such cases in recent months 
in this community, and we have been obliged to ask for the houses for workers 
in the mill else we would have had machinery standing." 

From places as far apart as Freeport, Tex., and Bath, Maine, we have received 
reports of war workers driving 50 to 60 miles each way daily between their homes 
and their jobs, workers who find no housing and may soon find no transportation. 
Not only war production is suffering from a lack of transportation, agriculture 
also is having trouble. Orchardists in Michigan and truck farmers along the 
eastern seaboard organized their work around the supply of migrant farm workers. 
This year the lack of tires and other transportation difficulties make the supply 
of migrant farm workers hard to find. This may curtail food production. 


The Labor Production Division and its predecessor, the Labor Division, have 
been acutely aware of the impending consequences of failure of private automo- 
bile transportation ever since Pearl Harbor. Its industry consultants in their 
consultations with the various industry branches have stressed the workers' 
dependence upon the automobile for essential transportation. Our transporta- 
tion and housing consultants have advised the various governmental agencies, 
concerned with transportation and housing on specific programs for meeting 
transportation needs. They have not only insisted on the importance of the 
private automobile in their discussions with other agencies, but they have taken 
the initiative by bringing together representatives of responsible agencies for 
the purpose of finding the solution to a number of local transportation problems, 
Through its participation in Mr. Nelson's production drive, the Labor Produc- 
tion Division has been instrumental in the formation of numerous transportation 
subcommittees to joint management-labor production drive committees. These 
committees are engaged in organizing car-sharing and tire-conservation programs 
in war plants. 

From these intimate contacts with the problem, I have been unable to secure 
assurance that there is a solution in process. Not only is there no assurance 
that there will be a supply of natural or synthetic rubber for new tires for workers' 
cars in the next 2 or 3 years, but there has been no aggressive action on the 
part of Federal authorities to conserve rubber now on cars so that a supply of 
reclaimed rubber will be available to retread workers' tires. This problem is too 
serious to gamble with the possibilities of developing new sources of rubber. We 
have the rubber now to take care of our needs for several years. Practically all 
of it is on our present supply of automotive equipment. Once burned off on the 
road, it is lost forever. 

Too much reliance has been placed on voluntary programs of conservation. 
Michigan was probably the first State to organize such a program. The now 
well-known Pontiac plan was formulated by the Michigan State Highway De- 
partment early this year and tried out in Pontiac, Mich., an industrial com- 
munity 25 miles north of Detroit. This was a plan of voluntary cooperation 
devised to make the most use possible of existing transportation equipment. 
Posters and publicity were developed to induce workers to group up and drive to 
work five in a car, to "swap rides" with each other, and to make maximum use 
of such common carrier transportation as existed. Maps were prepared on the 
basis of which neighbors could get together for organizing car club and swap-ride 
arrangements. Plans were made with various plants, shops, and schools to stagger 
their hours in such a way that more even use could be made of common-carrier 
equipment, and these plans were put into effect. This economy is very important 
because the number of busses and streetcars used at the peak of activity is three 
times the number used during the rest of the day. The existing equipment, if 
hours are properly staggered, could carry at least twice the number of passengers. 


The moderate success of this voluntary form of transportation economy has 
■caused the Automotive Safety Foundation and the Office of Defense Transporta- 
tion to modify the Pontiac plan into what is called A Plan for the Conservation 
of Vital War Transportation, which is now being disseminated over the entire 
country to be administered by the mayor of each -municipality. 

Experience has shown that voluntary methods are inadequate to do the full 
job. For example, in St. Louis where the Office of Defense Transportation plan 
has been inaugurated, 3 of the largest department stores employing several 
thousand workers have refused to change their opening and closing hours to 
comply with the plan for staggering shifts. Even in Pontiac, after several weeks 
of an aggressive campaign involving publicity as well as personal contact with 
plant managers and workers' groups, there was still only 1 rider beside the driver 
in each car. Formerly, only 1 car out of 3 carried an extra rider. In other 
words, 50 cars were being used to carry 100 workers to their job. compared with 
the earlier figure of 70 cars per 100 workers. While this improvement is impor- 
tant, it falls far short not onlv of the possible maximum, but of what is required 
by exigencies of the present situation. 

At a meeting in Detroit on April 13, called by a representative of the Labor 
Division of the War Production Board to review workers' transportation pro- 
grams, practically all speakers representing local business, Government, and 
workers' groups urged that any local program for transportation conservation 
be backed up by the authority of the Federal Government. All groups expressed 
a willingness to cooperate fully if they were told what was necessary by a com- 
petent authority and were protected against chiselers. 

Indifference, inertia, and just plain shortsightedness result in many employers 
and workers failing to respond to publicity campaigns. The crisis in worker 
transportation and in the supply of rubber is too great to permit continuance of 
the purely publicity methods of solving the problem. I believe that it is neces- 
sary to put teeth in the program if we are to achieve our victory goals. In this 
viewpoint, I believe that I have the support of both workers and employers in 
war industries who want to be told just what to do in order to achieve the maxi- 
mum use of our transportation facilities. I submit, therefore, a three-point 
program. This program can only succeed if it is coordinated and directed by 
the Federal Government. Publicity is necessary to sell it to the workers and 
other groups in the community; but publicity alone will not achieve the required 


First, we must conserve our existing transportation equipment and, partic- 
ularly, the existing supply of rubber. Second, we must allocate the existing supp ly 
of equipment and rubber to uses essential to the prosecution of the war. Third, 
we must plan every phase of the war program involving passenger transportation 
in such a way as not to add needlessly to the transportation problem. This 
third point might seem to come first, but since it is pointless to plan the use of 
that which we do not have I put conservation first. 

To promote conservation, there is urgently needed a system of rationing mileage 
to private automobiles which would limit their use to essential driving. In 
defining essential driving, due allowance should be made for a limited amount of 
convenience and recreational driving. Such an allowance is desirable for the 
maintenance of the health, morale, and efficiency of the worker. I realize that 
it is difficult to devise a fair system. I do not have the fear of public reaction 
which seems to possess some persons. Once the American people understand 
the necessities of the situation and are fully informed as to how the system will 
operate, their cooperation will be forthcoming; particularly if they are made 
part of the operating machinery. I therefore suggest (a) that worker-manage- 
ment committees be set up in each place of employment; (b) that these commit- 
tees be assigned the function of organizing car clubs and swap-car arrangements 
and; (c) that when automotive equipment — be it new cars, new tires, retreads, 
gasoline, or parts — is rationed to a worker, the committee or a designated repre- 
sentative certifies the need for the particular rationed article. I suggest further 
that our existing rationing boards should be made representative of the - major 
groups in the community. 

We must reexamine common carrier use of transportation equipment to elimi- 
nate wasteful duplication and such transportation as must be regarded as non- 
essential in this war emergency. The essential transportation job which must 
be done is so big that every piece of equipment must be operated to capacity 
on necessary runs. It also requires that the operating personnel be used effi- 


ciently. Some staggering of working, shopping and school hours has taken 
place, but many busses still travel in only one direction with a full load and return 
empty. Transportation coordinators must be appointed to stimulate, review 
and implement local transportation plans. The entire country must be covered. 

If conservation is successful, as it must be, in making transportation equip- 
ment and materials available, such equipment and materials must be allocated 
to places where there are shortages. Railroad passenger cars must be transferred 
from luxury runs to provide necessary transportation to outlying war plants; 
such as the Glenn Martin and Ford bomber plants. Busses unneeded because 
of staggering of hours must be allocated to places where the increase in necessary 
transportation is so great that the local resources are insufficient. Tires on 
nonessential private automobiles must be purchased by the Government and 
allocated to war workers who are cooperating fully in carrying full loads of fellow 
workers. New cars must be made available as needed to those workers whose 
cars wear out, or who do not own cars. Bicycles must be allocated to those 
workers who live close enough to their work to use a bicycle but not close enough 
to walk. 

Finally, there is the need for a coordinated solution of the housing, transporta- 
tion, labor recruitment and related problems. As pointed out earlier, our war 
housing problem is tremendous without the added burden of housing automobile 
drivers near their work. I am worried that we will not be able to spare sufficient 
men and materials to house the many workers coming from long distances to take 
employment in war plants. If, in addition, we try to house the automobile 
commuters near their work, we will not be able to do a tenth of the job. Of 
course, insofar as possible, housing built for migrants should be located near the 
place of employment in order not to add to the transportation problem; but we 
have other scarcities besides those in transportation. Copper and steel must 
be conserved for articles of war. Housing sites near plants sometimes lack 
utility extensions and require excessive amounts of critical materials. Not only 
in this connection, but in others, there must be a balancing of scarcities. In 
order to provide such a balancing, I suggest that local programs involving worker 
transportation, housing, and community facilities be arrived at jointly by repre- 
sentatives of the appropriate Federal agencies, in cooperation with civic, manage- 
ment and labor groups, preferably in the localities concerned. These programs 
have a common purpose; namely, to assure an efficient labor force in war produc- 
tion. If they are to serve their purpose, they must not only be closely integrated 
with each other, but they must also be closely related to the programs of labor 
recruitment, labor supply, and worker morale. 

The Chairman. Thank you. 

Let the record show that Congressmen Pierce and Voorhis are 

Mr. Eastman, will you please be seated? 


The Chairman. We are pleased to have you with us this morning, 
Mr. Eastman. We will be just as brief as we possibly can, but this 
is a very important problem we are now discussing, the transportation 
of war-production workers, and I wonder if you will be kind enough 
to briefly state the primary functions of the Office of Defense Trans- 

Mr. Eastman. The function of the Office of Defense Transporta- 
tion, as stated or summed up in the first paragraph of the Executive 
order of the President which created the Office, was to insure maxi- 
mum utilization of the domestic transportation facilities of the Nation 
for the successful prosecution of the war. I think that sums it up 
practically. It relates simply to the domestic transportation facilities 
as distinguished from the overseas. 

The Chairman. For the purpose of the record I wonder if you 
will be kind enough to give me the names of the gentlemen who ap- 
pear with you. 


Mr. Eastman. I have with me Mr. Otto S. Beyer, Director of 
my Division of Transport Personnel; Mr. Henry F. McCarthy, 
Director of my Division of Traffic Movement; Mr. G. Lloyd Wilson, 
Director of my Division of Rates; and Mr. Harold Sampson, pas- 
senger assistant in the Division of Traffic Movement. 

The Chairman. Do you consider that your agency has the primary 
responsibility for the transportation of industrial and agricultural 
war workers? 

Mr. Eastman. I think we have responsibility to aid in the solution 
of any of those problems. Of course, we are not managing and 
operating the carriers, but it is our duty to look into such questions 
and do what we can to promote their solution. 

The Chairman. Do you tie in with any other agencies? 

Mr. Eastman. We work with a great many different agencies on 
different problems. We work very closely with the War Production 
Board on many problems, with the Office of Price Administration, 
with the Petroleum Coordinator, with the War Department, Navy 
Department, and so forth. I think in one way or another we work 
with most of them. 

The Chairman. Where does the primary responsibility lie; with 

Mr. Eastman. With respect to transportation? 

The Chairman. Of war workers; yes. 

Mr. Eastman. Yes. 

The Chairman. Mr. Eastman, on June 11, Mr. John J. Corson, 
Director of the Bureau of Employment Security, testified before 
this committee regarding the problem of obtaining transportation 
for migrant agricultural or construction workers. At that time he 
indicated that in his estimation no agency could be said to be re- 
sponsible for the actual transportation of workers, and I should like 
to read you a portion of his testimony, as follows : 

The Office of Defense Transportation has been very helpful in endeavoring to 
work out transportation arrangements which facilitate the movement of workers, 
but they do not have any responsibility, nor I believe does any other agency have 
the responsibility for the actual transportation of workers. 

Do you agree with Mr. Corson on that? 

Mr. Eastman. I would not say we have the responsibility of finding 
out where workers are needed and then of procuring transportation 
for them. I think, if there is a problem in connection with the trans- 
portation of such workers, that it is part of our duty to help in the 
solving of that problem, but I do not think it is part of our duty to 
search the country and determine where there is a surplus of agricul- 
tural workers and where there is a deficit and to arrange for their 

The Chairman. Studies of the traveling habits of workers in some 
California war plants, made by the California Railroad Commission, 
showed that 60 to 80 percent of the workers travel by automobile. 
Has your Office any general findings on the importance of automobile 
travel among war workers throughout the country? 


Mr. Eastman. W T e know the travel by automobile is of very large 
importance in connection with the transportation of war workers. 
Many of these great new war-production plants which have been 


built in the last year or so have been built out in the open spaces where 
the reliance was very largely upon the private passenger car for the 
transportation of the workers. In some places where they have been 
located there are practically no common-carrier facilities by rail or 
by bus, and in other cases such facilities are wholly inadequate to take 
care of the transportation. They were not located in many instances 
with reliance upon other than private passenger cars. 

As an illustration, I saw a report not long ago with respect to the 
factories which are building airplanes in southern California, and as 
I recall it, 90 percent, or possibly a little more of the workers in those 
plants used the private passenger car in going to and from work, and 
those plants were not located on railroad lines. 

The Chairman. Mr. Lund testified this morning that some plants 
had as high as 90 percent of the war workers riding in their own 

Mr. Eastman. That is correct. 

The Chairman. That is indicative of the critical situation? 

Mr. Eastman. Yes. I have a Division of Local Transport which 
was created for the purpose of dealing with that very question, the 
transportation of war workers. We have an advisory committee on 
which the departments are represented which are primarily interested 
in that transportation, such as the War Department, the Navy 
Department, the Maritime Commission, the Defense Housing Cor- 
poration, and so on. That advisory committee meets every week, 
and we have also been instrumental in getting together an organization 
of the State and municipal authorities for the purpose of dealing with 
those problems. 

Dr. Lamb. Mr. Eastman, right on that point, do these municipal 
authorities have contact with any local representative of your organi- 
zation from the Division of Local Transport? 

Mr. Eastman. We have established an extensive field organization 
in that particular work. We have men whom we send around the 
country, men of great experience in local transportation matters. 
We have one who is located on the Pacific coast permanently. But 
we have been trying to handle that problem as far as possible "through 
the local authorities because we do not want to build up a great 
field organization centralized at Washington and we felt that after 
all it was primarily a local question and that the facilities of the 
State public utility commissions and of the State highway depart- 
ments and of the municipal authorities should be concentrated on 
those problems. We endeavor to advise and assist and help and 
guide them, but we have not undertaken to build up a huge organiza- 
tion of our own. 

Dr. Lamb. Mr. Lund indicated earlier that in his opinion the situa- 
tion is becoming quite critical in many places where large war plants 
are in operation. He outlined a program for trying to get, at the 
present time at least, merely voluntary cooperation of the workers 
and the management of the plants in some scheme. He was ques- 
tioned as to whether he would favor a coordinator, a local traffic 
coordinator of some kind to be municipally created, perhaps, and 
he said he thought that might be necessary. What would your 
position be on that? 

Mr. Eastman. We have asked the Governors and mayors to 
appoint representatives to work on those questions. We have also 


outlined at great length the steps we feel should be taken in solving 
many of these questions. We have asked the mayors when they 
appointed representatives to work on these questions, to work with 
and through the State organizations. We have also suggested they 
tie in wherever they can with the transportation committees of the 
Office of Civilian Defense. 

Dr. Lamb. Is it your opinion the situation, particularly with 
respect to passenger-car transportation of workers to plants, has 
become sufficiently critical to warrant some kind of authoritative or 
compulsory arrangement locally in some places? 


Mr. Eastman. I think under my present authority I can go further 
than I have in the direction of ordering things to be done. Up to 
the present time we have been trying to get as much accomplished 
as we could through voluntary effort and also through the action of 
local authorities, and very effective work has been done in many 
parts of the country. That can be supplemented, for example in 
the East, where there is a system of gasoline rationing at the present 
time. It is proposed that the system of gasoline rationing be used 
in order to further the plans with respect to group-riding to and 
from defense plants. If there were a system of Nation-wide gasoline 
rationing that could be used in the same way. 

Off the record. 

(Discussion off the record.) 

Mr. Arnold. Well, now, in connection with the rationing of the 
use of automobiles, is gasoline rationing the only way to approach 
the subject? 

Mr. Eastman. Well, of course, the objective is restriction upon the 
operation of the vehicles. The situation is such that if these vehicles 
are to be preserved for essential uses — and they are tremendously 
necessary for many essential purposes — their use for unnecessary or 
wasteful purposes has got to be eliminated. 

Now, in approaching the problem of how to bring about that elimi- 
nation, gasoline rationing comes up, not for the purpose of saving gas 
but as a simple means of restricting operation. If you restrict opera- 
tion you are going to reduce the consumption of gas, and if you 
reduce the sale of gas you are going to restrict operation; it all comes 
out to the same result whichever way you do it. You could, con- 
ceivably, limit the mileage operated by individual cars, but to do 
that you would have to have a system for recording the mileage 
operated and for the inspection of those records, and so forth, and it 
would be a very complicated thing to work out. 

Mr. Arnold. I guess some 100 of us in the lower House are from 
districts where gasoline is no problem. 

Mr. Eastman. Except in the East there is no purpose of rationing 
gasoline for the sake of saving gasoline. 

Mr. Arnold. Some of us have 10 or 15 refineries located in various 
parts of the district, and apparently Mr. Henderson or someone did 
not put over the idea because I never saw such a protest as we had 
on rationing gasoline in areas where it was being refined. I am 
heartily in accord with the idea that people should understand why 
thej^ are being rationed. 


Mr. Eastman. It is not the gasoline that would be rationed in 
such territories but the operation of the vehicles; the gasoline would 
be simply the means to an end. 

Mr. Arnold. That will have to be put over or the people will 
have a chance to take a whack at us. They don't get a chance to 
take a whack at you or Mr. Henderson or whoever is responsible; we 
are the only ones who have our heads out. 

Mr. Eastman. That is right. 

The Chairman. Off the record. 

(Discussion off the record.) 

Mr. Arnold. Can you tell me, Mr. Eastman, whether the normal 
dependence of industrial workers on passenger cars has increased or 
decreased as a result of the impetus of the war program? 

Mr. Eastman. That would be just a guess. I don't think there 
are any statistics on that, but my guess would be that because of 
the fact that so many of these great new plants have been located 
outside of the confines of the cities, outside of the thickly settled 
portions and in the open spaces beyond, my guess would be that 
the dependence on the private passenger car has, on the whole, 

Mr. Arnold. And probably will increase much more in the next 
year because of the largely increased number of war workers? 

Mr. Eastman. Yes. 

Mr. Arnold. Has your Office conducted studies, or do you sit 
in on the location of war plants with relation to the problem of 
worker transportation ? 

Mr. Eastman. We do now. Of course, a great many of these 
plants were located before my Office was created. My Office has 
only been in existence since the first of the year, but we are now 
represented on the Plant Site Board of the War Production Board, 
and we are consulted as to the location of those new plants from the 
standpoint of transportation. 


Mr. Arnold. Most of the automobiles carry one or two passengers 
each when they have a capacity for five; do you see any possibility 
that automobile owners may soon be required to carry the full number 
of passengers? 

Mr. Eastman. That has been a very important part of the pro- 
grams that we have been endeavoring to institute in connection 
with these war-production plants, the group riding, or share riding, 
or whatever it is called. In many cases a great deal has already 
been done in that direction. For example, not long ago I was in 
Indianapolis and went through the Allison plant, where they manu- 
facture the liquid-cooled motors for airplanes, an enormous plant. 
There they have in operation a campaign for group riding by their 
workers and they have succeeded in getting the group riding up, 
I think, to the basis of three and a fraction riders per vehicle now, 
which is a pretty good figure. Of course, the plant can do something 
to control that situation through its control of parking facilities, 
and so forth. 

Under the new rationing plan in the East, as I said, I think steps 
are being taken to bring indirect pressure to bear, through the ration- 


ing of gasoline, so as to bring about tliis group riding which is a 
very important tiling; it must be brought about. Off the record. 

(Discussion off the record.) 

Mr. Arnold. Mr. Eastman, I don't know that you answered as 
to whether or not the Plant Site Board is giving consideration to 
the transportation problem in the location of plants. 

Mr. Eastman. It is, and also the Defense Housing Corporation in 
its work is giving a great deal of attention and is endeavoring to locate 
the housing so as to reduce the transportation problem. 

Mr. Arnold. Do you have any figures on the average life expec- 
tancy of tires on automobiles of war workers for given areas, or on a 
sample basis? 

Mr. Eastman. I did not bring up the head of my division dealing 
with that matter, who, I know, has many such figures. I have one 
in my head right now in accordance with this report that I saw about 
the workers at the airplane plants in southern California, where 90 
percent of them depend upon the automobile. My recollection is 
that report indicated that if they went on using the automobiles the 
way they are using them now, that they had an average life of some- 
thing under 1 year; it was somewhere between 6 and 12 months. I 
cannot give you the exact figure, but we can supply a good deal of 
information of that kind if you would like to have it. 

The Chairman. We will contact you. 

Mr. Eastman. Yes. 


Mr. Arnold. I notice in one industrial area 20 percent walked or 
used a bicycle. Do you know to what extent the bicycle is coming 
back into the picture? 

Mr. Eastman. I know it is coining back into the picture quite 
extensively. Many of my own friends have bought bicycles and are 
using them. I think that is quite general around the country. I 
think there is a question now pending before the War Production 
Board as to whether the production of bicycles is to be continued. 

Mr. Arnold. Of course, it is a little difficult to use bicycles where 
automobiles so largely cover the road; it is rather dangerous. 

Mr. Eastman. Yes. 

Mr. Arnold. Some time ago considerable publicity was given to a 
bus which could carry from 125 to 140 people. Are these busses 
being manufactured on a large scale yet? 

Mr. Eastman. No. I am sorry, Mr. Chairman, but I thought you 
were going to consider the question of these migratory workers, and 
for that reason I did not come prepared to discuss the general question 
of the transportation of defense workers. 

The Chairman. It is so interrelated with the whole question 

Mr. Eastman. What was the question you asked me? 

Mr. Arnold. Are those busses which have a capacity of 125 to 
140 people practical and are they being manufactured as yet to any 

, Mr. Eastman. My Division of Local Transport was instrumental 
in getting that idea under way, and one of the men in that Bureau, 
Mr. Shephard, in conjunction with men on the outside, worked on the 


design of the first of those trailer busses, which you may have seen 
here in Washington. It was a very ugly affair, but it was made out of 
noncritical war materials and was very light for its capacity and was 
very cheap, and although not overly comfortable it was entirely 
practicable for transportation of war workers where mass transporta- 
tion is required. Since that time there has been a great deal of 
activity on the part of bus and trailer manufacturers in designing 
similar vehicles. One has been designed which can be towed by a 
small automobile like a Chevrolet. I went around the streets of 
Chicago in this bus and it was behind an ordinary Chevrolet car. 
That vehicle can carry 24 passengers and it is light and made largely 
out of noncritical war materials and is not expensive to make. The 
Fruehauf Trailer Co. has designed one which is quite like the one we 
had designed originally, but they have given it sex appeal by putting 
more attractive paint on the outside and some cushions on the seats. 
Then, some of these haul-away automobile carriers are being re- 
designed for the carriage of passengers, and I understand that work i& 
going on. 

Now, with respect to the construction of these trailers, and so forth r 
we have been in an argument with the War Production Board on that 
and we do not know yet whether the construction will be permitted; 
we think it should be and have so argued, but that question still re- 
mains to be determined. 

Mr. Arnold. You believe both the large-capacity busses and 
trailers have very important possibilities in this war effort? 

Mr. Eastman. Yes. Of course, the question which the War 
Production Board has to consider is the fact that while these busses 
which have been designed, as I have indicated, use very little steel and 
other critical war material, they do use new rubber tires, and that has- 
been one of the sticking points in connection with them. 


Mr. Arnold. Has consideration been given to proposals for the 
staggering of office, store, and factory hours as a means of making 
fuller utilization of mass transportation systems? 

Mr. Eastman. Yes. That, together with group riding, is one of the 
important features of our program and we have urged that upon all 
the cities of the country and I am glad to say it is being carried out in 
many if not most of them. Of course, Washington was the first city 
to adopt it extensively. New York has a system and Los Angeles has 
a system. I was in Cleveland the other day and they are doing 
splendid work on that matter. It is spreading rapidly throughout 
the country and is a very effective way of making the existing facilities 
go further by eliminating the rush-hour peaks. 

The Chairman. Mr. Eastman, I suppose the turnover rates of 
manpower in war plants will be affected greatly on account of lack of 

Mr. Eastman. You mean the labor turn-over? 

The Chairman. Yes, quitting one plant and going to another. 

Mr. Eastman. You mean it will be a little difficult for them to 
shift around because of that? 

The Chairman. Yes. 


Mr. Eastman. I should think it might have that effect. It would 
add another aggravation to the turn-over situation. Obviously, if 
men experience difficulty in getting back and forth to work they 
will find themselves a job where they do not have that difficulty to 
contend with, so it is reasonable to assume — — ■ 

The Chairman. I don't suppose you have any estimates on that. 

Mr. Eastman. No. I would think, however, the developing of 
housing facilities contiguous to plants would alleviate that com- 

The Chairman. Yes; that has been suggested this morning. 


Mr. Arnold. To what extent will railroads and trolley systems be 
able to take over the job of transporting war workers in the event 
of a break-down of automobile transportation facilities? 

Mr. Eastman. Are you referring to the problem of migratory 

Mr. Arnold. No. In the first place I would like to have your 
opinion as to the general picture; in other words, will the rails be 
able to take the load? 

Mr. Eastman. If you are speaking not of the mere shifting of a 
group of workers from one part of the country to another, but the 
daily transportation of workers between their homes and places of 
work, I doubt very much whether the railroads will be able to help 
greatly on that, for two reasons: In the first place, the railroad 
passenger equipment has not been increased in recent years; in fact, 
the tendency has been for it to reduce, owing to the tremendous 
competition the railroads have had from highway automotive vehicles. 
The railroads have much less passenger equipment now than we had 
at the time of the last World War, for example. So much of the 
service has been taken care of by bus and private automobile that 
railroads have a very difficult problem in the handling of passenger 
traffic at the present time. Of course, their primary obligation is 
with respect to the movement of troops, and the troop movements 
have been very heavy, are very heavy at the present time, and 
promise to increase as time goes on, and probably before the summer 
is over the movement of troops will be very, very heavy, and that 
comes first and foremost; the railroads have to take care of that to 
the exclusion of anything else. 

On top of that there has been a general increase in passenger traffic. 
It is now running on an average about 50 percent over what it was 
running last year, and the railroads are also faced with the prospect 
that as the passenger car, the private passenger car, ceases to be used 
in intercity transportation through gasoline rationing or voluntary 
restriction, that much of the load of intercity travel which those 
passenger cars have carried will be transferred to the railroads. So 
they are facing a situation where their equipment is likely to be very 
fully occupied, if not overoccupied, without establishing commuta- 
tion service to and from these war plants. They have done that in 
some cases. A singular thii g there, by the way, is in several cases 
where there has been terrific pressure to get trams put on to serve 
these plants, or new bus lines, that they are not used after they are 
put on. I was talking to a commissioner from South Carolina vester- 


day. There was tremendous pressure to get the Southern Railway 
to put on a train to serve the naval station at Charleston. He told 
me since that train had been put on it had carried less than 10 passen- 
gers a day. 

I saw an advertisement the other day of the bus companies which 
had put on new lines to serve the Willow Run plant of the Ford Co., 28 
miles outside of Detroit, and those bus lines are advertising for pas- 
sengers. They are running at a loss now. So long as the worker is 
able to use his passenger car he will not use anything else ; the time is 
coming when he will use something else, but I think it will be difficult 
for the railroads to take care of much of that burden through the 
establishment of commutation service for the reasons I have indicated. 

Furthermore, in some cases the only service of that kind that could 
be given would be over main lines. That is true of the Michigan 
Central in the case of the Ford bomber plant at Willow Run. On 
the other hand, a terrific amount of freight moves over that line, and 
the same thing in the case of the Higgins plant in New Orleans, 
located on the L. & N. outside of New Orleans; that single-track line 
there which they are proposing to double-track has been handling a 
tremendous amount of freight business, and it is difficult, particularly 
on the single-track line, to work commutation trains in the morning 
with one every so many minutes, without interfering with the opera- 
tion of freight trains when the freight traffic is heavy. Furthermore, 
you will find the workers at these defense plants are scattered over 
a wide expanse of country. I have seen the maps showing where 
they are located and they are located here, there, and everywhere 
within a radius of 25 miles of the plant. If you establish train 
service you still have the problem of getting them to and away from 
the stations. 


I have greater hopes for the bus lines, and from the street railway 
systems, which are mainly bus systems these days. The Detroit 
Street Railway Co. is going into bus service out to the Willow Run 
plant. One of the things we are encouraging street railways to do 
is to utilize their existing rails and rail cars to the utmost possible 
extent, even by pulling in old rattletrap cars which have gone into 
the barns, so they can relieve busses for this outside service. We 
are trying to get busses for these defense plants by curtailing certain 
bus service elsewhere. For example, we have stopped sightseeing 
busses and they are now going into defense-plant work. We have 
stopped chartered service and have cut down the regular bus service 
and are encouraging pooling of service for the purpose of releasing 
busses which can be used at these plants. 

The Third Avenue Railway in New York proposed to substitute 
busses for rail service on Third Avenue. I think that we had 300 
new busses going in service there. We stopped that and made them 
keep on with their old rail service, and those busses were taken over 
by the Navy Department for use in various places. 

You will be interested to know that the cars which were being 
operated on the Second Avenue Elevated in New York, which has been 
torn down, will be used here and there throughout the country where 
conditions are suitable for augmenting the service to and from defense 


I think it may be possible in some cities like New York and Chicago 
to release some of the busses from regular service because their traffic 
has not increased the way it has in some of the smaller cities. I 
think the Fifth Avenue Coach Co. agreed to release 30 or 40 busses 
the other day. 

The Chairman. As I understand, Mr. Eastman, the Maritime Com- 
mission the other day entered into a contract with the Key System 
for transportation of workers in San Francisco Bay and Terminal 

Mr. Eastman. Yes. 

The Chairman. Has airy arrangement been made with similar 
mass transportation facilities for the aircraft plants in California, do 
you know? 

Mr. Eastman. No. The rail lines out there will have to be built 
in order to produce a similar situation. In the cases that you speak 
of, where the Maritime Commission is arranging for that service, as I 
understand it, there are rail lines already there; that is one of the places 
where perhaps some of these Second Avenue Elevated cars from 
New York City will be used. It also happens the Key System you 
speak of and the Southern Pacific for a long time competed in service 
from Oakland and other points across the bay into San Francisco, 
and finally the Southern Pacific gave up that service in favor of the 
Key System, and the Southern Pacific cars are available for use to 
and from some of these defense plants out there. 

The Chairman. Do you run into the freeze order in matters of 
this kind in getting new rails? 

Mr. Eastman. Yes; as far as building new lines is concerned. 

The Chairman. But there is nothing against the utilization of old 
lines or rails, is there? 

Mr. Eastman. When the old lines are torn up, sometimes the rail 
is only good for scrap; sometimes it can be re-laid, and when it can 
be re-laid there is a terrific demand for it. The Army has all sorts of 
places where it wants re-lay rail. 


Mr. Arnold. Mr. Eastman, we understand that the War Manpower 
Commission, on May 21, 1942, announced that it would instruct the 
Office of Defense Transportation, together with the Farm Securities 
Administration, to assure adequate transportation facilities to move 
migrant agricultural workers. Has anything been done along that 

Mr. Eastman. Mr. Beyer, do you know anything about that? 

Mr. Beyer. That was the directive we looked up this morning. 

Mr. Eastman. I wish you would say a word about it. 

Mr. Beyer. The War Manpower Commission has advised that a 
directive would be issued and has indicated in a broad way what the 
directive would be aimed at, which is in essence what you have just 
mentioned, but the directive has not been issued as yet; it is still in 
the making. 

Mr. Arnold. Has any agreement been reached with the Office of 
Price Administration as regards the rationing of gasoline and tires to 
insure adequate transportation facilities for agricultural workers? 


Mr. Eastman. I am not able to tell you what their present plan in 
the East provides with respect to agricultural workers, but I am quite 
sure that such workers rank high up on the scale of necessary trans- 

Mr. Beyer. May I add something to that observation? 

Mr. Eastman. Certainly. 

Mr. Beyer. I understand that if agricultural workers could show to 
a gasoline station, or some place where gasoline was dispensed, so- 
called referrals of the United States Employment Service, they would 
be allowed the necessary gas to go on. 

The Chairman. Mr. Eastman, as Chairman of the Interstate Com- 
merce Commission you have had occasion to investigate the interstate 
movement by automobile or truck of beet workers from Texas to 
Michigan and Ohio. Do you think trucking of workers by private 
agents and contractors should be curtailed in order to conserve trans- 
portation equipment? 

Mr. Eastman. As I recall the investigation we made of that subject, 
we found it was unauthorized and unlawful. Under the Interstate 
Commerce Act no one can transport passengers in interstate commerce 
for hire by truck or bus without operating authority from the Inter- 
state Commerce Commission. I think these people we investigated 
did not have such authority and the investigation resulted in at least 
one prosecution. I do not think they were common carrier truck 
operators who have authority to haul persons in interstate commerce 
for compensation. 

The Chairman. As a matter of fact, they have been doing it. We 
investigated that. You say it is in violation of law at this time to 
take those workers in Texas and Oklahoma and shoot them up to 
Michigan, 30 or 40 in 1 truck? 
Mr. Eastman. Yes. 


Dr. Lamb. Last week, when Mr. Corson was here, he said he was 
trying to work out an arrangement with your Office whereby your 
Office would negotiate with the railroads for reduced fares for migrant 
agricultural workers; have you been able to get that any further 
along — maybe Mr. Beyer could answer that? 

Mr. Eastman. Mr. Wilson, here [indicating], is head of my Division 
of Rates. I might explain I have no authority over rates except a 
direction in the Executive order to negotiate with the carriers for 
adjustments of rates which seem necessary on account of wartime 

Mr. Wilson, have you taken that particular subject up with the 

Mr. Wilson. The subject has not been specifically taken up from ■ 
the point of view of specific points of origin and destination because 
we have not been given any information with respect to the volume 
of movement or points of origin and destination. We have, however, 
discussed with the carriers what disposition they would make of a 
proposal to reduce rates either upon an extended round trip or party- 
ticket basis. We have not gone further because we are waiting until 
we have more information with respect to the movement. Last 
January and February the Department of Agriculture took up with 


the eastern and southern carriers a proposal to reduce rates on agri- 
cultural workers, and that proposal was declined by the carriers at 
that time. The carriers are now willing to transport workers at the 
basic coach fare of 1.65 cents in Pacific territory and 2.2 cents in 
Eastern territory; those arrangements can be made without further 

Dr. Lamb. Where will you be looking for this further information; 
will that be from Mr. Corson's division? 

Mr. Wilson. We will have to find out whether the workers will 
move in parties or individually or from specific points of origin or 
scattered points, and where they are destined. 

Dr. Lamb. Thus far you have not had those estimates furnished 
your office? 

Mr. Wilson. No. 


Mr. Arnold. I see, Mr. Eastman, you have recommended that 
county and State fairs be dispensed with in order to save the tires of 
farmers and those who attend the fairs and also to save railroad 
traffic. Do you anticipate that county fairs will be willing or able this 
year to comply with that request, or have their arrangements gone 
ahead so .far they cannot? 

Mr. Eastman. I will ask Mr. McCarthy, who has been in touch 
with that, to answer. 

Mr. McCarthy. There are several fair sponsors who have indicated 
they would curtail their efforts this year, knowing of the attitude of the 
Office of Defense Transportation and knowing we were to issue that 
statement, and there is a question in the minds of these sponsors as to 
whether they can make a financial success of the conduct of the fair 
in the absence of people traveling from afar. There has, however, 
been no universal consent to curtail activities. Most of those fairs, 
of course, occur in the late summer and fall, and I believe our an- 
nouncement will tend to cause a stopping of. further plans and there 
will be a definite curtailment in the number held. 

Mr. Eastman. As I recall it, Mr. McCarthy, we did get out a state- 
ment on that some time ago, after consulting with the Department of 
Agriculture, did we not. 

Mr. McCarthy. That is right. 

Mr. Arnold. Of course, in your opinion it is other unnecessary 
travel by automobile, as well as trains, that is to be curtailed? 

Mr. Eastman. That is right. 

Mr. Arnold. I imagine there would be a great deal of consternation 
created amongst the various fair boards of the country. 

Mr. McCarthy. That consternation occurred primarily in early 
April. The Secretary of Agriculture sent a representative to talk with 
us and suggested we write a letter to the Secretary, which we did, and 
he broadcast the idea. The consternation occurred at that time and 
seemingly has quieted down. 

The Chairman. Mr. Eastman, of course, we all know that the trans- 
portation problem is one of the most critical in our war effort today 
and that there will never be any more critical year than this year 1942 ; 
but I still have an abounding faith in the American people and I think 
if called upon they would furnish their own passenger cars to help 

$0396— 42— pt. 33 9 


transport these war workers to the plants. Has that idea been tried 
out? In Oakland, Calif., I know people who would be willing to take 
their own cars and transport war workers to work. 

Mr. Eastman. The problem really is to prevent the cars now being 
used by war workers from disappearing from the scene ; in other words, 
to curtail the wasteful use and make them last as long as possible. 
The necessity for providing them with tires may come a little later on, 
and I am afraid it will, but at the present time most of them are pretty 
well equipped with tires. 

The Chairman. But they must be gradually going down. 

Mr. Eastman. Yes. I think as far as the American people are 
concerned, they are only too glad to do anything in the world that 
will contribute to the winning of the war. The difficulty is that 
sometimes they are not satisfied that what is proposed is necessary; 
they are not clear what they are being asked to do will contribute 
to the winning of the war. But when you can get the story across 
to them and convince them of the facts, I do not have the slightest 
doubt about their willingness to respond, at least the great majority. 

The Chairman. Mr. Eastman, are there any other observations 
you care to make? 


Mr. Eastman. The only thing I care to suggest is, in one of the 
letters you sent me was the suggestion that the Office of Defense 
Transportation ought to appoint a special officer who could take 
charge of the transportation problems in connection with the move- 
ment of migratory workers. I think we are equipped to do what- 
ever is necessary in that connection, at least so far as railroads and 
busses are concerned; we have the Division of Traffic Movement 
headed by Mr. McCarthy, an experienced railroad passenger officer. 
The problem follows now, how many workers it has been decided 
should move, and between what points, and when it is decided to 
move them; that would be quite similar to the problem the Army 
faces in troop movement. The Army negotiates with the railroads 
and arranges for troop movement all the time. If you can reduce 
this down to specific movements you want the railroads to make, 
we can take that up the same way the Army does and arrange for 
those movements. I don't think we need a new man in order to 
undertake that. It would be more difficult in the case of busses, I 
think, because I doubt whether they would be able to supply special 

The Chairman. Mr. Eastman, and gentlemen, we appreciate 
deeply your coming here this morning and we are very grateful to 
you for your valuable contribution. 

Mr. Eastman. Thank you. 

The Chairman. Mr. Pierce, do you desire to make a statement? 


Mr. Pierce. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, first 
I want to congratulate this committee and its members for the work 
they have done. We have seen many committees appointed in 10 


years of service in Congress, but I think you are the outstanding 
committee ; you have plowed new ground and done things, and I 
want to congratulate the Chairman and every one of the members 
of the committee associated in the work. 

You have not been muckraking; you have met a condition that 
has developed in our country and you have tried to meet it in a 
straightforward way, and I think you are going to accomplish much. 
It indeed must have been a pleasure to have been a member of this 

I had the pleasure of serving on one committee for 2 years and we 
might have done something, but nothing has gone into the law books 
as yet showing what we attempted to do in that investigation. 

This is an old problem. My mind goes back through half a century 
when I used to run a threshing outfit. We required 30 men and we 
reciuited our men out of the itinerant workers that came from the 
South. These men would commence in the South, in Lower Cali- 
fornia, east of the Rockies, and go on to Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, 
gradually working their way north with the season, ending the season 
in Canada. Each man took his own bed with him and took care of 
himself; he even cooked his own meals by the roadside and found his 
own method of transportation, but in this day and age we have to 
approach the problem in a different way. 

Speaking particularly of Oregon, we have some crops there that 
demand quite a number of itinerant workers, and they drift in and 
out. Thirty or forty years ago they would close the stores and 
schools and everybody would go out and work in the fields. That has 
not been the case in the last few years; they rely on the workers who 
come north to help them, and then drift on. 

We are now growing in Oregon quite a good many of these crops 
that demand migrant labor. The green pea business in the last few 
years has become a major industry in parts of Oregon, and that 
harvest starts about this time of year and runs for about 2 months 
and the help work night and day. It is only a few hours from the 
time the peas arc picked until they are in the can. 

It seems to me we have to work out a plan to take care of these 
itinerant workers, and I think we will have to have some department 
that will make it its business to work this out. 

I am not acquainted with the details of the legislation you have in 
view but I am in hopes something will come from this committee 
that will provide methods of finding out where labor is needed and how 
it can be transported to that place, and I think that will have to be 
done under the supervision of the Government and not by the States 
or voluntarily. 

I was disappointed to hear Mr. Eastman's testimony that the rail- 
roads apparently would- not be of much value in the transportation of 
these itinerant workers. I had reached the place in my reasoning and 
slight knowledge of the matter where I thought the railroads would 
substitute for the busses and private cars. I am well aware of the 
fact the private car has got to give up the right-of-way quickly because 
there will not be any rubber for them to run on, and therefore we 
have to find some other method. 

I hope in the legislation you propose you will point the way by which 
the Railroad Administrator, if he cannot find railroad facilities to 
take itinerant workers from place to place, will then have it done with 


bus transportation. There is a great opportunity here for real legisla- 
tion, Mr Chairman and members of the Committee; you have a 
real field. 

I congratualte you on the work you have done and I want to aid 
when the bill comes before Congress. 

I would like to incorporate a letter I got from quite a large operator 
in which he outlines the situation quite clearly; he is a fruit exporter 
out in our country. 

The Chairman. You will be permitted to do that. 

(The letter referred to follows:) 

Hood River, Oreg., 

June 15, 194B. 
Mr. Walter M. Pierce, 

Representative Second Congressional 

Oregon District, House of Representatives, 

Washington, D. C. 

Dear Representative Pierce: We are very much interested in your letter 
to H. G. Miller, manager of The Dalles Cooperative Growers of The Dalles, in 
regard to legislation to endeavor to take action which would enable agricultural 
interests to secure help in the harvesting of various kinds of crops in this country, 
not only this year but looking forward to 1943. 

We believe this is the most serious problem affecting agriculture with the 
Selective Service taking a large part of the young men from the farms and the 
defense industries taking still additional quantities. The farm labor supply has 
reached the point where there is practically no migratory labor available such as 
is ordinarily the case. The farmer, we believe, in most cases is able to start his 
farming operations, but where additional help is needed, which calls for labor 
other than his own family, very serious situations develop. 

In the Hood River district, which is representative of the other orchard interests 
of the Pacific Northwest, our serious problem is in the cherry picking and fruit 
thinning coming in June and July and in the harvesting of our fruit, the peak of 
which hits us in September and October. 

The current issue of Life this week depicts very graphically what is happening 
to the cherry and vegetable growers in California at the present time — the state- 
ment being made that probably 25 percent of certain crops in that State is being 
wasted on account of the inability to secure labor. This district and, in fact, all 
Oregon districts recognize the seriousness of the situation. The schools all over 
the State are generally cooperating by dismissing school early this year and in this 
district, all of the grades from the seventh to the twelfth will not start until 6 
weeks later than usual. School children are now working in the orchards thin- 
ning apples and will be picking cherries when the cherry harvesting season starts 
in about 10 days. We have, in addition to the United States Employment Office 
here, a grower labor center which is coordinating all the labor activities of this 
district. All of the business interests of this locality will cooperate in assisting 
in the harvest as much as possible- — school children will be working — hundreds of 
letters have gone out to people who ordinarily work during the harvest period 
urging them and their families and friends to assist in the harvest this year. 

We are still fearful that there will be a shortage even with all the precautions 
and every avenue of possible help explored. 

We considered the suggestion in yoUr letter that we must have legislation giving 
some person in authority to move experienced labor from point to point as the 
vital thing which may enable us to save the 25 percent which, from reports, are 
being lost to growers of some products in California. If such a program as you 
suggest can function within the next 90 days much valuable food supplies can be 
saved to the great public good and certainly to the immense benefit of the farmers 
who worked so long and earnestly to increase the food supplies of this country. 
We believe the move to allow Mexican laborers to limited entrances into this 
country to assist in the labor shortage should be permitted. We believe the 
Japanese should be not only permitted but compelled to assist in harvest operations 
where they will not endanger the Nation's safety. The movement of migratory 
workers from one district to another should be ceded so that valuable work 
periods will not be lost. We think that soldiers in camps should be permitted to 
return and assist in harvest operations where such movements do not interfere 


with the war efforts. All or any other projects which may so assist food preser- 
vation are certainly worthy of your interest and consideration. 
We appreciate your cooperation and interest in this vital matter. 
Yours very truly, 

Duckwall Bros., Inc., 
John C. Duckwall. 

Mr. Pierce. I would like to include that as part of my remarks. 
The Chairman. Thank you. 


The Chairman. I understand, Mr. Havenner, as a member of the 
State Railroad Commission of California, you have been in Washing- 
ton for about a month and that you are deeply interested in this 
transportation problem, especially in its connection with the war 
plants; that you have investigated the rubber situation and the rail 
situation and have made a study of them. I have seen the rather 
exhaustive survey of the rubber situation and the rail situation in the 
State of California made by the railroad commission; this study is 
probably the only one of its kind in the country. 

Is there anything you would like to say to the committee this 
morning, Mr. Havenner? 

Mr. Havenner. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I 
know the hour is late, so I am not going to take up much of your time. 


Shortly after our entry into the war the California Railroad Com- 
mission realized a shortage of rubber would present a very critical 
problem in connection with the transportation of war workers to and 
from their jobs, and the Commission about 4 months ago instituted 
this survey of transportation conditions surrounding all of the basic 
war-production plants in California. That survey has been in progress 
for about 4 months. I may say we circulated half a million question- 
naires among the workers in war plants out there, detailed question- 
naires with respect to their riding habits, the condition of their auto- 
mobiles, and so forth, and we got a very high percentage of returns by 
reason of the cooperation of the plant management; we got almost a 
100-percent return. We tabulated the results of those questionnaires 
and chartered them on maps. This tabulation showed that in Cali- 
fornia, as Mr. Eastman said, from 80 to more than 90 percent of the 
war workers travel by private automobile ; it showed that the average 
private automobile transporting war workers carried only 1.6 persons 
to and from the job, and I am sorry to say that a more recent report 
which we have received within the last few days indicates that that 
percentage is dropping, the last we had being 1.4 persons per private 
automobile, which indicates the efforts toward securing voluntary 
reduction in the use of automobiles by the workers have not suc- 
ceeded up to this time. 

More than 80 percent of the war workers are working in plants 
which have no mass transportation or very inadequate mass trans- 
portation at this time. I may say also that the figures on the condi- 


tion of the tires showed that 40 percent of the automobiles used by 
war workers in California will be out of commission in 6 months by 
reason of tire failure unless additional rubber is made available; 75 
percent in 1 year; 85 percent in 18 months. 

The Commission therefore felt that provision should be made for 
the establishment of some sort of stand-by service which could func- 
tion in the event of a rubber failure, and the Commission made rec- 
ommendations for the establishment of such stand-by rail service in 
all of the principal war production areas of the State. In their 
recommendation they utilize wherever possible the existing rails and 
provide for the shortest possible connection by the laying of avail- 
able rail from any place it can be obtained, and by the acquisition 
of some equipment for the rolling stock. 

The Maritime Commission, as has been stated previously, has 
pretty well taken care of the transportation of its shipyard workers 
in California. It has entered into a contract with the Key System — 
Mr. Eastman, I think, was misinformed when he said they were 
going to utilize all existing tracks; the line which they have con- 
tracted for from Oakland to Richmond involves construction of about 
QY 2 miles of rail not now in place. Personally, I admire the way the 
Maritime Commission has tackled this problem; I think they have 
done a job which has not been done by any other Government agency 
directly interested in war production. They are considering today 
in its final draft a similar contract with the Pacific Electric System 
in Los Angeles for transportation between Los Angeles and the Ter- 
minal Island area where shipyards are located, and that also involves 
the laying of some additional track as well as the utilization of exist- 
ing track; it involves, I believe, the purchase of old abandoned cars 
some of which the Key route also succeeded in purchasing. 

Since we have been here we have talked to the heads of the trans- 
portation systems of the Army and Navy, and also to Mr. Eastman's 
department. We tried to point out that the situation at aircraft 
factories in southern California was as critical as at the shipyards, 
and they recognize it. We have made recommendations for similar 
service to all of the major airplane factories in the Los Angeles area, 
and we were told by representatives of the Army and Navy and the 
O. D. C. that they recognized the necessity for this service and that 
they would endeavor to arrange some manner of financing and con- 
tracting for it. 

So we are hopeful at least that in the not-distant future a usable 
stand-by service which may become a major operating service for the 
employees of the war production plants in California will be put into 

The Chairman. Thank you very much, Mr. Havenner; we appre- 
ciate your coming here. 

Mr. Havenner. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. The committee will stand adjourned. 

(Thereupon, at 12:10 p. m., the committee stood adjourned.) 


During the first year of its existence, when this committee was 
known as the Select Committee to Investigate the Interstate Migra- 
tion of Destitute Citizens, witnesses at its New York hearings (see 
Part 1) and at its Montgomery hearings (see Part 2) had testified as 
to migration and related conditions in New Jersey and Florida. 
Especially in the latter State, it was realized that further investiga- 
tion was advisable. Pressure of other business made it impossible 
to plan hearings in Florida until February 1942. After a staff had 
been in the field for some time, studying the area and laying the 
foundation for a hearing in late February, the committee's schedule 
was interrupted by the necessity of an immediate investigation of the 
evacuation of enemy aliens from Pacific coast areas. (See Parts 29, 
30, 31, and Reports 1911 and 2124.) Subsequent to that investiga- 
tion the committee found it impossible to reschedule formal Florida 
hearings. Therefore, and in view of the large volume of migration 
to the south Florida vegetable and sugarcane areas, Joan Pascal, 
Harold G. Tipton, and Irene Hageman, members of the committee's 
field staff, who had been working there were instructed and authorized 
to return to Florida and take informal testimony. 

The following pages contain the testimony taken in this area, as well 
as a number of supplementary exhibits including three reports prepared 
by the committee's field and research staffs, all of which have been 
accepted for the record of the committee and ordered published. 

APRIL 25, 1942 

Mr. Tipton. Will you please state your name, position and address 
for the record? 

Dr. Neller. Joseph R. Neller, biochemist in charge, Everglades 
Experiment Station, University of Florida, Belle Glade, Fla. 

Mr. Tipton. The committee received the excellent statement you 
prepared and it will go into the record as it stands. 


Agricultuke in the Florida Everglades 

There was some farming along the shores of Lake Okeechobee as early as 1900 
but it was not until after the main drainage canals were completed in 1914 that 
attempts were made to develop the sawgrass peat lands which comprise the greater 
portion of the Everglades. These attempts were failures until the research work 
of the Everglades experiment station, in conjunction with practical observations 
of farmers, showed that copper sulfate was needed in soil treatments to bring 
the raw lands into production. 



At the present time there are about 100,000 acres in production of which about 
30,000 acres are growing sugarcane with truck crops over most of the rest of the 
cropped area. A few thousand acres are in pastures for cattle. Several hundred 
acres per year of new land is being cropped mostly for vegetables. 

Considerable of the area that is being farmed is not under good water control. 
Thus the custard apple muck lands near the lake often become too dry during the 
dry season while the sawgrass lands that are not under adequate pump control 
may be temporarily flooded with resultant loss of crops. Those lands that are 
in subdrainage districts are subjected to some water control but for most of them 
there is not enough for the sensitive truck crops. Accordingly more and more of 
the better type farms are establishing their own pumps to augment the district 
pumping. There appears to be no hesitation on the part of farmers to have their 
farms outside of a subdrainage district and to depend upon their own water 
control pumps, thereby avoiding subdrainage taxes. 

Water control provides for irrigation as well as for water removal and the 
pumps are constructed to pump water either on or off the land. The practice 
of moling the fields has become widespread, and these mole lines are of benefit 
for the more rapid movement of water either from or to the fields. Improve- 
ments in water control are taking place each year and date back to the comple- 
tion of the federally constructed dike around the southern end of the lake. 

It is estimated that about 500,000 acres of the Everglades consist of lands that 
could be farmed. New farms are being developed from this area at a more rapid 
rate now than heretofore. The present active demand for agricultural products 
has come at a time when a new area has been made accessible and possible of 
development along Highway 26, extending from South Bay southward. The 
highway provides a means of access to the area adjacent to it while the enlarged 
canal along the highway makes it possible to establish water control. Expansion 
of the farmed area will depend not only upon market demand but upon the con- 
struction of roads and water-control system as well. 

The sawgrass and weed cover on new areas not cropped before are comparatively 
easily run down and plowed under with large plows drawn by caterpillar tractors. 
Establishment of water control is a matter of machine digging of canals and ditches 
and the placement of pumps. The total cost is estimated at $25 to $40 an acre 
plus the original value cf the land. The annual expense thereafter amounts to $3 
to $5 a year, this to include depreciation, etc., as well as operating costs. 

Soil-conservation experiments at the Everglades station have shown that the 
higher the water table is held in these peat lands the less the subsidence or soil 
loss by oxidation and shrinkage. A water table held high enough for good farm- 
ing practices results in less soil loss than where the water level is under less con- 
trol. Most of the Everglades is overdrained during the dry season, and the main 
goal of the soil-conservation program is to keep the water level from getting too 
low on the unused lands. Achievement of this goal will also conserve or guarantee 
municipal water supplies for the lower east coast. 

Ownership of the lands now in use is not in large holdings except for those of 
the sugar corporation. While a large proportion of the lands are rented to the 
farmers the trend appears to be for owner operation or management. These units 
are in the large-scale farming group of from one-half to several sections per farm. 
The highly mechanized nature of farm operations to which the flat, stoneless, and 
treeless peat lands lend themselves, together with the mass handling of field crews 
for the hand-labor phases make it possible for large farms to be operated more 
economically than small ones. Packing-house and marketing operations are in 
some cases also a part of a large farmer's sphere thereby saving him packing and 
commission charges. 

The organic soils of the Everglades make efficient use of the necessary ferti- 
lizers that are added. Although nitrates leach quite readily from these soils 
little nitrogen fertilizer needs to be added because of the high nitrogen content 
of the soil. The fertilizer that has to be added does not leach excessively and the 
soil does not tend to make it nonavailable to crops. Consequently for a given 
yield tonnage there is less fertilizer expense than on most soils. Low fertilizer 
costs combined with the ease by which the peat and muck soils can be worked 
are factors that reduce the costs of production over those of other areas. On the 
other hand, water-control operations are a considerable expense of which there 
is none or very little on most mineral soils. 

For a decade there has been a definite trend toward a greater diversification of 
crops in the Everglades. For instance, the acreage planted to beans is decreasing, 
while the total crop acreage is increasing. Notable among the crops that are 
receiving more attention are celery, lettuce, potatoes, leafy crops, and pasture 


grasses. Besides the work that it has been and is doing with these the Everglades 
Experiment Station is experimenting with various other crops. Judging from 
past experiences with new crops some of these may be expected to come into 
commercial production. 

This progress in crop diversification is definitely helping to stabilize the agri- 
culture of the Everglades in making it a less hazardous financial undertaking. 
The special technique and operation control that is being given to these newer 
crops is resulting in better farming and better farm installation and equipment. 
It is becoming profitable to spend more of the year in active farm operations 
which in turn results in better care of equipment and a better farm upkeep. In 
all of this development the county agricultural agents have an important part in 
their agricultural extension work. Incidentally most of the Everglades organic 
soil area is in Palm Beach County. 

It would seem wise that Everglades farmers should give as much attention as 
possible to the growing of as many different crops as is practical. This is because 
one of the main difficulties has been the too frequent flooding of the market and 
oftentimes total loss of any returns from a crop. 

The future development of the Everglades will have other problems to contend 
with. An important one will be the necessity of a planned expansion of new 
lands so that surplus water pumped from them will not exceed the capacity of 
the ditches or canals located in or adjacent to the farms already under water 
control. In general, the expansion of the cropped area as a solid block, with a 
water-control system designed to pump the excess waters onto the unused lands, 
would be the most desirable. This same system would also bring water to the 
farms during the dry season. Conservation of unused lands would result from 
such a development and the seepage problems would be less than for isolated 
farms under water control. 

This problem of water control is one of those that work against small farmer 
operations in the Everglades. The small farmer region that now exists is in part 
of the limited custard apple muck area where some farming can be done without 
the use of pumps. It would seem that a directed or controlled cooperative farm- 
ing operation for small farmers might work well. Some of the reasons for the 
probable success of such a development are: (1) The economy of large-scale farm 
operations, (2) the advisability for farmers to live in small villages or communi- 
ties so that water-treatment systems and power and light can be made available, 
refuse disposal provided for, and satisfactory roads established. 


Mr. Tipton. We have certain questions we want to ask you. 
We should like to have you give us a general description of the Ever- 
glades soils. 


Dr. Neller. The Everglades consists of an area of organic soils, 
that is the Everglades proper, where the lands are located that can 
be utilized for agriculture. There are two main classes of these soils, 
the custard apple muck and the sawgrass peat. The intermediate 
phase is called willow and elderberry land. 

Custard apple muck is a narrow zone lying adjacent to Lake 
Okeechobee along the southern part of the lake, and the sawgrass peat 
covers most of the Everglades proper, lying farther away from the lake. 
Now, the custard apple muck is deeper than sawgrass peat. In 
general, this organic soil layer gets thinner the greater the distance 
from the lake. The custard apple muck is more highly mineralized. 
It has an ash content ranging from 35 to 65 percent. The sawgrass 
peat ranges from about 10 percent up to 25 percent ash. All of this 
area lying south and southeast of the lake is underlaid with limestone 
rock and, because of the presence of the rock immediately beneath 
the organic soil layer, the peat or muck soil is sweet in nature and 
never needs liming. 

Miss Pascal. Approximately how many acres are there of these 
muck lands? 


Dr. Neller. I can't give you right now more than approximate 
figures on custard apple muck. I believe it is about 30,000 acres. 

Mr. Tipton. And of the willow and elderberry? 

Dr. Neller. These are of about the same extent while the saw- 
grass peat covers hundreds of thousands of acres, of which it is esti- 
mated on the basis of surveys about 500,000 acres would be suitable 
agricultural lands. There are about 100,000 acres of this land in use. 

Mr. Tipton. Of that 500,000 acres that you mention as being 
suitable, is part of that suitable only for pasture but not for vegetable 

Dr. Neller. If put under proper water control, it would all be 
suitable for general farming such as we have in the Everglades. How- 
ever, the custard apple zone will probably always be a little warmer 
than the sawgrass peat farther away from the lake. At the present 
time, the unused sawgrass peat areas are very cold, that is, tempera- 
tures get low in the wintertime, but we know from experiments and 
from temperature records that the sawgrass peat lands warm up so 
tc speak after they have been put into cultivation. 

Miss Pascal. What is the reason for that? 

Dr. Neller. That is because the water table is kept higher and be- 
cause the loose mulch-like covering which is under the sawgrass is 
replaced with cultivated crops and in so doing the loose top material 
is consolidated by oxidation and compaction so that there is a better 
movement of water from the soil below. In cultivated lands there is 
less rapid radiation of heat than in virgin lands and in addition to that 
there is a greater retention of heat because there is more moisture in 
the soil since water has a high specific heat-retention factor. In gen- 
eral, you know organic soils do not have the capacity of heat retention 
that mineral soils have and that is one of the reasons that organic 
soil areas have more frequent frosts than mineral soil areas lying in 
the same latitude. 

Mr. Tipton. Will you tell us about the mineral content of the soil? 

Dr. Neller. Well, the elements with which we are especially con- 
cerned are plant food elements, of course, and organic soils such as 
those of the Everglades, especially the sawgrass peat, are very low in 
most of these mineral elements. These soils respond to application of 
potash especially and also phosphate as well as several of the minor 
elements, such as are carried in copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, 
and zinc sulfate. The soil contains a large amount of nitrogen com- 
pounds, however, and nitrogen in the form of ammonia and nitrate is 
made available by biological processes generally at a rate entirely 
sufficient for plant crop needs so that we seldom need to use nitrogen 
in fertilizer. 

Miss Pascal. Under what circumstances do yoii use nitrogen? _ 

Dr. Neller. Well, in seed beds where there is intensive cropping, 
especially during the winter months when the temperatures are low 
and this biological activity which releases the nitrogen from the soil, 
is relatively slow. Also during the winter months where you have a 
crop growing that requires very large amounts of nitrogen, such as 
celery for instance. 

Mr. Tipton. So that, as a general rule, some nitrogen is used in 
celery growing? 

Dr. Neller. For celery growing; yes. 


Mr. Tipton. A moment ago you mentioned oxidation and compac- 
tion of the soil. Will you explain, please? 

Dr. Neller. According to the experimental results that we are ob- 
taining here at the Everglades station, the subsidence is caused almost 
entirely by the slow oxidation of the soil that takes place when the 
water table is lowered by drainage so that the soil becomes subjected 
to aeration. Experiments show that the rate of subsidence is entirely 
dependent upon the level at which the water table is kept in the soil. 
There is some compaction also, which causes what is known as sub- 
sidence. The problem in soil conservation is to keep the water table 
as high as possible on the unused lands as well as upon the lands that 
are being farmed. 

Miss Pascal. Therefore, in order to keep subsidence at a minimum, 
one should keep uncultivated lands flooded? 

Dr. Neller. Yes; or almost flooded. 

Miss Pascal. And lands not cultivated in the summer should be 
kept flooded, if possible? 

Dr. Neller. Well, yes; in the summertime many of the cultivated 
fields are not in use so that the water could be kept higher on those 
fields for at least a short period of time; but the greatest soil loss 
occurs during the dry months of the year which corresponds to the 
winter months of the northern latitudes, and that's a time when crops 
are growing. On lands with insufficient water control the establish- 
ment of a more constant water table level would result in better crops 
as well as more soil conservation. 

Miss Pascal. Would subsidence be minimized by plowing under 
cover crops or bean vines? 

Dr. Neller. Yes; to a certain extent. However, after cover crop 
materials have been turned under for a while they leave a very small 
amount of residue as compared with the loss of the organic matter of 
the soil itself. 

Mr. Tipton. You mean that keeping the water table high for as 
much of the year as possible is more satisfactory in checking the rate 
of subsidence than would be attempts to add to the soil bj^ plowing 
back cover crops? 

Dr. Neller. Yes. In other words, you can't replace soil losses 
very much with cover crops when you are considering organic soils. 


Mr. Tipton. How about the rate of subsidence? 

Dr. Neller. Well, as I said, the rate varies directly with the height 
at which the water table is kept. According to our subsidence meas- 
urements, the rate of subsidence on farm lands appears to be about an 
inch a year at the present time but with better water control, and 
better water control is being introduced more and more, it can be 
expected that this rate of subsidence will decrease because besides 
drainage better water control means holding the water table closer 
to the surface during the dry months of the year. 

Mr. Tipton. Are there different suitable water tables for growing 
various crops? 

Dr. Neller. Yes; within rather narrow limits, however. For in- 
stance, celery requires a higher water table than beans or corn. The 


generally accepted suitable water table for celery ranges from 18 to 
24 inches, but for beans and corn it could be lower, provided the soil 
carried enough moisture in the surface layers to permit the seed to 
germinate and the root system to be established. 

Mr. Tipton. What crop here in the Everglades will tolerate the 
highest water table? 

Dr. Neller. Probably grasses. Also some varieties of sugarcane 
that we have bred and selected for that very purpose on the station 
farm. That brings up another matter for consideration and that is 
the fact that certain crops like grasses and sugarcane will tolerate 
periods of high water for a longer time than quick-growing, sensitive 
crops such as beans. 

Miss Pascal. Then, certain crops, such as these grasses and sugar- 
cane, would be less subject to damage by floods? 

Dr. Neller. That's right, which means periods of high water. 

Miss Pascal. Do you believe that, in the long run, this matter of 
subsidence is a very serious problem for the Everglades? 

Dr. Neller. Yes, unless ways and means are found to keep the 
water table higher, especially on the unused lands— the lands that 
are not in use at the present time but will be needed later. There is 
considerable experimental investigational work being carried on at 
the present time to remedy that situation. The Soil Conservation 
Service of the United States Department of Agriculture has what is 
called an Everglades project dealing with that very matter, and they 
are working in cooperation with various other agencies such as the 
U. S. Geological Survey, various municipal organizations, and, of 
course, the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station system. I 
should include in that list other State organizations such as the 
department of geology. There should be included also the work of 
the United States Engineers because they surveyed and built the 
Federal dike which extends around the south end of Lake Okeechobee 
and which is a very important factor in all of these matters relating 
to a better agriculture and in the possibility of better use of water for 
the preservation of the soils of the region. 

Mr. Tipton. Has there been a noticeable decline in the elevation of 
any of the Everglades lands due to subsidence? 

Dr. Neller. Yes; a very considerable decline but not noticeable 
because it isn't visible. 

Miss Pascal. Can you give us any idea as to how much that de- 
cline has been? 

Dr. Neller. In giving any figures you need to consider first that 
the soil of this region, before any drainage was brought about, was very 
loose and fibrous so that after drainage was established there was at 
first a rapid loss of soil level. 

Miss Pascal. Was that rapid loss due to compaction rather than 

Dr. Neller. Yes; due to both. A peat soil is formed because of 
the fact that swamp conditions existed which prevented very complete 
oxidation of the organic material. As soon as a soil of that type is 
drained the more easily oxidizable material oxidizes first and at a 
more rapid rate than the remainder does later. Those are the factors, 
then, that cause the rate of subsidence to decrease after lands have 
been drained for a period of time. 


Mr. Tipton. Then, on that basis, can j^ou give us any statistics on 
the amount of decline? 

Dr. Neller. Adjacent to the Hillsboro Canal and about 3 miles 
east of Belle Glade which is a typical sawgrass peat soil, the level has 
subsided between 4 and 5 feet below the original level that existed 
before the canal was dug. 

Mr. Tipton. When was the canal dug? 

Dr. Neller. The canal was dug about 1912. 

Mr. Tipton. How deep is the sawgrass peat here at the station? 

Dr. Neller. It is between 6 and 7 feet deep. 

Miss Pascal. Then, in a period of 20 years, 40 percent of the land 
has disappeared? 

Dr. Neller. No; you can't say that because these surface layers 
that I mentioned were very fibrous and very loose and oxidized more 
rapidly than the soil that is left. 

Miss Pascal. So that, in the next 20 years, you would not expect 
another 40 percent to disappear? 

Dr. Neller. Oh, no. The rate is about an inch a year, and we have 
reason to believe that it will decrease especially if we hold our water 
table higher during the dry months. 

Mr. Tipton. This would mean, would it, Dr. Neller, that in order 
to protect the soil, a good deal of education of farmers and a good deal 
of cooperation from farmers with Government agencies interested in 
these conservation programs, will be necessary to keep this subsidence 
at a minimum? 

Dr. Neller. Well, in reference to the lands that are being used for 
farming at the present time, the farmer, of course, is concerned in 
profits from crop production and with better methods of crop produc- 
tion he will just naturally keep his water table higher and constant 
and in so doing will conserve the soil and that's the type of progress or 
development that is taking place. 


Miss Pascal. Because of this problem of soil conservation and 
because of the relationship between drainage and soil subsidence, does 
it make a difference as to where new land brought under cultivation is 

Dr. Neller. The ideal method of development or utilizing the 
organic soils of the Everglades would be to keep the farmed area in a 
compact unit and enlarge it out from that area as increased acreage is 
needed. However, that situation certainly does not exist and since 
it does not, it should be approached as nearly as possible. . Farmers 
realize this also because they know that it is easiest to keep the water 
table that they need if a similar water table exists in the areas around 
their farms. The use of lands in the Everglades depended upon the 
ability to get to them by means of roads and the roads were possible 
after the canals were dug. The roads are built along the banks of the 
canals. So lands that are in use and that are being put in use are, for 
the most part, those that lie along canals. 

Miss Pascal. Has there ever been any suggestion made or plan 
proposed for an orderly development of the Everglades? 

Dr. Neller. Only as to principles involved. The Soil Conserva- 
tion Service is constructing field works which will enclose fairly large 


areas, which will give us the answers to some of these questions as to 
how long water can be kept on land after it is placed there, especially 
during the dry months of the year and investigations by the various 
agencies that I mentioned are determining how much water is available 
and what is becoming of it at the present time from the standpoint of 
evaporation, run-off, seepage, as balanced against the rainfall and the 
water that is led into the Everglades region from the watershed areas 
that feed water into the lake. 


Mr. Tipton. I wonder if you would describe for us the process of 
bringing new land under water control and also the process of pre- 
paring that land for cultivation? 

Dr. Neller. Assuming that you have an outlet for the water which 
needs to be pumped off from the land, such as one of the main canals 
running through the region, the placing of an area of new land under 
water control is a fairly simple, inexpensive operation which consists 
in digging canals and smaller ditches of suitable size through the 
area, a section of land for instance, and establishing pumps of the right 
capacity to pump this water into the outlet canal. The digging of 
these canals and ditches furnishes material for the low levees that 
surround the area to keep surface water from flowing onto it. You 
understand that these Everglades areas or organic soils are almost 
flat with a slope of just a few inches to the mile southeast from the 
Lake. After the field ditches and canals have been dug, the moling 
operation facilitates the removal of water from, as well as the water 
to, the fields. I should state, however that the sawgrass growth is 
plowed under and disced several times so as to prepare the fields for 
the moling operation. This plowing and discing should be clone dur- 
ing the dry season preceding the wet, warm, summer season, during 
which time the sawgrass growth material that has been plowed under 
as well as the roots of the sawgrass and other plant growths decompose. 

Miss Pascal. What sort of plow is used? 

Dr. Neller. The plow that is usually used is a large moldboard 
plow. Some of the newer type plows are very large-size disc plows 
and seem to be quite effective. It is essential that there should be a 
period of decomposition during the summer before the land is moled 
and cropped. Moling operation results in the establishment of a 
circular opening extending from the drainage ditch out through the 
field at a depth of about 30 to 36 inches beneath the surface of the 
soil. This mole drain is made by a tractor-drawn machine which 
draws a six-inch cylinder beneath the surface of the soil at the depth 
indicated, without breaking up the soil itself. This is because the 
mole is attached to a narrow blade of steel extending up to the wheels 
carrying the machine. 

Mr. Tipton. So that, essentially, you have a small tunnel connecting 
the ditches. 

Dr. Neller. That's right. Opening up into the drainage ditches. 
This tunnel is formed by compression of the peaty material and at 
first is generally 6 inches* in diameter which is the size of most moling 
machines. Measurements have shown that this diameter reduces to 
about 4 inches and this opening remains in the soil for the conduction 
of water either to or from the field for several years, provided it 
isn't broken down by heavy traffic across the mole lines. 


Mr. Tipton. How far apart in the field will these mole tunnels be? 

Dr. Neller. They are generally from 12 to 15 feet apart. 

Miss Pascal. Are there any other areas in the United States where 
this moling system is used? 

Dr. Neller. I believe not. It was introduced here by the Ever- 
glades experiment station and was modeled after a similar system 
that has been used for years in the fenlands of England. This 
moling operation is suitable only for muck lands. 


Mr. Tipton. After the land is moled, is it then ready for planting? 

Dr. Neller. It is for some types of crops; that is, after it has 
been disced several times, and especially if it has gone through a 
summer period to allow the processes of decomposition to take 
place; but newly plowed and developed peat lands are not as good 
agriculturally as they will be 2 or 3 years later. 

Mr. Tipton. How many months would it be from the time of the 
first plowing until the first crop could be planted? 

Dr. Neller. There are some crops such as para grass, which can 
be planted soon after plowing and discing, but for vegetable crops 
it generally takes a full summer period of 5 or 6 months between the 
time of plowing and the planting of the crop. 

Miss Pascal. And vegetables can be planted the next winter? 

Dr. Neller. Well, on lands newly developed they generally plant 
such crops as potatoes and cabbage. 

Miss Pascal. There are certain crops which can be planted success- 
fully on this new land and other crops should not be planted until 
after 2 years? 

Dr. Neller. Yes; better results can be expected then. 

Mr. Tipton. Is this process of bringing land under water control 
and breaking up the soil a costly proposition? 

Dr. Neller. Fairly costly. On the average it appears that the 
cost of ditching, together with the establishment of suitable pumps, 
ranges from $20 to $35 an acre. 

Mr. Tipton. What is an economic sized unit for bringing under 
water control and cultivation? 

Dr. Neller. Areas of 80 acres and upward. 

Mr. Tipton. On the basis of an 80-acre plot, the cost for water 
control, pumps, and so on would run from $20 to $35 an acre? 

Dr. Neller. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. You say that an 80-acre plot is the minimum on which 
it would be profitable. What would be the optimum or ideal size? 

Dr. Neller. The optimum is probably about a section because 
the drainage designs lend themselves to a section of land and the 
larger the area the less the owner has to contend with adverse seepage 
conditions around his area. 

Miss Pascal. Is bean acreage in the lake district expanding at 
the present time? 

Dr. Neller. Up to a year or two ago it was decreasing. Under 
the present situation it may be expanding but on the average the 
development of more diversified farming has resulted in considerably 
reduced bean acreage, since beans were about the only crop they 


used to grow to any extent, while at the present time there are several 
other types of vegetables as well as pasture areas that are being used. 

Miss Pascal. What are the other more important vegetables? 

Dr. Neller. Cabbage, potatoes, celery, and other leafy crops, 
tomatoes also. 

Miss Pascal. How would you explain the fact that beans declined in 
acreage up to a couple of years ago? 

Dr. Neller. That's because oftentimes the production exceeded 
the market demand and prices were very unstable. 

Mr. Tipton. So that bean acreage in the Glades was overexpanded 
in terms of the market existing a few years ago? 

Dr. Neller. Yes. 


Mr. Tipton. Is a market being developed for beans for canning 

Dr. Neller. Yes; there is a modern canning plant that has recently 
been constructed in Belle Glade which is now ready for operation and 
considerable acreage of beans has been planted under contract agree- 
ments with the canning plant. 

Mr. Tipton. Have any beans been hauled out of this region for 
canning purposes? 

Dr. Neller. Yes; they have. 

Mr. Tipton. Where did they go, do you know? 

Dr. Neller. I believe they went up into the central part of the 

Mr. Tipton. Do you think that there is a future in the lake region 
for the development of a canning industry both in beans and in other 

Dr. Neller. It is quite apparent that there is a future for beans. 
As to whether there is for some of the other vegetables will remain to 
be seen, considering the varieties being grown at the present time, but 
it is entirely probable that varieties can be grown that will be suitable 
for canning if those now here are not. 

Miss Pascal. Are the tomatoes that are grown down here suitable 
for canning? 

Dr. Neller. Not the way they are being grown now because they 
are picked too green. 

Miss Pascal. Can a suitable variety for canning be grown here? 

Dr. N eller. That would have to be determined. 

Mr. Tipton. Why is it that beans go through packing houses in this 
area but are field-packed in Pompano? 

Dr. N eller. Beans used to be largely field packed but, with the 
development of better methods of farming and of packaging vege- 
tables, it has become profitable to put the beans through a packing 
house for grading and cleaning to get a more stabilized product. The 
same improvement has taken place with other vegetables and many of 
them are precooled by either the wet or dry method, depending upon 
the kind of vegetable, after which they are shipped in refrigerated cars 
or trucks. The appearance of the pack has been improved a great deal 
also, especially with such vegetables as celery. All leafy vegetables 
such as lettuce are precooled. 

Miss Pascal. Can you tell us what the cost of grading is? 


Dr. N eller. I would say it ranges from 10 cents a package upward. 

Miss Pascal. Does that include the cost of container? 

Dr. Neller. No; it does not, nor the commission for selling. 


Miss Pascal. Is the celery acreage expanding in this region? 

Dr. Neller. Yes; it is expanding rapidly. 

Miss Pascal. Do you anticipate considerable increase in celery 
acreage in the next few years? 

Dr. Neller. Considering the normal expansion, I do not anticipate 
as rapid an expansion as we have had the last few years. 

Miss Pascal. About how many acres of celery is being grown here 

Dr. Neller. About 2,000 acres this year. 

Miss Pascal. Why don't you think expansion will be as rapid in 
.the next few years as it has been the past few years? 

Dr. Neller. Because the supply of celery from this State may 
exceed the demand. So far the acreage for the State as a whole 
has not increased much but it is shifting down this way. 

Mr. Tipton. Can you tell us how production costs for this region 
compare with other regions? 

Dr. Neller. Only in a general way. I can say that these soils of 
the Everglades make good use of the fertilizer, and because one of 
the important limiting factors, which is water, is insured throughout 
the crop season the yields are generally higher than on many mineral 
soil areas. Nitrogen, which is one of the costlier factors in most 
mixed fertilizers, is not needed to any extent here in the Everglades. 

Mr. Tipton. Is there much lettuce grown in the Everglades? 

Dr. Neller. Not very much at the present time, but the acreage 
is increasing since the introduction a few years ago of types which 
produce firmer heads. 

Mr. Tipton. Is this an iceberg type lettuce? 

Dr. Neller. Yes, that's the iceberg type. 

Mr. Tipton. And those introductions are being successful? 

Dr. Neller. Yes, they are, considering that lettuce is very sensi- 
tive to changes in weather conditions. 

Miss Pascal. What is the chief weather condition that affects 

Dr. Neller. Too much warmth and rain. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you anticipate considerable expansion in lettuce 
acreage in the future? 

Dr. Neller. I anticipate some expansion. 

diversification to reduce weather hazards 

Mr. Tipton. Does the tendency in the Everglades to diversify 
serve to reduce the weather hazards of farming? 

Dr. Neller. Yes, it does; because many of the crops that are 
being introduced or expanded are more frost resistant or they are 
crops that grow during the summer months. 

Miss Pascal. We have been told also that, if a farmer has all of 
his acreage planted to one crop and he gets a freeze, he loses every- 
thing but, if he has it divided between several crops coining at different 

60396— 42— pt. 33 10 


times of the season, he may lose one crop but he will make a good 
crop in something else which won't be adversely affected by that 
particular weather condition. Would you say that was accurate? 

Dr. Neller. Yes; that's true, except that a series of planting dates 
for a given crop helps to reduce hazards to frosts and overproduction. 
With a more diversified crop program the harvesting period is extended 
over a greater interval and there is less liability of the region produc- 
ing any one crop in excess of the market demand. 

Mr. Tipton. Of the major crops grown, which would you say are 
the most frost resistant and which are the least frost resistant? 

Dr. Neller. Some of the most frost resistant vegetables are celery, 
cabbage, and other leafy crops. Beans are about the most susceptible 
to frost, as are potatoes. 

Mr. Tipton. How low a temperature will celery stand? 
Dr. Neller. Well, celery is not affected by an ordinary frost and 
will stand even lower temperatures for short periods of time. By 
that I mean that the plant may be affected but it will grow out new 
leaves and throw off those that have been frosted. 

Mr. Tipton. That would have the tendency to delay the crop but 
not rum it? 

Dr. Neller. Yes; that oftentimes occurs. 

Miss Pascal. We have been told that a great many more of the 
farmers are diversifying in the direction of cattle fattening in the 
past year or so. Would you say that was a distinct tendency down 

Dr. Neller. Yes; it is with a few of the farmers at least on the 
peat and muck soils of the Everglades. 

Miss Pascal. What types of pasture grasses are being used for 
fattening cattle? 

Dr. Neller. We are finding and introducing several grasses which 
are suitable and especially those that are more frost resistant than 
such grasses as para, which is very common in the region. 

Miss Pascal. Why is it that cattle are just fattened down here? 
I understand that they are bred in the Kissimee River Valley and 
brought down here when the pastures up there aren't good for winter 

Dr. Neller. That's because the winter pastures in the Everglades 
furnish more grazing than the range lands farther up in the State. 

Miss Pascal. But the cost of transporting the cattle down here 
must be pretty high. Why is it that the breeding of the cattle isn't 
done down here, too? 

Dr. Neller. Well, the breeding of the cattle is a little more difficult 
task than shipping them in and feeding them for a short period during 
the cooler months of the year. However, the experience that we are 
having here with a herd of pure-blood Devon cattle that we have had 
for 11 years shows that cattle can be grown here in the Everglades 
satisfactorily and profitably, provided the requirements for the herd 
are known and met. Our experiments have shown that there are 
deficiencies in the grass and possibly in the other feeds that are grown 
on organic soils which need to be corrected in order to obtain normal 
growth of the animal. 

Mr. Tipton. But these elements can be added either to the soil, so 
that the grass has them, or to cattle feeds? 


Dr. Neller. Yes; and that is being done. In addition, experiments 
have shown that certain mineral mixtures can be added to the salt 
that the cattle receive to help correct these deficiencies. However, 
the problem has not as yet been entirely solved. We have found 
that normal growth and reproduction has been obtained with our 
herd, provided we fed a small amount of cottonseed meal to the grow- 
ing animals along with the grass that they receive in the pastures. 
The mineral mixture that was previously mentioned is before the 
cattle at all times and, at present, this contains copper, iron, calcium, 
phosphorus, and cobalt. 


Mr. Tipton. Has this tendency toward diversification between 
vegetable crops and diversification between vegetables and other 
crops, and, I have in mind, cattle, lemon-grass, and so forth, made 
farming in the region a more stabilized type of farming than it previ- 
ously was? 

Dr. Neller. Yes, it has, and since it is requiring better water 
control all the year round the farming operation is becoming more 
stabilized and of a more permanent character. 

Mr. Tipton. Are more farmers buying land now, than previously? 

Dr. Neller. Apparently so. 

Miss Pascal. In a recent issue of the Belle Glade Herald there is 
an article about the increase in landownership. It says that until 
1938 local farmers were not landowning conscious and that since 
then there has been a very great increase in the purchase of land. 
Would you say that this was true as a general statement, and what 
reason would you give for this desire to own land in the last 4 years? 

Dr. Neller. Well, the possibilities of the region are becoming 
more and more evident with this program of diversification and with 
the development of better farming methods. And, of course, prices 
of agricultural products are better now because of the war. It is to 
be hoped that excessive expansion will not take place so as to cause 
a situation such as existed hi some farming sections after the last war. 


Mr. Tipton. Do you consider this region best adapted to small- 
scale agriculture or to large-scale operations? 

Dr. Neller. It is quite apparent that it is better adapted to large- 
scale operations. That's because the farming is done with ma- 
chinery, expensive in nature, which is used most profitably when it 
can be used as much of the time as possible, sometimes night and 
day, and because the operation needs to be on a large enough scale 
to permit the most efficient kind of machinery. The field labor, of 
which there is a large amount used, is on the group system in Ever- 
glades farming. 

Mr. Tipton. In view of what you have said about the large-scale 
operation, do you see any future in the Everglades for the small 

Dr. Neller. There are certain areas in the Everglades, especially 
those along the eastern side of the lake, where small-scale fanning is 
quite successful now. Those are areas where some special crops can 


be grown and where farm pumping is not so necessary and where 
some of the drainage of the region is taken care of by the drainage 

Miss Pascal. How small a farm can be successful in that par- 
ticular area? 

Dr. Neller. I believe that some of those farms are as small as 5 or 
10 acres. However, it does seem that small-scale farming could be 
quite successful on a cooperative basis. By so doing, the cooperative 
could employ large-scale farming methods with machinery, and so 
forth, and the farmers could live in small villages. It seems to me 
that that is the ideal way for farmers to live here in the Everglades. 
It would then be possible to have such conveniences as water systems, 
good roads, power and light facilities, sewage disposal, and so forth. 
As you know, there are no wells in the region. All of the water that 
is usable is obtained either as bottled water or rainwater or from water 
plants in which the water from the canals or lake has been treated. 

Mr. Tipton. Speaking of cooperative farming ventures, are you 
familiar with the project that the Farm Security Administration is 
developing on the eastern side of the lake? 

Dr. Neller. Yes; I am fairly well familiar with it, as the Farm 
Security people have consulted us on several occasions. 

Mr. Tipton. Is that the sort of thing that you had in mind when 
you recommended cooperative development? 

Dr. Neller. Yes; it is. 

Mr. Tipton. I wonder if you could tell us anything about the 
tendency toward the integration of growing with packing and selling 

Dr. Neller. That's one of the features that favors large-scale 
farming because several of the large farmers have their own packing 
plants and probably their own marketing facilities as well as their 
own purchasing departments. Having their own packing plants, 
they do not have to pay others for the profits involved in packaging 
and in selling. Oftentimes they also process crops for some of the 
smaller farmers. Sometimes the only profit that results from a crop 
is that involved in the cost of processing and selling. 

Mr. Tipton. What is the largest single acreage you know of that is 
planted to one crop? I mean, in one block. 

Dr. Neller. I can recall fields of potatoes and celery covering 160 

Mr. Tipton. What is the largest amount of any one crop, that you 
know of, that a single grower ever produced? 

Dr. Neller. Some of the growers have had in the neighborhood of 
500 acres of potatoes or 300 or 400 acres of celery, with probably much 
larger acreages of beans in some cases. 


Mr. Tipton. With regard to the seasonality of farm-labor employ- 
ment in the Glades, to what extent do you think the working season 
can be lengthened by means of crop diversification? 

Dr. Neller. It is being lengthened to a considerable extent. For 
instance, with celery, a grower starts with the seed beds as early as 
July and continues with his cropping until the last harvest in late May. 

Miss Pascal. During what part of that period does the celery 
grower require the peak number of laborers? 


Dr. Neller. During the harvesting period, which extends from 
about the middle of December 1o the first of May. 

Miss Pascal. And about what proportion of the harvesting peak 
requirements are needed during the planting and growing season? 

Dr. Neller. As far as celery is concerned, I don't believe there is 
any great labor peak. The planting operations are extended through 
the harvesting period, at least during the first part of the season. 
There are, however, distinct labor peaks here in the Everglades, in 
the fall and in the spring, caused mostly by the bean and potato crops. 

Mr. Tipton. Was there a farm labor shortage in the lake region 
this year? 

Dr. Neller. Yes; there was and there still is to some extent, 
apparently. In other words, I understand that the sugar corporation 
couldn't get labor enough to properly strip their cane or to weed the 
fields after the cane had been cut. 

Miss Pascal. Did the vegetable growers have an adequate supply 
during most of the season? 

Dr. Neller. No ; they did not. However, in my estimation, the 
labor situation didn't become as acute as was anticipated. 

Miss Pascal. To what extent do you think that introduction of 
new crops, such as the crops being contemplated by the sugar cor- 
poration, sweet potatoes, peanuts and so on, will reduce the extreme 
fluctuations of labor requirements that have been characteristic in 
this area for a number of years? 


Dr. Neller. I think that some of those crops will reduce the labor 
fluctuations to a very marked extent. In other words, such crops as 
peanuts and sweet potatoes grow during the summer and need to be 
cared for and harvested during the summer months. There are some 
other crops that are summer-loving crops also, such as ramie, which 
has possibilities for fiber and may become a crop of importance in this 
region, if and when successful methods of harvesting and caring for 
the crop, such as decortication, are worked out for a climate such as 
we have here in southern Florida. 

Miss Pascal. The ramie operation which is being started at the 
present time, is, as you said, only experimental? 

Dr. Neller. Yes; only in an experimental stage. 

Miss Pascal. Are they setting up a mill for processing down here? 

Dr. Neller. Not yet, as far as I know. However, there is experi- 
mental work going on relating to the harvesting and decortication 
of the crop in the field. 

Mr. Tipton. Just what is ramie .and what are its uses? 

Dr. Neller. Ramie is a plant which contains a fiber of a character 
that would take the place of linen very well and possibly be better 
than linen in some cases. 

Miss Pascal. Where is it grown at the present time? 

Dr. Neller. At the present time it is being grown in China, some- 
what in the Caribbean countries, and also in the Philippines. 

Miss Pascal. Is this the first experiment in growing ramie in the 
United States? 

Dr. Neller. No; ramie has been grown and experimented with in 
southern Louisiana and also some of the other portions of the Gulf 


Miss Pascal. Has it been successful there, do you know? 

Dr. Neller. No profitable methods of harvesting and decortica- 
tion have been worked out in this country. That's because the 
production of ramie fiber in the Orient is based upon very cheap 

Miss Pascal. We are very grateful, Dr. Neller, for your coopera- 
tion with our work, for the information you have given us today, and 
for that contained in the statement you prepared for us. 

MIAMI, FLA., APRIL 21, 1942 

Mr. Tipton. Will you give the reporter your name, position, and 

Mr. Tennant. Mark R. Tennant, chairman of the board of com- 
missioners, Everglades Drainage District of Florida, Miami, Fla. 

Mr. Tipton. To begin, would you tell us briefly something of the 
financial history of the Everglades drainage district? 


Mr. Tennant. The lands in the Everglades district were originally 
patented to the State of Florida by the Federal Government as a 
result of what is known as the Swamp Act of 1850, which transferred 
to the State all of the overflowed lands within its boundaries. 

It was specified in the Swamp Act that the money received from 
the sale of swamp lands should be spent in the drainage of the area. 
Shortly after the turn of the century, plans were made for the drainage 
of the Everglades and, after a few years, it became evident that 
other funds would be necessary. As a result, bonds were issued from 
time to time as work proceeded, and, in 1925, all of these bonds 
outstanding were gathered together and refunded into one issue 
which has been very largely outstanding ever since. At that same 
time the Florida legislature passed an act which has been construed 
by the courts as part of the contract supporting these bonds. In 
1931 this bond issue went into default, due to the general economic 
collapse of the country, and remained in default for a period of 10 
years or until they were refunded through the Reconstruction Finance 
Corporation in 1941. 

Mr. Tipton. When was the present board of commissioners of the 
Everglades drainage district appointed? 

Mr. Tennant. As I recall, the preceding set-up was one over which 
the board of internal improvement had control and that control was 
taken over by a board of local people. Originally the same men who 
were members of the board of internal improvement at Tallahassee 
were also ex-ofhcio members of the board of commissioners of the 
Everglades drainage district. In 1931 the legislature passed an act 
which changed this so that the commissioners were all local men, liv- 
ing within the Everglades drainage district. 

Mr. Tipton. Were any of the members of the old board of internal 
improvement ever on the Everglades Drainage District Board? 

Mr. Tennant. Not since the 1931 act, which required that the 
members of the new board be residents of a county which had land 
within the district. 


Mr. Tipton. Has the board of internal improvement any interest 
or any control of any drainage activity in the Everglades at the present 

Mr. Tennant. Only indirectly. By virtue of their membership on 
the board of internal improvement, they control the land owned by 
the State, and the State of Florida owns in fee something over 800,000 
acres which have never been deeded out and are within the district. 
Also the Governor of the State of Florida, who is ex-ofhcio member 
and chairman of the internal improvement board, appoints the mem- 
bers of the Everglades Drainage District Board from people within 
the district. 

Mr. Tipton. Are the trustees of the internal improvement board 
now selling any land owned by the State? 

Mr. Tennant. Yes; they sell land from time to time. 

Mr. Tipton. Is there much sale for that type of land to which the 
State still has title? 

Mr. Tennant. I would say considerable sale. I might say, too, 
that because of the workings of what is known as the Murphy Act, 
the State has come into title and possession of a very large area within 
the district, in addition to those fee lands which I referred to just a 
moment ago. 


Mr. Tipton. I want to come back to the Murphy Act again a little 
later. Now, the Everglades drainage district just services the area 
with respect to major canals and major water control. There are 
then subdrainage districts which control the water table in the par- 
ticular areas within the main district, is that right? 

Mr. Tennant. Yes; the funds represented by this bond issue were 
spent for the main outlets, which are used by these subdrainage dis- 
tricts in their control of the water table, making it practical to actually 
farm within their areas. 

Mr. Tipton. Is there any connection between the drainage district 
and the various subdrainage districts? That is to say, does the board 
of commissioners have anything to say about activities of the sub- 
drainage districts? 

Mr. Tennant. None whatever. The Everglades district retains 
legal control of ah of its own works, which may be used by the sub- 
drainage districts. Beyond that there is no control. 

Mr. Tipton. Decisions as to developments of particular areas within 
a subdrainage district are up 

Mr. Tennant. Entirely up to the board of commissioners of the 
subdrainage district. 

Miss Pascal. In how large an area was farming possible without 
further drainage after the main canals were dug? 

Mr. Tennant. A very restricted area. You might say almost no 
area at all, because we have found that it is not practical to farm here 
in Florida without positive water control, which means ability to take 
water off the land and also put water back on the land. That function 
is carried out by the subdrainage district. However, before there 
was any effective drainage at all in the Everglades there was an area 
of land known as the custard apple muck, a low ridge around the edge 
of Lake Okeechobee, where considerable farming was done. 



Miss Pascal. Was that done before the canals were put through? 
Mr. Tennant. Yes; before they were completed. Of course, it 
was rather precarious. 

Miss Pascal. Because the lake would overflow very readily? 
Mr. Tennant. Yes. 


Miss Pascal. Of course, the activities of the subdrainage districts 
vary a good deal, I imagine, but could you tell me whether any of them 
provide complete water control? I mean, can the subdrainage district 
actually give complete positive water control for the farm lands in the 
district or is it necessary for the farmer in most of the districts to put 
through smaller ditches and maintain pumps? 

Mr. Tennant. It is true that the farmers almost always have some 
further works of their own on their farms, such as ditches, a smaller 
pump, and a series of small openings known as mole drains, which are 
made by a machine which draws a bullet-shaped instrument under- 
ground 3 or 4 feet, which resulting drain in turn empties into the 
ditches and makes it possible to drain every foot of the land in any 
given field. That is done by the farmer himself and not by the drain- 
age district. 

Miss Pascal. Is' it possible to farm without these individual 
drainage systems? 

Mr. Tennant. I would say not, for safe farming. 


Mr. Tipton. We understand that drainage taxes are levied by the 
districts to finance the improvements. Will you give us the data on 
the tax rates for the Everglades drainage district? 

Mr. Tennant. As stated previously the general bond refunding 
occurred in 1925 and the district was completely zoned as to benefits. 
Six district zones were created and each zone was required to pay a 
certain annual tax per acre as reflected by the following table: 



Tax rate 



Tax rate 

180, 870 
314, 672 
340, 747 
361, 660 
962, 270 




2, 132, 406 
94, 092 
89, 534 


Exempt - 





The total assessment, if paid, would amount, on the basis of these 
figures, to $2,111,205.00. In 1937 the district was again zoned m an 
attempt to make the tax structure more realistic, as it was generally 
recognized that the zoning of 1925 was entirely impossible from a prac- 
tical point. 

Mr. Tipton. It was under the 1925 zoning that the bonds were de- 
faulted, is that correct? 

Mr. Tennant. Yes. Their 1937 rezoning was attacked by the 
bondholders and declared unconstitutional by the courts because it 
impaired the security behind the bonds, as in a great many instances 
tbe taxes were lowered. Again, in 1941, when the general refunding 

I£! s 


hi !!*r 

. 53 

I ?S° 

iS "Si 

O) CJl 




act was passed, the district was entirely rezoned according to tbe 
following: 1 



Tax rate 



Tax rate 


91, 981 
82, 763 
72, 773 
125, 483 
231, 251 



928, 677 
1, 769, 735 

383. 897 
94. 303 
89, 534 









Mr. Tipton. The whole situation, then, has very recently settled 
down and a good deal of the confusion with regard to the old bonds 
has been eliminated? 

Mr. Tennant. Yes. The Federal court about 2 weeks ago issued 
the interlocutory decree, which really means that we are now refunded. 
The R. F. C. had already purchased about 90 percent of the bonds and 
the district had gone into municipal bankruptcy in order to force in 
the rest of the bonds. 


Mr. Tipton. We have been told that the confusion with regard to 
the bonds, the high tax rate, and the confusion with respect to land 
titles, has had a deterrent effect, in the past, on the development of 
the Everglades. 

Mr. Tennant. Very decidedly, because almost all of the land in the 
district was in default on its taxes, because the rates were inequitable 
and, in so many cases, impossible to pay, considering the quality and 
value of the land. With the rezoning and refunding of the bonds, this 
uncertainty has all been wiped out and very large areas of the district 
have had then taxes compromised under the plan and are now paying 
current taxes. 

Miss Pascal. What is the nature of that compromise? 

Mr. Tennant. As I said a moment ago, the entire district was re- 
zoned to reflect actual benefits and ability of various lands to pay. 
Under that rezoning any owner could settle back taxes on the basis of 
2 years' taxes under the new zoning, regardless of how many years 
back the default ran. In case the default was not beyond the year 
1940, the owner could settle on the basis of one year's taxes under 
the new zoning. 

Mr. Tipton. How rapidly have settlements been made under this 
compromise plan? 

Mr. Tennant. Settlements have been very substantial. The 
total amount received to date as compromised payments is $466,781.81 
while the total amount received on the 1941 current taxes is $397,- 

Mr. Tipton. Jlave you noticed yet any substantial increase in the 
rate of development of the Everglades? 

Mr. Tennant. Yes; there has been a decided increase in develop- 
ment, due undoubtedly to a considerable extent to the settlement 
secured and also to some extent to war conditions and an abnormal 
demand for some of the products. 

1 See map opposite. 



Miss Pascal. Can you give us an estimate of the number of acres 
under cultivation in the Everglades at the present time? 

Mr. Tennant. At the time we prepared figures for the Reconstruc- 
tion Finance Corporation it was estimated that there were 215,000 
acres under a state of intensive cultivation. There was an additional 
40,000 acres which were in seeded grasses and 300,000 acres in use for 
grazing purposes, but not under intensive cultivation. This would 
make a total of 555,000 acres being utilized at that time. 1 

Mr. Tipton. Has the settlement resulted so far, or do you expect it 
to result in the future, in an increased amount of pasturage in the 

Mr. Tennant. I will answer this way: All of the wild pasture lands 
were being utilized, even previous to the settlement, whether by cattle 
owners who were using it as open range and had no claim to title, or 
by owners whose taxes were badly in arrears. I would say that the 
improvement of these pastures in tame grasses has been greatly 
increased since the settlement was secured, as this naturally incurs 
considerable outlay which would not be warranted on lands on which 
title was doubtful. Also I would say that probably nearer 500,000 
acres are being used as unimproved grazing lands. 

Mr. Tipton. What do you consider to be the potential vegetable 
and pasturage acreage in the Everglades? 

Mr. Tennant. I would say, broadly speaking, that zone 1 under 
the 1941 act is now either under cultivation or capable of being put 
under immediate cultivation. Zone 2 could readily be put into inten- 
sive cultivation by the establishment of local water control. It would 
cost more to put zone 3 under intensive cultivation, but, in my judg- 
ment, it could be done profitably. I consider zones 4 and 5 in the 
"twilight" zone, although there is at the present time considerable 
cultivation in zone 4, especially along the east coast. Zone 6 is defi- 
nitely impracticable at the present time, and many well qualified 
authorities doubt seriously whether the main acreage in this zone as 
represented by the vast area of the central Glades can be put under 
profitable cultivation. A great deal of this area in zone 7 is now being 
used for grazing except in the lower and lower central Glades. There 
is some grazing in zone 8. 

Mr. Tipton. So that it is questionable as to whether or not it will 
ever be profitable to attempt to cultivate the one hundred twenty- 
five thousand-odd acres in zone 4 and the two hundred thirty-one 
thousand-odd acres in zone 5? 

Mr. Tennant. I would not say "ever" but at present they are 
questionable, except for certain areas along the east coast where the 
lands were placed in those lower tax rate zones, not because they were 
relatively unusable, but because of the greater fertilizer cost necessary 
where the lands are even now actually under cultivation. 

Mr. Tipton. Are those lands you are speaking of now considered 
a part of the Everglades? 

Mr. Tennant. Yes; they are within the Everglades drainage dis- 

' It should be understood that these figures refer to laud iu the Everglades drainage district — not to the 
Everglades proper. [Ed.] 


Miss Pascal. These soils that have been classified in zones 4 and 
5 on the east coast, where there are high fertilizer costs, are not the 
peat soil of which most of the Glades are made up? 

Mr. Tennant. Generally speaking, no. They are mostly sandy 


Mr. Tipton. What in your opinion, Mr. Tennant, are the prospects 
for the small farmer as the Everglades develops? 

Mr. Tennant. I would say very good. I think the small farmer 
would want to diversify his operations and not depend entirely on 
commercial trucking crops to be successful. 

Mr. Tipton. Is the small farmer in a position to provide himself 
with the necessary drainage facilities and the type of machinery that 
is needed in the Glades for profitable operation? 

Mr. Tennant. I think so, if he lies within one of the subdrainage 
districts, which I assume he would. He might want a small pump of 
his own because of the fact that various crops require different water 
tables, and he would want a water table that would answer his purpose. 

Miss Pascal. What would you say would be the smallest acreage, 
given diversified farming, the smallest acreage that would support a 
farm family in the Glades? 

Mr. Tennant. We can point to successes on 10 acres but, per- 
sonally, I believe a farmer would be much better off with 40 acres. 


Mr. Tipton. I think the only other question we have here now is in 
connection with the Murphy Act. Can you explain to us the nature 
and the purpose of the Murphy Act and when the Murphy Act was 

Mr. Tennant. Dating back to the collapse of the Florida boom in 
1926 and especially since 1930 when the general depression occurred, 
lands all over the State of Florida increasingly defaulted on their tax 
payments. By 1935 and 1936, when the country generally was 
emerging from the worst of the depression, the total amount of the 
default of State and county taxes in the State of Florida, to say 
nothing of the drainage taxes within various districts, was almost 
unbelievable. They amounted in many cases to several times what 
the land was worth. This was generally recognized and, in the 1937 
legislature, a bill was introduced by Senator Murphy with the view to 
making it practical to wipe out the vast top-heavy debt burden and 
get the lands back on the current tax roll. Briefly, it operated as 
follows: Either the owner or a stranger to the title could go to the clerk 
of the circuit court of the county in which a particular body of land 
lay and, by depositing the cost of the advertising, have the land adver- 
tised in a local paper for several consecutive weeks, the ad stating that 
on the first rule day following the last insertion of the advertisement 
the land would be sold at the courthouse door to the best and highest 
bidder. This invariably resulted in the advertiser himself bidding in 
the land for actual cost of advertising and fees of the various county 
officers. The cost was gaged bv the number of certificates involved. 
For instance, an entire section of 640 acres could be, and usuallv was, 


bought as cheaply as a 5-acre tract, if each was covered by just one 
certificate. Of course, many inequities resulted but it did clear the 
tax books of the mountain of accumulated taxes and get the lands back 
in a current position on the tax roll. 

One provision of the bill was that the privilege of advertising and 
bidding lands extended only for 2 years from the date on which the 
Murphy bill became a law, namely, June 9, 1937. Two years after 
that date, any lands which had not been advertised and bought under 
the bill reverted automatically to the State of Florida and the State's 
title in these lands has been held good. However, I believe that it 
has also been held that vesting the title in the State did not wipe out 
benefit liens, owned by any drainage district, which might cover such 

Mr. Tipton. May I interrupt right there, Mr. Tennant? Does that 
mean that the fact that the State has taken title under the terms of 
the Murphy Act does not mean that any drainage bond liens against 
the property have been wiped out? 

Mr. Tennant. That's my understanding. 

Mr. Tipton. Does that mean then that the State, as owner, is in 
debt to the bondholders of the drainage district? 

Mr. Tennant. I would put it this way, that the lands are still sub- 
ject to the taxes against them though the State owns the title. In 
practice, that has worked out in this way: The State has not under- 
taken to pay these back taxes but has waited until the land has been 
sold, at which time taxes could be compromised under the 1941 Ever- 
glades Act by the new owner. 

Mr. Tipton. Can you make an estimate of the amount of land that 
reverted to the State under the Murphy Act? 

Mr. Tennant. I have repeatedly tried to get at the amount of this 
acreage, but there do not seem to be any figures in existence. The 
State has no idea how much it has, so far as I know, and the various 
clerks of the court in the counties say that they are unable to give us 
any figures. It is a very considerable acreage and presumably the 
poorest land, since no individual was interested in advertising it. 

Miss Pascal. Under the drainage district reorganization plan, the 
district itself will come into title on any land that is not settled up 
under the compromise plan. Is that correct? 

Mr. Tennant. The 1941 act provides that, at the expiration of 2 
years from the date the compromise came into effect, the Everglades 
tax certificates outstanding on the land can be purchased by an indi- 
vidual and foreclosed. In fact, they can be purchased now but can- 
not be foreclosed until the period stated. We anticipate that there 
will be a very large acreage the certificates on which will not be pur- 
chased by individuals and it is my understanding that, under our 
agreement with the R. F. C, we, as a district, will be required to 
foreclose promptly on such lands. 

Mr. Tipton. In that connection, how about the State .nds, both 
the 800,000 acres which were never deeded out and that acioage which 
has reverted to the State under the terms of the Murphy Actf but which 
is still subject to the drainage district compromise? 

Mr. Tennant. As regards the eight-hundred-thousand-odd acres 
of the State known as fee lands, the back taxes on these lands were 
wiped out under an agreement between the district and the board of 
commissioners of the internal improvement Tund, the district canceling 


the State's taxes in consideration of the cancelation of certain obliga- 
tions owed by the district to the I. I. Board and, I might state, that 
the State of Florida has recently paid its 1941 Everglades taxes on 
the original eight-hundred-thousand-odd acres. Regarding the large 
acreage which reverted to the State under the Murphy bill, and which 
still has accumulated Everglades taxes on it, I do not believe that 
any policy has been worked out and I have not heard anyone state 
what the legal status of these lands will probably be. I doubt that 
the district would undertake to foreclose against the State, as a prac- 
tical matter, so I would say that such lands will possibly remain 
status quo, unless foreclosure is required by the R. F. C. 

Mr. Tipton. Mr. Tennant, we certainly appreciate very much the 
information you have given us. We will transmit it to the committee 
for their use in preparing their report and recommendations. 


26, 1942 

Mr. Tipton. Will you please give your name, address, occupation, 
and any official positions you hold? 

Mr. Beardsley. James E. Beardsley, Clewiston, Fla. ; farmer and 
real estate broker; resident in the Everglades for 28 years, commis- 
sioner of the Everglades drainage district, supervisor of Sugarland 
and Clewiston drainage districts, coreceiver of the Disston Island 
drainage district, chairman of the sugar subcommittee, Florida State 
Defense Council, farmer member of the State land use planning com- 

Mr. Tipton. Where are you from originally, Mr. Beardsley? 

Mr. Beardsley. Chicago, 111. I was born In Ohio but I came from 
Chicago down to the Glades. 

Mr. Tipton. You said that among other things you are a farmer. 
How many acres do you operate and what crops do you grow? 

Mr. Beardsley. Four hundred and thirty-three acres, of which 
two hundred are in sugarcane, the balance in vegetables and fruits. 
Most of the vegetable land is rented out on shares. 

Mr. Tipton. What is the sharing arrangement? 

Mr. Beardsley. One-seventh is the share. 

Mr. Tipton. You mentioned fruit? 

fruit raising 

Mr. Beardsley. We have 10 acres of citrus, 2 acres of bearing 
avocados, 5 acres additional avocados not yet bearing. 

Mr. Tipton. Is this fruit acreage here near the lake? 

Mr. Beardsley. Clewiston. It's at my farm, which is 7 miles 
east of Clewiston. 

Mr. Triton. This lake region is not primarily a fruit region, is it? 

Mr. BlviRDSLEY. No. 

Mr. Ti.-ton. Do avocados and citrus do well here? 
Mr. Beardsley. Exceptionally well. 
Mr. Tipton. Is that muckland you have your fruit on? 
Mr. Beardsley. The muck depth on the farm will run 10 to 12 


Mr. Tipton. And you find that good for fruit? 

Mr. Beardsley. The interior quality of the fruit is excellent. 
The juice content, I think, is unsurpassed for fruit. Ours is not a 
marketable grade of fruit because we do not spray it. We just sell 
it locally. 

Air. Tipton. How about the avocados? 

Mr. Beardsley. They are doing splendidly. Of course, it is soil 
with a high humus content that is recognized as an ideal avocado 
soil. The limitation is the frost hazard. 

Miss Pascal. Why isn't the citrus industry developed down here 
in the lake region? 

Mr. Beardsley. Primarily drainage or lack of it. That same 
thing has been the trouble with avocado development and then there 
is the further factor that we still haven't quite grown out of the 
earlier stages of the Everglades development when it was a get-rich- 
quick proposition, and to a large extent it still is today, and when 
it takes 5 years to bring a citrus grove into bearing the farmers are 
not going to plant citrus, especially when they consider the average 
prices at which citrus is sold. Notwithstanding, we feel down here 
about citrus, those of us who take a long-range view, as Dr. Neller 
at the agricultural experiment station said at one time, when citrus 
is selling at $1 a box, and it costs a man $1.25 on the ridge to produce 
it, the man in the Glades can produce it for 75 cents, then he can stay 
in the citrus business when the man of the ridge has gone broke. 
The primary requirement in other citrus sections of Florida is nitrogen 
and that is what we have lots of. 

Mr. Tipton. Would you say that what you have said about citrus 
applies also to avocados? 

Mr. Beardsley. You mean with respect to lack of drainage? 

Mr. Tipton. The whole picture, lack of drainage, the fact that it 
is a crop that takes some time before the trees start paying returns, 
and also this last matter that you mentioned, costs of production. 

Mr. Beardsley. That's right. Dade County, which is a principal 
avocado section, that is south of Miami, produces practically all of 
its crop on a hard rock land. It costs them $150 an acre to blast 
those holes and put in avocados. We do it for $25. 


Mr. Tipton. How long ago did you come to this country? 

Mr. Beardsley. Twenty-eight years ago. 

Mr. Tipton. We would like to have you, in your own way, describe 
for us the conditions existing here when you came, and how the 
country developed during the subsequent 28 years. 

Mr. Beardsley. That might run into a book. Land-development 
companies sold thousands of tracts of 10 acres and upward in the 
Everglades in 1910 and 1912 on the promise that the land so sold would 
eventually be adequately drained. Most of those lands were sold to 
well-to-do farmers in the Middle West. Some of them came to the 
Everglades in the expectation of beginning immediate^operations on 
their tracts and, when they found them inaccessibly and without 
drainage facilities, they located on the shore of the ltfke at various 
points where fish camps of commercial fishermen ha*.!, already been 
established. Fishing was the earliest enterprise of any nature carried 


on in the Everglades region. The first drainage works begun were the 
construction of the still existing main drainage canals of the Everglades 
district. The canals, as they neared completion, successively fur- 
nished means of ingress and egress to the nucleus of the development 
around the lake shore. Our land was not bought through the principal 
development company which sold most of the Everglades tracts, but 
was purchased from an agent in Miami and happened to be lake-front 
land, although at that time no one realized that there was any dis- 
tinction between peat land and custard apple soil. Supplies were 
obtained for the first several years after my arrival on the lake shore 
in 1914 by boat from Deerfield on the Hillsboro Canal or from Fort 
Lauderdale. Boats carried mail from Fort Lauderdale to the two 
post offices then established at Okeelanta and at Ritta, twice a week. 
Produce made the same trip down the canal from farmers who owned 
docks to the railroad at Fort Lauderdale, frequently a 24-hoiir journey. 
It was a common occurrence for farmers to harvest produce, put it on 
their dock, expecting arrival of a regular boat, which might have had 
motor trouble or run aground. in the canal, so that the vegetables 
might have been harvested three or four days before they were actually 
on the boat and on the way to the railroad. Facilities for packing 
were nonexistent, each farmer putting up his own individual pack on 
his own place and generally with the labor from his own family or such 
white help as might be obtained from fishermen or neighbors. There 
was no colored labor available in the trucking sections of the Glades 
around the lake until after the war. 


Miss Pascal. Could you tell us something about the crops that 
were grown? 

Mr. Beardsley. Irish potatoes, green corn, Bermuda onions, string 
beans, lima beans, peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes were the crops 
grown, all of them in very limited acreage and beans were not then, 
as they are now, the principal crop, since the methods of transporta- 
tion were not conducive for delivery of a satisfactory package. 

Miss Pascal. What was the ultimate destination of most of this 
produce? You said it went to the railroad at Fort Lauderdale. 

Mr. Beardsley. Most sales of Everglades produce were made 
through one broker on the dock at Fort Lauderdale who sold to the 
buyers for commission houses, principally for shipment to New York. 
Bermuda onions were the principal crop on the Beardsley farms be- 
cause at that time we had not yet introduced into the Everglades the 
number and variety of grasses which have since become so prevalent 
and which have made cultivation of onions too expensive. 

Miss Pascal. Could you get the high winter prices for onions you 
could get for the other crops? 

Mr. Beardsley. Prices in the main through the early years were 
higher than those received today. Red Bliss potatoes were selling in 
the spring of 1917 for $3.50 a bushel, Bermuda onions for $3, cabbage 
for $4 a hundred. 

Miss Pasca . Those prices vou are quoting were on the dock at 
Fort LauderdL ie? 

Mr. Beards :y. Yes. 


Mr. Tipton. About how many farmers and about how big an 
acreage was being farmed from 1914 to the wartime period? 

Mr. Beardsley. There were probably not to exceed 100 farmers 
around the south shore of the lake until 1918. Of these, some were 
converted fishermen, some were "escapees" from legal or domestic 
difficulties in other States, and a small portion were landowners. 

Mr. Tipton. About what size farms did they operate? 

Mr. Beardsley. Perhaps our own operation is a fair indication. 
In 1916 we farmed 16 acres, in 1917, 30 acres, which at that time was 
considered quite a sizable operation. In the spring of 1917 we had 
12 acres in cabbage, all of which was harvested by white labor, pack- 
aged on the farm, and shipped by boat to Fort Lauderdale. We paid 
6°hands $1.75 per day and lunch. The price received for cabbage and 
the reports of the money which we and a few others had made from 
cabbage in the spring of 1917 created a tremendous interest in farming 
possibilities in the lake territory so that 1918 found a boom under 
way in Moore Haven and the adjacent territory. Perhaps 2,000 
acres was planted in the Moore Haven section in cabbage in 1918, 
probably less than 200 of it was ever harvested. Notwithstanding 
this loss to the newcomers, most of them were intrigued by the quality 
of the soils and other conditions conducive to successful farming, so 
they remained in the section and gradually spread their operations to 
other points around the lake shore. The Atlantic Coast Line Railroad 
was extended into Moore Haven in 1918, to Clewiston in 1922. 
Clewiston then became the railhead for shipments originating all 
around the south shore. There had been rail facilities available at 
Tantie, later Okeechobee City, at the north end of the lake, but these 
were used principally by fish boats, not by farmers. The Florida 
East Coast Railway extended its line from Okeechobee to Belle Glade 
in 1926 and subsequently that line and the Atlantic Coast Line joined 
at the present village of Lake Harbor to give rail facilities to all of the 
points on the south shore. After the war numbers of farmers from 
the nearby Southern States— about half our population down here 
comes from Georgia 

Mr. Tipton. And a good deal more of it from other Southern States 
and from Northern States as well? 

Mr. Beardsley. A native Floridian is still largely a curiosity down 
here. These farmers flocked into the lake area after the war, seeking 
cheap, highly productive land, and began the foundation of the present 
commercial vegetable industry. They continued to hang on, not- 
withstanding the tremendous losses generally suffered by the flood of 
'22 and subsequent bank failure at Moore Haven, the flood of '24 
when the territory generally had 19 inches of rain in 3 days in October, 
the aftermath of the Florida boom— that is the collapse of land values 
— the hurricane of 1928 which was generally disastrous to plantings 
and improvements throughout the lake section. 

Mr. Tipton. In the very early days did they use much fertilizer 
around the lake? 

Mr. Beardsley. None at all. All the use of fertilizer began m the 
early thirities. The use of corrective supplements such as manganese, 
copper, and so on was developed by the local experiment station. 

Mr. Tipton. And from the use of supplements they got into the use 
of commercial fertilizers? 

Mr. Beardsley. Yes. 



Miss Pascal. When did the bean industry start down here? 

Mr. Beardsley. The rehabilitation of the area and a renaissance of 
vegetable production came following the 1928 storm. It has always 
been my theory that only those with sufficient courage to have held 
on through the previous 10 years were still interested in the section 
and that these are the persons responsible for the recovery following 
the disastrous setbacks which have been outlined. Most of the work 
was done without benefit of outside financing and, since there have 
been no real catastrophes in the ensuing period, the elements of soil 
and climatic conditions, the increase of knowledge of water control 
requirements, the added experience of individual farmers, and the 
advent of the United States Sugar Corporation have all contributed 
to the tremendous growth experienced in the Glades in the last 13 years. 


Mr. Tipton. Will you tell us something about the history of the 
development of water control? 

Mr. Beardsley. The Everglades drainage district canals proved 
entirely inadequate as a means of drainage, as evidenced by the con- 
ditions previously described, so that there came a growing feeling that 
drainage must be handled in small units by pumping operations, 
rather than by run-off and, from 1925 through 1930, a number of 
so-called subdrainage districts were organized around the perimeter 
of the lake, various areas being consolidated into units, issuing bonds 
for the construction of canals and ditches and pump plants, most of 
which were located on the lake shore, with the idea that these plants 
would remove excess water by pumping it into the lake and that this 
operation could be reversed during dry periods if necessary. 

Miss Pascal. Do you know of any farmers who, before the forma- 
tion of these drainage districts, used this positive type of water control 
with pumps rather than just relying on ditches and run-offs? 

Mr. Beardsley. Several efforts were made by individual farmers 
to handle drainage through their own pumping operations on lands 
immediately adjacent to the lake shore, as evidenced by the Sebring 
development east of Lake Harbor in 1923, but in every case these 
operations proved inadequate when subjected to extreme conditions 
and these failures were in the main responsible for the subdistrict 
development where better engineering lay-out and ample capacity 
could be provided for larger areas. 

Miss Pascal. Mr. Beardsley, do you know what size units these 
farmers attempted to drain or control? 

Mr. Beardsley. I remember Sebring's particularly well. I don't 
remember what the horsepower was. Mr. Sebring, who belongs to 
the family after whom the town in Florida was named, had a tract of 
several hundred acres and put in a steam tractor with which to oper- 
ate his pumps. At the time of heavy rainfall the boiler of the tractor 
exploded and the avocado planting which was being protected by this 
operation was a complete loss. This equipment was replaced by a 
stationary engine, the avocados were replanted and 2 years later the 
"engine broke down at a time of heavy rainfall, during flood conditions, 

60396— 42— pt. 33 11 


and one of the levees broke so that the property was again completely 
inundated and some 300 acres of avocados were a total loss. 


Mr. Tipton. How about the dike around the lake? When was that 

Mr. Beardsley. About 1929 or 1930. President Hoover, following 
representations made by a number of individuals interested in the 
project, made a trip to the lake section, met with a number of these 
interested persons at the Clewiston Inn in Clewiston and discussed 
with them the feasibility of construction of a levee around the major 
portion of the shore of Lake Okeechobee. Upon his return to Wash- 
ington the United States engineers were instructed to survey the 
situation. Their report on the work was favorable and the construc- 
tion of such a levee commenced in 1932. This levee was completed 
about 1938 and, while no test of it has been occasioned by storm 
conditions, the psychological effect in the minds of the public has been 
such as to create a renewed interest in the development of additional 
lands in the area because of the feeling that there will not be recur- 
rences of conditions occasioned by the 1926 and 1928 hurricanes. 

Mr. Tipton. What is the relationship existing between a subdrain- 
age district and the Everglades drainage district? 

Mr. Beardsley. The subdrainage districts proposed to be organized 
must submit to the Everglades drainage district their plan of reclama- 
tion and they are not permitted to seek the necessary legislation 
authorizing issuance of bonds or organization of the district until the 
Everglades drainage district has approved that plan of reclamation 
as well as the financial set-up. 

Mr. Tipton. Can you tell us about the development of the Ever- 
glades in the last 13 years? 

Mr. Beardsley. Part of that can be laid to the discovery that our 
climatic conditions and our soil would permit us to grow midwinter 
beans. Conditions for handling them were not the best and it was 
not until the middle thirties that the packing house pack of beans 
became the standard in the Glades section. With that improvement 
in grade and pack, the northern markets recognized the reasonably 
secure supply available and the quality of Everglades-grown beans so 
that these came into steady demand in the markets. A few years of 
fair prices and satisfactory returns naturally resulted in a tremendous 
increase in plantings. An additional factor in the promotion of 
increased plantings was the mechanization of the field operations. 
Whereas formerly beans had been planted with one-horse planters, 
introduction of more satisfactory small tractors and planting equip- 
ment made beans almost entirely a mechanized operation up to 
picking. ... 

Miss Pascal. About what time would you say the mechanization 
of bean growing was really under way? 

Mr. Beardsley. This came about in the early thirties. 

Miss Pascal. Then beans were the principal crop during the big 
development of the Glades? When did the other crops start commg 

Mr. Beardsley. They had always been here. Even these bad 
years, the 1926 or 1928 hurricanes, lots of vegetables were being grown 
around here. 



Mr. Tipton. How long did beans remain the most important crop? 

Mr. Beardsley. They still are. Because, through the 1930's, 
beans offered the best prospect of profit, this crop occupied perhaps 75 
percent of the total acreage planted to vegetables in the area, but the 
hazards, floods, frost, and disease incident to the cultivation of beans 
in recent years has led the far-seeing vegetable producer to the pro- 
duction of other crops in which profit possibilities might not be so high 
but from which returns might be more secure. 

Mr. Tipton. Such as celery? 

Mr. Beardsley. Such as celery, which is the most expensive to 
grow of any vegetable crop. On the other hand, it offers the most 
certain returns. Cabbage — an in-and -outer — can invariably be suc- 
cessfully grown, but is not always marketed at a profit. You can 
always make a crop of cabbage. I never saw a crop of cabbage fail 
in this country. The development of crops which are hardy to such 
cold snaps as may occur is recent and offers additional evidence of 
the search for stability in income, while not offering the tremendous 
profits sometimes obtainable from beans. 

Mr. Tipton. Will you tell us why it is that diversification makes 
for more stable agriculture in this region? 

Mr. Beardsley. Stability of income, we farmers generally con- 
sider, covers such situations as frost which may completely wipe out 
a crop of beans, but not affect cabbage in the least, a flood which may 
affect a deep rooted crop on lower portions of any given farm and not 
affect a crop such as celery which will stand a very high water table, 
winds which may be very destructive to plants and quality of fruit 
or tomatoes, but would cause practically no damage to cabbage or 


Mr. Tipton. When was sugarcane first grown down here, Mr. 

Mr. Beardsley. It is interesting to recall that the first attempts 
of the drainage of the Everglades were in an effort to find satisfactory 
sugarcane land and Hamilton Disston, of Philadelphia, in 1881 made 
an agreement with the State to drain the Everglades. He was to 
be ceded certain lands for the production of sugarcane. At that 
time he dug two of the canals still in existence, the Three Mile and 
Nine Mile Canals between Moore Haven and Clewiston, connecting 
Lake Okeechobee and Lake Hicpochee. Disston gave up because of 
the immensity of the project and so far as I know from the records 
no cane was actually planted by Bim in the Everglades and he re- 
moved his operations to St. Cloud in the Kissimmee Valley and there 
did grow cane on muck lands for 3 or 4 years until the muck subsided 
and evaporated. Farmers around the lake shore in earlier days 
generally had a small patch of cane and, in a survey I made for the 
county agent of Palm Beach County in 1920, I found seven sirup 
mills along the lake shore between South Bay and the west county 
line, a distance of about 12 miles. A commercial planting of cane 
was begun east of Moore Haven on property then known as the 
Gramling Place, now commonly known as Benbow because of the 
sugar corporation plantation at that location, where several hundred 


acres of cane were planted for the purpose of producing raw sugar in 
1920. Prices paid for the land and insufficient capital investment 
are responsible for the failure of this enterprise. They didn't have 
enough money to get through one bad season. 

Miss Pascal. Did they put up a sugar mill? 

Mr. Beardsley. Yes. 

Miss Pascal. About how many acres were planted? 

Mr. Beardsley. There were about 200 acres of cane actually 
planted and a mill was operated for at least one season. The Martha 
Washington Candy Co. subsequently acquired the property but the 
project was abandoned. In 1923 the Florida Sugar & Food Products 
Co. under the direction of F. E. Bryant, now eastern division superin- 
tendent for the United States Sugar Corporation, sold considerable 
stock for capital, planted cane and erected a sugar house at Canal 
Point. At that time no one connected with the enterprise or in the 
Everglades generally appreciated fully the necessity for adequate 
water control and the Canal Point operation was virtually abandoned 
by 1925 when B. J. Dahlberg, then and now head of the Celotex Co., 
of Chicago, was induced to survey the Everglades section with a view 
to growing cane as a source of additional bagasse for Celotex. As a 
result of this survey the Dahlberg interests planted cane in the Clewis- 
ton area, subsequently purchased thousands of acres of land around 
the south shore of the lake, including the Florida Sugar & Food 
Products plantation at Canal Point, and erected a sugar house at 
Clewiston. In the Dahlberg plan, bagasse from the cane was to be 
the principal product, the production of sugar being secondary and, 
with that in mind, the principal varieties of cane then introduced to 
the Glades and planted for milling at the sugar house were varieties 
selected for high fiber content without regard to their sugar yield. 
The Dahlberg enterprise was predicated upon the sale of additional 
stock for increase in capital and, following the 1929 crash, it was 
impossible to continue the sale of stock so the company, known as 
the Southern Sugar Co. was thrown into bankruptcy by a meat 
distributor in Tampa on June 30, 1930. 

Miss Pascal. Did the Southern Sugar Co. have proper water 
control here and was the variety of cane they were planting satisfac- 
tory for this area? 

Mr. Beardsley. During the period of operations of the Southern 
Sugar Co. there was general recognition throughout the territory and 
particularly by this concern of a need for adequate water control as a 
prerequisite to successful cane or any other type of farming in the 
Glades, and at that time several well-known hydraulic engineers were 
employed by the Southern Sugar Corporation and are today in the 
employ of the United States Sugar Corporation. 

labor supply 

Miss Pascal. Mr. Beardsley, you said awhile ago that, in the period 
up to the World War, all of the work around here was done by the 
farmers themselves, by the fishermen on the lake, and sometimes by 
the neighbors who would come over and help harvest cabbage. When 
did farming here reach the point where additional labor was needed 
in the area? 


Mr. Beardsley. We brought in our first Negroes on our place in 
1920. We used a few in 1920. In 1922 we had about 6 families on 
our place. 

Miss Pascal. Where did you get them? 

Mr. Beardsley. They came from Dade County, but all of ours 
and most of those around the lake were Bahamians, "Sau Niggers," 
we call them, from Nassau, who have never returned. The real 
increase in the population of Negroes in the Glades section has come 
with the tremendous growth of the vegetable industry since the early 

Miss Pascal. These first Negro families that were brought m, were 
they brought in for operations all during the season or just as harvest 

Mr. Beardsley. They were only seasonal employees because m 
that day virtually nobody farmed in the summertime, neither cover 
crops nor anything else, so that most of them went back down to the 
east coast to spend the summer and came back in the fall. 

Miss Pascal. For how long a period did you have them here? 

Mr. Beardsley. 8 to 9 months. 

Miss Pascal. So they weren't just brought in for the harvest 

Mr. Beardsley. No; they took about the same vacation as the 
white farmers around here, they would check out of the country and 
be gone for 3 months in the summertime. In fact, a lot of them 
still do. 

Mr. Tipton. What was your labor experience this year? 

Mr. Beardsley. In cutting our cane we had about 20 hands on our 
farm for our cane harvest. We had, this year, to harvest our own 
cane, and we also did a harvesting job for Judge Couse, one of our 
neighbors. He had some cane east of Clewiston and in harvesting 
his crop we had, in one day, 57 hands in the field. That week we had 
81 names on the pay roll. We got out 20 cars of cane during the 
week which would be a normal output for 40 men. Does that give 
you an idea of the in-and-out? 

Miss Pascal. Was that turn-over much larger than usual in cane 

Mr. Beardsley. It was this year. Everywhere. Practically all 
of the independent cane farmers had the same story. They spent 
anywhere from $500 to $2,000 in recruiting labor, through payments 
either to the men themselves or in lieu of transportation or to labor 
recruiters with trucks who brought them in from olJier Southern 
States. In many cases Negro recruiters brought truckloads of men, 
offered to keep them at work for so much per week, and this was even 
true of Negroes living in the migrant camp at Belle Glade who were 
thus recruited. We actually had a boy by the name of Taylor with 
2 trucks who brought Negroes out of that camp to our cane field. 
He offered to bring them over every day for $2 per week per head, in 
addition to $10 per day for the truck for the transportation, promising 
a minimum of 20 per day. We tried the arrangement, being desperate 
for additional labor, and found it unsatisfactory and dropped it. 

Mr. Tipton. Outside of this arrangement were you able to get any 
cane cutters out of migrant camps? 

Mr. Beardsley. In our operation we finally sifted out of some 60 
or 70 hands from the migrant camp who were employed for periods of 


several hours to several days, 8 men who stayed with us practically to 
the end of the season. These we transported, with others secured 
from the quarters in Belle Glade, with our own truck to and from the 
job each day. That's all the help we got out of the migrant camp. I 
don't know what we are going to do to get them to go to work. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you mean by that that there is difficulty to get 
those in the migrant camp to go to work? 

Mr. Beardsley. I don't know the conditions attendant on the 
operation of the camp, and I hesitate to make any remarks about how 
it .is being handled, because I don't know, but I have heard that if 
they are back in their rent they can pay it by pushing a lawnmower 
along on the grass and that takes care of that week's rent; that there 
is no compulsion on them to go out and make a living. They pick 
beans for 1 day and make $2.50, and that's all they need. 

Mr. Tipton. You said that your labor turn-over was a bigger prob- 
lem this year than it had been before. How do you account for that? 

Mr. Beardsley. It was the general opinion last fall that there would 
be a decided shortage of labor around the lake, but observation of the 
number of bean fields and other operations indicated that there was 
probably an adequate supply of labor in the territory. I am at a loss 
how to express the indifference and independence which appears to 
have permeated the entire area around here. Perhaps it is the result 
of lack of businesslike planning rather than inefficiency of the camp 


Mr. Tipton. Did you have any experience with the Employment 
Service officials? 

Mr. Beardsley. Mr. Jones, of the Employment Service, who was 
stationed at the Okeechobee camp — that's the colored camp, made 
every effort to see that we got a supply of labor to assist in cane har- 
vesting, and we wrote him a letter of appreciation for his efforts. But 
he was undoubtedly handicapped by the system of permitting labor 
bosses to determine where and for how much the men would work. 

Miss Pascal. Will you explain how the system operates? 

Mr. Beardsley. Negro boss recruiters with trucks were accorded 
complete run of the camp. Whether or not the men were those who 
had been brought into the section and deposited in the camp by these 
recruiters, it was the practice of the latter to make the rounds each 
morning, promising soft jobs at extravagant wages, thereby securing 
a truckload of hands who would be delivered to that farmer from 
whom the recruiter thought probable he could secure the most bonus 
per head. In most instances neither the job nor the pay was what 
had been promised by the recruiter. Many of the 81 men previously 
mentioned, on 1 week's pay roll were ostensibly sent to our job by 
the Employment Service, but it developed that the Negro recruiter, 
Taylor, had promised wages in excess of what our best men were earn- 
ing, so that many of these men worked only a couple of hours or a 
day, some not at all, but for these men, Taylor collected $2 per head 
at the end of the week. The following week a dozen of the best work- 
ers voluntarily returned to our job, but when we refused to deal further 
with Taylor we found it impossible to secure the number of hands which 
we had the previous week. 



Miss Pascal. What do you have in mind for next year? 

Mr. Beardsley. I have in mind for next year keeping the family 
men we now have, moving several of the Belle Glade camp boys that 
worked for us into my new family quarters. Aside from our old em- 
ployees, our most satisfactory help came from a group from St. Peters- 
burg, and we expect to have most of them back. 

Mr. Tipton. Had they been cane cutters before? 

Mr. Beardsley. They had not cut cane except in a small way on 
Georgia or Alabama farms where they were raised. They felt our 
operation was all right and that they were being well treated or they 
wouldn't have stayed with us. 

Miss Pascal. Have you any other plans for recruiting sufficient 
labor for your operations? 

Mr. Beardsley. We have no plans other than to scour St. Peters- 
burg for former employees, and to secure there all the family men for 
whom we can possibly find work, even if we have to "make" some of 
that work. It is possible we may request draft deferment for some 
of our regular hands. 

Miss Pascal. Did you have to pay appreciably higher wages this 

Mr. Beardsley. The requirements of the Department of Agricul- 
ture for compliance, in order to qualify for benefit payments under 
the sugar program, is that labor shall be paid a stipulated amount per 
day for all operations other than harvesting, and that harvesting shall 
be at a stipulated rate per ton for the three common sizes of cane, 
small, medium, and large. 

Miss Pascal. Did you find it necessary to go above the stipulated 

Mr. Beardsley. We paid, in many cases, a bonus of 10 cents per 
ton above the stipulated rate in order to increase the earnings in an 
attempt to hold onto our labor, not because they were not making 
good money if they worked. We had on our pay roll — and they were 
not expert cane cutters — the Sugar Corporation will exceed these fig- 
ures I am about to quote — six or eight men who consistently made 
$15 per week for an average less than 5-day week. By that I mean 
effect of weather conditions, and so on; we worked 6 days. 

Miss Pascal. I suppose you use a gang system similar to that used 
by the Sugar Corporation? 

Mr. Beardsley. That's right, only on a much smaller scale. 


Mr. Tipton. Diversification has now developed into a situation 
where there is not only diversification in vegetables, but also diversi- 
fication between vegetables and sugarcane and other things? 

Mr. Beardsley. That's right, and cattle. We have 70 head of 
cattle down on our place on 12 acres. 

Mr. Tipton. Are the Everglades well adapted to cattle raising? 

Mr. Beardsley. From the earliest day of our residence in the 
Glades, the luxuriant growth of wild cat-tail millet gave evidence of 


the adaptability of the Glades to heavy grass production for stock 
feeding, and I have not seen anywhere in the United States an area 
which averaged the Glades in pounds of beef per acre from grass. 
Water control is still a problem, but can be handled. Insects are 
certainly no worse than in other Gulf-coast areas. Adequate water 
control is tending each year to reduce the hazard from mosquitoes. 

Miss Pascal. In your real-estate business have you noticed any 
tendency over the years for the size of farm units rented to tenants 
to increase? 

Mr. Beardsley. Farm units have increased about fourfold in the 
past 10 years. 

Miss Pascal. What do you consider as being the minimum amount 
of Everglades land that can be farmed commercially with reasonable 
assurance of profit? 

Mr. Beardsley. A living can be made from 10 acres of Everglades 
land farmed by hand. For a mechanized operation, to produce what 
is now considered a reasonable income, farms should be not less than 
100 acr'es. 


Mr. Tipton. Will you tell us what channels you use to market your 
vegetables at the present time? 

Mr. Beardsley. When operating my own packing operation it has 
been my practice to consign to one of the several of reliable concerns 
in principal markets with whom I have dealt for some 20 years. 
Recently, most of our vegetables have been packed and sold by pack- 
ing house or broker in either Lake Harbor or Belle Glade, on f. o. b. 
basis. When my vegetable operations are not sufficient for car lots, 
say 50 to 100 crates of cabbage or tomatoes, I much prefer the first- 
method of handling, since I am able to draft against the car on the day 
it is loaded, for funds required to cover harvesting expense. This 
requires, of course, that the receiver know the quality and pack of 
my product, have confidence in my report concerning what I am load- 

Mr. Tipton. Do other growers in the Everglades use the same 
marketing system? 

Mr. Beardsley. The tendency has been rapidly toward f. o. b. 
sales, which I presume today cover 90 percent of our loadings. The 
10 percent which might be consigned is usually because buyers refuse 
to purchase on account of drop in prices. The f. o. b. system has the 
advantage of the grower getting cash, but it has disadvantages in 
the frequent wait for buyers to clear in subsequent rejects and claims 
for deductions and certain other bad features, but has become the 
standard practice because most of the deal is financed by commission 
houses, through local brokers or by the brokers themselves. This 
system naturally requires that the grower sell his produce through the 
channel from which he will secure his financing. I prefer the consign- 
ment system, because I finance my own crop and can distribute it as 
I see fit, at Cincinnati or Potomac Yards, to the best receiving market 
and, once having placed it, can draw draft for my expenses, fre- 
quently in an amount equal to that offered f. o. b. 

Miss Pascal. Will you tell us something about the drainage 
problems arising as farming operations in the Everglades expand into 
newly reclaimed lands? 


Mr. Beardsley. The basic plan for development of new areas in 
the Glades calls for maintenance areas to be set up in the form of the 
present subdrainage districts, most economically from eight to ten 
thousand acres, with a central pumping plant and a plan of reclama- 
tion considered adequate to handle water control. Due to the 
incapacity of the major district, the Everglades drainage district, 
because of its financial difficulties, lack of engineering staff, and so 
forth, many individual operations have been set up along the main 
channels of the Everglades district with small pumping plants, and 
the multiplicity of these is creating the situation of confusion not 
contemplated in the basic plan. It is hoped that in the future such 
operators, by persuasion or by enforcement of the law, will see the 
wisdom of the subdistrict plan embracing a considerable territory 
in preparing lands for development, so that we have a unit rather 
than an individual farm water-control operation. A further problem, 
corollary to development in either of the lines above, is the need for 
increasing the capacity of the present canals of the Everglades drainage 
district, which are completely inadequate at the present time to 
handle the volume of water necessary and which will be called on in the 
near future to handle the increasing amounts as additional pumping 
facilities are installed on these canals. 


Miss Pascal. What future agricultural development in the Glades 
do you anticipate and what type of development do you believe most 

Mr. Beardsley. At the moment I cannot hazard a prediction as 
to future agricultural development. It is commonly estimated, and 
I agree, that there is upward of 500,000 acres suitable for the produc- 
tion of sugarcane, but if, under stress of war, production from this 
section is nevertheless unable to obtain assurance of production for 
increased plantings, then it is impossible to say we will ever produce 
more than our present 100,000 tons of sugar, instead of the 500,000 
which we would be capable of producing within the next 5 years. 
Although increased starch production is earnestly desired by W. P. B., 
and the Glades has demonstrated its capacity to produce sweetpotato 
starch exceeding that of any other section of the country, and under 
priorities, for their procurement, facilities have not been made avail- 
able. It is conceivable that, after the war, such starch production 
can be economically profitable in competition with foreign areas and 
no prediction is possible of the probable planting. 

Ample evidence is available, from experience of the past several 
years, and the work of the Everglades Experiment Station, that 
cattle can be more economically fattened on Glades grass than by 
any other means and years of experience presage a tremendous de- 
velopment along this line in the middle Glades area. 

Of fiber plants, ramie at present seems most promising but there 
are a number of others which seem to offer great possibilities for future 
development. You will note that the four items — sugar, starch, beef, 
and fiber — are all lines which offer reasonable stability as compared 
with the hazard of vegetable production, which latter will continue 
to keep a prominent place in the agriculture economy, because of the 


prospective profits within an area subject only occasionally to freezing 
temperatures such as that adjacent to the lake. 

Mr. Tipton. Thank you very much, Mr. Beardsley. 


Miss Pascal. Will you give your name and address for the record? 

Mrs. Tompkins. Annie Tompkins, Box 125, Chosen, Fla. 

Miss Pascal. How many are there in your family? 

Mrs. Tompkins. Seven of us at home now. 

Miss Pascal. Your husband and five children? 

Mrs. Tompkins. I have one boy in the service and one daughter 
married, seven in all. 

Miss Pascal. How long have you been living in this camp? 

Mrs. Tompkins. Since last October, a year ago. 

Miss Pascal. Have you lived in the camp continuously since a year 
ago last October? 

Mrs. Tompkins. Yes. 

Miss Pascal. What sort of work does your family do? 

Mrs. Tompkins. They have been working in the packing house, 
agricultural work. We have a little garden spot. This morning we 
were canning up some beans in the camp cannery. I work at the 
lunchroom myself. The rest of the family work in the packing houses. 

Mr. Tipton. Your husband works in the packing plant? How 
many of the children work there? 

Mrs. Tompkins. One. 

Miss Pascal. In what packing houses do they work, bean or celery? 

Mrs. Tompkins. They have been working in tomatoes, packing 
tomatoes and potatoes and things like that. Yesterday and today 
he has been working in beans. 

Miss Pascal. Where are you from originally? 

Mrs. Tompkins. From Georgia. 

Miss Pascal. Did you farm in Georgia? 

Mrs. Tompkins. Cotton, corn, tobacco, peanuts. 

Mr. Tipton. Did you own your own farm up there? 

Mrs. Tompkins. No; we rented. 

Mr. Tipton. How long ago did you leave Georgia? 

Mrs. Tompkins. Seven years. 

Mr. Tipton. Where did you go from Georgia? 

Mrs. Tompkins. We went over to Boynton, Fla. 

Mr. Tipton. How long were you there? 

Mrs. Tompkins. I don't exactly know, probably 8 or 10 months, 
something like that. We stayed there and we worked on the farm 
some there and my husband worked on the roads, State road depart- 

Mr. Tipton. And from there? 

Mrs. Tompkins. We went to Plant City. We worked in straw- 
berries. We went over there just before Christmas, so that we got 
in on the strawberry harvest. When we completed there we went in 
to Hammond, La. 

Miss Pascal. What do they grow there? 


Mrs. Tompkins. Strawberries mostly. That's all we worked in. 
They grow a few vegetables, but they come on later than we stayed. 

Miss Pascal. How long were you there? 

Mrs. Tompkins. I would say we worked there about 60 days until 
the season was over. 

Miss Pascal. And then where did you move? 

Mrs. Tompkins. Kentucky. 

Miss Pascal. What did you do there? 

Mrs. Tompkins. We picked strawberries there, at Paducah. 

Miss Pascal. When does that season end? 

Mrs. Tompkins. The latter part of May. It doesn't last long. 

Mr. Tipton. That's a short season? 

Mrs. Tompkins. Yes; it's real short. 

Mr. Tipton. And where did you go from Kentucky? 

Mrs. Tompkins. Last year we went right straight into Michigan. 
We have picked in Illinois, but not last year. The fruit harvest in 
Michigan — we begin with strawberries and pick raspberries and 
cherries, and that's in Berrien County. We went to Baroda, that's 
close to Berrien Springs. That's where we first went picking, right 
on the side of Benton Harbor. We picked raspberries there, too, that 
year. We have picked up a little further. From there we went into 
cherries at Hart, Mich. 

Mr. Tipton. Where did you go from Hart? 

Mrs. Tompkins. We dropped back down to Indiana and picked 
tomatoes. That's where we make the most money, in tomatoes. 

Mr. Tipton. Did you just happen to strike a good year there or is 
it usually good money? 

Mrs. Tompkins. It is usually true. Then from Indiana we generally 
drift back to Florida. 

Mr. Tipton. When do you get back? 


Mrs. Tompkins. In October, sometimes a little earlier. One year 
we went to California instead of going to Florida. 

Mr. Tipton. What j T ear was that? 

Mrs. Tompkins. I believe it was 1938. 

Mr. Tipton. How did you happen to go to California? 

Mrs. Tompkins. We just heard people talk that had been out there 
and we decided— to be plain, we just flipped a coin to tell whether 
we would go to California or Florida. 

Mr. Tipton. How did you find it out in California? 

Mrs. Tompkins. It wasn't exactly like I expected. You hear you 
can go to California and sleep out every night but there was a lot of 
ice there. We were in Brawley, down in Imperial Valley, but before 
we went there, we stopped at Tucson, Ariz., and picked cotton a few 
days. There is plenty, but it is tough work. 

Miss Pascal. You were down in Imperial Valley? 

Mrs. Tompkins. We went in a Government camp there, in a F. S. A, 
camp in Brawley. 

Miss Pascal. Did vou work any place else in California? 

Mrs. Tompkins. We worked at Brawley and worked at Calipatria. 
We went up into Salinas Valley. We worked in peas. 


Mr. Tipton. Then where did you go from Salinas? 

Mrs. Tompkins. Into Idaho for peas. There were quite a few 
cherries around there but we didn't pick any. 

Mr. Tipton. Where did you go from Idaho? 

Mrs. Tompkins. We came back, then, to Michigan. 

Mr. Tipton. So that year the California trip just took the place 
of the Florida trip and, for 7 years, with the exception of the year 
you went to California, you have made the rounds from south Florida 
to Michigan, stopping at these various places in Louisiana, Kentucky, 
and Indiana. And you found that the year you went to California 
wasn't as satisfactory as the others ; is that right? 

Mrs. Tompkins. Well, we never did like to go back. Of course, it 
wasn't so bad but I guess it wasn't what we were used to or something. 
Down in the Imperial Valley there is no vegetation, only what is 
irrigated and just fine dust. 

Mr. Tipton. Was the one at Brawley the only Government camp 
that you found? 

Mrs. Tompkins. There was another. That was a floating camp, 

Mr. Tipton. Did you find any in Salinas? 

Mrs. Tompkins. We didn't get in one there. 

Mr. Tipton. How did you find housing conditions in those areas 
where you didn't live in the Government camps? 

Mrs. Tompkins. It was not available unless you had your own tent. 

Mr. Tipton. You carried a tent around with you? 

Mrs. Tompkins. Yes; we had a luggage trailer. 

Miss Pascal. Do you always travel around in your car? 

Mrs. Tompkins. Yes, ma'am. 

Miss Pascal. How are your tires now? 

Mrs. Tompkins. We couldn't get any tires, I suppose, these days, 
but I wasn't figuring on leaving this summer. I stayed all last year. 
I work in the camp lunchroom. I like it here. 

Mr. Tipton. Did the whole family stay here last summer? 

Mrs. Tompkins. I had one son went up to Michigan. He was just 
hitting for the cherries, though, and then came back. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you think you are settling down here for a while? 

Mrs. Tompkins. Yes, I do. 

Mr. Tipton. You are going to give up your travels between 
Michigan and Florida? 

Mrs. Tompkins. It is like this, I might go again sometime when 
things get better, but I didn't know how it would be to travel now. 

traveled same route several years 

Mr. Tipton. Can you tell us approximately how many weeks out 
of the year, during that time when you were making these rounds, 
you were able to find some kind of picking work? 

Mrs. Tompkins. Well, I'll tell you, unless a season happened late 
or something other like that, when we left the one job we knew what 
time we were going to work in another, for, after the first year, we 
always had a certain place to go back to and they would write us 
whenever it would be ready for us. 

Mr. Tipton. So that you were regularly in correspondence with 
these people you had worked for? 


Mrs. Tompkins. Yes, sir. We corresponded with them all of the 
time, and when we left Idaho and came back to cherries, we knew 
what we were going to get in cherries because we have always corre- 
sponded with the people we worked for. 

Mr. Tipton. How did you originally make these contacts? 

Mrs. Tompkins. You see, the first year we went up, we just went 
on chance, you know, and we worked with them and we went back 
again. They would write us that they had good crops, or what 
time, and they were always fair with us. They would tell us if the 
crop was good or not. If it wasn't good they would tell us who had 
a good crop in the neighborhood. 

Miss Pascal. Did these people ever suggest that you bring other 
harvesters along? 

Mrs. Tompkins. Yes; at times they did. If they had an extra 
crop, they would ask us to bring workers along. 

Mr. Tipton. Were you ever able to get others to travel along with 
you to the same places? 

Mrs. Tompkins. Yes, sir; quite a lot. 

Miss Pascal. Do you know many people who make this round you 
have described between here and Michigan? 

Mrs. Tompkins. Yes; there are quite a few. There are quite a 
few people — well, I know people from several States that make the 

Mr. Tipton. So that when you are traveling around you quite 
often meet people that you know from other areas? 

Mrs. Tompkins. Yes, sir. They would say "I'll see you in 
Florida" or "I'll see you in Michigan," and they would all be there. 
It is quite a lot of fun. Sometimes there would be several of us pull 
out from a place at one time and we would say "We will eat supper at 
such and such a place." We hardly ever pulled in a tourist camp or 
anything like that. We would stop some place and all cook and eat 
and have supper and sit around the campfire and probably sleep a 
little bit and get up and go again. 

farm security administration migratory camps 

Mr. Tipton. What do you think of these Government camps, 
Mrs. Tompkins? 

Mrs. Tompkins. I think they are a splendid thing for the poor 

Mr. Tipton. Your living conditions in Government camps are 
better than where there are no camps? 

Mrs. Tompkins. Yes, sir; because you see we don't have any sani- 
tation most places. 

Mr. Tipton. Is it hard to get water and accommodations? 

Mrs. Tompkins. Yes, sir. But we have a nice cannery here, you 
know, and we can anything we want to. If we get hold of vegetables, 
the camp furnishes cans and the place to can them. We just give two 
out of the dozen as toll. Then we have utility buildings, hot and cold 
running water at all times, lots of tubs, clotheslines, ironing boards, 
irons, showers, and we have a good school right here, and they have 
a lunchroom where the children all get lunch. They pay a nickel for 
their lunch and get a good lunch and a drink. If they don't have the 
nickel they get lunch free. Here they have grounds for the children to 


play and they have swings and things like that for them to play and 
have a recreation hall to go to at night, or in the day either, ball 
grounds, a basketball court. 

Miss Pascal. Have you done any vegetable gardening here? 

Mrs. Tompkins. Yes, we have. Back in there [indicating] are a lot 
that has vegetables and a few have chickens. Of course, we don't 
live on the outer edge, but we do have a garden spot. 

Miss Pascal. Can anyone who wants to garden take over a patch 
and grow things for their own use? 

Mrs. Tompkins. Yes. Another thing here, too, they don't have 
any speeding and one doesn't feel uneasy about a child being out on 
the road or anything like that. We have the use of the clinic and 
all that. 

Miss Pascal. They have a nursery here, don't they? 

Mrs. Tompkins. Yes; they have a nursery. They have a nursery 
for the children and take care of them when the parents have to work. 

Miss Pascal. Thank you, Mrs. Tompkins. 


Mr. Tipton. Will you give your name and address? 

Mr. Solomon. James Solomon, Belle Glade, Fla., general delivery. 

Mr. Tipton. Where are you from? 

Mr. Solomon. Dawson, Ga. 

Mr. Tipton. How long have you been down here? 

Mr. Solomon. Since 1938. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you go back up to Dawson in the summertime? 

Mr. Solomon. I have been twice. 

Mr. Tipton. The rest of the time you stayed down here? 

Mr. Solomon. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. What do you do down here? 

Mr. Solomon. I hoe cane. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you cut cane, too? 

Mr. Solomon. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. How long do you hoe cane and how long do you cut 

Mr. Solomon. You hoe 6 months and you cut 6 months. 

Miss Pascal. Whom do you work for? 

Mr. Solomon. United States Sugar Corporation. 

Mr. Tipton. How long have you lived here in the camp? 

Mr. Solomon. I came here in October, I think, of this last year. 

Mr. Tipton. Did you come in here when you came down from 

Mr. Solomon. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. Did you live in the camp last year? 

Mr. Solomon. No, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. Where did you live? 

Mr. Solomon. Miami Locks. 

Mr. Tipton. About 10 miles down toward Clewiston? 

Mr. Solomon. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. Where did you live down there? 

Mr. Solomon. I stayed in a fellow's quarters, Mr. Charley Thomas. 


Mr. Tipton. Did you work for the Sugar Corporation then? 

Mr. Solomon. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. Did you ever live in a Sugar Corporation camp? 

Mr. Solomon. I stayed down there about 3 months in the cane 

Mr. Tipton. Was that the first 3 months of the season that you 
stayed in the camp or the last 3? 

Mr. Solomon. The first 3. 

Mr. Tipton. How did you happen to move out of the camp into 
Mr. Thomas' quarters? 

Mr. Solomon. I was sick 1 day and the man wanted to make me 
work, the superintendent, foreman. 

Mr. Tipton. You didn't want to work when you were sick, so you 

Mr. Solomon. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. Did you have to move? 

Mr. Solomon. No, sir; I didn't have to move. 

Mr. Tipton. But you had to move or work; was that the idea? 

Mr. Solomon. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. Did you go back to work when you got well? 

Mr. Solomon. Yes, sir; the same place, but I stayed at another 
man's quarters, Mr. Charley Thomas. 

Mr. Tipton. Did you work all this season for the Sugar Corpor- 

Mr. Solomon. I didn't work quite all the season, I was off about a 

Miss Pascal. How long did you work for the Sugar Corporation? 

Mr. Solomon. About 4 months. They start hoeing now, this 

Mr. Tipton. How long does the hoeing last? 

Mr. Solomon. Until about the last of September. It lasts 6 

Mr. Tipton. Then, when the hoeing is finished, it is time to start 
cutting again? 

Mr. Solomon. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. And you moved right into this camp when you came 
clown this year? 

Mr. Solomon. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. Then you went to work right away, cutting cane, for 
the sugar company? 

Mr. Solomon. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. And you worked for them 4 months. What did you 
do the rest of the time? 

Mr. Solomon. I worked in cabbage for Mr. W. K,. Hooker. 

Mr. Tipton. How did you happen to quit cutting cane and go to 
work in cabbage? 

Mr. Solomon. I was cutting some and toting some and I got dis- 
abled to tote. It got me down in my back so I wasn't able to tote, 
tote it to the wagon and load it, so I told the man I couldn't, and he 
said I had to, and I said if I have to tote, I will quit. 

Mr. Tipton. So then you went to working in cabbage? 

Mr. Solomon. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. When was this? 

Mr. Solomon. It was before Christmas. 


Mr. Tipton. Have you a family? 

Mr. Solomon. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. How big? 

Mr. Solomon. Me and my wife, no children. 

Mr. Tipton. Were you married when you lived at the Sugar 
Corporation quarters? Did you have a room in one of their houses? 

Mr. Solomon. Yes; one room. 

Mr. Tipton. When you moved to Thomas' quarters, how much 
rent did you pay? 

Mr. Solomon. $1 a week. 

Mr. Tipton. Did you have to pay that yourself? 

Mr. Solomon. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. Were there other people living in Mr. Thomas' 
quarters that worked for the Sugar Corporation, paying $1 a week? 

Mr. Solomon. Some of the rooms they had to pay $2 a week for. 

Mr. Tipton. But they all had to pay that themselves? 

Mr. Solomon. Yes, sir. 


Miss Pascal. Did you find that you could make as much money 
in cabbage as you could working in cane cutting? 

Mr. Solomon. No, ma'am, not altogether. I got $2 a day for 

Miss Pascal. By the day? 

Mr. Solomon. Yes, ma'am. 

Miss Pascal. How about sugarcane? 

Mr. Solomon. I would average $2.50 in cane, sometimes $3. 

Miss Pascal. Are the hours longer in cane than in cabbage? 

Mr. Solomon. Yes. 

Miss Pascal. Did you ever pick beans? 

Mr. Solomon. No, ma'am. 

Miss Pascal. Which do you like best, working in cabbage or work- 
ing in sugarcane? 

Mr. Solomon. I like the cabbage the best for the work but it's 
about played out so I started back cutting cane. 

Mr. Tipton. When did you start cutting cane again? 

Mr. Solomon. About the last of March. 

Mr. Tipton. How long did you cut cane that time? 

Mr. Solomon. I stopped 2 weeks, tomorrow. 

Miss Pascal. Are you going back to Georgia this summer? 

Mr. Solomon. I am going to stay down here. 

Miss Pascal. What do you plan to do next? 

Mr. Solomon. The same thing, I imagine. 

Miss Pascal. Are you going to cut cane next year? 

Mr. Solomon. Yes; if nothing don't happen. 

Miss Pascal. Do you know whether there are many of the boys 
who work for the sugar company living in quarters like Mr. Thomas' — 
in Belle Glade or Pahokee? 

Mr. Solomon. There is plenty live in Belle Glade work down there. 

Mr. Tipton. How about other places? 

Mr. Solomon. Down at South Bay, some of the boys work there, 
but they don't stay in the camp but they stay at another place. 

Mr. Tipton. Are the cane camps ever filled up so that there is no 
room for all the boys in the camp? 


Mr. Solomon. No. 

Mr. Tipton. But they just don't want to stay in the camp, they 
prefer to stay outside? 
Mr. Solomon. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. Why do you suppose that is? 
Mr. Solomon. When one is sick he has to go whether he is well or 

not. • • i 

Mr. Tipton. He has to go out and work whether he is sick or not? 

Mr. Solomon. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. But if they don't live in the camp, they don't have to 
go out when they don't want to? 

Mr. Solomon. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. Thank you. 

APRIL 23 AND 26, 1942 

Mr. Tipton. Will you give your name and occupation for the 

Mr. Haney. Howard L. Haney, farmer, Belle Glade, Fla. 

Mr. Tipton. How many acres do you operate, Mr. Haney? 

Mr. Haney. Possibly 2,000 acres. 

Mr. Tipton. That is the amount you own? 

Mr. Haney. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. In any one season, how much of that is operated? 

Mr. Haney. Eight hundred. 

Mr. Tipton. Is that 800 acres cropped more than once during the 

Mr. Haney. Very seldom. 

Mr. Tipton. What are the main crops that you grow? 

Mr. Haney. Potatoes, cabbage, celery, some grass used as pasture 
for fattening cattle. 

Mr. Tipton. Can you give us an idea of how the 800 acres is divided 
between the various crops? 

Mr. Haney. One hundred and sixty celery, the same of potatoes, 
and about 120 cabbage, and the balance pasture. 

Mr. Tipton. How long have you been farming in this area? 

Mr. Haney. Six years. 

Mr. Tipton. You came here from where? 

Mr. Haney. Sarasota County. 

Mr. Tipton. How long have you farmed in Florida? 

Mr. Haney. Since '28. We started in the year '29. This is the 
thirteenth year. 

Mr. Tipton. You were a farmer -previously? 

Mr. Haney. In Michigan. 

Mr. Tipton. What type of farming? 

Mr. Haney. General farming. 

Mr. Tipton. Did you ever raise any celery in Michigan? 

Mr. Haney. Yes; I raised celery in Michigan. 

Mr. Tipton. About how large an acreage? 

Mr. Haney. Not a very large acreage. It was diversified, very 
diversified there, you know. Everything from grains, small fruit, 
hay, and some celery. 

Mr. Tipton. Can you tell us why you left Michigan and came to 
south Florida to farm? 

60396— 42— pt. 33 12 


Mr. Haney. Yes; it was on account of my health. J came to Flor- 
ida for my health. Too much cold weather in Michigan. I couldn't 
stand the cold. 

Mr. Tipton. Would you say that the bulk of the growers down here 
are people who have come from out of the State of Florida or are most 
of them old Florida residents? 

Mr. Haney. Most of them in this immediate vicinity are natives of 
Florida. Now, I say natives. They have been here since the section 
opened up. You see this is a relatively new section of the country, 
this immediate section. You go to a pioneer meeting and people that 
have been here 20 years are old timers. You see, there was virtually 
nothing here 20 years ago. 

Mr. Tipton. When you say most of the people here are old time 
residents of Florida, you are thinking in terms of 15 or 20 years? 

Mr. Haney. But it is a fact that most of them are native born. 
There are some from Georgia, of course. I can think of a half dozen 
right now from Georgia, but I believe there are more from Florida than 
any other State. 

Mr. Tipton. How about northern States, Michigan, Ohio, places 
like that? 

Mr. Haney. Well, one of our largest farmers here is from Michigan, 
but I think of very few outside of us two. 

Mr. Tipton. You say you came here from Sarasota. Did you grow 
celery in Sarasota? 

Mr. Haney. Nothing but celery. 

Mr. Tipton. Why did you move from Sarasota to the Glades? 

Mr. Haney. There was no room for expansion there in Sarasota. 
The land available was very limited. Prices were high. That land 
up there is around $700 an acre. 

Mr. Tipton. What type of irrigation is necessary over in Sarasota? 

Mr. Haney. They use what is termed "seepage" irrigation and get 
their water supply from artesian wells. 

Mr. Tipton. That's not the same sort of a proposition as tile drain- 
ing at Sanford? 

Mr. Haney. No; they use mole plows. They use mole plows for 
making irrigation drains through the soil. 

Miss Pascal. What type of soil is it in Sarasota? 

Mr. Haney. That's a muck. You see that was a drained lake. All 
of the celery farming in Sarasota County was in an old drained lake. 

Mr. Tipton. Is that a true muck in contrast to the peat? 

Mr. Haney. No; it's peat. 


Mr. Tipton. Mr. Haney, would v you give us a description of the 
soil types here and what is necessary for bringing the land & under cul- 
tivation and the way in which that process of bringing the land under 
cultivation is carried out? 

Mr. Haney. You start out with raw peat soil, grassland. Of 
course, that grows to a height of about 6 feet, very coarse grass with 
very fibrous roots, roots that require some time, probably 8 months 
or longer, to disintegrate and become a part of the soil, which is 
contrary to most any other grass that you might have to contend 
with. So the first process is plowing under the grass as deeply as 


you can plow it. This should be done in the winter. Then we allow 
it to go under water, that is, we don't pump the water off it in the 
summer. We allow it to go under water the following summer. 
The whole area, of course, has previously been ditched and diked 
and a pumping system installed. Then, about August, you pump 
the water off and till it thoroughly. By working it thoroughly, 
you can grow a crop of Irish potatoes. Up until now, that's the only 
thing we have found that we can successfully grow on raw sawgrass 
land the first year. After another deep plowing and a further curing 
process the next summer, it is available for other vegetable crops, 
principally leaf vegetables such as celery, escarole, romaine, any of 
the leaf crops that we can grow with profit. Of course, in the mean- 
time, it has been necessary to supply the soil with secondary elements, 
principally copper. Next in line, I think, would be zinc and man- 
ganese and boron. 

Miss Pascal. What quantities of the different elements are 

Mr. Haney. Well, the different farmers, of course, have developed 
different techniques and different ideas in that respect, but the 
general practice— and of course our experimental station is finding 
out more about that each year — I would say now, would be approxi- 
mately 50 pounds of copper and 25 pounds of zinc and about 1 pound 
of boron to the acre. 

Miss Pascal. This description applies to the peat land, doesn't it? 
Mr. Haney. Yes; that applies to the sawgrass land. Now we 
have other soils — lake bottom, for example, which is land that has 
been brought into use since the new dike was put up. 
Miss Pascal. Where is that located? 

Mr. Haney. Around the dike. A dike goes around the lake for 
protection against floods during hurricane season. Next would come 
what is known as custard apple land, so called because there was a 
rim around the lake, a belt, maybe a mile or less wide, that was 
covered with custard apples, and the reason it was covered with 
custard apples was because it was a strong land, a silt land that 
had come under the influence of the lake in the past, ages past, and 
had a greater deposit of silt and a greater deposit of the essential 
secondaries that were washed down from the Kissimee River Valley 
through the Kissimee River. 

Mr. Tipton. Before you go on, may I ask, how wide is this strip of 
custard apple muck? 

Mr. Haney. It varies. Where the bank wasn't built up as rapidly 
in some places as it was in others, it would spread out. I don't 
know exactly, but this could be found out be getting a report on the 
Soil Science meeting that just ended in West Palm Beach. They 
had a Soil Science meeting there beginning Tuesday and ending this 
afternoon, a combination of soil science and horticulture, and Dr. 
Allison, who has taken a great interest in the Glades and has probably 
been instrumental in perfecting the science of cultivation more than 
any other person here, has given an excellent description of these 
various areas. 

Mr. Tipton. Who is Dr. Allison? 

Mr. Haney. Dr. Allison is a man who, at one time, had charge of 
the experimental station here. About 2 or 3 years ago, or back 
at the time we were having difficulty in the Dust Bowl, he was called 


to Washington and spent some time out there and at present is in 

Mr. Tipton. Connected with the University? 

Mr. Haney. Yes; connected with the University. The next type, 
before you get to the sawgrass, is what is known as elderberry land 
and is called that because that's what grows on it — elderberries. It is 
considerably more fertile than the sawgrass but not as fertile as the 
custard apple and then it gradually fades out into the pure sawgrass 
land. Now this plastic soil that accounts for these various tvpes is 
all over the productive land, whether it is sawgrass or what it is, but 
in the sawgrass area, it is down beyond reach, next to the rock. You 
see, this peat land is all resting on solid rock. It is just a porous, but 
solid, rock, and there will bel6 inches to 2 feet layer of this plastic 
materia] right next to the rock. In digging a canal, when you turn 
that up, that comes on top on the ditch banks. It is very productive 
and you can grow anything there without fertilizer. Now, here where 
we are, we are about 6 miles from the lake and that plastic layer at 
this time is about 14 inches below the surface. The top is sawgrass. 
In plowing in this field right back of the house, you will plow up a little 
of that plastic occasionally. It lies nearer the surface as the land 
subsides. Now the subsidence is quite rapid here in the Everglades, 
which is the main reason why we should have a good plan of soil con- 
servation. It will settle about a tenth of a foot a year. Now, on a 
sample 2-mile straight line on our farm, we found that in the first 18 
months the subsidence amounted to 5 inches. After that it would 
be about a tenth of a foot a year. 


Mr. Tipton. Will you explain to us what causes that subsidence? 

Mr. Haney. Yes. " A certain percentage of it, the amount of which 
we haven't been able to determine, is from compaction, of course, but 
the major part is oxidation or the slow burning of the vegetable matter. 
You see, this peat soil is mostly vegetable matter. In fact, it shows, I 
understand, as low as 6 percent ash and the process of oxidation, 
especially when it isn't properly handled — and I mean by that, lack 
of water control — may be considerable. Of course, this subsidence is 
taking place whether the land is under cultivation or not. Out in the 
untilled areas, during the whiter months, which is usually our dry 
period, the soil cracks almost to the rock and there will be cracks 
16 inches wide at the top, extending down in there 5 or 6 feet and, of 
course, when the rains come those cracks fill up and you can't see it. 
It appears like erosion there, such as you would have from sun and 
rainfall up in the clay areas, but it is simply the land drying up and 
burning up for lack of moisture. Of course, the thing that created 
the soil was the fact that it was submerged the greater part of the year 
and the sawgrass has a chance to develop and fall down and create a 
soil, but, when we drain it, although the sawgrass continues to grow, 
it is out of water so much of the time that the actual humus is losing 
instead of gaining. . 

Mr. Tipton. Is subsidence increased a good deal when the land is 
under cultivation? 

Mr. Haney. It is the general opinion that that doesn't make much 
difference. In fact, here at this house the land had been cultivated 


but the general elevation is about the same as the field, and the water 
table, of course, has been about the same in the field as it has on the 
land and this has dropped away about 8 inches since this house was 
built. It has settled about 8 inches from the house line. That 
averages about an inch a year because the house has been here about 
8 years. It shows up very plainly because it is a stucco house and 
where the stucco was flattened out at the point where it met the 
ground, the ground has dropped away and that flattened stucco edge 
is now 8 inches in the air. 

Mr. Tipton. You said a little while ago, Mr. Haney, that on this 
2-mile line out at your farm you had noticed that in 18 months the 
subsidence had been 5 inches and that the usual amount of subsidence 
runs about one-tenth of a foot a year. What would account for that 
difference in rate in that first 18 months over the usual rate? 

Mr. Haney. There is about 12 inches of the top soil that's very 
light and porous and, of course, thickly interwoven through that is the 
sawgrass roots and just in the general course of cultivation, the plow- 
ing and disking that you give it the first year, will settle it to that 
extent and that's mostly compaction. After that, it's a combination 
of both compaction and oxidation. 


Mr. Tipton. Are there methods of cultivation by which this rate of 
subsidence can be held at a minimum? 

Mr. Haney. I wouldn't say methods of cultivation, but methods of 
soil conservation such as proper water control, whereby, for instance, 
you could keep your land submerged during what you might term the 
rest period which, in our case, would be during the summer. That can 
be done on the cultivated areas but the cultivated areas are such a 
small percent of the Everglades that you can see the enormous waste 
when these outside areas can't be kept under water, or at least at the 
saturation point. Of course, they are under water during the sum- 
mer, when our land is at rest, but when most of the damage is done and 
most of the waste takes place is during the long winter months which 
is our dry period and the oxidation alone, on the raw land, will almost 
equal the combination of oxidation and compaction on the cultivated 

Mr. Tipton. On cultivated lands does the level of the water table 
make a difference in the rate of subsidence? 

Mr. Haney. I believe that the consensus would be that it would not, 
due to the fact that after the first year or two you develop in the soil 
considerable capillary action and, while your land may not be at the 
saturation point, it will, at all times, contain sufficient moisture to 
retard oxidation. Of course, oxidation isn't so rapid when your soil 
is covered with vegetation other than sawgrass. Sawgrass isn't dense 
enough to shade the lands sufficiently. On the low-water tables on 
the raw land during our cold period there will be almost unbelievable 
differences in temperatures, as our weather service indicates. There 
will be as much as — well, the greatest difference noted is about 9° in 
a distance of about 200 yards. 

Mr. Tipton. I wonder if you could explain the reason for that. 

Mr. Haney. Yes; on the raw sawgrass land, being porous as it is 
with a coating of a few inches of dead sawgrass leaves on top, there is 


virtually no capillary action and, when our soil doesn't contain any 
moisture, it doesn't have the ability to store up the heat from the sun's 
rays and, therefore, doesn't have anything to give off in the morning, 
which is the danger point. Our lowest temperatures are just before 
sunrise in the morning, after the heat that has been stored is exhausted, 
and your cultivated land may have a sufficiently high water table to 
carry it through that period where the lighter soils or fluffy soils won't. 


Mr. Tipton. What type of plow do you use for originally breaking 
up sawgrass lands? 

Mr. Haney. Disk plows. 

Mr. Tipton. You said awhile ago that you began breaking up new 
land in the winter. How many months before that can be planted to 
the first crop of potatoes? 

Mr. Haney. The following September. 

Mr. Tipton. When will those potatoes be ready to harvest? 

Mr. Haney. In December. 

Mr. Tipton. So that it is just about 9 months before you plant and 
approximately a year before you get a harvest? 

Mr. Haney. Yes. Of course, it is better to let it stand over a year 
because you get a dense weed growth. They call them careless weeds 
here, but they are the same as we call pig weeds up in the country. 
And that growth helps to disintegrate the sawgrass roots and, regard- 
less of the fact that you may plant within this 9 months' period, most 
of the farmers will plow the second time about halfway between that 
period, although, you understand, we haven't had a great deal of 
time to develop this technique, and right now I don't believe there 
would be many farmers that would attempt to plant the first year. 
They prefer to plow it again the following winter and probably get it 
plowed at least three times. You see, the first time you plow it 
about 16 inches deep, which usually brings the sawgrass roots to the 
surface, and then another plowing will bury them deep enough that 
they won't be in the way of your top cultivation. 

'Mr. Tipton. All this plowing is by disk plows? 

Mr. Haney. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. What sort of power is used for this process? 

Mr. Haney. The only tractor that we can use successfully is a 
track tractor, caterpillar type, usually about a 30-horse tractor. 

Mr. Tipton. Then the original plowing is done with caterpillars. 
How about the cultivation of crops, what type is used? 

Mr. Haney. We can use the pneumatic-tired Farmall type. 

cost of land development 

Mr. Tipton. Can you give us an estimate, Mr. Haney, of the per- 
acre cost of putting new sawgrass land under water control, and, 
secondly, of breaking up that new sawgrass land, preparing it for the 
first crop? 

Mr. Haney. That depends, of course, upon the type of pumps 
installed and the quality of the installation. There are numerous 
ways of doing that. If you put in with an eye to the future, you need 
a good substantial concrete based pump with the motor, an efficient 


type pump and motors of sufficient size to make maximum use of the 
pump, and about twice the pumping capacity that you would need in 
normal times. If you dig your ditches properly and construct your 
dikes properly to insure yourself against breaking of the dike and 
high water, the cost would be around $20 an acre. That's for the 
water control. . . 

Mr. Tipton. How much additional for this process of brmging the 
land under cultivation? 

Mr. Haney. Do you mean just the first year's work? 

Mr. Tipton. Yes. 

Mr. Haney. That would cost you another $10 an acre. Then, of 
course, before you get it in condition for such crops as celery or any of 
the vegetable crops, good farming practice would call for leveling, 
that is, filling in any of the burned places. Now, there will be places 
where, in the past, fire has started and you will have 4 or 5 inches of the 
top soil burned off. Those low places should be filled in, in view of the 
fact that you are using seepage irrigation. You can't control your 
water in those particular places and, if you get your water high 
enough in the rest of the farm, those places are too wet. That would 
cost you as much as you want to spend doing it, anything up to $25 an 
acre. Some pieces that we have concentrated on for celery have cost 
us an additional $20 an acre. 

' Mr. Tipton. That's $20 in addition to the water control plus the 
first cultivation? 

Mr. Haney. Yes. 


Mr. Tipton. What is the smallest acreage on which it is feasible 
to install water control? 

Mr. Haney. A half section. That depends now on whether or 
not you are out by yourself or whether you have neighbors that are 
taking the water off of one or more sides. 

Mr. Tipton. The more neighbors you have doing that, the less it 
is going to cost you? 

Mr. Haney. Yes. The reason for this is that the rock on which 
this peat soil is resting is porous and, when the water outside of your 
dike is at a land level or higher, a seepage ditch inside of your dike 
won't stop the water from being forced under your ditch and out into 
your farm for a distance of 300, or 400, or 500 feet. So, the larger 
your tract of land the smaller is the percentage of that tract of land 
that you can't cultivate in a wet season. 


Mr. Tipton. When a half section field is brought under water con- 
trol, how many pumps would be necessary to control the water table, 
assuming that you had no immediate neighbors to help you control 
the water? 

Mr. Haney. I have two pumps with a capacity of 15,000 gallons a 
minute each, making a total of 30,000 gallons a minute. 

Mr. Tipton. They handle how much land? 

Mr. Haney. A half section. 


Mr. Tipton. Can you tell us the approximate cost of these pumps 
and their installation? 

Mr. Haney. Between $5,000 and $5,500. 

Mr. Tipton. How much additional cost for the necessary ditches? 

Mr. Haney. That depends upon what you are going to use it for 
and how many ditches you want to put in. The cost per acre that 
I have been giving calls for 660 feet of ditch, in addition to the large 
ditches around the outside. You have to dig a fairly good sized 
ditch around the outside to get sufficient muck to build a strong dike. 
The figures that I have been giving are for land out in the sawgrass 
where we had no help. We had to dig the large canal all the way 
around to protect ourselves on three sides. Now, if we were in an 
area where we had neighbors, we could dig a much smaller ditch on 
the side, and depend more upon our inner ditches. Also, we have to 
dig considerably more ditches than we need, if it were not for these 
heavy rains that we get occasionally. Just this last week we had 
about a 7-inch rainfall and right now the water in the canals is higher 
than the land. It might seem that we dig more ditches than would 
be necessary and that is the case for just a normal rainfall, but you 
have got to insure yourself against a total loss by putting in consider- 
ably more ditches than would be necessary normally. I haven't 
told you in dollars and cents what that addition would be, but it will 
be close to $20 an acre. 

Mr. Tipton. Assuming that you had close neighbors to help you, 
approximately what proportion of that $20 would you be able to 

Mr. Haney. You could save 25 percent. 


Mr. Tipton. A little while ago you said that the sawgrass land was 
less fertile than the elderberry and the elderberry less fertile than the 
custard apple. What elements account for this difference in fertility? 

Mr. Haney. The known elements are those that I have mentioned, 
copper, manganese, zinc; and, of course, those silts will be higher in 
phosphorus and potash content. They also have a greater ability to 
retain those elements; it is generally recognized that the leaching in 
those muck soils is not as great. Minerals have been added to this 
soil by overflowing lake water, due to the fact that this water flows 
from the natural watershed of the central part of the State through the 
Kissimmee River, and contains not only the minerals that we have 
mentioned but all other minerals that are in the soil. When the 
lake overflowed, previous to the time that the dikes were built, it 
evaporated there and left this residue. The mineral content of the 
soil seems to be in a direct ratio with the distance of the soil from 
the lake. 


Mr. Tipton. Is it necessary to add any nitrogen to any of these 
three types of soil? 

Mr. Haney. It wouldn't be necessary if it wasn't for the fact that 
we are farming during the cold winter months. The aeration brought 
about by cultivation will start nitrification if you have a high enough 
temperature, but during the winter months, when you are carrying 


high water tables for frost protection and your ground is wet and you 
have a cold period, it is necessary to apply certain small amounts of 

Miss Pascal. Mr. Haney, is that more true for growing certain 
crops than others? 

Mr. Haney. Of course, with the rapid-growing crops you don't 
take a chance. You apply the nitrogen. Now I refer to something 
like radishes that will produce in 23 days or like beans that you can 
produce in 43 days. You usually don't take a chance. When you 
fertilize those you put in some nitrogen, but any of the other crops 
that run over a period of 3 months, you can usually apply it when 
necessary and save that expense, because you may not have to put 
it on. 

Mr. Tipton. Then when you do have to apply nitrogen, you put it 
on as a side dressing? 

Mr. Haney. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. For celery do you use any in the original planting or 
only in case you feel it is necessary as a side dressing? 

Mr. Haney. You are referring to the nitrogen of soda? 

Mr. Tipton. Yes. 

Mr. Haney. We use no nitrogen in the original. 

Mr. Tipton. What fertilizer formula do you use for celery? 

Mr. Haney. A popular formula is an 0-8-24. 

Mr. Tipton. How about cabbage? 

Mr. Haney. About half as much of the same formula. 

Mr. Tipton. How many pounds of this 0-8-24 do you use to the 
acre for celery? 

Mr. Haney. A ton. You can apply your secondaries in your spray 
because it is necessary to have a regular spraying schedule, usually 
once a week. You can apply your boron and your zinc and your 
copper that way. The plants will take it through the leaf. 

Miss Pascal. About what is the cost per ton of this 0-8-24? 

Mr. Haney. That varies considerably from year to year. Of 
course, now it is rather high, approximately $40 this year. 


Miss Pascal. What type of cultivation is necessary in the Glades? 

Mr. Haney. Those methods vary with the individual. Of course, 
in a broad sense, they are more or less the same. Weather conditions 
determine more or less the type of cultivation that you will use and 
there is different cultivation for different crops. If it is celery, celery 
takes a shallow cultivation, as long as our soil is friable or loose. If 
you have heavy rains, unless the soil is loosened up, your bacterial 
action ceases and therefore nitrification ceases. You can't do deep 
cultivating if your celery is very large, because of the roots. You 
would disturb the roots too much, so we use subsoilers with about an 
8-inch sweep, and we cultivate at a depth of about 10 inches. They 
do a minimum of damage to the roots and loosen the soil all of the way 
to the surface. Outside of this subsoiling after rain, as far as celery 
is concerned, the only cultivation you do is to keep the weeds down. 

Mr. Tipton. All of these processes, I suppose, are pretty highly 


Mr. Haney. Yes; your subsoiling can be done by one man. You 
will do anywhere from three ,to iive rows t at a time with a Farmall 


Miss Pascal. How about disease and insect control? What 
methods are used? 

Mr. Haney. You must have a regular schedule for disease control. 
The general practice is once a week whether it needs it or not, because 
you can't tell when it needs it. You watch for the insects. They are 
seasonal, of course. We have a great deal more insects and pests to 
fight here than we do in the North, or so it seems to me. In the case 
of celery, you will start in the seed beds with cutworms. You may 
have aphids and red spiders. Then we have about a half dozen 
different kinds of cutworms that we have to contend with in the field, 
climbing varieties, and we have the leaf worms, two different kinds of 
leaf worms. We have to contend with these aphids quite regularly 
and in the spring we usually have thrip trouble. Of course it's just 
part of the farming to keep a thorough watch of those things and take 
care of them as the occasion arises. 

Miss Pascal. What methods are used to apply insecticides? 

Mr. Haney. I use mostly wet spray. There are a number of dusts 
that are effective for most of the vegetables. Of course it is regulated 
by law, but we can use arsenicals up to 6 weeks before harvesting. 
If we have difficulty after that we use dusts which are not poisonous 
to warm-blooded animals. 

Miss Pascal. Are these sprays and dusts applied by hand machinery 
or power machinery? 

Mr. Haney. All power machinery. There are times when most 
any of the farmers might use the airplane dusting. For instance, 
when the ground is too wet to carry their dusting and spraying 
machines, and for certain types of dusting, the airplane is consider- 
ably cheaper and just as effective. On large fields of beans, where 
the vines have become so large that it isn't practical to go in with a 
machine, the airplanes are very effective. 

Mr. Tipton. Can you give us now an estimate of the per-acre cost 
of disease and insect control? 

Mr. Haney. It will run from $10 to $18 per acre — at least that's 
my experience. 

Mr. Tipton. Will you give us an estimate of the capital require- 
ments for entering the farming business on the basis of an acreage 
that you consider to be a minimum for profitable farming in the region? 

Mr. Haney. Would that be starting from scratch on undeveloped 

Mr. Tipton. Yes. 

Mr. Haney. The minimum would be about a section, 640 acres. 
You would need about $35,000 worth of equipment. The land would 
cost you between $20 and $30 an acre. Roughly, you could figure 
between $40 and $50 an acre to get into production. 


Mr. Tipton. I wonder if you could give us an idea of the compari- 
son in the costs of growing celery in the lake region with Sarasota, 
Sanford, and northern areas? 


Mr. Haney. There isn't a great deal of difference in the cost of 
production in any one of the three Florida areas, as the methods of 
farming and the methods of fertilizing are perfected, although, of 
course, the larger your acreage, the less your per-acre cost is going to 
be. Here in this area it will run around $175 an acre. In Sarasota 
it will run as high as $225. In the Sanford area, which doesn't in- 
clude Oveido because Oveido is an entirely different proposition, it 
might run as high as $250, due to the fact that it is necessary for them 
to use a great percentage of organic fertilizers, and your plant foods, 
when purchased as organics, always cost more per unit than the 
mineral fertilizers. 

Miss Pascal. Does the elaborate irrigation system they have up 
there increase the cost of production to a great extent? 

Mr. Haney. Yes; it does; for the simple reason that they are farm- 
ing on that coarse sand which leaches very readily and they won't 
have the residue of then previous fertilizing that we will have. You 
see, their tiles are only about 12 inches under the surface. They rest 
on a hardpan and that peculiar formation is what made Sanford a 
celery-growing section, because it will hold their artesian water. Were 
it not for that hardpan they just couldn't grow celery and the sand is 
so coarse that their fertilizer leaches out readily during rainy times. 

Miss Pascal. How about the Oveido region? 

Mr. Haney. Oveido is comparable to Sarasota. The Oveido land 
is probably the most fertile of the three sections. 

Mr. Tipton. You gave us per-acre estimates for costs of growing in 
those regions. How do yields compare in the regions? 

Mr. Haney. I would say that the average yield would be greater 
in the Oveido section than any other, next would come Sarasota, then 
Belle Glade, and Sanford would come last, although certain farmers 
in Sanford will equal the yield of any of the other sections. 

Mr. Tipton. Can you give us an estimate of the per-acre yields in 
any or all of the sections? 

Mr. Haney. I believe that the average for the State is around 350 
crates to the acre. We have averaged 600 crates to the acre in Sara- 
sota, which is unusual, but between 450 and 500 crates to the acre 
would be a fair estimate for Sarasota. Oveido might be as much as 
15 or 20 percent higher, while Sanford will fail to equal the State 

Mr. Tipton. And how about Belle Glade? 

Mr. Haney. Belle Glade will come right in between Sarasota and 

Mr. Tipton. We have been discussing the per-acre costs and per- 
acre yields of the various sections in Florida. Now, can you give us 
some indication of how costs and yields in Florida would compare with 
northern producing areas such as New York and Michigan? 

Mr. Haney. Due to the methods of planting in Michigan and New 
York, it is hard to get a comparison, on an acre basis, with this region. 
In Florida we will plant from 45,000 to 65,000 plants to the acre. In 
Michigan and New York they will plant around 25,000 to 30,000. In 
the fall of the year, in particular, they use dirt for bleaching, and they 
must have their rows far enough apart so they can get sufficient dirt 
for that purpose. Down here, because of higher temperatures and 
the fungus diseases, we can't use dirt for that purpose. W^e must use 


paper. Therefore, we put our rows closer together and get that addi- 
tional number of plants per acre, so it is hard to make a comparison, 
although, basing it on the number of plants per acre, there is very- 
little difference in the yield. 

Miss Pascal. Can celery be produced more cheaply in Florida than 
in New York and Michigan? 

Mr. Haney. Due to the fact that the soils of both Michigan and 
New York are considerably more fertile than those in Florida, they 
can grow it cheaper than we can. 

Mr. Tipton. From what you have told us so far, it would appear 
that Everglades farming is, to a considerable extent, a large-scale 

Mr. Haney. It is a large-scale proposition and a much more profit- 
able proposition than the northern celery growing. 

Mr. Tipton. And is that also true of other crops besides celery? 

Mr. Haney. Yes. 


Miss Pascal. Is there any tendency in the Everglades region for 
the size of operation to increase? 

Mr. Haney. No; I wouldn't say there was a tendency for it to 
increase. Conditions make it imperative that you have a consider- 
ably larger acreage in order to farm economically, due more or less 
to lack of diversification. You see, we are working under handicaps 
here that the Michigan farmers, for instance, don't have. They range 
all the way from small fruits to vegetables, cattle, and what have you. 
We must confine our efforts to green vegetables. Of course, the cry- 
ing need of the Everglades is diversification and we are heading 
toward that. There are possibilities in grass-fattened cattle. We 
have several new crops being tried out, for instance, ramie. We have 
2,500 acres of ramie and we hope, and have every reason to believe, 
that this will become a profitable crop. There has been a recent 
introduction by the United States Sugar Corporation of sweetpotatoes 
for starch and there are possibilities in the same sweetpotato for cattle 
feed. There are a number of the farmers going to try it out next year. 
In fact, just in the last few weeks we have organized, in the county, 
a cattlemen's association with a dozen or more members, all of whom 
expect to have a certain number of feeders for next year. You see, 
we have grass available at a time when 100 to 150 miles up the State 
their grass is out. That's in the winter months, and we feel that it 
is going to be a source of profit and a method of diversification. 

Our whole trouble, of course, is in getting quality beef and, in order 
to do it economically, we must find something that will take the 
place of the grains that we might have to ship in from the North. 
There has been considerable experimenting along that line with 
sorghum, Egyptian wheat, and now comes this experiment with sweet- 
potatoes — something that the farmer can do himself. He can grow 
the potatoes and, with a rather inexpensive home-made shredder, he 
can shred those potatoes and dry them in the sun. They can be used 
as a concentrate and, with a very small addition of something like 
cottonseed meal, experiments have shown that we have something that 
is the equivalent of corn. We are just beginning this cattle fattening 
but we hope that we are going to be able to do something with it. 


Then, of course, our fibrous crops, such as ramie that we mentioned, 
the development of that has been more or less hastened by the war, 
as most of it came from China in the form of tung grass, and we under- 
stand that most of the big textile companies are using it in most of 
their fabrics. Recently there has been developed machinery thatjwill 
harvest it and decorticate it, and we have high hopes that it is going 
to be quite an industry in this section. On the marginal lands there 
are possibilities of peanuts, and those people that have been doing 
the experimenting with materials from which we can create plastics 
have hopes of developing something in the near future. In fact, to 
my mind, there is no doubt but what we will get into something of 
that kind that requires large acreages. 

Miss Pascal. Is this cattle-fattening business being developed on 
new land or land that has already been under cultivation? 

Mr. Haney. It lends itself very readily to a rotation program. The 
grass does better upon land on which you have grown vegetables. Of 
course, in order to grow grass on the new-sown grassland, to grow it 
successfully, it is necessary to do a certain amount of fertilizing, 
especially the application of secondaries. We were successful in 
developing a small pasture with an application of just copper — which, 
by the way, we flew on. We got monohydrated copper and flew it on 
at the rate of 20 pounds per acre, which was a sufficient quantity to 
develop grass. While it wasn't as satisfactory as the vegetable land 
for that purpose, it did make quite a creditable pasture. In using a 
certain piece of land continuously for vegetables you build up a popu- 
lation of insects and also increase the fungus diseases, and a rotation 
with grass will eliminate both of those. 

Mr. Tipton. Is there any tendency in the region for diversification 
in vegetable crops? 

Mr. Haney. It is difficult to get any further diversification in vege- 
table crops unless someone should invent a new vegetable. We can 
grow about everything in the catalog that is profitable in our farming 
season. Of course, the main thing is beans, string beans. Next comes 
cabbage. Next in line would probably be celery and its relatives, or 
the other leaf crops such as the escarole and romaine. We also grow 
eggplant; fall and spring tomatoes. Our potatoes, of course, are a 
green vegetable. They never mature fully. So we grow most any- 
thing that will show a profit. 

Mr. Tipton. Has there been any tendency for the percentage of 
the acreage in the region devoted to beans to decline? 

Mr. Haney. Yes; and while the numbers of acres of beans has 
probably increased, the percentage has decreased. 

Mr. Tipton. So, in that sense, the area is becoming more diversified? 

Mr. Haney. Oh, yes. 


Miss Pascal. Do you raise any sugarcane? 

Mr. Haney. I have 30 acres of seed cane planted. 

Miss Pascal. For the future do you anticipate making any other 
changes in your planting program, in addition to this cattle-fattening 

Mr. Haney. Well, I am going to try an experiment with sweet- 
potatoes on cattle. We formed a cane-growers' cooperative associa- 
tion just recently, and we hope to be able to grow some sugarcane. 


We will have sufficient quantity of seed to put out probably 2,000 
acres for the 1943-44 harvest, which will supply a small mill, and we 
have hopes of getting a cane mill in our immediate vicinity here. 
This seed cane that I speak of will increase at the ratio of about 15 
to 1. Out of 1 acre of seed cane we will produce enough seed to plant 
15 acres. It would be rather expensive to buy the seed cane, so we 
are growing it ourselves. 

Miss Pascal. Mr. Haney, how many acres of cane would be neces- 
sary to plant to provide sufficient cane to support a mill? 

Mr. Haney. That, of course, depends entirely upon the size of 
your mill. You have mills that will grind 500 tons a day, 1,500, all 
the way up to 7,000 tons a day. The Sugar Corporation, I under- 
stand, will grind about 7,000 tons a day. What we have in mind is 
something of about 1,500 tons a day and that will take about 5,000 
acres, because in our locality the harvesting period will be consider- 
ably shorter than it will be in some other sections. Due to our lack 
of water control, which also means frost control, we have to confine 
our efforts, as far as cane is concerned, to that period of the year 
when it will be the least apt to get frozen, which only gives us a 
maximum of about 120 days to harvest. 

Mr. Tipton. How low a temperature will sugarcane stand? 

Mr. Haney. Well, a slight frost such as 30° or 29° doesn't seem to 
affect it, provided the temperature isn't that low for any length of 
time. Now, in most of our frosts it is down to freezing only about 
30 minutes. If the temperature drops and holds down for 3 or 4 hours 
we get considerable damage, but cane can be harvested, after it is 
frozen, for a period of something like between 20 and 30 days even 
though it has been severely frozen, so badly frozen that the stalks 
will eventually die. It kills the buds on it. It can be harvested 
profitably for a certain number of days after the frost. 

Mr. Tipton. How about celery, Mr. Haney? How low a tempera- 
ture will celery stand? 

Mr. Haney. Celery is just as susceptible to frost as anything else, 
except that the nature of the plant makes it possible to grow it out 
again after what 3^ou have above the surface is frozen. Now, you can 
go down to 20° above, which freezes the ground quite firmly, especially 
if it holds that way for 2 or 8 hours, and you can grow your celery out 
again, the same stalk, because it comes out from the heart, and you 
can produce a very creditable crop of celery in 3 weeks after a freeze of 
that kind and grow an entirely new stalk. 

Miss Pascal. In going into cane production, do you anticipate 
curtailing vegetable production? 

Mr. Haney. Yes; the cane production and cattle feeding, and any 
of these things we can do successfully, will decrease the percentage of 
vegetables, maybe not the tonnage that comes out of the Glades but 
the percentage. 

Miss Pascal. Is that, do you think, generally true of the other 
growers who are going in for more cane? 

Mr. Haney. Yes; that would be true. Most any of the growers 
are interested in something that appears substantial. Now, this 
vegetable game of ours down here is a very uncertain, erratic industry. 
It takes a number of vegetables — each farmer must grow a variety of 
vegetables — and he must keep continuously at it for about 6 months 
out of the year. You have got to hit all markets. It gets rather 


monotonous and most any of the farmers would welcome anything 
that would lessen some of the strain of the fight. 


Miss Pascal. You said that vegetable producers have to grow a 
number of different vegetables. Do weather conditions make this 
advisable as well as the variable markets? 

Mr. Haney. Yes. The market is one of the prime factors, but the 
danger of a disaster such as a flood or a frost makes it quite imperative 
that a person diversify. Now, there are certain of the vegetables that 
you can only grow seasonally. What I mean by that is, you can grow 
two crops of beans, you can grow a fall and spring crop of beans. With 
a vegetable like celery you can have 16 weeks of harvest, beginning 
January 1. In order to do that you must have 16 weeks of planting, 
beginning the last week in September. Now, that is quite a con- 
tinuous operation, in view of the fact that you will start your seedbeds 
in July, and a program of that kind would carry you up to the first week 
in May, so that that's something that keeps you occupied from the 
middle of July until the middle of May the following year. Now, in 
the meantime, it is necessary to have seasonal vegetables, such as fall 
potatoes and winter cabbage and spring leaf crops, and then your fall 
and spring beans, of which we have two or three varieties, in addition 
to the lima beans. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you double-crop celery land at all? 

Mr. Haney. We don't make a practice of double-cropping celery. 

Mr. Tipton. Can it be done? 

Mr. Haney. Yes; quite successfully. 

Mr. Tipton. With regard to the future development of the Glades, 
what part do you think vegetable production will play in the total 
Everglades production? 

Mr. Haney. A very important part, the most important part. It 
so happens to be a section that can produce green vegetables at a time 
when competition is at a minimum. In the spring of the year, we 
have the celery market to ourselves. Florida has the market from 
about the 1st of March until some time in May, and there are other 
parts of the season when our only competition is the Rio Grande 
Valley. Therefore, there is nothing that would take the .place of the 
vegetables but, as these other crops that I am talking about come in, 
cattle feeding, for instance, you could specialize on that to the elimina- 
tion of virtually everything else but cattle feeding, and there will 
undoubtedly be people that will turn to that if it becomes a successful 
venture and will make a business of grass-fattening cattle. Then, if 
the fiber crops come in, or any of the crops that can be utilized for 
plastics, that will probably become a specialty crop to a certain extent. 
You understand, all of those things will lend themselves to rotation. 
Agriculturally, we are just beginning to get on a firm foundation — and 
what we need and need badly is a system of rotation and these crops 
that I am telling you about will provide that rotation. 

Miss Pascal. Do you think that there will be a tendency for certain 
people to go into these specialty crops as their only enterprise and also 
for the vegetable farmers, perhaps, to go into these crops on the side 
to stabilize their operations? 


Mr. Haney. Yes; just as it is now. Now we have farmers whose 
main crop is celery. That's my case. Incidentally, I will grow pota- 
toes and cabbage. I don't grow beans because I haven't the proper 
type of land for beans. Other farmers specialize in beans. In- 
cidentally, they will grow some celery and some cabbage and some 
potatoes. We have a few that specialize in eggplant and peppers 
because they have land in frost-protected areas that lends itself very 
nicely to the production of those crops. Incidentally, they will branch 
off in some of these other vegetables. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you think that there will be a great increase in 
vegetable acreage down here or do you think that after a while the 
market for these winter vegetables will be fully supplied so that the 
only room for expansion will be in these newer types of crops? 


Mr. Haney. There is always the possibility of the development of 
these quick-freeze methods and that would cut into our business 
directly. Now, whether or not these dehydrated vegetables will 
ever become popular, or popular enough to be competitive, is prob- 
lematical. I doubt that they will, although I have had an oppor- 
tunity just recently of tasting some very fine-tasting material that 
they told me was dehydrated bananas, and another material that was 
ground up dehydrated peas. That was up in Washington, by the way. 
I was up there a few weeks ago. Now, whether those things will be- 
come popular or whether they are just a defense measure, I don't 
know, but as for the consumption of green vegetables as such, it seems 
to be increasing each year. The land is being developed very rapidly 
around here — between 25,000 and 30,000 acres has been sold in the 
last 18 months, not to speculators but to prospective farmers. 

Mr. Tipton. You mentioned quick freezing. Do you think that 
there is any possibility of the development of the quick-freezing 
industry down here? 

Mr. Haney. Yes; I think so. I should think, though, that the 
other parts of the country where they can grow those vegetables 
cheaper would be the logical place to do it. Of course, there is always 
the problem of transportation and we should avail ourselves of any 
opportunity to take care of any surplus that we might have that 
could be utilized in that manner, but we like to have and should 
have some northern vegetables just from a health standpoint. 

Mr. Tipton. We understand that a cannery to pack beans has been 
established here just this year. Would you say that there is any 
permanent future for a local canning industry? 

Mr. Haney. Definitely so. There is. I don't believe that it would 
be an exaggeration to say that there are very few years that 50 percent 
of the string beans that are grown are harvested due to the lack 
of a market. Now, of course, that hasn't been the case this year. 
Beans at the present time are selling from about $1.50 to $3.50 a 
30-pound hamper, which gives a wonderful profit, but the time comes 
when we won't have such a market — that's the case most every year. 

Miss Pascal. I understand that this cannery has not been able to 
obtain beans this season because the price has been so high? 

Mr. Haney. Yes; an unfortunate frost came along and they lost 
a lot of acres of contract beans, and then unfortunately we had this 


unseasonal flood of a week or so ago. It is estimated to have ruined 
about 50 percent of the beans. 

Miss Pascal. In your opinion, is it possible that other crops may 
be used for canning down here in the future? 

Mr. Haney. There has been considerable talk about kraut factories. 
Now, this year on our farm we had at least 80 acres of cabbage that 
would easily have averaged between 10 and 12 tons per acre. But the 
Rio Grande Valley put up large quantities of kraut and there is no 
reason why we couldn't do it here. 

Mr. Tipton. How about tomatoes? 

Mr. Haney. Our tomatoes are about the most hazardous crop that 
we grow. 

Mr. Tipton. Because of the weather? 

Mr. Haney. They are so susceptible to rain, floods, and on this 
particular type of land we don't get the quality that we should have 
for canning purposes. We don't get the flavor that we should have. 
Nevertheless, there would be quantities of them available for that 
purpose. You see we have very few vine-ripened tomatoes. Our 
method is to pick them green. Unfortunately, a large percentage 
of them are picked too green and Everglades tomatoes, as a result, 
do not enjoy a very good reputation. There are other sections of 
Florida on the higher land that grow much better quality tomatoes. 

Mr. Tipton. Are there any other vegetables that you think of 
that could be introduced into a canning program? 

Mr. Haney. We can grow quantities of creditable carrots. The 
possibilities of small potatoes for canning have been discussed. Of 
course, lima beans. And there are possibilities in English peas. The 
greatest trouble is a constant supply. The market is very erratic on 
those things. The farmers hestitate to contract at a low price when 
there are always the possibilities of getting -10 times as much as a 
canning factory could afford to pay. 

Miss Pascal. Then you would say that, while there is a future for 
canning, it would be largely on a basis of canning the surplus during 
periods when the market is low? 

Mr. Haney. Yes. There are certain things to overcome and, at 
the present time, that is, the state of mind of the farmer. He would 
look upon it more or less as a salvage proposition, which I think could 
be worked out successfully in the case of kraut but possibly not so 
successfully in the case of other vegetables. 

Miss Pascal. Why is that? 

Mr. Haney. Because there will be a greater period of time when 
cabbage will be cheap than there will be that peas and beans will be 
cheap. . 

Mr. Tipton. Is that because there are competing areas producing 
during a greater share of the cabbage season? 

MrV Haney. That's right, the Rio Grande Valley. That was our 
competition this year. When we both have a good crop of cabbage, 
it isn't very high. 

Miss Pascal. Do you think it is possible, Mr. Haney, if vegetable, 
acreage expands markedly down here, Miat would have a tendency to 
keep fresh vegetable prices permanently down to a point where vege- 
tables could profitably be canned? 

Mr. Haney. Yes; I think there is a possibility of that occurring 
some years. Now, it would seem that it is rather silly for a group 

60306— 42— pt. 33 13 


of farmers down here to grow, year after year, crops of which they can 
only harvest a certain percentage due to market conditions, but you 
never know at what time of the season some other section is going to 
have a disaster and the prices will go sky high and, in a period of 3 
weeks, you will not only make up all of your losses for the last 3 
months, but make a profit. That's the case in celery. I have experi- 
enced that with cabbage and that will also be the case with beans, 
even locally. When we are competing, the east coast may lose their 
bean crop and our price will immediately double. California will 
have difficulty with their celery and our price will immediately go up 
anywhere from 25 percent to 50 percent. This year the North and 
South Carolinas, as well as north Florida and the Rio Grande were in 
direct competition with us in our cabbage. 


Mr. Tipton. Will you tell us somethmg about the packmg and 
marketing of south Florida produce? 

Mr. Haney. There have been radical changes in the last 6 years in 
packaging of produce from this section. Along with the diversifica- 
tion of products came the improvement in packaging. There was a 
time when the beans were all just packed in the field and shipped to 
market just as they were picked by the field hands. As long as there 
wasn't a surplus, that method worked all right, because the processing, 
even of the beans, was done on the other end. That is, sorting, taking 
out the refuse that the field hands would leave in them, and getting 
them ready for market — that took place at the terminal markets. 
Then some local man conceived the idea of working that out in a 
packing house, putting up grading belts and perfecting the package 
here. As a matter of fact, that was about the first influx of white 
migratory labor, because there was a shortage of colored.labor anyway. 
He conceived the idea of utilizing some of the local white folks and 
that, apparently, was the beginning of the custom of white folks work- 
ing in the packing houses and processing plants while the colored 
worked in the field. 

Miss Pascal. When did this change take place? 

Mr. Haney. That was about 8 years ago. It might have been 9 
years ago. 

Miss Pascal. About '33? 

Mr. Haney. Yes. Then, as other commodities came on, the same 
method of perfecting the package was carried out. Of course, another 
one of the important crops is celery and, while the perfecting of the 
package took place at a little earlier period than it did in beans, it 
was just about as radical a change, because celery used to be packed 
in the field the same way and shipped to the market, at which place it 
was processed at considerably more expense. There came a time when 
labor was considerably more plentiful in the Glades than it was there 
at the terminal markets and you could do the packing a whole lot 
•cheaper here. Packing was done in a sort of assembly-line process, 
where the stuff would pass over a chain and the various grades would 
be taken out and be classified as to quality and all of those things. It 
could be done very cheaply. Then there was further improvements 
in the type of celery package. Where, in the old package, the tops 
were left on, which caused deterioration through evaporation of the 


product, those tops were now cut off in the field immediately after 
the celery was cut, which saved a lot of shrinkage from the field to the 
plant. It was packed in a short crate and immediately precooled. 
This not only improved the quality of the product, but eliminated 
about 16 or 20 percent of the weight of the crate, where formerly this 
extra weight was transported to the terminal markets, a distance of 
anywhere from 500 to 1,500 miles, at which place it had to be disposed 
of. This reduction in bulk further saved on the cost of transportation. 
There are still several vegetables being grown here on which the 
packaging could be considerably improved. 
Miss Pascal. What crops are those? 


Mr. Haney. Cabbage is one of them. We are using a definitely 
ridiculous package to ship cabbage in, also green peppers and tomatoes. 

Mr. Tipton. How is cabbage packed? 

Mr. Haney. It is a hamper with what is termed a "bulge" pack. 

Mr. Tipton. That's the round, tall hamper? 

Mr. Haney. Yes; and there is probably 10 percent anyway of the 
so-called contents of it exposed on top of the package and this is 
ruined before it gets to market. It has just become a custom for the 
people on the other end to demand it and the tendency of the com- 
mission men at the terminal markets is to follow the line of least 
resistance. Their time for selling an article is very limited and they 
are not much in (a,vor of spending time on a new package, regardless 
of how efficient the thing might be, or how economical it might be. 
Someone has got to take it in hand and prove its value and create 
a demand for it before they are interested in handling it. It is the 
same case with peppers. That's a pack. There are probably two 
layers of peppers extending above the package. The same thing is 
true of tomato lugs. There are a couple of rows of tomatoes extending 
above the top of the lug, with pasteboard sides to add to the beauty 
of the thing, but it isn't much protection to the vegetable. At the 
time of beginning these new methods of packing, the farmer himself 
would derive some benefit, but eventually, as it became common 
practice, competition was keen and the savings, instead of revertmg 
back to the farmer, were picked up by the handlers on the other end. 
So that it is a steady job for the packer, whether he be a farmer packer 
or a packer that does nothing but pack, to devise new methods of 
economy in packing in the hope of getting the bulge on his competitors 
and, as soon as it becomes common practice, it is the same old story. 

Miss Pascal. Are these bad methods of packing particularly 
noticeable down here or do they use that bulge pack for cabbage all 
over the country? I mean, could better methods, now used in other 
parts of the country, be used down here or is it a matter of devising 
a new package entirely? 

Mr. Haney. It is a matter of changing the custom on the receiving 
end. Green cabbage from Florida just doesn't seem to be green 
cabbage unless they are in a hamper. They will receive green cabbage 
from Texas — Texas has discarded the hamper. They will receive 
them, just the last few years, from the Carolinas in 2- and 3-bushel 
crates, but Florida cabbage, in order to be recognized as green cab- 
bage, must be shipped in a hamper. 



Mr. Tipton. You had considerable to do with the improvement in 
the celery package, didn't you, Mr. Haney? 

Mr. Haney. Yes; I had devised a method of packaging it but I 
hadn't perfected a cover for the box until the Rock fastener people 
of Rockawa} 7 , N. J., headed by Colonel Babcock, sent a man into this 
section with their wire binding and Rock fastener. That fastener 
and the crate that I devised were a natural combination. So they 
started manufacturing the celery crate with their Rock fastener on 
it. The head of their research department and myself traveled 
through the North — in fact we visited every market east of the 
Mississippi one summer — and really sold the idea of the package, but 
it took our firm a year to get it on the market. Of course, we had 
made contacts where they agreed to handle it the first year — which 
they did. The next year, another company started shipping with it 
and now probably 90 percent of all of the celery going out of Florida 
is in that package. 

Mr. Tipton. That is what is called the Howard crate? 

Mr. Haney. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. The Howard crate is named after you, we understand? 

Mr. Haney. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you have a patent on that crate? 

Mr. Haney. No; the benefit that we derive from it was considerable 
just as an individual shipper, and the benefit that all the farmers 
derive from it is considerable. 

Mr. Tipton. You say about 90 percent of the celery is shipped in 
that crate? 

Mr. Haney. Yes. 

Miss Pascal. Is that true in other areas, as well as in Florida? 

Mr. Haney. The crate doesn't have the advantages for those 
celery-growing sections near the market that it does for Florida. 
The bulk of our stuff goes to the northern market and the main ad- 
vantage of the crate is that it is a reverse pack, that is, tops put to 
bottoms and bottoms to tops. You can get the same amount, and 
more, celery in a crate with less weight and it is more compact and 
easier handled and lends itself to long-distance shipping. Therefore, 
it isn't, in general, used in the North where they are close to the 
markets and carry a great deal of it by truck. 


Mr. Tipton. You spoke awhile ago about the development of bean 
packing. We have been told that over in the Pompano area most 
beans are packed in the field, rather than in packing houses. 

Mr. Haney. That's due to the fact that the farms are smaller, 
therefore, more numerous, and they just haven't the capital, you 
might say, to put up grading belts. They have a local market and 
their stuff is auctioned as they bring it in each day, although there 
are some grading belts there. I understand that a certain percentage 
of the beans are bought at a discount and the belt operator then pro- 
ceeds to grade them and sell them at the regular price. 

Mr. Tipton. Would the fact that the farms are smaller mean that 
the farmer could supervise the picking and the packing in the field 
to a greater extent than would be possible in a larger operation? 


Mr. Haney. Yes; that would be the case to a certain extent but 
you can't get the perfection with the type of labor that you have to 
contend with in the field that you can under strict supervision in a 
packing; house. 

Mr. Tipton. Are most of the packing houses organizations which 
do only packing or are the packing houses operated by farmers? 

Mr. Haney. Well, in my opinion the law of economics more or less 
eliminates those farmers that do nothing but, you might say, furnish 
the raw material for the packing house. If he doesn't become large 
enough to do his own packing and his own shipping and precooling, 
he doesn't stay in business very long. Therefore, here in Belle 
Glade there are only two custom packing houses that do a great deal 
of business and they are doing it on a semicooperative basis. What 
I mean by that is, they don't have a regularly constituted cooperative, 
but for the sake of lowering their own overhead by assuring them- 
selves of a large volume, they are willing to eliminate a great per- 
centage of their possible profits and take in other large growers for 
the purpose of increasing volume. 

Mr. Tipton. You say, then, that these packing houses pack some 
produce on a custom basis, but are also growers. Do not the large 
growers in the region operate their own packing houses? 

Mr. Haney. Yes. 

Miss Pascal. Do you think that there are enough small growers 
in the area to support any number of custom packing houses? 

Mr. Haney. No. I don't think so because a small grower here 
would be considered a rather large grower in most any other section 
of the country. When you go down to where you are only operating 
on 200 or 300 acres, you are a small grower. 

Miss Pascal. The total volume produced by the very small growers 
is low because they are so few in number? 

Mr. Haney. Yes. Take for instance the Sanford area, where in 
the past a man could not only make a good living but could save 
money in growing 10 to 30 acres of celery. You can see that, when 
in this section they are growing from 100 to 300 acres, their volume 
woidd be such that they could make a profit at a price where the 
10-acre man couldn't make a living and the low per-crate production 
cost is probably eventually going to eliminate the small 10- to 20-acre 

Miss Pascal. Were you talking principally of the celery grower? 

Mr. Haney. Yes; I was talking of the celery grower because that 
was primarily a celery-growing section. 

Miss Pascal. I mean, when you were talking about custom packing 
houses in this area. Is that situation generally true for growers? 

Mr. Haney. That is generally true for the growers of all crops. 


Mr. Tipton. When the grower is large enough to process his own 
raw materials, as you said awhile ago, does that have a tendency to 
protect his investment against fluctuating market conditions, a 
protection that he wouldn't have if he only grew? 

Mr. Haney. Oh, yes; because he has the additional profit from his 
selling, from his processing and his precooling. If there are three 
profits taken out of the farmer who is just simply a grower, it takes 


away better than 50 percent of his possible profit, and that farmer 
who is large enough to operate a processing and precooling plant 
and hire his own salesman could break even or take a small loss on 
his farming operations year after year and still be in better position 
than the small farmer that had to hire that part of it done. 

Mr. Tipton. In other words, while he might not make any profits, 
and might even take a little loss on his actual farming operations, he 
would have these profits on processing, packing, selling, and precooling, 
which are definite costs that must be taken out first, in the case of the 
small grower, before the small grower makes anything? 

Mr. Haney. It is exactly like the case of the commission man on 
the other end. He endeavors to get volume. He must have volume 
because his profit per crate is small, just a few cents, but with sufficient 
volume he will have quite an income. The same thing is true with 
the farmer. When he can get up into several hundred thousands of 
packages, even a profit of 10 or 15 cents a crate shows considerable 

Mr. Tipton. You mentioned precooling awhile ago, Mr. Haney. 
What is the process of precooling and for what products is it necessary? 

Mr. Haney. All of the leaf crops must be precooled. There are 
different methods of precooling. Some of them are run through a 
bath of cold water. Others are top iced. That is, two or three tons 
of shaved ice is blown onto the top of the vegetable crates after they 
are loaded in the car. Otherwise, there is what the trade knows as 
slimy soft rot. That takes place at certain temperatures and will 
attack the vegetation en route. It would be virtually impossible to 
ship the distances we have to ship without the precooling. The same 
day that the vegetables are taken out of the field, they are precooled 
and put into iced cars. 

Miss Pascal. Then those cars are iced from time to time, I suppose, 
as they go north? 

Mr. Haney. Yes; depending on the season. Initial icing will carry 
them through in the colder part of the season, but, in the early fall 
and late spring, it is necessary to take standard refrigeration. 


Miss Pascal. What are the usual marketing arrangements made by 
growers in this area? 

Mr. Haney. That varies considerably with the different organiza- 
tions. Now, our organization consigns virtually everything that we 
grow. We have never maintained a local sales platform and sell a 
minimum of stuff locally, but we do have contacts in about seven of the 
northern markets, that we have had for the last 10 or 12 years, with 
reliable commission men whom we attempt to keep supplied with our 
commodities, and we usually get the top of the market in that way. 
Now, as is the case in any other business, there are unscrupulous 
dealers in the terminal market that won't give an in-and-out shipper 
much of a break. There have been some rather sad experiences with 
consignments, so that certain of the growers and packers make a 
business of selling for cash here. In fact, the bulk of the beans are 
auctioned right at the packing houses here in Belle Glade. One 
organization here, in particular, that is one of the largest celery 
organizations, if not the largest, sells as much as 80 percent of their 


stuff for cash at their packing house. They have a trade with southern 
markets on celery, in particular, and sell through brokers in the 
northern markets, cash on the platform. Then there are variations 
of those two methods. 

Mr. Tipton. Do any of the large farmers around here maintain a 
regular sales manager? 

Mr. Haney. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you? 

Mr. Haney. Yes; we have a sales manager for our own produce. 
We handle nothing but our own produce. 

Mr. Tipton. And that's quite general among the larger growers? 

Mr. Haney. That's general among the larger growers. Some of the 
large growers act as their own sales manager and have farm managers. 
Others manage their farms and have sales managers. 

Mr. Tipton. Can you tell us approximately what are the customary 
washing and packing costs for celery, and what is the customary 
charge foi precooling a carload of celery? 

Mr. Haney. Customs vary in the different sections. In Belle 
Glade the practice has been to break down those charges, in view 
of the fact that none of the processors complete the operation. What 
I mean by that is, they don't pack, precool, and sell. Now there is a 
large precooling plant that, if you have sufficient volume, will precool 
your celery for 8 cents a crate. There are other organizations that 
do the packing and the selling. The price of selling is from 10 to 15 
cents a crate. The price of washing and packing, with the crate 
furnished, is between 45 and 50 cents. In other sections, Sarasota, 
for instance, the complete job will be done for from GO to 75 cents a 
crate. The same thing is true of the Sanford-Oveido section, where 
the reason for the variation in the custom is that in the Sarasota, 
Sanford, and Oveido sections there are a greater number of small 
farmers who must of necessity have the entire job done for them. 

Mr. Tipton. Isn't it also common practice in the Sanford section 
for the packing houses to handle harvesting operations? 

Mr. Haney. Yes; it is done on a contract basis. That is, the 
colored foreman contracts with the processing company to cut their 
customers celery at so much a crate. 


Mr. Tipton. How many acres of celery would you consider neces- 
sary for a celery farmer to have before it would be profitable for him 
to put in his own washing and packmg house and his own precooler? 

Mr. Haney. Anywhere from 120 acres up. 

Mr. Tipton. That would be true of both the washing and packmg 

Mr. Haney. That would be true of the washing and packing house 
but the smallest kind of a precooler that would be economical would 
service one or two others of that size. 

Mr. Tipton. That would be around 300 or 400 acres to supply the 

Mr. Haney. Yes. You see, in my opinion, the economical thing 
for a farmer to do is to have his washing and packing plant located on 
the farm at the edge of his field where he doesn't have the problem of 
disposing of the refuse. You see, this processing of celery is carried 


to the nth degree and everything not edible is taken off and plowed 
back into the ground. If you have to transport the celery 8 or 10 
miles into town and then take back the refuse to the farm, it adds to 
your overhead. If you can do your processing, with the exception of 
your precooling, on the farm, then your precooler can be located in 
town on the railroad track where, immediately after coming out of 
the precooler, it is put into a car and the car closed to conserve your 

Miss Pascal. On this basis of 120 acres for washing and packing 
house and 300 to 400 acres for precoolers, can you give us an estimate 
of the investment necessary to establish those two operations? 

Mr. Haney. The individual farmer can put up his packing house, 
that is under pre-war conditions, for probably $2,500. With about as 
small a unit as he could get, and this wouldn't be new equipment, a 
person who wanted to spend a little time getting used equipment 
could put up a precooler for from $12,000 to $18,000 that would 
service at least three such houses. But, you know, the difficulty with 
the farmers is they haven't reached the point where they are in a 
cooperative frame of mind. It takes adversity to make the farmer 

Mr. Tipton. You say that farmers are not cooperative. I wonder 
if you would explain a little more of what you mean by that? 

Mr. Haney. Well, it seems to me that is shows up more in this 
section than any other I was ever in. Each fellow wants to run his 
own show. He doesn't want to be bothered with synchronizing his 
efforts with those of one or more others. While we have one semi- 
cooperative organization here in this section that is working out fairly 
well, nevertheless there is considerable dissension. There are five of 
them, and they can't come to an agreement on a general policy. By 
that I mean that one or two want to sell their own. They don't 
want to hire a salesman and let him sell their commodities. There 
are others that use some of the sales agencies. They don't want to 
conform to any general policy as to whether they shall consign or sell 
at the platform. Some of them consign and some of them utilize 
their association's salesmen at the platform. So it isn't a real coop- 
erative. They just haven't the idea of cooperation. As I under- 
stand cooperation, any individual in it must submerge some of his 
own interests for the benefit of the total group, and that's one thing 
it seems to me that no individual wants to do. 

Mr. Tipton. 1 understand from what you say that this lack of 
cooperation in this organization you mention is the failure of large 
growers to cooperate with each other. 

Mr. Haney. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you think that there is any future in this country 
for the cooperation of small growers who haven't the alternatives 
that the large grower has? 

Mr. Haney. Decidedly so. There is also a future for cooperation 
of the large grower, or a combination of large and small growers, be- 
cause economic necessity is going to make it necessary and, when it 
does, we will have 100 percent cooperation. 



Mr. Tipton. In that connection, I wonder if you are familiar with 
the project that the Farm Security Administration is establishing over 
near Port Mayaca? 

Mr. Haney. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you think there is a future for that sort of thing, 
from the standpoint both of drainage problems down here and also 
from the standpoint of these marketing conditions of which you have 
been speaking? 

Mr. Haney. Well, I have thought quite a bit about that project. 
If it is possible to get 150 unsuccessful farmers to take orders from a 
farm manager that knows his business and if it is possible to make 
that same 150 unsuccessful farmers work, there is no reason why it 
won't be a great success. 

Mr. Tipton. Then, you would say that theoretically that sort of a 
project is well adapted to this region and that the limitations would 
be on the personal level rather than on the business or technical 

Mr. Haney. Yes. The problem is going to be the various personal 
ideas in the organization. Now, these people that this manager is 
going to have to depend upon, to say the least, are not the most effi- 
cient people in the world or they wouldn't be there. I know from ex- 
perience with migratory people that it isn't because they haven't the 
will to do. They just haven't the capacity. _ I have had several work- 
ing for me that had the will, they were anxious and willing to make 
good, but just to put it plainly, they didn't have sense enough to do 
anything for themselves. So they have got to be trained to take 
orders. They have got to be trained to do the things that they are 
asked to do and learn to do them well. It is just the same as with the 
people in the Ford factory. They can earn a profit for Ford, and a 
very good living for themselves, simply by learning to do just one 
simple thing and do it well. Now, if this man has the ability to or- 
ganize them along that line, and pick out those few who have some 
ability, to make them subforemen and more or less regiment the others 
to where he can perfect a sort of a machine, it is going to jell. Other- 
wise, I don't know. 


Miss Pascal. Has the number of permanent farmers, that is, year 
round resident farmers in the lake region, increased lately as opposed 
to those farmers who come down here in the winter season just to grow 
a crop? 

Mr. Haney. Oh, yes; in the last 5 or 6 years the bulk of the per- 
manent farms have been established. It is still a pioneer section. 
We are still just beginning to develop the Everglades and with the 
exception, I will say, of a half dozen old pioneers that really developed 
the first farms, everything that you see here today has been accom- 
plished in the last 6 years. The wildcat operators are rapidly going 
out of existence. What I mean by that, the men that jump from 
rented farm to rented farm, without regard for the soil itself, with no 
thought of the future, concentrating on what they can get out of that 
piece of land that year, knowing that the following year they jump to 
some other piece of land and abuse it. Those people are rapidly dis- 


appearing. One reason is that the land that they could rent in pre- 
vious years is now being taken up by permanent farming operations. 
They haven't the ability nor the inclination to go out and develop 
raw land, so, in the most part, they are working for someone else now 
or else they are not coming down to this section of the country. 

Miss Pascal. You mean that they used to come down for the season 
but didn't live here regularly? 

Mr. Haney. Yes; there were a great many such farmers. There 
is another group here now who are established specialty farmers in 
the North. What I mean by that, they specialize in one or more 
rapidly growing vegetables, Chinese cabbage and radishes and things 
of that kind, and they have established a trade for those articles in the 
northern markets. By coming to the Everglades, they_ can make it 
almost a 12-month operation and don't have to break in with their 
customers each spring. They can supply the needs of that man 
through the season by growing part of the time in the Everglades. 

Mr. Tipton. And there is an additional advantage to them in the 
fact that their overhead costs for machinery — — 

Mr. Haney. Yes; they do transfer the machinery from one place to 
another and so, not only keep their customers supplied, but their ma- 
chinery in operation virtually 12 months out of the year. 

Miss Pascal. You told us something about this cooperative cane 
growers' enterprise that has just been started. _ I suppose you would 
say that it is another example of the grower going into at least a part 
of the processing operations in order to increase his benefits? 

Mr. Haney. Yes. We have made some progress with the cane 
cooperative. Of course, the limiting factor is, what we people of 
Florida think, the unjust Sugar Act of 1937 that prevents us from 
obtaining private capital. At this time our Senators are busy in an 
attempt to obtain financing through the regularly constituted agencies 
and we hope that in the near future we will be able to go ahead with it. 
Senator Pepper is particularly interested. As a matter of fact, he 
has been a leader in the movement all the way through and, as things 
look right now, he is going to be successful in raising the finances. 

Miss Pascal. Mr. Haney, will you describe for us the problems of 
labor, both from the standpoint of the workers themselves and from 
the standpoint of the employers in this region? 

LABOR SUPPLY, 1941-42 

Mr. Haney. Now, the demand for labor, of course, depends entirely 
upon the crop situation. A large percentage of the hand labor in the 
field is bean picking. Now, fortunately, the fall bean picking is over 
before we start harvesting potatoes, cabbage, and celery. The com- 
modities that we grow lend themselves very nicely to a continuous 
employment. As a usual thing, the fall bean picking is over before 
the fall potatoes are ready to harvest and beans don't begin again 
until the winter celery is pretty well harvested. Now, there are at 
least two definite bean growing sections, that of the east coast and that 
of the Glades, and when they both have a good growing season and 
come in competition with each other for labor is the time that we 
usually have a shortage. We had such a shortage for a week or two or 
three last fall, due in part to the fact that we didn't have as many 
migratory field laborers here as usual. So far this spring there has 


been no shortage and that was due to the fact that the Pompano 
section or the east coast, that should be using large numbers of field 
hands, was damaged by rainfall to such an extent that most of those 
people could be utilized in the Glades. Another factor this year was a 
rather late frost and more recently, a week or 10 days ago, an 
unseasonable rain that damaged the beans to an estimated extent of 
about 50 percent. 

Mr. Tipton. That happened here in Belle Glade? 


Mr. Haney. Yes. Therefore, the most pessimistic are not antici- 
pating a shortage for the remainder of the season. Since the Farm 
Security Administration housing projects were put in, it seems to 
me that they have made it necessary for those with their own quarters 
to make definite improvements in their housing facilities in order to 
keep their laborers satisfied. There have also been definite improve- 
ments in the colored section of Belle Glade, due partly, in my opinion, 
to the superior housing afforded by the Farm Security Administration. 
In the last 4 or 5 years there have been improvements in the colored 
section, such as the installation of pipe lines, supplying them with 
water and an improvement in sanitation. Nevertheless, there is 
much to be desired in sanitation and general living conditions in the 
colored section and yet, for some reason, in fact for many reasons, the 
colored camp of the Farm Security hasn't been filled to capacity, as 
yet. Certain unscrupulous white property owners in the colored 
section of Belle Glade have circulated stories, working on the ignorance 
of the colored laborers, pointing out the restrictions that they would 
be subjected to in the camp, even going so far as to sell them on the 
idea that, upon entering the camp, they would undoubtedly immedi- 
ately be transferred to the Army. That's just a sample of the stories 
that circulate but, as far as my personal experience is concerned, I 
have had considerable better luck with the employees located in the 
camp than I have with those in the quarters, due to the restrictions as 
to conduct in the camps. You will get a much more reliable type of 
laborer out of the camps than you can possibly get out of the quarters. 
Another important thing, a vitally important thing, is the campaign 
that the Farm Security Administration is putting on against venereal 
diseases in the camps. Any farm hands that you get out of the camps 
you know have been given a physical examination and that they are 
under treatment, regardless of what their trouble might be, and, on 
account of the high rate of syphilis, at least to me that is more or less 
of a consolation. The Farm Security Administration, and I believe 
that most any farmer in the section would substantiate this, is doing 
wonderful work in improving the health of both white and colored 
laborers, particularly that of the children, as each camp has a clinic, a 
school, ana nursery operating 24 hours a day. The nursery makes it 
possible for the parents to work in the fields during the day while their 
children are being cared for in the nursery at a minimum charge of 25 
cents for 24 hours in the white camp and 10 cents in the colored camp, 
unaer the supervision of trained nurses, with a physician on call at 
ail times. 

Mr. Tipton. In testimony before the committee about a year ago, 
Mrs. Roosevelt told of a trip which she took through this area, 


describing extremely bad living conditions in the Negro quarters. 
Would you say that there has been substantial improvement since 


Mr. Haney. At the time that Mrs. Roosevelt was here conditions 
were terrible in the quarters. There is no doubt about that, but not 
so bad as they were 3 or 4 years before that. When I first came 
down here 6 years ago colored people were paying 25 cents a night 
to sleep on a truck body, just an ordinary stake truck with bean 
bags on the platform and a tarpaulin over it, simply because there 
was no place for them to live. There is reason for that. The develop- 
ment here was rapid and the demand for housing was considerably 
greater than the building. There is no particular profit in main- 
taining quarters, unless you do charge more than seems reasonable, 
because this type of colored help have no respect for property and 
those quarters, as poor as they were, virtually need rebuilding each 
year. They will burn up the doorsteps and if there is any woodwork 
they will burn that for fuel — everything that is movable. If there 
is sheeting on the inside of the house they will tear it off and use it 
for fuel. It was a real problem to maintain sufficient quarters, and 
these migratory workers are here for a much shorter time than our 
regularly employed hands. There are really two seasons in the Belle 
Glade section, a fall season of about 2 months, then there is the 
migration to the east coast for 3 months or so, then there is the mi- 
gration back and another spring season of approximately 2 months. 
So that we needed this excess housing only about 4 months in the 
whole year, and that's another reason why the Farm Security Ad- 
ministration's project was so necessary for the section. 

While we have been very fortunate with our labor problems this 
year, there is no doubt that, as more men are called into the service, 
both in the fighting forces and in the defense projects, we are going 
to have to reconstruct our ideas of what it takes in the way of labor 
to carry on our farming operations. As the majority of the farmers 
don't feel like asking deferments for able-bodied farm employees, it 
does work a definite hardship on the farmer because you do have to 
have a certain number of maybe not skilled employees, but at least 
those who have some training. 

Mr. Tipton. How about next year? 

Mr. Haney. It seems to me that as far as another season is con- 
cerned, we should make some effort through the slack season of the 
summer months to perfect a system, in conjunction with the regularly 
constituted organizations sponsored by the Federal Government, and 
in operation in every county in the State, whereby all available 
man-hours could be utilized to the fullest extent. That, of course, 
is nothing impossible but implies calling for some study and thought, 
as well as cooperation, on the part of the farmers. 


Mr. Tipton. Have you had occasion to use the services of the 
Farm Placement men of the United States Employment Service this 

Mr. Haney. To some extent we have, yes. They were set up to 
make transfers from the various south Florida sections as the labor 


was needed and actually had started that service when the recent 
floods made it unnecessary. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you think they will be of assistance to you in 
helping solve labor problems for next year? 

Mr. Haney. I don't think there is any doubt about that. I 
think they will be of great assistance, chiefly in making available the 
information as to what sections of the State have a surplus of labor 
and arranging for transfer to the sections where there is a shortage. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you think they will be able to do anything along 
the lines of more fully utilizing man-hours within the given section? 

Mr. Haney. Yes; although that is going to be a difficult problem. 
To go into detail on that, in the last few years there has been de- 
veloped a rather large group, particularly of colored labor, who con- 
sider themselves specialists, so far as picking beans is concerned, and 
unless it is absolutely necessary they will do nothing but pick beans. 
So we may find that in order to overcome that tendency, we might 
have to have some authority other than what we have now — because 
if a man doesn't want to work at anything but bean picking, there is 
no way we can make him do it. 


Miss Pascal. We have heard that the field hands prefer to pick 
beans because they can earn more money in a shorter time by working 
that crop. Do you suppose that is the reason for this desire to special- 

Mr. Haney. Yes; they can earn more money picking than they do 
by working by the day, but the reason that they earn more money is 
because they work; while, when they are working by the day, their 
main object is to put in the day, not to turn out any given amount of 
work. That's why it is necessary to have so many foremen, and 
that's one of the things that work a hardship on farmers of this section. 
When you get a foreman trained in the supervision of a group of 
colored laborers and he is taken away, you have difficulty in obtaining 
another one, but for each group of any size you have to have a white 
foreman if you expect to get anything like value received. Now, we 
had a profitable experience this winter in our celery cutting, whereby 
we let them cut celery for so much a crate. Now, working by the 
day, that group of workmen were costing us UK cents a crate. Real- 
izing that they were only working about half time, I put the piece- 
work price at 6 cents. Whereas, when they were working by the day, 
the women got $1.75 a day and men got $2, in order to put them on a 
piece basis I had to give them the same rate so they all participated 
equally in the piece work and within a week they were making $3 a 
day apiece. Instead of costing me 11% cents, it was costing me 6 
cents and, later on, they developed their technique to such an extent 
that they were making as high as $3.75 a day, both men and women. 

Mr. Tipton. How did you organize this crew? 

Mr. HaNey. It was the same crew and we cut the celery in the same 
manner, except that we paid them by the crate instead of by the day 
and had to keep closer supervision in order to get a quality job on 
the cutting. 

Mr. Tipton. What constitutes a celery crew? 

Mr. Haney. In this particular crew there were about 28. 


Mr. Tipton. How was the work divided? 

Mr. Haney. Twenty-eight working as a group. There were 6 
cutters, 12 strippers, 6 packers, 1 man to cut tops, 1 man to carry 
boxes, and 2 loaders. 

Mr. Tipton. Then this crew, as a crew, got 6 cents per crate for 
harvesting celery? 

Mr. Haney. That's field crates, in the field. The one stipulation 
was that when those were taken into the packing house that they must 
pack out 80 percent, indicating that they were stripped properly and 
properly packed. 

Mr. Tipton. What was your success under this latter stipulation 
and with the new plan as a whole? 

Mr. Haney. It worked out very nicely. Another season I will 
have further supervision of work in the field. There were times when 
the quality of our work was at a rather low ebb, but it was satisfactory 
generally and, with perfecting a few things, I think it will work all 
right. You see my object in doing that was to overcome the tempta- 
tion to quit the job with me and go to picking beans when the time 
came that they could make $5 and $6 a day, regardless of the fact that 
they work only 3 or 4 days. That's what I mean by utilizing the 
man-hours. The nature of this bean picking is a rank waste of man- 
hours. For instance, beans are something that must be picked right 
on the dot. If they are ready to pick today, they must be picked 
today or they won't be first-class beans tomorrow. Therefore, you 
will see as high as from 500 to 800 men in one man's field in the 
morning, a row to each person, and it is his duty for the day to pick 
that row. He will come out in the morning at 7 o'clock. That has 
developed into a custom because, if you go to the quarters in the 
middle of the forenoon, there won't be anyone available. So you have 
to pick them up at daybreak and carry them to the field, regardless 
of the fact that a great many mornings they won't be able to work 
until 11 o'clock, and very seldom will they be able to work before 9:30. 
They can earn as much money as they want to earn that day by 4:30 
or 5 in the afternoon so that virtually half of the man-hours of that 
entire crew are wasted that day. 

scheduled plantings suggested 

Now, the practice has been, in the past, for the bean farmers to 
plant rather large daily plantings. In fact, they won't plant daily 
plantings, they will plant two or three times a week, so that it becomes 
necessary for them to have this huge group of people come into their 
field only two or three times a week. Now there have always been 
sufficient numbers of workers so that they could get all they wanted 
into the field each morning. Now it just occurs to me that it may be 
necessary, referring again to that summer planning, for the farmers to 
plan their plantings to where they can take a certain group of farm 
laborers and work them every day on their own farm. When they do 
that and establish the fact that they are the "boss-man" and that that 
group is working for them, then they can get them to do other things 
besides pick beans. For instance, I am not a bean grower but, if I 
were a bean grower, I could cut celery in the forenoon and pick beans 
in the afternoon and get just as many hours per day out of that 
particular group picking beans as I would if I didn't have any celery. 


Miss Pascal. We understand that growers usually have a group of 
field hands living in their own quarters, considered as more or less 
permanent employes. Does that solve the problem to any great 

Mr. Haney. It does to a certain extent, but in the past the farmers 
haven't considered it profitable to keep through the summer more than 
a small percentage of the hands necessary in the winter. When you 
are growing beans you can't hope to maintain sufficient quarters to 
house the people necessary for picking. That's where the housing 
project of the Farm Security Administration came in so well, it being 
more or less surplus labor that took advantage of this housing project. 
They were mostly bean pickers and, unless you made special arrange- 
ments to house certain of your crew in a group of Farm Security build- 
ings, you couldn't get any farm hands outside of bean pickers from the 


Miss Pascal. Do you cut your celery regularly, about every day? 

Mr. Haney. Yes. You see the way the celery develops, you start 
planting the last week in September and you plant for 16 weeks, daily 
plantings, or at least 4 or 5 days a week. It takes about 90 days for 
the celery to grow, so you will start cutting the 1st of January and you 
will cut for 1G weeks. You will have a crew of sufficient size to keep 
them employed about 5 days a week in both your setting and cutting. 

Miss Pascal. How many crews did you have? 

Mr. Haney. Just one crew. 

Miss Pascal. Did you find that members of the crew would work 
regularly every day? 

Mr. Haney. You see, with the system we had, it was necessary for 
the crew to work regularly every day but, in order to keep 50 farm 
hands working, you probably would run from 70 to 80 names through 
your pay roll each week. 

Miss Pascal. You said that in order to have 50 people working 
during the week, you would run about 70 names through your pay 

Mr. Haney. That isn't nearly as bad as it used to be. The fact 
that they can get steady employment and that each member of the 
crew, after he becomes accustomed to the work, is responsible more or 
less for the efforts of the total crew tends toward making them more 
reliable and steady in their work. 


Miss Pascal. Do any of the growers around here pay semiwcekly 
or weekly, instead of daily, in an effort to keep their laborers working 
through the week? 

Mr. Haney. Yes, certain types of labor such as tractor drivers are 
paid by the week. They are steadier. But the majority of the farm 
workers are paid once a week but not by the week. For instance, 
I pay so much a day, $2 a day now, presumably this is 20 cents an 
hour but they only work 9 hours, but I pay off once a week. 

Miss Pascal. How about the workers that are more irregular 
about working, such as pickers. Are they always paid off every day? 


Mr. Haney. Yes, any piece work. Now, the one exception is this 
plan of mine. I pay them once a week and yet they are working by 
the piece, but in the cabbage operation I carried on tins year, when 
I had the cabbage boys working on the hamper — this is something 
new working in piece work in celery so they haven't conceived the 
idea of getting paid each night yet— but when I have them working 
on the piece on cabbage, it has been the custom in the past that all 
cabbage cutters got paid every night, so we had to pay every night 
for the cabbage. 

Mr. Tipton. But they never suggested you pay off every night on 
celery? . 

Mr. Haney. No, because it has been customary to get paid once 
a week, they didn't think far enough to think they were working by 
the piece and possibly could have demanded their pay every night. 
They were perfectly willing to let it run until Saturday . 

Mr. Tipton. Did this system of celery cutting involve much extra 
bookkeeping on your part? 

Mr. Haney. Not at all. It was a matter of keeping account of 
the number of field crates that were cut each day and, in cases where 
a person didn't work the full week, figure out their pro rata share of 
what was cut the days that they were there. 

Miss Pascal. Have you any way of estimating the production 
under the old system and comparing it with the production under 
the new system? 

Mr. Haney. As I say, this celery piece cutting — to the best of my 
knowledge, I am the only one that did it this winter — is much better 
for me and much better for the workers because the extra exertion of 
earning the $3 to $3.75 doesn't seem to be a bit harder on them than 
the mental unrest of putting in the day, keeping out of the foreman's 
way, you know. 

Miss Pascal. Under the old system, the women were earning less 
than the men and, under this system, they all earn the same amount? 

Mr. Haney. Yes. 

Miss Pascal. Do they think that is fan? 

Mr. Haney. There wasn't a word said about that. The women 
doubled their pay and the men didn't do quite as well but, as long as 
the men were getting more than any other of the Negroes working in 
celery, they didn't seem to worry about how much the women were 

division of work 

Miss Pascal. Are the women doing somewhat lighter work, such 
as stripping, or is it about the same? 

Mr. Haney. It is about the same. They are doing considerably 
more work than the men. That's usually the case with the colored 
people unless it is heavy work, but in the minds of the colored people 
they have drawn a definite line as to what's the man's work and 
what's the women's work. It doesn't take them long. It doesn't 
take a colored person long to become a specialist at any particular 
thing. You start a boy cutting tops and he soon becomes quite an 
expert at that and he is a top cutter and he is going to put up a big 
argument before he will change. 

Mr. Tipton. Thank you very much indeed, Mr. Haney. VV e 
greatly appreciate your kind cooperation in giving us this very com- 
prehensive statement. 



Mr. Tipton. Will you please give your name and address? 

Mr. Bryant. William Bryant, Belle Glade, Fla. 

Mr. Tipton. How long have you been living here in the camp? 

Mr. Bryant. This is the second season. 

Mr. Tipton. How many are there in your family? 

Mr. Bryant. Seven; wife and five children. 

Mr. Tipton. Are any of the children old enough to help you work? 

Mr. Bryant. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. How many? 

Mr. Bryant. All of them, every one of them able, all of them able 
to work. 

Mr. Tipton. How many years have you been coming down to south 

Mr. Bryant. This is the second season. 

Mr. Tipton. And you have lived here in the camp both seasons? 

Mr. Bryant. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. Where is your home? 

Mr. Bryant. South Carolina. 

Mr. Tipton. You were born and raised in South Carolina? 

Mr. Bryant. Yes. 

Miss Pascal. When did you leave South Carolina? 

Mr. Bryant. 1940. 

Miss Pascal. Were you settled there until 1940 when you came 
down here? 

Mr. Bryant. Yes, ma'am. 

Miss Pascal. Have you been going back up north in the summer? 

Mr. Bryant. Yes; going back up-State. I haven't been back to 
South Carolina. Since I left there I go on up to North Carolina, 
Virginia, and work in Virginia, Maryland, and Long Island, N. Y. 

Mr. Tipton. When you were living up in South Carolina, did you 
farm there? 

Mr. Bryant. Yes; I had a farm. 

Mr. Tipton. What crops were you growing? 

Mr. Bryant. Corn and cotton, peas and potatoes. 

Miss Pascal. How large was the farm? 

Mr. Bryant. Two-horse farm. 

Miss Pascal. What is that in acres? 

Mr. Bryant. Sixteen acres of cotton, and beans and corn and 
potatoes that you want. 

Miss Pascal. Why did you leave your place up there and come 
down here to work? 

Mr. Bryant. I got to the place where I couldn't hardly make a 
living so I had a chance to try to do better. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you find you are doing better by following crops? 

Mr. Bryant. I am working for Mr. Haney. 

Mr. Tipton. You find that you are doing better? 

Mr. Bryant. Yes; I am doing a little better than I did at home. 

Miss Pascal. When did you leave south Florida last summer and 
start up north? 

60396 — 42 — pt. 33 14 



Mr. Bryant. I left last May, on the 20th. 

Miss Pascal. Where did you go from here? 

Mr. Bryant. North Carolina. 

Miss Pascal. What part? 

Mr. Bryant. Elizabeth City. 

Miss Pascal. What kind of crops do they have there? 


You were picking up potatoes? 

Yes, ma'am. 

How long did that last? 

About 3 or 4 weeks. 
Miss Pascal. Where did you move from there? 
Mr. Bryant. To Virginia. 
Miss Pascal. What did you do in Virginia? 

Picked strawberries and picked up potatoes. 

And from Virginia? 

To Maryland. 

What part? 

Pocomoke, Md. 

What crops do they have there? 

Potatoes and tomatoes. 
Miss Pascal. How long were you there? 
Mr. Bryant. Lasts about 3 or 4 weeks. 

What time of the year was that? 

That was in the summer months, along in July, 

Mr. Bryant. 
Miss Pascal 
Mr. Bryant 
Miss Pascal 
Mr. Bryant 

Mr. Bryant. 
Miss Pascal. 
Mr. Bryant. 
Miss Pascal. 
Mr. Bryant. 
Miss Pascal. 
Mr. Bryant. 

Miss Pascal, 
Mr. Bryant. 

Miss Pascal 

Where did you go from Maryland? 

Mr. Bryant. Long Island, N. Y. 

Miss Pascal. Was that for potatoes? 

Mr. Bryant. Nothing but potatoes up there. 

Miss Pascal. How long did that season last? 

Mr. Bryant. I got there the first of September, and it lasted 
September and October and I left there November. 

Mr. Tipton. And came back down here? 

Mr. Bryant. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. Did you go up with a group of other people? 

Mr. Bryant. I went in my own conveyance, an automobile of my 
own, just me and my family. 

Mr. Tipton. How did you know where the crops were ready? 

Mr. Bryant. Just by talking to people. I just followed another 
truck that had been up there. He had a crew with him and I followed 
behind him because he had been before and I never had, just went 
along behind him. 

Mr. Tipton. You are planning to go back up north again? 

Mr. Bryant. That's what I am planning. 

Mr. Tipton. And you still have your car? How are your tires? 

Mr. Bryant. They ain't so hot. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you think you will be able to make it on those 

Mr. Bryant. I don't think so but I am figuring on trying. They 
are mighty weak. 

Mr. Tipton. I guess you have to go over some bad roads, back and 
forth to the fields? 


Mr. Bryant. Yes. It is rough. I use my car lots of times going 
back and forth home from work, carrying folks every day going to my 
work and back to my home. 

Miss Pascal. How do your earnings compare up there and down 

Mr. Bryant. They pay better wages up there than down here. 
They furnish a lot of work. They work every day up there. 

Miss Pascal. How is the celery work down here? 

Mr. Bryant. Celery work is pretty good but it gives out. 

Miss Pascal. Are there any crops down here that give you more 
regular work than celery? 

Mr. Bryant. No, ma'am; no more crops no more regular. Celery 
is about the most regular. All of it gives out about the same time, 
cabbage, celery, and beans, then there won't be anything much to do 
but day work and not much to that. Of course, men can probably 
get that work but family would set down with nothing to do but 
all can work. 

Miss Pascal. What sort of work do you do in celery? 

Mr. Bryant. Pack celery. 

Mr. Tipton. What work does your family do? 

Mr. Bryant. Strip celery. They have strippers, you know — 
cutters, strippers, and then packers. They use the lady folks for the 
stripping, stripping the dead leaves off, and use the men folks for cut- 
ting down and the men for packing it in boxes. 

Mr. Tipton. How do the crews work? 

Mr. Bryant. Some work by day and some by piece work. Work- 
ing in celery is piece work. Cabbage is piece work, and then extra 
men to do day work. 

Mr. Tipton. How many people are there in one of those celery 
harvesting crews? 

Mr. Bryant. Eight packers, twelve strippers, six cutters. Now 
tins is out in the field harvesting. But they have a crew in the wash 

Mr. Tipton. How is the cutting done? 

Mr. Bryant. With a knife. 

Miss Pascal. Do they use any machinery in harvesting celery? 

Mr. Bryant. No, ma'am, Mr. Haney don't. The men folks, he 
started with 6 but he has increased 2 more so now he has 8 cutters, 
but he used to use 6 and used 12 strippers. The cutters bend over, 
leans the celery to one side and cuts it off just above the ground, 
even with the ground. Then the strippers come along, pull the dead 
leaves and pile it in piles, and the packers come around and pack it 
in boxes, the men, 8 packers, and from there they take it over to the 
wash house and they pack it over there, wash it. 

Mr. Tipton. How are these harvesting crews paid? 

Mr. Bryant. They pay 6 cents a box. That is, the entire crew, 
men, ladies, and all, get the same thing. It pays 6 cents a box. 

Mr. Tipton. The crew is paid 6 cents for each box that is harvested? 

Mr. Bryant. Yes; that's right. 

Mr. Tipton. Did you work for Mr. Haney last year, too? Did 
they use this system of harvesting last year? 

Mr. Bryant. No; they paid by day last year. 



Mr. Tipton. How do you find your earnings compare with last 

Mr. Bryant. A little bit better. 

Mr. Tipton. Why? 

Mr. Bryant. It makes a little more money by paying by the box. 
You start off with $1.75, raised it to $2 last season. This year he 
started new all the way. Six cents a box to start with. We didn't 
work in the celery at all by the day, just started at 6 cents a box. 

Mr. Tipton. How much have you been able to make? 

Mr. Bryant. Anywhere from $12 to $14 a week, 5 and 6 days. 

Mr. Tipton. So that you have made 25 or 50 cents a day more 
this year than last year? 

Mr. Bryant. That's right. 

Mr. Tipton. How many boxes of celery can this crew harvest on a 
good day? 

Mr. Bryant. They should harvest a couple of thousand, a good 
day's run. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you like this method of payment better than the 
day method? 

Mr. Bryant. It makes more by the piece work. 

Miss Pascal. Is there any advantage to Mr. Haney paying you 
this way rather than by the day? 

Mr. Bryant. Yes, ma'am. He gets more work done. A person 
working piece work, he is going to move faster, for the more you work 
the more you get. 

Miss Pascal. I suppose that if there happens to be someone in 
the gang who doesn't keep up, the rest of the crew will push him a 
little bit? 

Mr. Bryant. Yes; that's true. Working right together and pulling 

Mr. Tipton. And if everybody doesn't pull together that lowers 
the earnings of the whole crew? 

Mr. Bryant. That's right. Absolutely right. 

Mr. Tipton. Thank you for this information. 

' FLA., APRIL 25, 1942 

Mr. Tipton. Will you give your name and address for the record? 
Mr. Sanders. C. A. Sanders, Belle Glade, Fla., Box 702. 
Mr. Tipton. Where is your permanent home? 
Mr. Sanders. Michigan. Baroda, Mich. 
Mr. Tipton. Where is that? 
Mr. Sanders. In Berrien County. 
Mr. Tipton. How long have you been down here? 
Mr. Sanders. We come down here every season. We got here this 
year on the 12th of October. 

Mr. Tipton. How many seasons have you been coming down here? 
Mr. Sanders. Five. 

Mr. Tipton. Those were five straight seasons beginning in 1937? 
Air. Sanders. Yes. 


Mr. Tipton. What do you do in Michigan? 

Mr. Sanders. We pack fruit. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you harvest and pack? 

Mr. Sanders. We just pack. 

Mr. Tipton. Peaches? 

Mr. Sanders. Peaches, all kinds of tree fruit and berries. 

Mr. Tipton. During what months are you busy up there? 

Mr. Sanders. In June, July, August, and September. 

Mr. Tipton. And down here? 

Mr. Sanders. From October until May. We leave now about the 
15th of this coming May. 

Mr. Tipton. And will you go directly to Berrien County? 

Mr. Sanders. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. For whom do you work in Berrien County The same 
person every year? 

Mr. Sanders. Yes, sir. We never go anywhere except the same 
place. Frank Rick. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you work for the same people down here every 

Mr. Sanders. The same place all of the time. 

Mr. Tipton. You don't stop to work any place either going up or 
coming down? 

Mr. Sanders. No. 

Mr. Tipton. Then it is approximately half the year in Berrien 
County and half here? 

Mr. Sanders. We have 4 months in Berrien County and the 
balance of the time here. 

Mr. Tipton. But you consider Berrien County your permanent 

Mr. Sanders. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you have any property or home up there? 

Mr. Sanders. No. 

Mr. Tipton. Where do you stay when you are up there? 

Mr. Sanders. This man that we work for. We have our own 
house. It is his house but it is furnished and when we get ready to 
leave we lock the house and come clown here. 

Miss Pascal. How many are in your family? 

Mr. Sanders. Two. Just my wife and myself. 


Miss Pascal. She works in the packing house both here and there? 

Mr. Sanders. Yes. 

Miss Pascal. How have you found the work down here in Florida 
this season? 

Mr. Sanders. It has been a better season than we have ever had 
down here. 

Mr. Tipton. Better because it is steadier this year or better pay? 

Mr. Sanders. The pay is the same as last year but there has been 
more work. 

Mr. Tipton. Is that because of better crops or fewer people? 

Mr. Sanders. I don't know if the crops are any better or not but it 
seems like we have just had better times. We have put in more 


Mr. Tipton. How was the season last year in Berrien County? 

Mr. Sanders. Fine. 

Miss Pascal. Are you originally from Michigan? 

Mr. Sanders. No; originally from Texas. 

Miss Pascal. How long have you lived in Michigan? 

Mr. Sanders. We have been there 7 years. 

Miss Pascal. And you went up there and went to work immediately 
for Mr. Rick, and you worked for him up there for seven seasons? 

Mr. Sanders. Yes. 

Miss Pascal. Do you have your own car? 

Mr. Sanders. We don't drive a car. 

Miss Pascal. How do you get back and forth? 

Mr. Sanders. Train or bus. We find it just about as cheap as to 
operate our own car. How come me following the season, I used to 
work inside all the time, but I got down in health and everybody said 
if I could get out awhile and I found I feel much better since I have 
been working out on the outside. 

Mr. Tipton. What did you do in Texas — before you went to Michi- 

Mr. Sanders. We moved from Texas up into Arkansas and I went 
to work for the railroad company and then after I quit the railroad 
company I went to work in a grocery store so I have been working 
inside all of the time except the last 7 years. 

Mr. Tipton. Have you done any farming? 

Mr. Sanders. No farming. 

Miss Pascal. Are there many people whom you know down here 
in south Florida who go up to Michigan? Do many make the same 
round trip? 

Mr. Sanders. There are not so many that go to Michigan or the 
Middle West. They usually follow the east coast. So many people 
follow the east coast, but to go west or the Middle West there are not 
so many people that go. 

Miss Pascal. Do you know any others who go back and forth be- 
tween Berrien County and Florida? 

Mr. Sanders. Well, no; I don't know that I do right now. 
Miss Pascal. How about to Ohio? 

Mr. Sanders. Yes, there are people here that go to Ohio. There 
is one family that goes to Hartford, Mich. 

Miss Pascal. But as a general thing most of the people following 
crops around here go up the east coast? 

Mr. Sanders. Yes. The first thing is strawberries, then raspber- 
ries, and then the tree fruit, apples and peaches and cherries and such 
as that. 

Miss Pascal. You are speaking now of the east coast? 
Mr. Sanders. Yes; of the east coast, and now in Michigan about 
the same thing will apply up there. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you get work in cherries in Michigan or are you 
too late? 

Mr. Sanders. I tell you, we work for this man Rick and he owns a 
cold storage in Chicago and he doesn't have many cherries, but he has 
strawberries and he has raspberries and all kinds of tree Iruit. He 
is the largest all-round grower in Berrien County and the second 
largest tree fruit grower but he is the largest berry grower. He grows 
berries, peppers, eggplant. We pack everything. 
Mr. Tipton. Thank you, Mr. Sanders. 


APRIL 27, 1942 

Mr. Tipton. Will you please give us your name and address? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. Ruth S. Wedgworth, Belle Glade. 

Miss Pascal. Would you tell us something about your business? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. Starting with the farms, we have 1,870 acres, 
of which we farm the largest share, and rent some. We have a 
packing house from which we ship more than 400,000 packages a 
year. We pack our own produce and for a number of other growers. 
Then, we have the fertilizer plant in which we mix some 2,000 tons 
of mixed fertilizer a year. 

Mr. Tipton. I think it might be well for the record to ask you 
just what your position is with regard to your whole operation here. 

Mrs. Wedgworth. I operate the farms personally. The packing 
plant and fertilizer plant are in the H. H. Wedgworth estate, of 
which I am coadministrator and manager. 

Miss Pascal. What crops do you grow principally? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. We grow principally celery and potatoes, and, 
of course, there is cabbage and escarole and lettuce. There are 
others, but those are the principal ones. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you grow any beans? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. No, I don't. 

Miss Pascal. Do you have all the facilities here for washing and 
precooling your celery? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. Yes; we make our own electricity and ice, as 
well as the refrigeration. 

Mr. Tipton. I suppose you process celery for other people? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. Yes; we process more for other people than we 
do for ourselves. 

Miss Pascal. About how many acres of celery do you grow? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. This year we have right close to 250 acres. 
For the last 3 years previous to this year we have had right around 
200, due to the fact that I was the only one here in the Glades that 
was able to conform to the Soil Conservation program. I had 
enough history so that I could afford to conform. 

Miss Pascal. About how many acres of potatoes do you have? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. We have 500 this year. This is also a little 
bit more than we have formerly grown. We have grown between 
300 and 500 for the last few years. 

Miss Pascal. Are these new potatoes? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. Yes. It is the Red Bliss. We have two 
crops of those. We had 500 last fall and this spring 80 acres. 

Miss Pascal. These potatoes have to be washed before they are 
shipped, don't they? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. Yes. 

Miss Pascal. Do you wash potatoes for other people? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. Yes, we do. 

Miss Pascal. I wonder if you could give us some idea, Mrs. Wedg- 
worth, of the number of acres of potatoes and celery necessary to 
make it possible to maintain your own washing and precooling 
equipment profitably. 

Mrs. Wedgworth. That's hard to say. Some people maintain 
their own grading equipment for much smaller acreage than others, 


and I have no way of knowing whether they are doing it profitably 
or not. We have always had our own grading equipment from the 
beginning of our farm and we usually are able to operate it profitably. 

Miss Pascal. About what is the smallest acreage required by the 
farmers who have their own potato grading and washing equipment? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. I believe there is only one farmer who grades 
and packs his own, who has a small acreage, and that is Mr. Haney. 
I believe he had 80 acres this fall, although I am not sure. 

Mr. Tipton. How about celery? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. This will apply to the others. Raoul & Haney 
grew around 150 to 200 acres of celery. I am not sure about that. 

Miss Pascal. How long have you been down here in the Glades, 
Mrs. Wedgworth? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. We came to Belle Glade in April 1930, from 
Michigan State College. 

Miss Pascal. How long were you and Mr. Wedgworth at Michigan 
State College? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. We were there from December 1928 until April 

Miss Pascal. Where had you been before that? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. Previous to that time, Mr. Wedgworth had 
been connected with the Mississippi Experiment Station and also had 
taken graduate work at Michigan State and Cornell University. He 
lacked just 1 year of having his Ph. D. degree. 

effect of soil on beans 

Miss Pascal. Did you do any farming at all before you began here? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. No. Mr. Wedgworth was brought up on a 
farm in Mississippi and that was where his love of farming came from, 
I guess. My husband came as plant pathologist to the Everglades 
experiment station. The specific problem he came to work on was 
the yellowing of beans, which was supposed at that time to have been 
a disease. Through the experiments he found it wasn't a disease but 
a lack of manganese in the soils, which has become a very valuable 
discovery for the farmers and really made the sawgrass land avail- 
able for beans, which it hadn't been up to that time. Then, I guess 
the real reason that we left the experiment station and started farm- 
ing was that he had a half acre of celery in one of the experiments 
which he harvested and auctioned here on the track for close to $900. 
He had always wanted to farm before and he just couldn't wait to 
get started then. So, in 1932, he severed his connection with the 
experiment station. We had planned to farm on the side and I was 
to look after the farming during the day and he after office hours, 
but the director objected to having an outside project, so we started 
farming in 1932. The first year we went just as flat broke as possible. 
We really learned a lot then. That was the only year which hasn't 
been profitable. We started next year and had a fairly profitable 
season. We got a Federal land-bank loan and a regional agricultural 
credit loan. 

Miss Pascal. Is that what corresponded to the Production Credit 

Mrs. Wedgworth. Yes. And ever since then our operating capital 
has been from the production credit loans. Mr. Wedgworth was a 
director in the Miami Production Credit Association. 


Mr. Tipton. How many acres did you farm that first year? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. We had 80 acres of celery. We looked through 
all the records and we thought that was an absolutely sure thing. 
We thought we couldn't fail on that. Mr. Wedgworth had started 
growing celery at the experiment station in the spring of 1930. He 
had made some seed beds to study the damp-off of the celery plants. 

Miss Pascal. When you started, you were about the first celery 
farmers down there? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. Brown farm had grown celery previous to that 
but through one reason or another had not made a success of it. 

Mr. Tipton. They were way out in the sawgrass, weren't they? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. Yes. 


Miss Pascal. Did you process your celery for marketing in those 

Mrs. Wedgworth. The first year we started out, we placed directly 
on the ground some old railroad crossties and laid planks on them and 
bought an old celery chain from Brown farm. With no roof over it 
at all, right out in the wide open, we started packing celery. 

Miss Pascal. Did you precool it? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. No; at that time we had no precooling facilities 
and we really had to fight to make the market believe that we could 
grow celery down here. This celery was discriminated against badly. 
We had no buyers here, which put us to a big disadvantage. If you 
recall, that's the year the banks all closed their doors. We operated 
until 1935 without a precooler, merely top-icing, which was very 
unsatisfactory. We also tried to precool with the portable fans 
which blew air over the ice and through the car but which was very 

Miss Pascal. At that time were celery growers in Sanford and 
Sarasota using precoolers? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. Yes; and we realized that we had to have a 
precooler, but just getting started we weren't able to until 1935. 

Miss Pascal. And by that time the acreage had expanded enough 
so you could put up a precooler? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. So we started in. Mr. Wedgworth built this 
packing house himself and put in precooling which, of course, was 
much simpler than the precooling that we have at this time. This 
last June we added to it considerably. 

Mr. Tipton. I would like to ask you, Mrs. Wedgworth, about what 
percentage of the potatoes and the celery that you pack and precool 
is your own and what percentage is custom work? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. It varies considerably from year to year. This 
year, I don't know, and from the records last year, I don't recall. I 
believe that last year possibly half of the celery was ours and the rest, 
of other growers. Last year and this year we are operating the celery 
by renting chains to the other growers and they do their own packing 
and we pack our own. Of course, we precool it all. 

Mr. Tipton. Then you simply rent your chains for so much a 
crate, I suppose, and then charge so much a crate additional for 

Mrs. Wedgworth. There is no money to be had in grading, and a 
whole lot of worry and grief with it because each one thinks he knows 


just how it should be done and may not be satisfied with results, so 
that it has worked out much more satisfactorily to allow them to 
pack their own. Of course, they have to bring it up to our standards 
because our salesman sells it all. 

Mr. Tipton. Are these sold under your brand? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. Partly under our brand and partly under a 
brand that their name is on and ours also. That's mostly due to the 
fact that we don't like to have our celery compete against itself in 
the markets and in some of the larger cities there are two firms that 
we like to deal with. That way we can have our celery in there and 
not have it competing against itself. 

Mr. Tipton. Would you say that about 50 percent of your own 
and 50 percent custom in celery was about an average? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. No; it wouldn't be an average because it 
varies so from year to year. Sometimes we won't get in as much 
and other growers get in more, or there will be some disease or flood 
condition that will reduce one or the other, so it just varies from year 
to year. 

Mr. Tipton. And is that true also of potatoes? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. Yes; very true. 

Mr. Tipton. Some years half of the produce would be from your 
own farm and half handled on a custom basis and some years the 
propor/ions would be considerably different? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. Yes. Usually we have had more potatoes be- 
cause that has been one of our stronger crops, but this year we had 
a very poor crop ourselves and the other growers had their potatoes 
on new land, which came through in much better shape than ours did. 

Miss Pascal. What are the charges for processing celery and pre- 

Mrs. Wedgworth. It is 50 cents for celery grading, packing, and 

Miss Pascal. And that includes the price of the crate? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. That charge is the rental charge that you mention 
for the use of the machinery? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. No; we charge ourselves, you see, here in the 
packing house because we keep it a separate operation. Now, for the 
ones we rent the belt to, we charge them 2 cents for rental of the belt 
and miscellaneous service we render to them, and then 8 cents for 

Mr. Tipton. And then, if you sell for them, there is an additional 

Mrs. Wedgworth. Yes; there. is 5 cents if the product sells below 
$2 and 10 cents if it sells above $2. 

Mr. Tipton. Those are the usual arrangements for wash houses? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. I think that's quite general over the State. 

Miss Pascal. What are the usual charges for potato grading? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. We charge 29 cents for boxed potatoes, 28 
cents for ones in 100-pound bags, and 22 cents for 50-pound bags. 

Mr. Tipton. Would you tell us about the development of the busi- 
ness since 1930 and the addition of the fertilizer plant? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. The fertilizer plant was built in 1936. At that 
time we also had started a supply house, and I continued to operate 
it until 1940, at which time I sold it to Broward Grain Supply Co. of 
Fort Lauderdale. 



Miss Pascal. I wonder if you would tell us something about the 
fertilizer used in this area and the work of your husband in discover- 
ing elements that have to be added to the soil to grow properly on 
the sawgrass land? Could you tell us something about the supple- 
ments that have to be put into the soil? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. When Mr. Wedgworth was at the experiment 
station, Dr. Allison was in charge and he was exceptionally busy with 
managing the station and Mr. Wedgworth helped him with the fer- 
tilizer experiments and became very familiar with all of the fertilizers 
used here. So that when we started farming we bought all of the 
basic goods and did our own mixing, and what the Government is 
now advocating, high-analysis fertilizers, we have always used and, 
when we started the fertilizer plant, Mr. Wedgworth sold the high- 
analysis fertilizers whenever he could, rather than sell the low analysis, 
because it seemed so foolish to ship down fertilizer which is of very 
little value to the soil. I expect we sell more high-analysis fertilizer 
than is sold in any other section of the State. 

Miss Pascal. Is this high-analysis fertilizer more suitable to the 
Glades region than other regions? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. I don't know as it is. I think other regions 
could use it just as well, but they have become used to the low-analysis 
fertilizers and so many farmers don't realize the value or what an 
an 0-8-2 means. Of course, here we add manganese, zinc, iron, boron, 
and sulfur a great deal to our mixes. 

Mr. Tipton. Can you tell us what formula and what quantity 
fertilizer you use for celery and potatoes in your own operations? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. In our own operations we use for celery 0-12-18, 
3 percent manganese, and then we add zinc and boron, also sulfur. 

Miss Pascal. Do you have to add these elements principally at the 
time when you are developing new land? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. They need to be added more at the time of 
developing new land because our soils are so deficient in copper and 
manganese that it is necessary. 

Miss Pascal. But it is always necessary to add smaller quantities 
of the fertilizers each year? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. Can you tell us about what quantities of this formula 
you would begin with when you first start new land for celery and 
how much the quantity would decline as time went on? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. In the beginning from 1,500 to 2,000 pounds 
and then, from that time on, from 1,000 and 1,500 pounds. 

Mr. Tipton. What is the fertilizer formula for potatoes? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. We use an 0-8-24 for potatoes, with the supple- 
mentary elements added. For the raw sawgrass land, the first year, 
from 750 to 800 pounds an acre. After that, around 500. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you ever add nitrogen to your fertilizer formula? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. We do not add it to our formula in the begin- 
ning but add it as side dressing if and when the crop needs it. During 
times like we had last year, when we had a number of heavy rainfalls, 
we used considerable nitrogen. This year it wasn't used quite as 


Mr. Tipton. Is nitrogen ever added to the formula for anything 
besides celery? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. Some farmers use some nitrogen. We ourselves 
do not. 

Mr. Tipton. What would they use the nitrogen for, in addition to 
celery, everything or just 

Mrs. Wedgworth. They will use it for peppers. I don't recall 
what other crops we have sold it for. We sell some fertilizers that 
go to the sand lands and, of course, in that case nitrogen is necessary. 

Mr. Tipton. Can you tell us what the formula for beans on sand 
lands should be? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. We have sold a 4-7-5 for beans on the sand 

Mr-. Tipton. Can you tell us approximately the price of 0-12-18 
for celery and for the potato formula which was 0-8-24? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. 0-12-18 we charge $20.90 per ton. Then to 
that is added the cost of the supplementary elements, which vary 
considerably. The cost of them varies as they are continuously 
getting price changes. Of course, now a ceiling has been established, 
and there is not the price change that there was. Maybe in one field 
we will add more of the supplements and in the other field less, so there 
is no established price. One farmer may think he wants 50 pounds 
of zinc and another one may want 100 pounds. 

Mr. Tipton. And is zinc, for example, sold on the poundage basis? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. How much does zinc sell for a pound? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. $6.80 a hundred. 

Mr. Tipton. And do the other supplements run about that price? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. Well, for the copper we are charging $7.15 a 
hundred and the mixed form manganese $3.60. 

Mr. Tipton. What do you mean by "mixed form"? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. The mixed form is manganese that is incorpo- 
rated in the regular fertilizer mix. We also sell manganese which is 
dissolved in the sprays and is sprayed onto the plants. 

In the season of 1937 we realized that we had to have a better 
precooler and that, due to the excessive cost of our electricity, we 
needed to generate our own electricity. So Mr. Wedgworth drew up 
plans and started to increase our facilities, adding 2 Fairbanks-Morse 
Diesel engines with the necessary generators and compressors. He 
also bought a York flake ice machine. It was during the installation 
of this machine that the accident occurred which later resulted in Mr. 
Wedgworth's death on October 10, 1938. At that time I took active 
charge. I had been here at the office a week before that. Mr. Wedg- 
worth had been in Washington attending some of the soil conservation 
program meetings, so then I took up from that point and have been in 
charge now during the last few years. This last year we have added 
to our packing house considerably, which makes for much easier 
operation. We have installed the conveyor chains, increased our 
precooling from an 8-crate-wide precooler to a 15-crate-wide precooler. 


Miss Pascal. Have you found that you have had an adequate 
supply of labor on the farm and in your packing house operations 
this year? 


Mrs. Wedgworth. At times we have been very short, and we have 
our own quarters for the colored laborers so that we have been in better 
position than the average grower this year, I believe. But right now 
we have a shortage in help for the packing house and today are going 
to 35 cents an hour, winch will increase our pay rolls around $500 
a week, and with the price of celery 

Miss Pascal. Have you ever had a shortage of packing house labor 

Mrs. Wedgworth. Temporary shortages at times. 


Miss Pascal. I understand that the price has been pretty generally 
30 cents over a large number of years and has gone up to 35 cents in 
Glades packing houses just this week. Why have the packing houses 
made this change? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. We went to 30 cents an hour at the time the 
Government started this wage-and-hour law. Up to that time it 
had been, I believe, 20 cents earlier, then 25, and then we went to 
30 cents. That year that we paid 25 cents we really didn't come under 
the wage-and-hour law. Then the next year we came under it and 
paid 30 cents, and this advance to 35 cents isn't an enforced advance 
frpm the Government but trying to meet the other labor prices and the 
increased cost of living for the laborers. 

Miss Pascal. Has this shortage at the present time been due to 
laborers leaving the area earlier than usual? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. Yes; and I'm in hopes that it will bring in some 
from other parts, too. We have lost a number to the Army and then, 
on account of the men leaving, the women have also left. Then right 
at this time, I believe, a lot of our shortage is due to the unsettled 
conditions about the gas shortage. They want to either get back 
home or get up to the country where the next job is starting. If we 
could have had some statement to assure them of gasoline later on, 
I think it would relieve our situation. 

Mr. Tipton. You feel that is an important factor? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. Yes. I know we have lost a number of laborers 
on that account and some of our very best ones. We have several 
who have little farms in Georgia. They work them in the summer- 
time and come down here in the fall and they were very anxious to get 
back home 

Mr. Tipton. Are those the white help that you are speaking of now? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. Yes; the white help. The nucleus for our farm 
help we keep all summer long and Mr. Wedgworth was always of the 
opinion it was better not to pay peak wages but to furnish year-round 
work as much as possible, so in the summertime we hunt jobs to keep 
our men busy. 

Miss Pascal. About how many people are you able to keep on 
during the summer? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. We will have around 50 on the pay roll during 
the summer. 

Miss Pascal. And about what is your pay roll during the winter? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. It will be around 200 a good lot of the time. 

Mr. Tipton. That's 200 on a weekly basis — these are all colored 
we are speaking of now? 


Mrs. Wedgworth. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. Then, in addition, at peak harvest time you have to 
hire by the day? ' , 

Mrs. Wedgworth. Yes. Of course all of them are paid by the 
day or by the hour. 

Mr. Tipton. But when you hire extras for purely harvesting opera- 
tions, are they paid at the end of the day, or, as the others are, at the 
end of the week? g 

Mrs. Wedgworth. According to what they are doing and whether 
they are going to be staying. If they intend to work on through the 
week, we will wait until Saturday night, usually with some advances 
to them. But if it is in harvesting potatoes, they are paid each night. 
We work that somewhat similar to the. bean picking. We pay by 
the crate and they receive a ticket for each crate and, if they have a 
ticket, they want that paid off each night. 

Miss Pascal. Mrs. Wedgworth, how many of your field help do 
you have living in quarters here? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. We can accommodate close to 100. 

Mr. Tipton. That is a hundred workers? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. Yes; it would be right at a hundred workers. 

Mr. Tipton. Then, some of them, I suppose, have families? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. Single men, or if they have children they leave 
them with the grandmothers in Georgia or something like that. 

Mr. Tipton. Do the wives that come along down here — do they 
work along with the men? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. Most of them do. 

Miss Pascal. And you employ the rest of the people from the 
Negro quarters in Belle Glade? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. Yes; and some from the migratory camp. 

Mr. Tipton. Do any of your white workers in the packing house 
live in the white migratory camp? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. The largest share of them do. 

Mr. Tipton. What is your opinion of these migratory camps? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. I feel myself that it has been a real benefit to 
the workers. It is peculiar though, if we would allow them to come 
and camp out here, as they did before the migratory camp was estab- 
lished, a number of them would be right back here living in the little 
tar paper shacks. 

Miss Pascal. How do you account for that? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. The American characteristic of doing what 
they want to do and being an individual, I guess. That little tar- 
paper shack was theirs. 

Mr. Tipton. Would you say that was true of both the white and the 
colored camps? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. I don't know as to the colored camp because 
we never have allowed them to live just any way on the farm. The 
ones that have lived there have had not too good houses, I will say, 
but better than they take care of. We tried to keep the buildings 
screened and we put in flush toilets and we have one time to make them 
take care of it. 



Miss Pascal. We have heard complaints that some farmers don't 
approve of the Negro camps. They claim that the management lets 
the workers sit around the camp, instead of making them get out and 
work. Do you think there is any truth in that? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. I am afraid there is some truth to that. Never- 
theless there is something, I believe it is the higher wages, that is 
upsetting the colored help all over the section. I was talking to the 
personnel director of the sugar company at Clewiston and he said their 
workers were working on an average of 4 days a week in their own 
camps. If they make more a day, they are going to work fewer days a 

It is just a peculiar situation with them, but I feel, along with a 
number of the other growers, that possibly they are being given too 
much. Something that has had a big effect on the Negroes is this 
surplus commodities. We have had a number of them want to stop 
work to go up and get then* "little groceries." They will quit work 
that day to go stand in line and get the surplus commodities. We 
owe it to the workers to give them good living conditions but, on the 
other hand, we have got to make them pay for what they get so they 
will be better citizens. 

Mr. Tipton. I would like to ask, in that connection, whether you 
believe that these observations, which you have made with regard to 
the colored camp and the colored people, would apply to the white 
camps and the white workers? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. I don't think that applies to the white camps. 
They always seem anxious to work and have a different disposition 
toward the work, so that the ones who are in the white camp are really 
good laborers. I feel that the white camp should be self-supporting 
because there are people here who rent buildings, houses for them to 
live in, and I don't feel that it is best for them to be given too much — 
just from a citizenship standpoint. They should feel that they are 
paying for what they get and I think that is what they want to do 
because the most of them are very self-respecting people. At the time 
the investigations were being made, it was interesting, the comments 
that they made. They very much resented people coming and look- 
ing at their tents and commenting on conditions they lived under, 
because they were living just as clean as most of the people over here 
in town. I only know of one little tent out here that was filthy. The 
people had plenty of water. They had sufficient toilet facilities here, 
not according to governmental regulations, on account of distances 
like that, and it was a duplication from the packing house, but they 
kept very tidy places with what they had to do with. 


Mr. Tipton. Have you had occasion this year to make use of the 
services of the farm placement interviewer who has been placed in the 
area by the United States Employment Service? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. I have talked with him on several occasions but 
I have not used the Service directly. 

Mr. Tipton. You haven't placed an application for workers with 


Mrs. Wedgworth. No; I haven't. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you think that in the coming year in which, as I 
recall, you expressed some fear of labor shortage that the United 
States Employment Service will be able to help solve any possible 
shortage problems that may arise? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. Yes; we hope they will, although their idea of 
pooling labor isn't practical for this section. We are all too large 
operators. I can see where in some sections it might work out but — ■ 
maybe I don't understand just the way they plan to do it — but from 
my understanding so far, I don't see how it would work. 

Miss Pascal. As you understand it, do they intend to pool the labor 
that the growers have in their own quarters? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. I don't know as to that. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you think that the Employment Service would be 
of service to you in getting labor into this region from other regions? 

out-of-state recruiting 

Mrs. Wedgworth. They should be able to help to coordinate the 
labor from one section to another. Each year we send up trucks to 
Georgia to bring help down. We charge them nothing for it and 
then, at the end of the season, we give them a fish fry or barbecue and 
give them transportation back. Most of them have little farms up 
there or something like that. This last fall we sent a truck, up and I 
had an awful time getting it released up there. At that time the 
State employment bureau wasn't in connection with the United States 
Employment Service. Then, the next time I wired up there first, to 
see that the truck would be released and they sent word back that 
there was no help available. We knew that a number of the wives 
of men that were already down here and friends were there waiting, 
wanting to come. So I called the man in charge of the State employ- 
ment agency, a Mr. A. U. Hogan, and he told me that the farmers 
there didn't like the idea of us coming up there for the laborers. We 
knew there was not much work there and the part I didn't like — we 
have always sent a very trusted colored man with our truck — was 
that he told me that he would advise me not to send a truck up there, 
if we did there was something going to happen to the driver. That 
made me mad and I said, if I sent the driver up there that certainly, if 
anything happened to the driver, he would have me to account to 
and not the colored driver. Nevertheless, as long as there was that 
strong sentiment, we thought best to not send as good a man as we 
had been sending up there or he might get in some trouble. But it 
seems when laborers are not being needed in one section and they are 
needed in another and are anxious to come, they should be allowed 
to come. 

Miss Pascal. Have you run into experience of this kind before? 

Mrs. W^edgworth. Only in having difficulty in getting the truck 
released. We always have sent a letter with the truck driver to the 
one in charge, either the chief of police or the State employment 
agency, and had our driver go direct there so that he wouldn't just be 
going in and gathering them up with no authority at all. The time 
before this, we exchanged 6 or 8 telegrams and it finally took two 
long-distance calls, if I recall, to get the truck released. The workers 
were ready to come and the authorities wouldn't allow them to come. 


Mr. Tipton. Then you say the workers were released through the 
Employment Service there? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. Yes. It was release of the workers. This was 
in Dublin, Ga. 

Mr. Tipton. Have you ever had any difficulty after trucks have 
been loaded and started back down here? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. No; because they are never allowed to start 
unless cleared through the proper channels. We don't want to take 
the workers up there when they are needed but, on the other hand, the 
ones who have been coming down here year after year, we do feel that 
if they are not needed up there and we send a truck up there for them 
and give them transportation down, that they should be allowed to 
leave, because when our season is over we immediately send them back. 

Miss Pascal. Mrs. Wedgworth, have you ever made specific 
arrangements with employers of labor in Georgia to borrow the workers 
for the winter season and return them? 

Mrs. Wedgworth. No ; because I don't know such growers up there. 

Mr. Tipton. You don't know of any growers that would be able 
to supply enough workers to make it worth while contacting growers 

Mrs. Wedgworth. No. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you know whether any other grower has any such 

Mrs. Wedgeworth. No ; I do not. It is my understanding that up 
there they have to feed a lot of the help over the winter. Of course, 
maybe they like to do that in order to keep them. Maybe I am 
criticizing someone else for something we do ourselves in giving our 
help work through the summer. But we haven't done that to keep 
them, but it is our policy of thinking it is better for them to have 
their money spread out during the year. Of course, that's during 
the depression years when there wasn't the work that there is now. 

Miss Pascal. We thank you, Mrs. Wedgworth, for this very help- 
ful information. 


Mr. Tipton. Will you give your name for the record? 

Mrs. Taylor. My name is Johnnie Belle Taylor, South Bay, Fla. 

Mr. Tipton. You live here in the camp? 

Mrs. Taylor. Yes; I live here in the camp. 

Mr. Tipton. How long have you lived in the camp? 

Mrs. Taylor. We came down here the middle of November of this 
season. Of course, I keep my room all of the year, and I was here last 
year, which makes 2 years we have been in this camp. 

Mr. Tipton. And you have been in the same house? 

Mrs. Taylor. I was in old 20 and 18 last season. 

Mr. Tipton. Those are the older corrugated-iron houses? 

Mrs. Taylor. Yes; that's right. Last season we were there part 
of the time and then we moved around over here in G-7. That's 
where I am now. 

Mr. Tipton. Where did you come from originally? 

Mrs. Taylor. Where I was born? Talbot County, Ga. 

60.396— 42— pt. 33- 15 


Mr. Tipton. When did you leave Talbot County? 

Mrs. Taylor. I just tell you. I was a child when we came from 
there. I was born in Talbot County near Talbotton, Ga., and then 
we came over in Meriwether County around Manchester, Warm 
Springs, out over there. I was reared all up in that section in Georgia. 

Mr. Tipton. Then when did you first come to Florida? 

Mrs. Taylor. I came to Florida in 1937. 

Mr. Tipton. For the first time? 

Mrs. Taylor. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. And have you been here in Florida ever since 1937? 

Mrs. Taylor. We stayed during the season. You see, we came 
down when the season began and then we stays until about the 1st of 
June, then we leave here and go to Hawthorn, all around Alachua and 
Hague and Santa Fe and we gather and pack corn and work in tobacco. 
Then we goes on further up in Georgia. 

Mr. Tipton. May I stop you a minute? What crops do you gather 
in Alachua? 

Mrs. Taylor. When we go to Alachua they have cucumbers, they 
have beans, and they have these small limas. We pick them and then 
we works in tobacco and we cut and pack roasting ears around there. 

Mr. Tipton. From there you go to Georgia? What do you do 

Mrs. Taylor. You see, when that season there is over the season is 
just coming in around Tifton and Moultrie, Ga. We work tobacco 
then around there, first one thing and then another, just what we can 
get to do then until cotton opens and then we gather the peanut and 
cotton crops. 

Mr. Tipton. And when does the cotton usually begin? 

Mrs. Taylor. Along about the middle of August. 

Mr. Tipton. How long do you work in cotton and peanuts? 

Mrs. Taylor. Until about somewhere along about the 1st of 

Mr. Tipton. And then it's time to come back to Florida? Is that 

Mrs. Taylor. Yes; then we comes back. Now, this past season 
they have an airport going up around Moultrie and so I was looking 
up to haul some hands to the airport and that's why I was as late as I 
was coming down this time because I was hauling hands to the 

Mr. Tipton. From where were you hauling? 

Mrs. Taylor. From Moultrie — out, I suppose, about 5 miles from 

Mr. Tipton. You were just hauling them back and forth every 
morning and evening? 

Mrs. Taylor. Yes. 

Miss Pascal. Do you have your own truck? 

Mrs. Taylor. I have a car. 

Miss Pascal. And I suppose you were planning to go back up to 
Alachua pretty soon? 

Mrs. Taylor. When everything is over with here, that's where 
I was planning on going — from here to Hawthorn, first picking 
Fort Hooks, big limas and beans and cucumbers. That's what goes 
on around Hawthorn. 



Miss Pascal. How are the tires on your car this year? 

Mrs. Taylor. I tell you I need two as bad as anything. I really 
do need two tires. 

Miss Pascal. Are you going to try to make the trip on the two bad 
tires anyway? 

Mrs. Taylor. I was planning on trying to see could I make some 
arrangements or could I get two somewhere or another. Because 
you know it is a long ways from here and traveling back and forth. 
We have to get from here to there and when we get there some of 
those people don't have no way to take you out to those fields and 
you have to make some arrangements to get out and it is way out 
kind of from town, lots of those fields, and so we have to make some 
arrangements to get out there and for that cause I had planned on 
trying to see could I get a tire because we have to get them here. 
There is a bunch of them. I have five children and my mother and 
my husband. Right now he is in Key West trying to work down 
there, so he kind of hated to leave since they needed men so bad on 
the water line and all. He kind of hated to leave from there. 

Miss Pascal. How long has he been working down there? 

Mrs. Taylor. He has been working there, I guess, about 6 weeks. 

Mr. Tipton. If he wants to stay, has he work there for a while? 

Mrs. Taylor. Yes, sir. He has been there about 6 weeks. 

Mr. Tipton. You say you have five children and your mother. Is 
that the whole family? 

Mrs. Taylor. That's right. 

Mr. Tipton. How many of your children usually work, either here 
or in Alachua and up in Georgia? 

Mrs. Taylor. Now there is two of my children too small to work 
and there are three can work, but my two little boys I lets them go 
to school some and help me some and I have a girl going on 17. She 
helps me and my mother is sixty-odd years old and she kinda keeps 
the small ones and that keeps me going. 

Mr. Tipton. So that your 17-year-old girl helps you, picking and 
so on, and your two boys — how old are they? 

Mrs. Taylor. One is 12, the other is 10. They helps me some, 
and the two younger ones they can't do anything, one is 7 and one 6. 

Mr. Tipton. So that the 10- and 12-year-old children are in school 
part of the time but the rest of the time they can help? 

Mrs. Taylor. Yes. 

Miss Pascal. When you leave here and go up to Alachua and to 
Georgia where do you live? 

Mrs. Taylor. My home is in Dawson, Ga. 

Miss Pascal. So when you go to Georgia, you go home? 

Mrs. Taylor. When I go to Georgia I am going home, that's 
Dawson, Ga. 

Miss Pascal. Where do you live in Alachua? 

Mrs. Taylor. In Alachua we just working there — we works our 
way on up. We go to Hawthorn and just work. 

Miss Pascal. For how long? 

Mrs. Taylor. Well, the whole thing lasts from the middle of May 
on, the whole season, until the 1st of October. We will be working 
in that length of time clear on up to Georgia. 


Mr. Tipton. You leave here in the middle of May and work your 
way up, and by the 1st of October you would be through and would 
be home in Georgia? 

Mrs. Taylor. That's right. On the way back then in October. 
That's the time we get through. 

Mr. Tipton. From the time you leave here in the middle of May, 
how long is it until you get to your home in Dawson? 

Mrs. Taylor. You mean go there to stay? Well, now, we don't 
go home to stay any length of time. I don't think I stayed home last 
year over 2 weeks. 


Mr. Tipton. So that all that time has been spent in working as you 
go North. Now, when you get up around Hawthorn what kind of 
living accommodations do you have? Do they have any camps like 
this up there? 

Mrs. Taylor. No, sir. We just got to live in the house where the 
people let you stay. Some have to sleep in cars and some few of them 
have a little tent along with them. Just like that. We just have to 
take it as we finds it. 

Miss Pascal. Do any of the people you work for have quarters? 

Mrs. Taylor. One man has quarters there — Mr. Johnson. He 
runs a big turpentine still. He has quarters and he is about the only 
man that has. 

Miss Pascal. And whenever you work for anybody else, you have 
to take it as you find it? 

Mrs. Taylor. Just like if he has enough room, he let us stay. 
That's the way we have to do. 

Miss Pascal. Are there any places to rent up there? 

Mrs. Taylor. Well, no, sir. There are no quarters around there. 
Sometimes you find an empty house out on a man's little place. 
They have a few acres, 7- or 8-acre patches. Not like down here, 
just small quantities, and sometimes you have an empty house. 
He rents that house. Well, a bunch of them live just there in that 
same house, sometimes three or four in the same room. We just put 
up with most anyway, just to be working, trying to live. 

job contacts 

Miss Pascal. Do you work for the same people there year after 
year or just pick up jobs where you can find them?^ 

Mrs. Taylor. Well, we pick up jobs mostly. When we first go up 
there we have a man, his name is Mr. Burton, and so when we leave 
there we go to Alachua. When we get to Alachua we works up there 
with Mr. Buster Turner, and Mr. Lindsey Selham. He runs a big 
packing house and all, round Hague; Mr. Selham owns around Hague. 

Mr. Tipton. You usually work for the same people? 

Mrs. Taylor. We go to those same men every year and work with 
them and then, if they run out, if anyone else has anything to do 
around there we work with them. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you work for the same men down here the way 
you do up there? 


Mrs. Taylor. Now, when I came here last season to the camp, and 
every since 1937, 1 been working with Mr. Bob Clouch at Lake Harbor 
and Mr. Louis Bolton and Mr. Joe Lee Woods. I have been working 
with those men ever since I came down, till I came down to the camp. 

Mr. Tipton. During those first years, did you live in their quarters? 

Mrs. Taylor. I lived in Mr. Clouch's quarters when I first came 
down here and then I lived in Mr. Woods' and Mr. Bolton's quarters 
awhile after that until I left them and come here. 

Mr. Tipton. Now that you are living in the camp do you work for 
them any more? 

Mrs. Taylor. Well, the way we do here since we been down here, 
we work one to the other. We work for Mr. Engleman, Mr. Knights, 
and Mr. Chaney up here at Pahokee. Mr. Ingham sends a truck in 
here and also Mr. Knights. He sends a truck but we meets Mr. 
Chaney. He don't send a truck. He lives at Pahokee. Sometimes 
he sends a truck to Belle Glade and then we meet him there. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you usually trj r to work for these same three or 
four men all the time? 

Mrs. Taylor. I work for Mr. Chaney all the time. I worked with 
Mr. Chaney on the east coast and so I worked with him ever since 
Christmas mostly and also Mr. Peterson, I worked with him down 

Mr. Tipton. Where is that? 

Mrs. Taylor. That's at Homestead. That's where they was 
until they come back here. Now, he has been back here now about 
3 weeks and I have been here 2 weeks this coming Tuesday, back to 
the camp. 

Miss Pascal. Do these people grow both here and in Homestead? 

Mrs. Taylor. Contracts. Chaney grows here but contracts in 
Homestead. He has a lot of trucks and hauls. He contracts the 
fields and hauls the beans. 

Miss Pascal. He goes down to Homestead in the midwinter season 
when there are not many beans up here, I suppose? 

Mrs. Taylor. When things close, he goes to Homestead and con- 
tracts those fields, picking and hauling, and then we work with him. 

Miss Pascal. Then he comes back here and grows for himself? 

Mrs. Taylor. Grows for himself but contracts others. 

Mr. Tipton. You said that you considered Dawson, Ga., as your 
home, but that you usually stayed there only about 2 weeks. Why 
do you consider Dawson your home? 

Mrs. Taylor. I bought a little place there. I have a house on it 
and so my children's daddy is there, but he is old. He is not able to 
do anything very much. It is cold up there so we come down in the 
winter and work. I have been there ever since 1915, in Dawson, so 
all my things are there. I only keeps a little to go on along with us, 
so I call that home. 

Mr. Tipton. So the father of your children keeps your place for 
you while you are away? 

Mrs. Taylor. But 3 7 ou see me and him, we are not together. We 
have been parted 7 years, but still that's home, all my things are there. 

Miss Pascal. Thank you. 


FLA., APRIL 26, 1942 

Miss Pascal. Will you give. your name and your address? 
Mrs. Jackson. Elnore Jackson, Belle Glade, Fla. 
Miss Pascal. Do you have a family? 
Mrs. Jackson. Yes. 

Miss Pascal. How many are there in your family? 
Mrs. Jackson. Five of us in the family, six with my husband. I 
have four children. 

Miss Pascal. How long have you been in Belle Glade? 

Mrs. Jackson. I have been in Belle Glade since 1938. 

Mr. Tipton. All of the time? 

Mrs. Jackson. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. You stayed right here in Belle Glade? 

Mrs. Jackson. Yes, sir. 


Mr. Tipton. Where did you come from? 

Mrs. Jackson. Cordele, Ga. 

Mr. Tipton. What did you do up in Georgia? 

Mrs. Jackson. I worked, picked cotton sometimes and worked at 
the hotel sometimes. 

Mr. Tipton. And your husband? 

Mrs. Jackson. He worked at the wholesale house. 

Mr. Tipton. You never farmed up in Georgia? 

Mrs. Jackson. No, sir; but I worked on the farm. 

Mr. Tipton. And your husband sometimes worked on the farm, 

Mrs. Jackson. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. Did he pick cotton? 

Mrs. Jackson. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. What have you been doing since you have been down 
here in Belle Glade? 

Mrs. Jackson. I picked beans, worked in celery, and wash and 
iron sometimes. 

Miss Pascal. What do you do during the summer when there are 
no beans or celery to be harvested? 

Mrs. Jackson. Wash and iron sometimes. 

Miss Pascal. Do you find that you can make out all right during 
the summer? 

Mrs. Jackson. Yes. 

Miss Pascal. What does your husband do, during the summer? 

Mrs. Jackson. He is on the farm sometimes. 

Miss Pascal. Can he find work during the summer? 

Mrs. Jackson. Yes. 

Miss Pascal. Where do you live in Belle Glade? 

Mrs. Jackson. I live in Mr. Schuler's quarters. 

Mr. Tipton. That's the quarters at the end of the street? 

Mrs. Jackson. That's right. 

Mr. Tipton. What do you have there? 

Mrs. Jackson. I have a room there. 

Mr. Tipton. Can you tell us how big the room is? 


Mrs. Jackson. It would be about 10 by 12. 

Mr. Tipton. Is that big enough for your family? 

Mrs. Jackson. It isn't big enough, but I have to make out with it. 

Mr. Tipton. Where do you cook? 

Mrs. Jackson. We cook in the same room. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you have water in your room? 

Mrs. Jackson. No, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. Where do you get it? 

Mrs. Jackson. On the outside. 

Mr. Tipton. Outside the building? 

Mrs. Jackson. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. How about sanitary facilities? Are they outside too? 

Mrs. Jackson. Yes. 

Miss Pascal. How did you happen to come down to Belle Glade? 

Mrs. Jackson. They say you can make good, and by coming down 
here we could do better than at home. 

Miss Pascal. Have you found that was the case? 

Mrs. Jackson. Yes. 

Miss Pascal. You are glad you came down? 

Mrs. Jackson. In a way, I is. It is better, but in other ways it is 

Miss Pascal. In what way is it not better? 

Mrs. Jackson. We do not have it as convenient as at home. 

Miss Pascal. Do you mean you had a better place in which to 
live at home? 

Mrs. Jackson. Yes. 

Miss Pascal. They tell me that Schuler's quarters is about the best 
place in Belle Glade. Do you think it is? 

Mrs. Jackson. Yes. It is about the best. 

Miss Pascal. But you think you had a better place to live up in 

Mrs. Jackson. Yes; more room. 

Miss Pascal. Did you have a house in Georgia? 

Mrs. Jackson. Yes. 

Miss Pascal. How big? 

Mrs. Jackson. We had a three-room house. 

Mr. Tipton. How old are your children? 

Mrs. Jackson. One is 16, the others 12, 11, and 7. All girls. 

Mr. Tipton. Can they help you during the picking season? 

Mrs. Jackson. No, sir. They don't help so much. They do a 
little work on Saturdays, but they go to school. 

Mr. Tipton. Are you planning to stay in Belle Glade now? 

Mrs. Jackson. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. You are not going to go back to Georgia? 

Mrs. Jackson. No, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. You have a better house up in Georgia, but not as 
much work up there? Is that right? 

Mrs. Jackson. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. Where does your husband work in the summertime? 

Mrs. Jackson. To Mr. Haney's. 

Mr. Tipton. What kind of work does he do for Mr. Haney? 

Mrs. Jackson. In the celery, getting beds ready. That is in the 

Mr. Tipton. He can get steady work in the summertime? 


Mrs. Jackson. No; not always, but some days. 

Mr. Tipton. Does he work for anybody else but Mr. Haney in the 

Mrs. Jackson. No, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. In the wintertime what does he do? 

Mrs. Jackson. He works out there harvesting celery. He mostly 
drives the truck. 

Mr. Tipton. Thank you very much. 


Mr. Tipton. Will you give your name, address, and occupation 
for the record? 

Mr. Rosenstock. Samuel H. Rosenstock, partner in the Belle 
Glade Canning Co., Belle Glade, Fla. 

Mr. Tipton. When was this cannery established, Mr. Rosenstock? 

Mr. Rosenstock. We started about the middle of November 1941. 

Mr. Tipton. Is your building program all finished now? 

Mr. Rosenstock. Not quite. They haven't finished the ware- 
house yet. 

Mr. Tipton. What is the capacity of your establishment? 

Mr. Rosenstock. 50,000 cases of No. 10 beans per week — 50,000 

Mr. Tipton. Over how long a season do you expect to can? 

Mr. Rosenstock. 6 to 8 weeks in the spring and the same time in 
the fall. 

Mr. Tipton. So that your total capacity during a season would be 
something around 600,000 to 800,000? 

Mr. Rosenstock. I would say 600,000 to 750,000 cases. 

Mr. Tipton. Have you canned any beans yet, Mr. Rosenstock? 

Mr. Rosenstock. Yes; we have canned about 900 cases, trying the 
machinery out. 

Mr. Tipton. When do you expect to begin operations? 

Mr. Rosenstock. This coming week. 

Mr. Tipton. How many weeks do you expect to operate the 
remainder of this season? 

Mr. Rosenstock. On this spring deal, until about the third week 
in June. It depends on the rains. 

Mr. Tipton. How many employees do you expect to have on the 
pay roll when you begin operating? 

Mr. Rosenstock. When we are operating full, we will have 225 
to 250. 

Miss Pascal. Will those be white or colored? 

Mr. Rosenstock. All white. We expect to use all white. 

Miss Pascal. About how many men and how many women? 

Mr. Rosenstock. I would say about 60 percent women and 40 
percent men, offhand. 

Miss Pascal. Do you plan to get any of your labor from the Farm 
Security Administration migratory camp across the street? 

Mr. Rosenstock. Most of it. Very likely 90 percent of it. 

Miss Pascal. Do you think you will be able to get enough people 
from the camp? 


Mr. Rosenstock. The way I understand it, we have priority over 
everything else in Belle Glade because we are canning only for the 


Mr. Tipton. That's canning under Government contract for th,e 

Mr. Rosenstock. Yes; for the Army. 

Mr. Tipton. All of your production, then, will go to the 

Mr. Rosenstock. Yes; to the Government. 

Miss Pascal. How large a contract do you have? 

Mr. Rosenstock. We have, for the spring now, two contracts 
totaling 250,000 cases. 

Mr. Tipton. And have you contracts already made for next year? 

Mr. Rosenstock. You mean for the fall? No; the Army hasn't 
contracted ahead that far. I will supplement that statement. Out- 
side of the percentage that they require from every canner, I think 
26 or 28 percent, I am not sure. 

Mr. Tipton. Are you growing beans yourself for canning? 

Mr. Rosenstock. No; we are having acreage contracted for. 

Mr. Tipton. About how many acres? 

Mr. Rosenstock. About 2,400 to 2,500 acres. 

Mr. Tipton. That is for this year? 

Mr. Rosenstock. That is for the spring deal. 

Mr. Tipton. How many acres do you expect to contract for next 

Mr. Rosenstock. It just depends how many we can. 

Miss Pascal. Do you have any difficulty in getting acres under 

Mr. Rosenstock. We didn't have any difficulty in getting acreage. 
We had difficulty getting seed. We have to go out and buy the seed 
for the growers down here. 

Miss Pascal. Do you find that the growers are willing to contract 

Mr. Rosenstock. Yes, we haven't had any trouble. 

Mr. Tipton. Are those contracts made at a specified price, ahead 
of time? 

Mr. Rosenstock. Yes, sir. We are paying them 3 cents a pound 
delivered to our platform as the beans come from the field. We 
furnish field boxes to the growers. 

Mr. Tipton. Does this 3 cents a pound amount to about 90 cents a 

Mr. Rosenstock. Well it does, if you count a bushel of 30 pounds, 
it would be 90 cents, but in reality it is worth about $1.40 for a bushel 
of beans sold through and over the packing houses, due to the loss of 
beans, dirt, leaves taken out, cost of hamper, cost of selling and cost 
of the packing house for running beans over their belts. 


Mr. Tipton. So that on this basis of 90 cents — which figures out as 
the equivalent of $1.40 in a packing house — you have had no difficulty 
in getting enough acreage under contract. Can you tell us what 


acreage you would consider necessary to keep your plant operating 
at full capacity? 

Mr. Rosenstock. That's a hard thing to say. It depends on 
weather conditions to a great extent, and the way the beans would be 
planted. We will finish planting beans this week. 

Mr. Tipton. I had in mind, given usual weather conditions? 

Mr. Rosenstock. They figure a normal acreage return down here, 
I would say, 200 bushels to the acre. In a normal season on a 2,000 
acreage it would give us about 400,000 cases at least, because a bushel 
of beans will make a case of canned beans. Thirty pounds of beans 
will give us a case of beans. 

Mr. Tipton. So that this 2,000 or 2,500 acres that you have now 
under contract for this year would, with a fall and a spring crop, be 
about the amount that it would be necessary to have? 

Mr. Rosenstock. In a normal season; yes. For instance, we have 
already had a few of our beans put in the ground when we had that 
frost. Then, the other day, we had high water. I guess we have lost 
at least 20 percent of our acreage, maybe 25 precent of our acreage, 
due to the abnormal rain the other day, which was as high as 14 
inches, they claim, down at one of our points out where we lost all 
our beans, but we have our beans scattered around from above 
Pahokee all the way down the other side of Clewiston, and down 10 
or 15 miles south of South Bay on the way to Miami. 

Mr. Tipton. How many growers do you have contracts with? 

Mr. Rosenstock. We have one development that takes in 600 
acres. You couldn't count those as separate growers. I guess about 
26 growers. 


Mr. Tipton. In your trial run, do you recall how many people you 

Mr. Rosenstock. Eighty-four. That wouldn't be as many as 
we will need, as we didn't have so many beans and we didn't have to 
have so many in the warehouse. 

Mr. Tipton. The figure that you gave us of 225 to 250 for the 
number of employees represents two shifts? 

Mr. Rosenstock. We will have to figure on running two shifts. 

Mr. Tipton. Did you have any difficulty for the trial run in getting 
sufficient people over here? 

Mr. Rosenstock. No. 

Mr. Tipton. Did you get those through the Employment Service 
representative at the camp? 

Mr. Rosenstock. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. Was the help that they sent over satisfactory for your 

Mr. Rosenstock. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. So that in the future you would plan to use the Em- 
ployment Service and camp residents? 

Mr. Rosenstock. Yes; that's right. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you, at this time, anticipate any difficulty in 
getting sufficient help to operate the plant next year? 

Mr. Rosenstock. Now, that's something that is impossible to 
answer. I can't answer it. I couldn't answer it a month from now, 


or a week from now. We have two plants in Maryland and they 
have been asking me down here what we are going to do up there 
this year. 


Mr. Tipton. That's something I wanted to ask you about. Would 
you tell us what your other connections are outside of the Glades 

Mr. Rosenstock. The Frederick City Packing Co. at Frederick, 
Md., and Western Maryland Canning Co. at Thurmont, Md. 

Miss Pascal. And you are a partner in those? 

Mr. Rosenstock. The Frederick City Packing Co. is a corporation 
which is controlled by my wife and myself and the Western Maryland 
Canning Co. is controlled by the Frederick Packing Co. It has the 
controlling interest. 

Miss Pascal. What do you can up there? 

Mr. Rosenstock. We can peas, beans, and fresh white corn, fresh 
Golden Bantam corn, whole grain Evergreen corn, whole grain Golden 
corn and Shoe Peg corn. 

Mr. Tipton. Is your organization anticipating any labor shortage 
in that region now? 

Mr. Rosenstock. I would answer that I couldn't tell you. We 
don't know until we start. We never know till we start, but on peas, 
I would say, we won't because it doesn't require so awfully many 
people on peas, but on corn and beans, that's a different proposition 

Mr. Tipton. Have you any plans, or have you thought of the 
possibilities, of taking workers from here up to Maryland? 

Mr. Rosenstock. Five or six have been after us, when they finish 
here they want to come up with us in the North, and if they do we are 
going to take them. 

Mr. Tipton. You are not making any plans for furnishing them 
transportation or anything of that kind? 

Mr. Rosenstock. No. If they want to come up, we will be glad 
to give them work. 

Miss Pascal. Do you plan to can any other crops down here 
besides beans? 

Mr. Rosenstock. We haven't the faintest idea of what is going to 
develop. Another thing, it would be a question of tin cans whether 
they would allow you to pack some other things. Now, for instance, 
never having canned cabbage before, we couldn't can it now. They 
would not give us the cans. We have taken up with the War Depart- 
ment, and other departments, in regard to dehydration but we haven't 
got any place with that. We want to do a lot of work, if possible, 
for the Government with dehydrated vegetables. 

Miss Pascal. What other crops grown down here would be suitable 
for canning? 

Mr. Rosenstock. Potatoes. Another item that has been banned 
on account of cans is cabbage. Carrots. 
Miss Pascal. Peas? 

Mr. Rosenstock. No; I wouldn't say peas. They don't grow a 
pea down here that would be fit to can. They allow them to po.t too 
hard. I would say no; definitely no. 


Miss Pascal. How about tomatoes? 

Mr. Rosenstock. Tomatoes are all right but, on account of that 
storm, I don't think you would get any this year. There might be 
certain localities up the line farther where the tomatoes would be all 

Miss Pascal. Do they grow a good variety here for canning? 

Mr. Rosenstock. I would say not. They are a little too watery. 
They grow so fast they are too watery. They are not quite solid 
enough. You can get a fair standard tomato but you couldn't get 
an extra standard tomato or, at least, I have never seen any of them 
in Florida. 

Mr. Tipton. Was the establishment of this operation down here on 
the basis of wartime demands or do you have in mind a permanent 
peacetime canning operation in south Florida? 

Mr. Rosenstock. It was primarily first built to take care of Gov- 
ernment orders only. At the end of the war we haven't any idea 
what's going to happen. We don't know ourselves. We don't know 
how long the war is going to keep up. A man that would make a 
prediction now would be a fool because you can't make any prediction, 
except day by day. I haven't any idea. 

Mr. Tipton. Now, this uncertainty that you mention might very 
well be true in Maryland as well as south Florida? 

Mr. Rosenstock. Yes; it covers the whole country. 


Mr. Tipton. What I would like to have is an opinion from you 
regarding the relative possibilities of this region for canning beans 
and these other things, as compared with Maryland and Ohio or other 

Mr. Rosenstock. It is just as good a section as any other in the 

Mr. Tipton. And produce can be grown and purchased here for 
canning at a price that will make canning profitable? 

Mr. Rosenstock. As far as I see. I think you can get more raw 
material down here than any section that I know of. 

Miss Pascal. If the prices you get for canned goods go back to 
prewar levels, would you be able to pay the prices farmers demand? 

Mr. Rosenstock. We couldn't pay the prices we are paying today. 

Mr. Tipton. But you couldn't pay the same in Maryland? 

Mr. Rosenstock. No; we couldn't either. I have seen beans on 
the Baltimore market as low as 15 to 25 cents a bushel. 

Mr. Tipton. How much do you expect to pay in Maryland this 

Mr. Rosenstock. I haven't the faintest idea in the world. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you suppose it will be more or less than 3 cents a 

Mr. Rosenstock. I haven't the faintest idea. When you say 3 
cents a pound, you have to figure really $1.40 to the farmer. It is 
the equivalent of $1.40. 

Mr. Tipton. What I am trying to do is to get a comparison between 
your cost on the platform here with your cost on the platform in 


Mr. Rosenstock. Well, I can only give you the experience last year. 
Due to the drought in Maryland last year, I think it was about the same 
price as we are paying today, as nearly as I can remember. With 
the drayage we had to pay, I think it is about the same price as today. 
The price this year will be governed, I would say, by weather condi- 
tions — by crop conditions. 

Mr. Tipton. As a general statement, then, you would think that, 
aside from differing weather conditions in the two places, there 
wouldn't be much difference in the cost of beans? 

Mr. Rosenstock. No; there shouldn't be. 

Mr. Tipton. The transportation of your canned products would 
be greater? 

Mr. Rosenstock. That's the only thing against us. In fact, I 
think that beans can be grown here a little cheaper than they can in 
Maryland and that they could possibly take the equivalent reduction 
in price and still make as much as the Maryland farmer and, by doing 
that, the little difference in the cost of beans would very likely equalize 
the cost in freight, the excess cost of freight, and put us virtually on a 
par, because after the war, you see, they will get these boat lines back 
in operation. And then we could put our canned goods on trucks and 
send them to Fort Pierce and put them on boats. 

Mr. Tipton. From your experience, as a cannery operator, and 
from your observations down here in south Florida, do you think there 
is a future for the canning industry or dehydration in south Florida? 

Mr. Rosenstock. I do. 


Mr. Tipton. Have you ever purchased any beans in south Florida 
to can in your Maryland canneries? 
, Air. Rosenstock. We did, in the winter of 1941. 

Mr. Tipton. About how many? 

Mr. Rosenstock. I would say, for the two plants, about a hundred 
truck, loads. 

Mr. Tipton. About how many beans to a truck load? 

Mr. Rosenstock. They would average about 450 baskets to a 
truck. Some of them averaged as much as 600. 

Mr. Tipton. These beans were trucked loose? 

Mr. Rosenstock. No; in hampers. 

Mr. Tipton. These beans were trucked in hampers directly from 
Belle Glade? 

Mr. Rosenstock. From Pompano and Belle Glade. 

Mr. Tipton. To your canning plants in Maryland? 

Mr. Rosenstock. Yes; that's right. 

Miss Pascal. What prices were you paying for them? 

Mr. Rosenstock. Why, we paid in the hamper anywhere from 90 
cents to $1.05 and, then, we had to add freight of 40 cents a hamper 
for getting them up there. So, for illustration, they were getting 
much less than we are paying them down here because over at the 
packing house they had to pay for the hamper. I think last fall, they 
were worth 17 cents apiece. " Then, about 10 cents packing charges, 
selling charges and then the loss that they have. If they bring, say, 
200 field boxes in, that is supposed to give 400 hampers, but if they 


get 350 hampers they are lucky, from what they tell me. That's 
only hearsay. That's what the farmers tell me. 

Miss Pascal. Why did you truck them up in hampers? We saw 
lots of cannery beans dumped loose in trucks. 

Mr. Rosenstock. Where they are loose in trucks, they only had 
a short haul, possibly overnight. Where it takes 2 days, they would 
overheat. It took 2 days to truck from here to Maryland. 

Miss Pascal. And do beans truck that far satisfactorily for 

Mr. Rosenstock. They are not as satisfactory as if they were 
canned right here, the day after they were picked, because the quicker 
you can get any vegetable in the can, the better it is. 

Mr. Tipton. Was last year the first year you bought down here and 
had them trucked up? 

Mr. Rosenstock. Yes. We were down here year before last and 
tried to buy some, but the price was so high we couldn't touch them. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you know whether or not other canning plants did 
the same thing? 

Mr. Rosenstock. Yes, they did. Many of them. Many beans 
were taken out of here for canning in the North. I would say, from 
what I understand, about 25 percent of the beans grown down here 
were taken by the canners. 

formerly canners bought only culls 

In the past the Florida canners have bought the poorest quality of 
beans on the market and paid the lowest prices. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you think that may have had something to do 
with the fact that many farmers in this region think they can't grow 
beans for canning purposes? 

Mr. Rosenstock. You are exactly right, because they didn't want 
to pay any prices, because they didn't want quality beans. 

Mr. Tipton. So you feel, that by buying quality beans for a quality 
pack, you can pay prices that should make it profitable for farmers to 
grow beans for canning? 

Mr. Rosenstock. I do, and I think that that may also become true 
in the future for other crops in Florida. 

will get beans from wide area 

Mr. Tipton. Do you plan to get all of your beans in the Belle 
Glade-Pahokee district or do you think you will truck in some beans? 

Mr. Rosenstock. No ; we are covered from Moore Haven to about 
10 miles north of Canal Point. 

Mr. Tipton. But in the case of severe weather conditions in any 
one section 

Mr. Rosenstock. We would go to the other section and pull 
them in. 

Mr. Tipton. By the other section you mean 

Mr. Rosenstock. Pompano, Homestead. If necessary, we could 
pull them in from Georgia back this way. 

Miss Pascal. Have you been thinking of contracting any acreage 
down in the Dade County or Pompano areas to give you a supply of 
beans during the midseason slack here? 


Mr. Kosenstock. We have taken it up with several of the large 
growers down there, but they are gamblers at heart and just don't want 
to put their name on the dotted line, thinking it is a good thing, but 
they don't want to put it there. 

Miss Pascal. Have you had much trouble getting names on the 
dotted line for the contract beans around here? 

Mr. Rosenstock. I would say no. No; we haven't around here. 
We were unknown and the canning industry, from the way I under- 
stand it, has a black eye. There was a little cannery up here at 
Pahokee and one, possibly, at some other little point that took the 
farmers in for quite a bit of money, and we started under a handicap. 
They didn't know us but we have all the farmers coming to us. We 
didn't know any of them outside of one operation where they put out 
about 600 or 800 acres. We did know them. 

Mr. Tipton. Thank you for this information, Mr. Rosenstock. 

APRIL. 26, 1942 

Mr. Tipton. Will you give your name and your address? 

Mr. Hall. Norman Hall, Belle Glade, Fla. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you live here in Belle Glade? 

Mr. Hall. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you have a house of your own or do you rent? 

Mr. Hall. I have a house of my own. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you live in it with your family? 

Mr. Hall. I got a couple of houses. 

Mr. Tipton. You rent out one? 

Mr. Hall. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. And live in the other? 

Mr. Hall. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. Does anybody else live in the house that you live 
in, or just you and your family? 

Mr. Hall. No one else. 

Mr. Tipton. How many live in the other house? 

Mr. Hall. Ten families. 

Mr. Tipton. What kind of work do you do, Mr. Hall? 

Mr. Hall. I haul for different people. I have a truck. Contract 
field work, beans, potatoes, just anything on the farm. 

Mr. Tipton. You say that you contract? 

Mr. Hall. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. Do your men work directly for you? 

Mr. Hall. Yes; those I hire work directly for me. Here in Belle 
Glade, I don't work over four. 

Mr. Tipton. They drive your truck? 

Mr. Hall. Sometimes they do. 

Mr. Tipton. What do they do the rest of the time? 

Mr. Hall. Head beans, tote them out. 

Mr. Tipton. What do you mean by heading beans? 

Mr. Hall. Put the covers oh them. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you have anyone else working for you in beans? 

Mr. Hall. No, sir. Four is the highest I have. 

Mr. Tipton. Then you hire out your truck and these four men 
to growers who want their beans harvested? 


Mr. Hall. The way I does it, I take the contract to head those 
beans and tote those beans to the station or to the packing house, 
or where those beans go at. I head them in the field, load them 
on the truck, and take them to the station or the packing house and 
they pays me so much a hamper. 

Miss Pascal. Aren't a good many of the beans just put in field 
boxes in the field and packed in hampers at the packing house? 

Mr. Hall. Yes, ma'am; but very seldom I handle that kind, all 
the same beans but they usually head them in the field. 

Miss Pascal. You handle the beans that are packed ready for 
shipping in the field? 

Mr. Hall. Yes; in the field. 

Mr. Tipton. Do many growers have their beans packed in the 

Mr. Hall. Not too many of them; most of them packing them 
at the packing house. 

Mr. Tipton. Are most of the growers who pack in the field small 

Mr. Hall. That's right, small growers; yes, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. They don't send their beans to the packing house? 

Mr. Hall. No, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you have anything at all to do with picking beans? 

Mr. Hall. No, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you ever get pickers for the growers? 

Mr. Hall. Yes; I get pickers for them. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you have a crew that works with you every day 
for picking? 

Mr. Hall. No, sir. I just goes up on the corner, where they load, 
every morning and get a truck load of pickers there and take them to 
the field. 

Miss Pascal. When you get pickers at the corner you are getting 
them for the farmer that you head and haul for? 

Mr. Hall. That's right. 

Miss Pascal. But you don't pay those pickers? 

Mr. Hall. No, ma'am; he pays the pickers. 

Miss Pascal. You say that you get the pickers at the corner? 

Mr. Hall. Yes, sir. 

Miss Pascal. Where is this corner? 

Mr. Hall. Well, the only thing I could tell you is it's up the street 
here in Belle Glade and all the trucks park up there in the morning. 

Miss Pascal. How many trucks are there in the morning? 

Mr. Hall. From 10 to 60. That's the way it runs and 7 o'clock 
we load. When the police blow the whistle, they get on any truck 
they want to. 

Miss Pascal. You can't start loading a truck until 7 o'clock, when 
the police whistle blows? 

Mr. Hall. Seven o'clock when the whistle blows, we load. 

Mr. Tipton. Is there ever any competition down at the corner 
between one truck and another to get loaded when there are not enough 

Mr. Hall. Some of them never get loaded out and some of them 
get a half a load. Some get four or five on a truck. 

Mr. Tipton. Do they start bidding against each other? 


Mr. Hall. Sometimes. Some will pay 35, some 25, some 40 cents, 
and this season they have paid as high as 50 cents, which, is according 
to the beans. 

Mr. Tipton. Was there more bidding this year? 

Mr. Hall. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. Higher wages this year than before? 

Mr. Hall. Yes, sir. I don't know exactly. The pickers is not 
exactly scarce because more people here this year it seems to me, 
more here this season than before. There were more beans this 
season, didn't have no bad weather, no freezing. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you contract anything besides beans? 

Mr. Hall. That's all I contract here. 

Mr. Tipton. How much a hamper do you get for heading and 

Mr. Hall. Ten cents. 

Mr. Tipton. And you truck those wherever the grower makes his 
arrangements to sell them? 

Mr. Hall. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. Now, you said a moment ago that beans were all 
you contracted here? 

Mr. Hall. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you contract some place else? 

Mr. Hall. Yes, I leave here around the 15th of May and I go to 
South Carolina. 

Mr. Tipton. What part of South Carolina? 

Mr. Hall. I go out from Charleston 18 miles to Wadlow Island. 
I don't contract there; I only haul there, out to the field. 

Mr. Tipton. What crop is that, potatoes? 

Mr. Hall. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. Where do you go from there? 

Mr. Hall. I goes to North Carolina and I hauls there. I don't 
contract there. 

Mr. Tipton. What part of North Carolina? 

Mr. Hall. Up around Bayboro, Vandemere. 

Miss Pascal. What crop do you haul there? 

Mr. Hall. Potatoes. 

Miss Pascal. And then from North Carolina? 

Mr. Hall. Virginia. 

Miss Pascal. What do you do there? 

Mr. Hall. I contract there. 

Miss Pascal. In what crop? 

Mr. Hall. Potatoes, but I don't do any hauling. I only contract 
the grading, but we don't have a wash house. We just have a grader. 

Mr. Tipton. How long are you there? 

Mr. Hall. Thirty days. 

Mr. Tipton. From there, where do you go? 

Mr. Hall. I goes to Pocomoke, Md. 

Mr. Tipton. What's going on there? 

Mr. Hall. I haul beans and tomatoes. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you do any contracting there? 

Mr. Hall. No, sir. I don't do any contracting there. 

Mr. Tipton. How long does that last? 

Mr. Hall. Well, I only stay there 2 weeks, for I go from there to 
the canning house. I go to Newark, Del. 

6039G— 42— pt. 33 16 


Mr. Tipton. What do they can at Newark? 

Mr. Hall. Tomatoes and peas and corn. 

Mr. Tipton. What do you do there? 

Mr. Hall. I run the washer there. I wash tomatoes. I just 
work there. I don't use the truck at all. 

Mr. Tipton. How long are you at Newark? 

Mr. Hall. I stay there about 3 months. 

Mr. Tipton. Until what date do you stay there? 

Mr. Hall. To the 20th of October, and then I leave there and 
I come back to Florida and start all over again. 

Miss Pascal. How many years have you been going on this route? 

Mr. Hall. Ever since 1936, regularly every summer. 

Miss Pascal. Have you been working for the same people? 

Mr. Hall. The same people in Delaware, the Phillips Canning 
Co. Of course, I worked for them 4 years in Cambridge, Md., same 
people, but I quit going there and go to Delaware. 

Miss Pascal. What are you planning to do this summer? The 
same thing? 

Mr. Hall. Yes. 


Miss Pascal. Are you going to take up a load of workers? 

Mr. Hall. Yes. I usually take a load of hands right from here. 

Miss Pascal. How are the tires on your truck? 

Mr. Hall. I got good tires. I looked out for them before the tire 
rationing came on. 

Mr. Tipton. How many hands do you take up from here? 

Mr. Hall. Thirty-three. 

Mr. Tipton. You take those to South Carolina? 

Mr. Hall. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. And then do you take them on with you from there? 

Mr. Hall. All the way up. The same 33. Sometimes some of 
them leave and some more Florida people will get with me. 

Mr. Tipton. So that on the rounds you usually have about 33 
people with you? 

Mr. Hall. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. How big is your truck? 

Mr. Hall. It is a ton and a half Chevrolet truck. 

Mr. Tipton. How do you fix it up for hauling the people from one 
place to another? 

Mr. Hall. I put 3 seats in there, and those seats will set about 10 
apiece. Before I put my seat in, I put tarpaulin along the sides to keep 
the wind off, and overhead so if it rains it don't get wet, and those 
seats will set about 10 apiece, which will be 30, and 3 can go in the cab. 

Miss Pascal. How long is the trip up to your first stop? 

Mr. Hall. Around 700 miles. 

Miss Pascal. Do you stop overnight any place or do you go right 
straight on? 

Mr. Hall. No, I go right straight on. Just stop to eat, that's all. 

Miss Pascal. How many hours does it usually take you to go to 
South Carolina? 

Mr. Hall. About 20 or 25 hours. 



Miss Pascal. Do you charge these people to take them up? 

Mr. Hall. Yes, sir. 

Miss Pascal. How much do you charge? 

Mr. Hall. $3 from here to South Carolina. 

Miss Pascal. Then how much from South Carolina to Delaware? 

Mr. Hall. $1.50 from South Carolina to North Carolina, $2 from 
North Carolina to Virginia, 50 cents from Virginia to Maryland. 
- Miss Pascal. And then when you come back to Florida in the fall, 
how much do you charge from Delaware to Florida? 

Mr. Hall. I charge $5. It is cheaper coming back. You don't 
have all that stop to make. 

Miss Pascal. Thank you. 

APRIL 27, 1942 

Mr. Tipton. Will you give your name and address for the record? 

Mr. McLendon. My name is Bryan McLendon, Belle Glade, Fla., 
post office box 444. 

Mr. Tipton. Your occupation? 

Mr. McLendon. I guess you would call it harvester. You see, 
what I do is pick and harvest. I don't know just how you would put 
it down, picking and hauling perishable produce down in this section, 
potatoes, and so forth, potatoes, beans, cabbage, lettuce, escarole, 
whatever happens to be on the farm. 

Mr. Tipton. You are not a grower yourself? 

Mr. McLendon. No. 

Mr. Tipton. What sort of arrangements do you make with growers 
for harvesting? 

^ Mr. McLendon. The way we do that is picking cost, plus. In 
other words, it is a cost-plus propostion. They pay us so much a 
hamper for picking it plus what it costs to pick. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you have your own trucks and transport the pro- 
duce to the packing sheds? 

Mr. McLendon. Packinghouses? Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. But the actual picking cost per hamper is paid by the 
grower — to you, then you pay the picking help, and there is an addi- 
tional amount you receive for supervising; is that right? 

Mr. McLendon. That's right. 


Mr. Tipton. What have the picking rates been this year? 

Mr. McLendon. That runs per hamper. It depends on the quality 
of the stuff, you know. They try to have a scale of approximately 20 
cents. This year, I would say, 25 cents for the first picking and then it 
varies from 30 to 35 and as high as 40 cents for the second and third 

Mr. Tipton. Are the rates higher this year than last year? 

Mr. McLendon. I would say about a nickel higher than last year. 

Mr. Tipton. What charge do you make for the hauling and super- 


Mr. McLendon. Eight cents a hamper. 

Miss Pascal. What are the highest picking rates you have had to 
pay this year? 

Mr. McLendon. Forty-five cents, I think. 

Miss Pascal. How often have you gone that high? 

Mr. McLendon. Just once, a poor patch, poor quality stuff. 

Miss Pascal. Is there a generally recognized picking rate for, say a 
good first picking, a second picking, and so on? 

Mr. McLendon. I think 30 cents is the rate now for first picking. 

Mr. Tipton. And it is higher for second and third pickings? 

Mr. McLendon. Yes; it generally raises a nickel each time you 

Mr. Tipton. After the first picking, how long a time elapses be- 
tween the first and second? 

Mr. McLendon. Four days. 

Mr. Tipton. And then how long before the third? 

Mr. McLendon. About the same. 

Miss Pascal. Are beans ever left unpicked in the fields? 

Mr. McLendon. Now, that depends on the scarcity of labor, rain, 
bad weather. The price, of course, has got something to do with that. 
If they are not worth picking, they don't pick them. 

Mr. Tipton. In your experience, do you know of any cases in which 
the first picking, which as I understand it is the best, has been left 
in the field? 

Mr. McLendon. Yes; there has been a lot of it at different times, 
different years. I haven't seen any of it this year. 

Mr. Tipton. What is the chief reason for leaving beans in the field? 

Mr. McLendon. Poor markets. 

Mr. Tipton. But that has not happened this year? 

Mr. McLendon. I don't believe so. I haven't heard of any of it. 

Mr. Tipton. Do most growers pick their fields three times? 

Mr. McLendon. Very seldom. 

Mr. Tipton. About twice? 

Mr. McLendon. About twice, I would say, would be an average. 
A good many years they only pick it one time. Depends on the year, 
the amount of acreage, and what the market is. 

Mr. Tipton. How many acres here in this region do you usually 

Mr. McLendon. I would say around 1,200 acres on the job we are 
working on now. 

Mr. Tipton. Does that acreage belong to one grower or several 

Mr. McLendon. Several different growers. 

Mr. Tipton. And is that about the number of acres you handle 
every year? 

Mr. McLendon. No; that varies. There is no set number. It 
would vary from one year to the other. It just depends. With three 
or four growers, it would depend on what they planted. 

Mr. Tipton. You don't work for the same growers every year? 

Mr. McLendon. No; not necessarily. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you have a regular crew that you hire all year 

Mr. McLendon. No regular men at all. It all works with the 
season. If I work a week, I hire a crew for a. week. If 6 months, I 


try to hire a crew all the time. In this migratory labor you never 
have a crew that you can depend on. You may work them a week 
and maybe he is with someone else the next week. You know how it 

Mr. Tipton. So you depend, I suppose, on picking up your crew, 
day by day, down in the quarters? Do you get any from the migratory 

Mr. McLendon. I have used some from out there, but I haven't 
been in there this year to haul any out. They volunteer to come out 
themselves to the field. Most of them have cars and drive out there. 

Mr. Tipton. Have you used the farm placement man with the 
Employment Service at all? 

Mr. McLendon. I haven't. 


Mr. Tipton. How many hands do you use in your operations on a 
peak day? 

Mr. McLendon. I would say as high as 500. That's the top 

Mr. Tipton. Can you give us an idea of what the average crew 
would be, during the course of the bean season? 

Mr. McLendon. I have no way in the world of estimating. 

Mr. Tipton. So that one day you might have as few as a dozen or 
up to as many as 500? 

Mr. McLendon. Yes. 


Mr. Tipton. Do you operate in any other areas besides Belle Glade? 

Mr. McLendon. I go up to New Jersey in the summer. 

Mr. Tipton. When do you leave for New Jersey? 

Mr. McLendon. July, along the middle of July. 

Mr. Tipton. To what part of New Jersey do you go? 

Mr. McLendon. High ts town, N. J. 

Mr. Tipton. What crops do you work in up there? 

Mr. McLendon. Potatoes and tomatoes. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you handle them on a crop contract basis as you 
do here? 

Mr. McLendon. Practically the same. 

Miss Pascal. Do you take any workers up there with you? 

Mr. McLendon. I take them all with me. I take them right 
with me. 

Miss Pascal. About how many workers do you take with you? 

Mr. McLendon. I would say' 75 or 100, depending on the job. 
You always take more than you use because you lose part of them 
after you get there. They drift around. You never use as many as 
you carry, as a rule. 

Miss Pascal. Is Hightstown, N. J., the only place you operate? 

Mr. McLendon. Yes. 

Miss Pascal. How long do you stay up there? 

Mr. McLendon. About 2 months. 

Miss Pascal. Then you come directly back to Florida? 

Mr. McLendon. Yes. 


Miss Pascal. So that you are back here before the bean season 
starts in the fall? 

Mr. McLendon. Yes. This year I am going to stop in North 
Carolina for a month to harvest the potatoes. 

Miss Pascal. Where? 

Mr. McLendon. Elizabeth City, right near there. 

Mr. Tipton. How did you happen to make arrangements to stop 

Mr. McLendon. They needed the labor there and wanted the work. 

Mr. Tipton. Did they send a man down here? 

Mr. McLendon. No; I was up there. 

Mr. Tipton. On your last trip up North, you made arrangements 
for this year? 

Mr. McLendon. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you expect this stop in North Carolina to become 
a permanent arrangement? 

Mr. McLendon. I would think so if it works out satisfactorily. 

Mr. Tipton. And that will be on the same contracting basis? 

Mr. McLendon. Yes. 

Miss Pascal. In New Jersey, is your contract work paid by the 
piece in potatoes and tomatoes? 

Mr. McLendon. Pay so much a sack. 

Mr. Tipton. How about tomatoes? 

Mr. McLendon. Practically the same, so much a basket. 

Mr. Tipton. You said that down here you pick up your crew from 
the quarters every day and then when you get ready to go north you 
take a crew gathered here. Are some of them people who have been 
working for you a good part of the winter and some people you just 
pick up? 

Mr. McLendon. Well, I always try to get a crew together that I 
know has been with me off and on. It makes a more desirable crew. 

Miss Pascal. What kind of living arrangements do they make for 
your crew up in New Jersey? 

Mr. McLendon. They just have houses on the farm. Last year 
we had a big two-story building right at the edge of the farm. They 
stayed there. Some stayed in the barn. I understand this year he is 
building quarters up over his barn. He was down this year and told 
me what he was going to do. 

Miss Pascal. Do you take up just single men or do you take 

Mr. McLendon. No; I take up any kind that want to work, 
families — men and their wives and children. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you charge them or do they contribute to the cost 
of transportation? 

Mr. McLendon. Sometimes they don't contribute anything. Last 
year they didn't pay anything. Previous years, some years I have 
carried them up and just figured the expense of the trip and each one 
pays his equal part after they get up there, if yon can catch him when 
it comes time to pay off. We try to make it that way. We never 
make any set fee or anything of the kind. 

Miss Pascal. What are the expenses for each of the people — on an 

Mr. McLendon. I would say, offhand, $2 apiece, depending on how 
many you carry, how many trucks. That's up to Jersey. 


Miss Pascal. How many trucks do you usually run up there? 
Mr. McLendon. About two to four. 


Miss Pascal. On days when you want to gather up a crew down 
here in the quarters, what time do you take your trucks down? 

Mr. McLendon. About 7 in the morning. 

Miss Pascal. Do they let you load up before 7? 

Mr. McLendon. Well, I think they have tried to make a ruling 
here everybody loads out about 7 o'clock. 

Mr. Tipton. How many trucks usually go down there? 

Mr. McLendon. Well, of course, the variation of the trucks might 
be 10 this morning and 50 another morning. 

Mr. Tipton. What's the most you have ever seen? 

Mr. McLendon. I don't know because I wouldn't go round and 
count them. I think 50 sometimes. I have seen that many, probably 

Miss Pascal. How do they decide on the prices to be paid that day? 

Mr. McLendon. Everyone knows the price of picking before they 
go down there. 

Mr. Tipton. How do the hands, decide which truck they are going 
to go on? 

Mr. McLendon. They pick their men. If they like me, they will 
probably go tomorrow. If he goes out and I make him mad and he 
don't like the lay-out, he will probably go with someone else tomorrow. 
He figures the quality of the beans, whether it is first or second picking. 
He might want to go into first, naturally he would, and some of them 
might think they make more in the second picking, and there are 
different varieties of beans they prefer. It depends a good deal on 
what kind of beans you have, how well you know them, and so on. 

Miss Pascal. Is there usually a certain price that all of the trucks 

Mr. McLendon. I say there is always a fixed price. They try to 
pay the same, everybody on the first, second, and so forth. 

Miss Pascal. Do they always hold to that? 

Mr. McLendon. You know how that would work out. Someone 
a little short of pickers is liable to boost the price in order to get 
pickers. That's the way farmers are working all over the country 
now. They never work together. They are not very cooperative. 

Miss Pascal. Why would one farmer be so afraid of not getting a 
load that he would have to raise the price? 

Mr. McLendon. Well, there could be various reasons for that. 
He could not be very well known or know where bis field was, the 
Negroes might not know him or where his field was. It might be he 
was one of these the Negroes call "busting the hamper." Of course, 
that's exaggerated. I am just using this slang word for the expression. 
In other words, they think the farmer puts too many beans in the 
hamper, that they have to pick too many. It is not that they put in 
too many beans but they don't like to fill up the hamper. We have a 
lot of trouble getting them to fill up the hamper, to put enough beans 
in them. They go by the weight, you know, so much weight per 
hamper, and it's hard to make them get that weight in there. 


Mr. Tipton. Do you have any idea as to what the labor supply will 
be like next season? 

Mr. McLendon. Well, the only difference would be, I would say, 
it would depend on how many they draft and take out of here. Labor 
always comes down here in the South in the wintertime and works 
right back to the North again. 

Mr. Tipton. Does much of the labor that comes down here go up 
either to New Jersey or to Michigan or some other northern State in 
the summer? 

Mr. McLendon. Practically all of it. 

Mr. Tipton. Are there many people who have cotton farms in 
Georgia and go back to the cotton farms in the summer? 

Mr. McLendon. I think those cotton farmers have a crew pretty 
well all of the time. I think they stay pretty well all the year round. 
Some drive in, of course, down here from other sections but I think 
that's more of a stable crew. They have about the same families on 
the farm mostly. That's my observation. I was never very intimate 
with the cotton-growing situation because I was never interested in it. 

Miss Pascal. Where do you come from? 

Mr. McLendon. I am a native of Florida. 


Miss Pascal. Do you have any idea of about how many other people 
here do harvest contracting? 

Mr. McLendon. No; I don't. I don't know how many. 

Miss Pascal. Is much contracting done? 

Mr. McLendon. I think practically— not all, but the biggest part 
of it is harvested that way in this section. 

Mr. Tipton. And practically all of the big growers harvest in that 

Mr. McLendon. I think so; yes. 

Mr. Tipton. How about the smaller growers? 

Mr. McLendon. Well, some of the smaller ones harvest their own 
stuff, but I would say that the biggest percentage of them, even, 
have someone else take it for them. 

Mr. Tipton. Is that true of beans? 

Mr. McLendon. That is what I was talking about — beans. 

Mr. Tipton. How about potatoes? 

Mr. McLendon. I don't believe that there are as many of the 
potatoes harvested that way. I think the farmers mostly harvest 
them themselves, but there are a good many potatoes harvested 
that way. 

Mr. Tipton. How about celery? 

Mr. McLendon. The farmers practically do all that themselves 
with their own crew. 

Mr. Tipton. Are there any other crops harvested this way? Cab- 

Mr. McLendon. I would say cabbage and peas — that's the biggest 
crop that would be harvested. 

Mr. Tipton. I think you said that you harvested some escarole 
and other vegetables? 

Mr. McLendon. They don't grow as extensively as the beans and 
cabbage. That is the biggest part of ours — beans and cabbage. 



Miss Pascal. When you are picking a crop for a grower who has 
some people in his own quarters, do you usually use them or does he 
ordinarily need them for his regular field work? 

Mr. McLendon. If he needs them for his field, he uses, of course, 
what he needs, but if there is any surplus, we use them. 

Miss Pascal. You take them for your crew? 

Mr. McLendon. They go to the field and work the same as the 
other Negroes and you sort of supervise them. We have to do this, 
of course, check the beans and so on. 

Mr. Tipton. And then he pays you for their work and you pay 

Mr. McLendon. Yes; that's right, pay them by the hamper, what- 
ever the rate is. In other words, we act, you might say, as an agent 
for the farmer. We go out and supervise the field, put the labor in 
the field and he pays us so much for our efforts, trucks, and so forth, 
and we naturally pay off the help for him. 

Mr. Tipton. You say, I believe, that you pick up help in the quar- 
ters at 7 o'clock. Can you pick beans that early.? 

Mr. McLendon. I would say not earlier than 8 o'clock. Now, 
canneries, they can use it picked a little earlier because they have to 
wash it anyway before they can, but the stuff that goes on the market 
has to be thoroughly dry before you can pick it, so that, of course, 
depends on the weather, how quick the field dries, with regard to 
when you can pick. 

Mr. Tipton. And how long is it before the field is dry enough? 

Mr. McLendon. You wait a lot of times until noon. 

Mr. Tipton. What does the help do after you get them out to the 

Mr. McLendon. Just sit there and wait, get their breakfast. You 
know, they generally have a sandwich wagon that supply drinks, 
sandwiches, water, and so forth. They run that among themselves, 
but a lot of them depend on getting breakfast out there. They lay 
around that wagon and eat and drink, and so forth. Just general 
routine. They might be playing poker, blackjack, I don't know. 
I don't pay any attention to that. The native Negro does that 
wherever he is, you know. 

Miss Pascal. Are there other crops that you can't start picking 
early in the morning, but have to wait until they are dry? 

Mr. McLendon. No; I think that only applies to beans. Potatoes 
and other leaf stuff it doesn't make any difference. 


Miss Pascal. Have you ever had any difficulty with regard to 
getting your workers down to south Florida or getting them back from 
south Florida up to New Jersey? 

Mr. McLendon. Not any special difficulty any more than — I know 
the first year I went up there they almost restricted me from stopping 
in town with the labor and that year they jumped me again in that I 
couldn't transport them in trucks. Some city officers stopped me, in- 
spected my license, trying to find something they could squawk about. 

Mr. Tipton. Where was this? 


Mr. McLendon. Hightstown. The only thing he could get on us, 
one of the drivers had lost his driver's license before he left here and 
put in for a duplicate but I got away before he got it. In fact, he 
didn't know he had lost it but they picked him up and find him $7.50 
because he didn't have it, and he had wired Tallahassee — I sent the 
wire for him — and he got a statement with the driver's license number 
verified, and that it had been issued to him on such a date, number, 
and so forth, everything they needed, but still that didn't have any 
bearing on the fine. They still fined him. And there was some sort 
of a labor organization or something. I never could figure out just 
what they were. They ran an office in Trenton and this little fellow 
was apparently out to solicit labor for different farmers. Instead of him 
going out and coming down here or wiring or getting some information 
as to where he could get labor, he jumps out on my labor and he went 
so far as to get a couple of the troopers to go out to the camp, and they 
questioned all of the laborers trying to find out just how they got 
there, how much they paid to get there, and so forth, and the only 
thing I could see that he was doing, apparently, instead of trying to 
get labor in there, he was just out trying to hire my labor and take 
it somewhere else. Get where labor was easy to get and give some- 
one else the labor. I couldn't see that he was really getting ahead 
anywhere. I think his intention was all right but he went at it in 
the wrong way. 

Miss Pascal. You mean, it seemed as though he was trying to scare 
your workers away from you so he could hire them? 

Mr. McLendon. Trying to get something on me, it looked like. I 
don't even remember ms name. He was under the impression— I tell 
you what, they are all under the impression that us fellows that work 
this labor and transport it, they think we make a lot of money out of 
it. They think it is a racket in hauling labor and getting the money. 
I went to work with one man and he asked me what my percentage 
would be. He was under the impression that I got a certain percent 
of the Negroes' labor that worked out. I never did that in my life. 
Never thought about it, but that goes to show the ideas they have up 
there about labor. They think if I take 100 men up there and someone 
else hires them, those people pay me so much of those wages. They 
have never done that and I don't think anyone has done it, but it 
shows the impression of labor they have up there. 

Mr. Tipton. Were you ever stopped by law officers any place on 
your trip? 

Mr. McLendon. No; that was the only place I was ever molested 
and that was after I was practically on the farm. I think, more or 
less, the officials there wanted to get something out of it or something, 
the road-control men, the troopers they call them up there. Very 
nice fellows. Never had any trouble with them. They work with 
us pretty good, but it is usually the cities, and then I have heard a 
lot of fellows say they have been stopped on the road and all that sort 
of stuff, but I have never run into that, but there is different places 
you go into where there are restrictions where they won't let you load 
labor and take it out. 

Mr. Tipton. Where do you find that? 

Mr. McLendon. I heard it was in Delaware and on the east 
coast down here in Florida. Of course, I don't think that's anything 
that would be of any importance to the record. That is more or 


less the district that it is in. They probably need labor there and 
don't want you to haul it away because they want to use it. 

Mr. Tipton. How many men in the same line of business that you 
are in down here also operate up in the North? 

Mr. McLendon. I couldn't tell you. I don't know that. 

Mr. Tipton. There are others? • ■• 

Mr. McLendon. Yes. I have met several in my rounds m this 
country, every year, harvest potatoes, crops, and stuff like that. 

Miss Pascal. How many years have you been working North in 
the summers? 

Mr. McLendon. About five summers. 

Mr. Tipton. Thank you very much, Mr. McLendon. 

GLADE, FLA., APRIL 25, 1942 

Mr. Tipton. Will you give the reporter your name and address? 

Mr. McMillan. Jacob McMillan, Belle Glade, Fla., Box 612. 

Miss Pascal. You live in the camp and you are a member of the 
camp council? 

Mr. McMillan. Yes. 

Miss Pascal. How long have you lived in this camp? 

Mr. McMillan. I been here for 2 years. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you mean all year round? 

Mr. McMillan. No, sir; I was away about 3 months last year in 
the summer. 

Mr. Tipton. Where were you in the summer? 

Mr. McMillan. I was in New Jersey. 

Mr. Tipton. Are you originally from New Jersey? 

Mr. McMillan. No, sir; I was born and raised in Georgia. 

Mr. Tipton. Did you farm m Georgia? 

Mr. McMillan. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. For yourself? Did you own your land? 

Mr. McMillan. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. How many acres? 

Mr. McMillan. I had 75 acres in cultivation. 

Mr. Tipton. Were you growing cotton? 

Mr. McMillan. Cotton, corn, peanuts, and tobacco. 

Mr. Tipton. How long ago did you leave Georgia? 

Mr. McMillan. I left in 1931. 

Mr. Tipton. How did you happen to leave? 

Mr. McMillan. I just had to leave, like a lot of them. I went 
broke, everything went to the bottom and I had to get away. 

Mr. Tipton. Where did you go when you left? 

Mr. McMillan. I came to Arcadia, Fla., and went to work in the 
Nocatee Crate Co. 

Mr. Tipton. How long did you work there? 

Mr. McMillan. I worked there 7 years. 

Mr. Tipton. That was until 1938? And then where did you go? 

Mr. McMillan. I have been here ever since. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you mean in Belle Glade? 


Mr. McMillan. Here and other places too. I went up to New 
Jersey last year. 

Mr. Tipton. Had you ever gone to New Jersey before? 

Mr. McMillan. Not before. 

Mr. Tipton. That was your first trip? Why did you go to New 

Mr. McMillan. There was a man going there. He said he had a 
lot of potatoes and tomatoes he had contracted to harvest, and he 
had me go up there to help. 

Mr. Tipton. Was he a contractor here in Belle Glade? 

Mr. McMillan. Yes; he is contracting here now. 

Mr. Tipton. What's his name? 

Mr. McMillan. Red McLendon. 

Mr. Tipton. Does he contract here every year? 

Mr. McMillan. Yes; and then moves up and goes back up there 
picking tomatoes and potatoes. 

Mr. Tipton. Did he take many other people? 

Mr. McMillan. Quite a bunch. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you have any idea how many? 

Mr. McMillan. I expect 80. 

Mr. Tipton. How long were you up in New Jersey? 

Mr. McMillan. We went up there the 11th of July and came back 
the 1st of October. 

Mr. Tipton. Did you find that a profitable move? 

Mr. McMillan. Well, I think I did. We never drew less than 
$68 to $127 a week. Just my family, of course; I have a pretty large 
family, six of us to work. 

Mr. Tipton. How many altogether in your family? 

Mr. McMillan. Thirteen. 

Mr. Tipton. That's 11 children? 

Mr. McMillan. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you plan to go back to New Jersey this year? 

Mr. McMillan. Yes, sir. 


Miss Pascal. How did you get up to New Jersey? Did Mr. 
McLendon furnish transportation? 

Mr. McMillan. Yes; he carried us up in trucks. 

Mr. Tipton. Have you your own car? 

Mr. McMillan. Yes; I have my own car now; so if I went again 
I would go in my own car. 

Mr. Tipton. How are your tires? 

Mr. McMillan. I got pretty fair tires, except one. Three good 
tires and two sorry ones. 

Miss Pascal. You think you could make it up to New Jersey and 

Mr. McMillan. Yes; I believe I could, like it stands right now. 

Miss Pascal. If they start rationing gas and only give you 5 gallons 
or so per week, it would be a little hard to get up to Jersey? 

Mr. McMillan. I don't think I would get very far if I had to 
burn out 5 gallons and stop until the next week comes. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you know whether or not Mr. McLendon is plan- 
ning on taking people up in his trucks this year? 


Mr. McMillan. Yes, sir; he is- planning on going back. 

Mr. Tipton. So he will get some people up there even though they 
can't go in their own cars? 

Mrs. McMillan. That will be so. He will take a lot up that 
couldn't go in their own cars. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you suppose that any of those people will Leave 
their cars here and go in his trucks? 

Mr. McMillan. They did last year. 

Mr. Tipton. What kind of truck does he run up there? 

Mr. McMillan. An International and a Ford. 

Mr. Tipton. How many people can he take in a trip? 

Mr. McMillan. He can take 20 or 25 in a truck, building high 
bodies to them and big seats around. 

Miss Pascal. I suppose they leave their ears here because it costs 
them less to go up on the truck? 

Mr. McMillan. It doesn't cost anything to go up with him. 

Miss Pascal. He takes them free of charge? 

Mr. McMillan. Yes. 

Miss Pascal. How long does it take to get up there? 

Mr. McMillan. Three days. 

Mr. Tipton. Did you ever farm down here? 

Mr. McMillan. Never; no, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. You have always worked in bean-packing houses? 

Mr. McMillan. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. What do you do in the packing houses? 

Mr. McMillan. Catching beans, spreading beans, trucking beans, 
and I am night watchman down there now. 

Mr. Tipton. Thank you. 

APRIL 26, 1942 

Mr. Tipton. Will you give your name and address for the record? 

Mr. Yearby. William Yearby, Belle Glade, Fla., General Delivery 

Mr. Tipton. How long have you lived down here in Belle Glade? 

Mr. Yearby. Since 1933. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you live here all the year round or just in the 

Mr. Yearby. Most of the time I live here and then sometimes I go 
up to New York State. 

Mr. Tipton. During the summer? 

Mr. Yearby. Yes. 

Miss Pascal. What sort of work do you do here? 

Mr. Yearby. Work on the farm: 

Miss Pascal. What kind of farm work? 

Mr. Yearby. Bean farm, something like that. Sometimes drive 
tractors and cultivate, all of that. 

Miss Pascal. Where do you go during the summer? 

Mr. Yearby. I been going to Long Island at Riverhead, but last 
summer I went just about 36 miles from Syracuse, N. Y., a little place 
called Bouckville. 

Mr. Tipton. What kind of work do you do up in Long Island? 

Mr. Yearby. Potatoes and cauliflower. 


Mr. Tipton. And what kind of work do they have up near Syracuse? 

Mr. Yearby. Beans, picking beans. 

Mr. Tipton. Did you ever work in celery in New York. 

Mr. Yearby. Never did. And cabbage was too late. Had to 
come back down. It was getting cold. 

Mr. Tipton. You wanted to get back down to Florida for the 

Mr. Yearby. Sure. 

Mr. Tipton. How many months of the year do you usually spend 
up there? 

Mr. Yearby. In New York State? Around 3 or 4. 

Mr. Tipton. When do you leave here? 

Mr. Yearby. Summertime, June. Coming back in October or 
some time in November. 

Mr. Tipton. What kind of work did you do in potatoes in Long 
Island and what kind in beans over by Syracuse? 

Mr. Yearby. Picking potatoes in Long Island and loading potatoes, 
and up-State New York it was picking beans mostly. 

Miss Pascal. How many years have you gone up there? 

Mr. Yearby. About 4 at least. 

Miss Pascal. Do you usually work for the same people in Long 
Island and up-State? 

Mr. Yearby. I worked for one man 2 years and then he lost his 
farm and then I worked for another, and another — that's three — and 
then I went up-State New York and worked for another fellow up in 
the State. 

Mr. Tipton. Did you go to New York last year? 

Mr. Yearby. Sure. 

Mr. Tipton. So that every year for the last 4 years you have been 
in Floridadn the wintertime and gone to New York in the summertime? 

Mr. Yearby. Sure. 

Miss Pascal. What are you planning to do this summer? 

Mr. Yearby. If I get work I want to stay here. If I can't, I will 
go back up. 

Miss Pascal. What do you think are the chances for getting work 
over the summer here? 

Mr. Yearby. I haven't reached any conclusion. I really don't 
know, but I am working for Mr. H. C. Worthen and he might have 
some work to do. If he does I intend to stay down. If not, I intend 
to go back up. 

Mr. Tipton. If he has any work this summer, what will it be? 

Mr. Yearby. Something like mole drilling, driving a tractor, or 
something similar to that. 

Miss Pascal. About how many acres does he have on his farm? 

Mr. Yearby. They have 100 acres in one place, 55 in one, and 160 
in one, and 60 in one at least. 

Miss Pascal. How many people does he usually keep working over 
the summer? 

Mr. Yearby. About four. 

Mr. Tipton. Where are you from originally? 

Mr. Yearby. Quitman, Ga. 

Mr. Tipton. When did you leave there? 

Mr. Yearby. 1922. 

Mr. Tipton. And where did you go from there? 


Mr. Yearby. Jacksonville, Fla. I have been in Florida 20 years. 

Mr. Tipton. And from Jacksonville? 

Mr. Yearby. Vero Beach. From Vero Beach to Pompano and 
stayed about 2 months, then came to Belle Glade and been there 
ever since. 

Mr. Tipton. What were you doing in Jacksonville, Vero Beach, 
and Pompano? 

Mr. Yearby. I worked for Ferris. I butchered for them 8 years. 

Mr. Tipton. That's a meat-packing company? 

Mr. Yearby. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. What did you do in Vero Beach? 

Mr. Yearby. I worked on a tomato farm, A. L. Monroe. 

Mr. Tipton. And Pompano? 

Mr. Yearby. I picked beans over there, so I didn't have a steady 
job, just catch-as-catch-can in Pompano. Then from Pompano I 
came to Dclray Beach, did the same thing over there, picked beans, 
and then to Belle Glade. I been here ever since. 

Mr. Tipton. Where do you live in Belle Glade? 

Mr. Yearby. I live — L. L. Griffin, I rent from him. 

Miss Pascal. How big a family do you have? 

Mr. Yearby. I have a wife, two kids here and one in Georgia. 
He hasn't been here for about a year or two — my youngest boy. 

Mr. Tipton. How old are your other children? 

Mr. Yearby. The other two, one will be 18 on August 17, born 
in 1924. The next boy born 1926, June 15. That would make him 
16 the 15th of June. And my baby boy born the 6th of March in 
1928. He is a pretty good sized kid. 


Mr. Tipton. How big a place have you here in Belle Glade? 

Mr. Yearby. One room in a rooming house. 

Mr. Tipton. Is that large enough for your family? 

Mr. Yearby. It isn't, but we are making out. 

Mr. Tipton. How big is the room? 

Mr. Yearby. Probably 12 by 14, something like that, the best I 
can strike at it. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you cook in the room? 

Mr. Yearby. Sure. 

Mr. Tipton. Is there water inside? 

Mr. Yearby. No, outside. 

Mr. Tipton. You have to go out to a hydrant? 

Mr. Yearby. Sure. 

Miss Pascal. Are there any sanitary facilities in the building? 

Mr. Yearby. All out. 

Miss Pascal. How much rent do you pay for this room? 

Mr. Yearby. $2.25 per week for an empty room. I furnish it 

Miss Pascal. How many rooms are there in this building? 

Mr. Yearby. There are 4 in the building. I am living in the one 
that I am renting. There are three other families rent the others, 
just transients, just in and out. 

Mr. Tipton. Have you ever lived in the Farm Security camp up 


Mr. Yearby. Never. 

Mr. Tipton. Have you ever gone up to see about living there? 

Mr. Yearby. Well, when they first opened up, and told me how it 
was I declined the idea. I thought I would stay where I was. That 
was when it first opened. 

Mr. Tipton. Didn't you like the idea? 

Mr. Yearby. I liked it all right but my wife didn't like it so we 
didn't go up. I guess she could have learned to like it but you 
know how women are. 

Mr. Tipton. Why didn't she like it? 

Mr. Yearby. I don't know about that. She would rather be in 
Belle Glade. I didn't have a car and she couldn't get back and forth 
to town. 

Mr. Tipton. Does your wife work during the season? 

Mr. Yearby. She picks beans. Right now I am buying a piece 
of land out here, trying to buy it. I have paid some on it. I want 
to build a home on it if I can. 

Miss Pascal. How big a piece of land is it? 

Mr. Yearby. It is 50 feet front and 85 feet deep. 

Miss Pascal. It is here in Belle Glade? 

Mr. Yearby. Yes, ma'am. 

Miss Pascal. And when you buy this piece of land you want to 
build yourself a home on it? 

Mr. Yearby. Sure. 

Miss Pascal. How big a house do you plan to build on it? 

Mr. Yearby. About six rooms, just for my family. That's all I 
pray for. I just want a home for my family. 

Miss Pascal. And you think that if you could get this job for the 
summer you will be able to earn enough money here to buy the piece 
of land and start the house? 

Mr. Yearby. Sure, if they will let me build it. If they will let me 
start it, I believe I can. If I could get it, I would be glad to stay here. 
There isn't any place like home. I like to be hero. I have paid on 
it but I still owe on it. I haven't paid for all of it. It is on the install- 
ment plan. Supposed to be two lots, each lot to be 25 feet front and 
85 feet deep. 

Mr. Tipton. You plan to build a six-room house on this property? 

Mr. Yearby. Sure. 

Mr. Tipton. Would you plan to keep a cow and chickens and have 
a garden? 

Mr. Yearby. Chickens. Ducks. I would like to have a cow if I 
could get one. Don't know if I could keep it in town or not. 

Mr. Tipton. How much do you have to pay for the two lots? 

Mr. Yearby. $250 a lot. $500. 

Mr. Tipton. How much of that have you paid? 

Mr. Yearby. Let's see, around, at least $62. I know I have paid 
that much but I haven't got a contract yet. He wants me to get it 
any time but I haven't got a contract yet. 

Mr. Tipton. Thank you very much for telling us about your work 
and your house. 




Miss Pascal. Will you please give your name, address, and occupa- 
tion for the record? Also any positions you may hold in local organi- 

Mr. Jones. Luther Jones, realtor, farmer, and owner of the Belle 
Glade Herald, Belle Glade, Fla. I am commander-elect of Legion 
post, chairman of the defense council, member of the draft board. 

Miss Pascal. I wonder if you would tell us something about your 
background? How long you have been down here? 

Mr. Jones. I am a South Carolinian by birth, and a Georgia cracker 
for a number of years. I have lived in Florida constantly since 1931, 
in Belle Glade. Before that I lived in Florida from 1924 to 1927. 
Some of my business experience, that probably comes under back- 
ground, is that I served as secretary to Congressman Ragsdale of the 
Sixth South Carolina District and lor 4 years was secretary to B. R. 
Tillman, Senator from South Carolina, part of which time I was 
assistant clerk to the Senate Committee on Naval Affairs. By 
profession I am a salesman, have acted as sales manager of several 
ventures, among which most recently was sales manager of a real 
estate brokerage firm in West Palm Beach. Since coming to Belle 
Glade, I have mainly acted as a rental agent for farm lands and in 
recent years as a broker. My associate and I have 400 acres of cane, 
which is quota cane. We are fattening cattle. We are at present 
growing 500 acres of beans for a cannery which has contracts with the 

Mr. Tipton. You said that this year you are growing 500 acres of 
beans. You haven't grown vegetables in previous years? 

Mr. Jones. I had 250 acres of celery last year. 

Mr. Tipton. Generally you consider yourself 

Mr. Jones. Not as a general farmer. 

Mr. Tipton. You said you are rental agent. I wonder if you could 
tell us something about who owns the land for which you act as rental 


Mr. Jones. As rental agent, the greatest amount of land I have 
handled in any one year is approximately 12,000 acres, mostly for 
absentee owners. One year, which was the peak year, I rented for a 
subdrainage district lands on which drainage taxes were delinquent. 
These lands covered an acreage generally of twenty-some-odd miles 
around the southeast corner of Lake^ Okeechobee and covered good, 
bad, and indifferent lands. Rental in most cases was a share-crop 
basis, which necessitated my keeping in close contact with growing 
conditions, harvesting conditions, as well as market, because the 
amount of rent collected, in most cases, was net at the packing house, 
making the owner interested in the cost of harvesting and myself, 
naturally, being closely associated with the entire operation. 

Miss Pascal. These lands that you rent for absentee owners, are 
they principally on a share or a cash-rental basis? 

60396— 42— pt. 



Mr. Jones. Up until 1938 they were principally on a share basis. 
The reason I state definitely 1938 is that I have just completed an 
appraisal of possibly the largest estate in this community. It was for 
Mrs. Wedgworth, in an attempt to secure an adjustment with the 
Inheritance Division of the Treasury Department and, with a Mr. 
Pearson, the other appraiser, we definitely established in this report 
that 1938 was the turning point. That is, from the farmers leasing 
land on which to farm to farmers owning the land on which they 
farm. In the report we listed 15 farmers who are well known, the 
acreage that they owned up until 1938 and the acreage they acquired 
either in 1938 or subsequent years. The figures for land owned by 
farmers was around 600 acres in 1938 and is now about 11,000 for the 
same farmers. That was on the basis of a pretty fair sample — you 
might say a slice out of the list of farmers. 

Miss Pascal. How do you account for this change? 

Mr. Jones. The change was brought about due to increase in pro- 
duction, increase in acreage utilized. An incident yesterday — I dis- 
cussed with a man a small patch of elders growing just southeast of 
Belle Glade and, as a matter of casual interest, we decided that that 
was the only piece of uncleared land in the south Florida conservancy 
district. This comprises 32,000 acres of land. In 1937 and 1938 
there were several thousand acres that had elders and willows on them 
which had not been cleared. Now, a majority of that land is owned 
by the operator, the person who actually farms it. The people were 
not land-owning conscious. When I first began to operate here, 
farmers, in a great number of cases, would just decide "I am going to 
farm that 40," and they would go sit down on it and start farming. 
If the owner came along and wanted to collect rent, they would tell 
him to get out of the way. The farmers objected to paying rent. 
Several threatened to try to run me out. That was partly due to the 
drainage conditions. A lot of the land was not properly drained. 
The conservancy district was broke. The R. F. C. saved it by lend- 
ing it money with which to retire bonds and it has been rehabilitated 
and is now considered a very efficient subdrainage district. 

Mr. Tipton. Were these people who previously rented usually 
residents of the region the year round or were they people who came 
in just for growing seasons? 

Mr. Jones. The majority of them called themselves residents. 
There is not a farmer of any consequence in the community that I 
haven't rented land to in one place or another. Now, the land 
renting is practically all done on a cash basis. I have better than 
4,000 acres of land leased now as agent and every acre is leased for the 
next year, already, on a cash basis, and this season is not completed 

"suitcase" farmers 

Mr. Tipton. Years ago there used to be what is called suitcase 
farming here. What I have in mind is the fellow who comes down 
simply to grow a crop and goes back North in the summer. 

Mr. Jones. If this is germane, you might use it. I will tell it to 
you. In 1933 or 1934 the community took a contract to build an 
addition to the schoolhouse here and, being short of funds, the school 


board would not give us the facilities that we wanted, so we took the 
contract as a community, and paid very low carpenters' wages, 40 
cents an hour, for the best carpenter. I had a father and a son who 
came into Belle Glade from Plant City. There were so many people 
out of work that we would let one man work 3 days a week and another 
man 3 days a week to distribute the money around. I leased to this 
father and son 20 acres of land and one of them worked it 3 days a 
week and the other one 3 days a week. I was superintendent of the 
school construction. They secured, from H. H. Hart, a caterpillar 
tractor and, for acting as driver of the tractor 2 days, Mr. Hart 
allowed them to use the tractor on their own work 1 day. They 
saved enough money from the wages that I paid the two of them to 
purchase the seed and buy the fuel with which to run the tractor. 
They got only 13 acres of the 20 planted because they ran out of money. 
They made one picking, first picking, and collected around $500 profit. 
The following day we had a rain, similar to the one we just had on the 
east coast here. The boy sold the remainder of the field for $2,500 
cash to N. N. Starling, a local broker. Starling picked the beans and 
netted $2,200 on his $2,500 purchase. All of this was off of 13 acres of 
beans. This is an exaggerated example of your "suitcase" farmer. 
Actually, that boy bought an automobile, a new automobile, a lot of 
furniture, set himself up to live above what he had been by far and, 
in less than 6 months, was broke, lost his automobile, his furniture, 
and everything else and went back to Plant City. That, to my mind, 
is an exaggerated instance of this "suitcase" farming. There is no 
more of that in this community. A 40-acre farm is practically non- 
existent here today, due to the mechanization of farming. 

Mr. Tipton. "What would you consider to be an economic-sized 
farm for profitable operation? 

Mr. Jones. From 100 to 160 acres, not less. Preferably a half 
section, 320 acres, but not less than 100 acres. The amount of equip- 
ment and machinery that should be bought, in order to compete with 
your neighbors, is so great so that a lesser acreage would not be 
economical. I presume the average farm in this community is nearer 
200 than 100, taking them all as an average. The economic unit of 
farming hi this community, if we were allowed to grow cane and if 
ramie proves economically possible, is a section of land. 

Mr. Tipton. Is that true also of vegetables? 

Mr. Jones. The reason for that statement is this: Vegetables are 
a gambling game, purely a gamble. Cattle fattening, sugarcane, or 
ramie, one of the more staple crops, while not as glamorous and offers 
no such possibilities of getting "nigger rich," as the expression is, yet 
they are more like farming as farming is done throughout the United 
States. In vegetable farming you rnay be a pauper today and worth 
$100,000 tomorrow. 

Mr. Tipton. Is it true, however, that vegetable farming today is 
considerably more stable than it was at one time? 


Mr. Jones. It is my studied opinion, after watching in the aggre- 
gate over 100,000 acres of vegetable farming, that the same amount 
of intelligence, effort, and capital put into farming ventures in the 
Glades as in any other business will provide a greater profit. A man 


might lose one year, break even a second year, make a little money 
the third, and what's known as a "killing" the fourth, if he properly 
rotates his crops and picks vegetables at the proper season and uses, 
as I say, whatever knowledge that he has to the best advantage. 
And that sort of protection — rotation, staggered pickings, and so on— 
is not possible to the little fellow. It is absolutely not possible. A 
bean farmer today will plant not less than 10 acres of beans at each 
planting and he will plant it so that beginning, say, November 1, he 
will pick two to three times a week until December 1. Now, on some 
of that he will possibly get a fair market, some of it he will break even 
on, some of it he may even have to leave in the field and not pick, but 
on the average planting, with the law of averages and, as I say, using 
common sense and sound judgment gained by experience, a man will 
make money. That is proved best by a list of people who came into 
this community with nothing but hopes and experience. I can name 
you 20 just from memory right now, that came in the same way that 
are very comfortably fixed now financially and that's the way they 
made it. One instance is a boy who was practically raised in Belle 
Glade. He paid me on a piece of land on share-crop rent, $57.50 an 
acre rent on one-eighth basis. He made over $100,000 off of one 
crop on cabbage alone. 

Mr. Tipton. How many acres did he have? 

Mr. Jones. He had altogether approximately 200 acres. I heard 
him refuse $50,000 cash for a field of cabbage and never cut one of 
them, just walked out of it and left it, and he refused it and finally 
got more than $50,000. Those are exceptions and those are not the 
types of farming that are constructive. I made the statement the 
other night that a $1.50 bean was twice as good as $1.25 bean. They 
laughed at me until I explained. On $1.25 beans, it is estimated that 
a farmer will make 25 cents. On $1.50 beans he will make 50 cents. 
It costs him no more to raise $1.50 beans than $1.25 beans, nor to 
pick it nor to sell it nor to haul it; $1.50 beans will make this a wealthy 
community because everybody will have them. I hate to see $5 and 
$6 and $7 beans because that will mean not many beans and a few 
people will have them. This community is not the one-crop com- 
munity that is has been. We have celery, escarole, lettuce, not many 
beets, not many carrots, a lot of cabbage, Irish potatoes, quite a few 
radishes, romaine, Chinese cabbage, and, of course, fields of garden 
peas and a number of kinds of beans. Cattle fattening is, of course, 
coming into quite a bit of prominence and I think it has just gotten a 

Mr. Tipton. You say this is not as much a one-crop community as 
it was previously? When did that change begin to take place? 
Mr. Jones. From, say, 1936 to 1939. . 

Mr. Tipton. And has that diversification tended to make agricul- 
ture in this region more stable? 

Mr. Jones. That's right. A man who might lose 200 acres ol beans 
by drowning out will have in an adjoining field 100 acres of celery and 
lose his beans completely and make a very handsome profit on his 
celery and if he had 100 acres of cabbage he might make a little on 
that. ' If he has some lettuce, that might bring it up. So that diversi- 
fication—getting away from one crop— we have a crowd of farmers 
around here who are called celery farmers. Celery farmers very sel- 
dom fool with beans, but they will plant Irish potatoes and cabbage. 


Last year, speaking of abnormal results, I collected $250 rent off of 
1 acre of escarole but that was 1 acre out of 15 that they had saved. 

Mr. Tipton. On what sort of a basis? 

Mr. Jones. One-sixth. He sold an acre of escarole for $1,500 in 
the field and I got $250 rent. As I say, it was only 1 acre out of the 
15 that was saved. 


Mr. Tipton. Do you think, Mr. Jones, that there is any future in 
this region for the establishment of a vegetable canning industry? 

Mr. Jones. I don't feel qualified to answer that but I will say that 
I can't see any reason why there shouldn't be. There is a great differ- 
ence of opinion among people with whom I have talked. Some say 
yes, and some say it is impractical. I believe the great trouble — and 
this is a nonprofessional opinion — is the inability of canneries to come 
in and contract for their needs on a predetermined price. In my case 
now, with our 500 acres, we contracted ours at 90 cents a hamper 
delivered at the canning plant which, according to our figures, is 
equivalent to a sale at $1.45 on the platform. We have no hamper 
to buy, we have no loss from grading, we have no drayage, no packing- 
house charge, and the cannery will take a more mature bean than the 
high-grade green vegetable trade will take. Heretofore, the canners 
haven't been paying prices like that and people are accustomed to 
getting a higher price for their beans, and it has been hard to get them 
to contract for an acreage that a cannery might definitely need. 

Miss Pascal. How much have canneries been paying for noncon- 
tracted beans? 

Mr. Jones. They pay pretty close to their contract price. They 
paid higher than that in some cases, and it is only since the war, when 
they have war contracts that they must fill and are caught short some- 
where else. 

Miss Pascal. Then they have been paying higher prices this year 
than in previous years? 

Mr. Jones. Oh, yes; 20 cents a hamper more. 

Mr. Tipton. It would be your opinion then that, over a period of 
years, a grower could grow beans for canning and make a profitable 
thing out of it? 

Mr. Jones. Absolutely. 

Mr. Tipton. Are there any other vegetables that lend themselves 
to canning, that might also be introduced? 

Mr. Jones. Tomatoes. 

Miss Pascal. Are the tomatoes grown down here suitable for can- 
ning? We have heard that they are not as good as the northern 
tomatoes for that purpose. 

Mr. Jones. It is generally acknowledged that tomatoes grown on 
muck, unless specially fertilized, are not as firm as the tomatoes grown 
on a sandier loam soil. By comparison, if a farmer gets an extra good 
tomato, he will say it is equal or equivalent to a sand tomato. That's 
a metaphor of comparison. They have grown here tomatoes equiva- 
lent to those grown anywhere. The country is so new and experi- 
ments continually show how these things can be done. An explana- 
tion, by an actual farmer, was given to me which sounded reasonable 


that, by the use of proper kind of fertilizer, you could cause the 
tomato to harden or to become more firm. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you think of any other vegetables besides beans 
and tomatoes that could be canned? 

Mr. Jones. I have never heard them discussed. We grow a small 
pepper. They grow the Little Marvel. Whether it is good for 
canning, or why they don't can it, I can't answer. There is one other 
thing along that line. There is no reason why a great deal of dried 
beans should not be produced and there are more this year than there 
have been before, particularly a little white navy bean. A farm out 
here has each year, for a great many years, produced up into thousands 
of pounds of these dried beans. It is hard to get farmers to experi- 
ment, or has been, to consider a $15 to $30 net per acre profit off a sure 
or stable crop when their neighbors are talking about making from $75 
to $250. It is the gambling instinct. 

Miss Pascal. You think that, even after this war demand for 
canned goods is over, there will be a definite market for cannery crops 
down in this area? 

Mr. Jones. If the canners can pay the price they paid before, they 
can get beans grown under contract for canning purposes, particularly 
beans, and a man can make a net profit because he can raise two crops 
on the same piece of land, spring and fall. 


Miss Pascal. I wonder if you could tell us something about the 
process of cane growing? In the first place, what is the minimum 
acreage that a grower can operate economically to get a reasonable 

Mr. Jones. My statements are based on 3 complete years of cane 
growing and harvesting. I estimate that a farmer can make a net 
profit of $40 per acre, not on the present price of sugar, but on the 
pre-war price of sugar. That's assuming that he will produce 40 
tons of cane with a 10 percent yield of 4 tons of sugar per acre, which 
is not high. I think a man should have not less than a half section of 
cane to operate an economic unit. Two men might have 160 each 
or 4 might have 80 each, own their harvesting equipment cooperatively 
and harvest the cane cooperatively, plant their cane so that maturing 
dates will jibe with each other and allow the greatest number of days 
of harvest to cover all. To explain, I have three types of cane, an 
early maturing cane that I can begin cutting in October, a medium 
maturing cane that follows, which also is a medium barrel cane, and a 
late maturing cane or big barrel cane which I can cut on into the 1st 
of May. 

Miss Pascal. How long a harvesting season does that give you? 

Mr. Jones. 150 days. If those three or four farmers each would 
agree among themselves that one would have early cane, and one 
medium and one late or each divide his field in that same proportion 
to begin as early as possible and run as late as possible, and that is 
one of the secrets of low production cost of sugar in the State of 

Miss Pascal. Are there any serious weather hazards that will afiect 

Mr. Jones. Freezing. 


Miss Pascal. Well, I understand that you can cut cane after it 
has been frozen. Is that correct? 

Mr. Jones. The only reason you can't use an entire stalk of cane 
after it is frozen is that the freezing begins at the bud and goes down. 
Chemists tell us that that freezing, or fermentation as a result of the 
freezing, inverts the sugar, whatever that is — that's the technical 
term. It turns the glucose, or some technical explanation — but 
anyway it is no good to a farmer. Now you can utilize whatever part 
of a cane stalk the souring has not touched. For instance, I have cut 
cane 10 days after a freeze without topping more than normal. Then 
each succeeding day you drop your knife, that is, you cut off down a 
little lower on the stalk until finally, if you carry it through, you 
might not have more than 6 inches of the stalk you can use. If you 
allow that fermentation or souring to continue, it will go into your 
roots and kill your roots, so you must cut to protect the cane. 

Miss Pascal. How low a temperature can cane stand? 

Mr. Jones. They say 3 hours at 32° or less; 32° will not kill cane if 
it is short. Now, we have only had very few years since I have been 
here that killed cane. It will injure it; the buds will be killed so that 
you can't use the cane for seed cane, but yet it will not affect the 
quality of the sugar, nor reduce the amount of sugar. 

Mr. Tipton. Provided you get it cut soon enough? 

Mr. Jones. Yes. Unless it is a severe frost it doesn't bother you 
so much. There are, of course, types of cane that are resistant to 
frost. The largest barrel cane I have is susceptible to frost. That's 
the big barrel cane and all of these canes were developed here in 
Florida. They are crossbred. 

Mr. Tipton. Is there any tendency for the percentage of frost- 
resistant cane to increase in the area? 

Mr. Jones. There are three separate set-ups for experimenting and 
improving the variety of canes, the Federal Government at Canal 
Point, the State government with the assistance of the Federal 
Government at the State experiment station, and the United States 
Sugar Corporation maintains au elaborate set-up for experimenting 
and propagating. I think they have three or four Ph. D.'s over there 
that study crops. They are continually improving the types of cane, 
breeding disease-resistant canes, increasing the tonnage per acre and 
the percentage of sugar per ton. 

Miss Pascal. Do you have to use much fertilizer for cane? 

Mr. Jones. I use 350 pounds per acre. I use 250 pounds of muriate 
of potash, 25 pounds of copper, 25 pounds of zinc, and 50 pounds of 
manganese. That makes the 350 pounds per acre. There is no filler. 
I might say that very few nitrates are used. The soil is very rich. 
Experiments have shown that nitrates used do not repay the cost of 
using them. 

Mr. Tipton. What is the cost of 350 pounds of this formula you 


Mr. Jones. It costs approximately $2.46 a 100-pound bag. Some- 
what less, of course, before the war, about $2, I believe. 

Miss Pascal. I wonder if you could tell us if an increase in acreage 
planted in the Lake area has occurred in the last year? I understand 


that it has been quite considerable, a great deal of new land being 
brought into cultivation. 

Mr. Jones. It would be easier to tell you in the last, possibly, 2 
years, and any definite statement would be dependent on a number 
of things. Heretofore, some of the land which I would include has 
been farmed at sometime before. For instance, if you and I decided 
that it was going to be a good bean season, we would go on what is 
called outside land, that is, land outside of the drainage area, and 
plant 100 acres of beans, just like if you would go to the race track 
and say, "All right, I will take $5 across the board," with the same 
amount of confidence and the same amount of sentiment and feeling. 
If you wake up some morning with a foot of water over it, well, it's 
gone, go ahead and do something else. Now a great deal of that land 
has been diked and ditched and pumps put on it and actual and con- 
structive farming taken place. In other words, they were purely 
gambling the other way, gambling on the water and gambling on the 
market, gambling on frost and it was eight-tenths gambling. That's 
actually what it was. But a great deal of that land, as I said, has 
now been improved and they are actually going out there and farming 
scientifically. There is in excess of 10,000 acres in the Belle Glade 
trade area either completed or in process of completion. All of that is 
outside of a subdrainage district. 

Mr. Tipton. Are there lands that have been brought under water 
control previously, but have not been farmed in recent years, that are 
coming back into production? 

Mr. Jones. No. All available land improved by water control is 

Miss Pascal. What crops are being put in on this new land? 

Mr. Jones. That depends on the type of land. Pure sawgrass 
land can only grow with any degree of satisfaction a leaf crop or 
celery and Irish potatoes. Except for Irish potatoes, those crops in 
pure sawgrass the first year have a reduced yield. Elder and willow 
land will take any crops that we grow around here. Now, I would 
say that more than half of that land is elder and willow land. You 
see, that is land which is outside of the drainage district. Now, a 
great majority of the elder and willow land has been, or is now being, 
improved and under water control. Sawgrass land must go through 
a process of curing. Now, there are varied ideas how best to cure it. 
For a long while it was said around here you couldn't grow anything 
on raw sawgrass. A young man planted some beans on pure sawgrass 
land, just beyond the experiment station, and, through advice from 
the experiment station, sprayed them with zinc and raised a very 
beautiful crop of beans. That one patch of beans started everybody 
to using our raw sawgrass land. 


BEAN picking 

Miss Pascal. People say that, once beans are ready to pick, you 
have to pick them that very day. Is there a great deal of difference 
in the price received for beans picked the day they ought to be picked 
and beans that aren't picked until the next day ? 


Mr. Jones. In a high market you can sell them. In a low market 
the chances are you can't sell them at all if they are a day old. There 
is a disastrous penalty for not picking a string bean when it is ready 
to pick, except what they call round beans. They don't grow so fast 
as the Bountifuls, which is the bean mostly grown here. It must be 
picked the day it is ready. 

Miss Pascal. How about selling them to canneries? 

Mr. Jones. The canneries use round beans. They can go a day or 
maybe 2 days because they are canned. They are not sold on the 
green market and the canning bean can stand to be a little heavier 
than a green bean. 

Miss Pascal. But you can't sell the Bountifuls to the canneries? 

Mr. Jones. No; they don't use them except in emergencies when 
they will fill out with those. I don't know what the reason is but I 
know they want a round bean for canning purposes. 


Miss Pascal. How has the supply of labor been in this area this 
year, both white and Negro labor? 

Mr. Jones. On the whole, it has been scarce. The supply, I 
would say, in the field hasn't been sufficient. In the fall bean har- 
vest, it was greatly insufficient for a period of time. Now, I say in 
the field. It is the belief of a lot of the growers that, if all of those 
Negro bean pickers who were here could have been made to get in 
the field and pick, that there was sufficient labor here to do the work 
but, contrary to what most people believe, when a Negro gets $3.50 
in his pocket he is no good until he spends it. That is, the Negroes 
we have around here for labor. Now, that's borne out by white 
people who handle them and by the Negroes themselves who think 
at all. Normally, you would think if a Negro was making $1.50 a 
day and you paid him $2 to $2.50 a day he would be a better employee, 
but that is distinctly not so. If you could get the Negro to use that 
money to raise his standard of living, then you would have accom- 
plished something, but it doesn't do that in the case of these Negroes. 
If you give him $3 a day, instead of $2 a day, it means he has $1 
more to "jook" on, as we call it, gamble it away and spend it for 
liquor, and he is no good until he is broke again. 

Miss Pascal. You mean, this is true of the people who live down 
in the town quarters? Is it also true of the Negroes who live in the 
growers' quarters? Can the grower keep his people working more 
regularly than the others? 


Mr. Jones. The grower who has his own quarters is in far better 
shape than those who only hire Negroes that live down here in Belle 
Glade. To illustrate, on my cane farm I have a grocery store, 
what they call a commissary. I have tried running it myself. It is 
a source of worry and trouble. This year I leased the building to 
a man on a percentage of his sales. The only reason I have that 
commissary is for the benefit of the workers and to keep them on 
the place. Part of his contract is that he will sell groceries at the 
average price in the community. Then I have what the Negroes 


call a "jook." It is a separate building. I have a Negro man and his 
wife that run a little restaurant to feed the unmarried men and they 
sell soft drinks, and I have two rooms for them to gamble in. They 
also sell beer and wine. The wine and beer is sold at restricted hours. 
They can't buy any after 8 o'clock during the week, and they can't 
buy any after 12 o'clock on Sundays. That's so that the drunks on 
Saturday night and Sunday will have time to get sobered up by 
Monday morning. In the gambling room I don't let anyone cut 
the pot — that's the expression. Normally, in a gambling place the 
houseman takes out so much for the house out of every pot. I 
don't allow that in there. I don't allow any strange Negroes to 
come and gamble. If he doesn't live in the place, he doesn't play. 
I try to keep them from fighting with knives and bottles. I don't 
care so much if they fight with their fists, and I have a Negro in 
charge down there who keeps order. Occasionally one will break a 
bottle and jump on another with it. It's an awful wicked weapon. 

And, by that way, my keeping the outside Negroes out, I don't have 
any professional gamblers in there, and by selling wines and beers at 
restricted hours, I can regulate that. I know there is no use at- 
tempting to keep them from drinking wine or beer and gambling. 
Whenever two Negroes get together and they have a nickel, you will 
find a deck of cards, and they will start gambling with it. Instead of 
attempting to eliminate it, which I know I can't do, I try to regulate 
it. Another thing, I encourage married men to come in. I get just as 
few unmarried men as I can, because they create a disturbance fighting 
about the women. Now, they have what they call down here "muck 
license." A Negro and a woman decide they are going to get married. 
All the marrying they do is live together and it is accepted, she's his 
wife, and they are married. When they get ready, they leave; and 
that way it tends to keep down fights and fusses and makes a better 
feeling among the Negroes. Those things maybe you don't like to 
admit, but to my mind they are practical ways of handling what 
otherwise would be a great disturbance because the Negroes are going 
to drink. I don't allow them to bring any moonshine liquor on the 
place. I take all that away from them. If I catch any Negro with 
any moonshine, I take it away and break it. They bring very little 
hard liquor on the place. They will get by with wine and beer and 
are not so mean. That's an example of what you can do in your own 
quarters. My Negroes have the privilege to buy wherever they please. 
They don't have to buy in the commissary and I tell the man that 
operates the commissary that I am not going to attempt to make any 
of them buy there. He has to hold that trade by giving them the 
convenience and as fair price as they can get somewhere else. 

Miss Pascal. About how many families do you have down there? 

Mr. Jones. I use from 40 to 55 cane workers and use the wives a 
lot for hoeing cane and then, when I haven't any cane to hoe, I 
encourage other farmers to use them for bean pickers. At the present 
time, in an attempt to keep my Negroes until the 15th of June — a lot 
of them came from South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Mis- 
sissippi, and Alabama. I have planted 40 acres of beans on my land, 
did the work and give these beans to the Negroes as a bonus for their 
years' work and for staying, but they must stay until the season is over. 


That way I have kept practically every Negro I had during the season 
but when I am not using them— right at this time of the year my work 
does not demand as many men as normally — I let the other farmers 
have them to pick beans or whatever they want. 

Mr. Tipton. This 40 acres of beans, is that included in that 500 
acres you told us you were growing for the canning plant? 

Mr. Jones. That is additional. The proceeds of that will go to 
the Negroes. It is divided between the superintendent and the 
Negroes. I got a mechanic and a superintendent down there. They 
work for me all the time. Those two will share in it to a degree, but it 
is for the benefit of the Negroes. 

Mr. Tipton. If bean prices hold up that should make a good-sized 

Mr. Jones. I hope it does. I will get the actual cost of planting, 
cost of seed and fertilizers and the going rent for the land— I own the 
land, take the rent out — and they get the balance of the proceeds — 
that is, the net proceeds — and they will probably all stay drunk 2 
days and then go off. . 

Mr. Tipton. Do you often have this problem of the Negroes leaving 
before the season is over, or is it worse this year? 

Mr. Jones. There was a movement of the Negroes leavmg here 
last week when word came about gasoline shortage. They wanted 
to get back to Georgia, the Carolinas, or where they came from. 

Miss Pascal. Then you think that, by having most of your own 
labor supply in your quarters where you can control them to some 
extent, you have a more regular and reliable group of people to work 
for you all the time? . . 

Mr. Jones. That's right. Another thing, I don't allow these itin- 
erant salesmen in my quarters. They must get permission from the 
superintendent before they can go in and I don't accept any commis- 
sion or cut or anything else from any of them for allowing them to go in. 
The reason is they will come by selling clothes and selling this and 
that and the other, and get the Negroes' down payment and you 
never hear from them. He has to prove that he is reliable before he 
can get in there at all. A Negro is somewhat like a child. If he 
figures a white man is going to take care of them he will leave every- 
think to the white man, but if he doesn't trust you he is not going to 
stay long, not if he can get some place else to go — and they can get 
that now. The same thing applies— I want to get this over— applies 
to a lot of the other farmers in their own quarters. They have 
rules and regulations just like I do. What we are interested in is hav- 
ing labor there, ready and willing to work when work is to be done, 
and you can't do it unless you look after them and keep a lot of 
these temptations away from thenr, and you will find a better class 
of Negro that will work with a farmer who does that, who makes the 
Negroes behave themselves. 

Miss Pascal. What do you do when you have work to be done and 
the worker has some money and doesn't feel like working? 

Mr. Jones. He doesn't stay on my place. Either he works or gets 
out. "You don't have to work unless you stay here and if you stay 
here you do have to work." 



Mr. Tipton. How do you find yourturn-over? Are they coming 
and going or do you keep most of the same ones through the season? 

Mr. Jones. On a place like mine, run properly, you will keep 80 
percent of your Negroes. I got Negroes down there who have been 
with me 4 years and I have had some unfortunate experiences with 
foremen, superintendents, but I still, even with that, got several Ne- 
groes. Until I got rid of a foreman I had, a lot of the Negroes had left. 
When I got rid of him and got another man in, a lot of them came 

My cook from my house is the one who runs the little restaurant in 
the quarters. She is just coming back to my house this week, but 
she will go down there and make twice as much. Of course, she will 
work twice as hard during the season. Her son-in-law is the one that's 
got the little "jook." Fanny goes down there and cooks. She is the 
best cook in the county. 

Miss Pascal. How many people do you employ in the summertime? 

Mr. Jones. I will keep about 25 the year round. You see, fertiliz- 
ing and cleaning ditches and building roads and working your equip- 
ment over and taking care of your buildings, just getting ready for 
next season's crop and cultivating and fertilizing will use that many. 

Miss Pascal. The rest of them go north? 

Mr. Jones. They go off somewhere. They are migrants, I believe. 
The foreman tells me that he thinks the majority of my Negroes are 
going to stay here all summer this year. In that case, if I only have 
regular work for 25 Negroes and I have 50 down there, I work 25 of 
them 3 days a week and the other twenty-five 3 days a week, and 
they can get out and knock a rabbit in the head and catch a few fish. 
They have lights, water, and rent furnished. It's remarkable how 
cheap they can live. A lot of them would rather do that than go to 
Carolina and Georgia and, if they worked all week there they wouldn't 
make more than working 3 days here. 

bean picking 

Miss Pascal. Mr. Jones, when you are picking a field of beans, 
what time do you get the Negroes out in the fields? 

Mr. Jones. It is the custom to get them out as soon after daylight as 
is practical. There are reasons for that. One is for the farmer to 
know he has enough pickers in the field, and, second, that the Negroes 
enjoy it. That's part of their social life, sitting on a bean hamper at 
the end of a row and visiting with each other, discussing all of the 
community's gossip, and there is always a fish wagon following them. 
Negroes don't usually eat their breakfast until they get out in the 
field and they insist on going to the field early for their own reasons. 
They think that they pick out the best row in the field and then they 
sit there for 3 or 4 hours until time to begin picking and these fish 
wagons, they call them, it is usually an old model A Ford with a tub of 
fish on it and a charcoal pot, maybe two or three charcoal pots, and 
skillets, and the Negroes fry fish and sell fish sandwiches. No field 
is complete at all unless it has a fish wagon and a drink wagon. Some- 
times they are both the same thing, and they sell the Negroes cokes, 
sandwiches, and candy. 


Mr. Tipton. Why is it they can't start picking beans earlier? 

Mr. Jones. Because of the heavy dew. If the preceding night is 
heavy with fog, the fog settles and the beans are wet and they can't 
pick them when they are wet. It causes them to nest, that is, they 
will mold in the center of the hamper if they are damp and they have 
the field heat in them. The trade name for that is "nesting." That's 
a very descriptive word, for they are crossed up like this [indicating], 
and the mold will cause them to stick together and maybe you will 
pick up a few and maybe you will have 15 beans sticking together. 

Mr. Tipton. Is the growing of beans for canning here in the Glades 
going to make a difference in that picking situation? 

Mr. Jones. Tbey can take a wet bean in the cannery and handle it. 
One big thing in handling beans that are damp is that they will get this 
muck on them. The pickers will get it on their hands or drop the 
beans on the ground and get muck on them and it sticks. It is 
powdery and, when it is wet, it is paste and it sticks very badly to the 

Mr. Tipton. But that wouldn't be very much of a problem if the 
beans were going through the cannery? 

Mr. Jones. Not if they weren't too dirty, because they wash them, 
clip the ends off, and boil them immediately, and in a very short time 
they are sealed and stacked away. 

Miss Pascal. How have wages been this year? Have they been 
much higher than previous years? 

Mr. Jones. The basis is day labor. The bean pickers pick piece 
work. The day labor has gone from $1.50 and $1.75 to $2 and $2.25. 
Truck drivers, usually a very good indication, have gone from $2 to 
$2.50; in some cases $3. 

Mr. Tipton. How about bean picking? 


Mr. Jones. Bean picking has been very erratic. There is no 
excuse in the world for bean picking to be over 25 and 30 cents now, 
25 cents for first picking and 30 cents for second, except that the 
farmers bid for the Negroes between themselves. Actually that hap- 
pened morning after morning. The 4 of us [indicating] would back 
our trucks up on the street. The city has 2 streets set aside for 
bean trucks that are picking up bean pickers to park and they have 
policemen up there to keep order and back the trucks up — 4 of us 
and 40 others, and a certain number will get on each truck. If you 
[indicating] are going to pick beans, they have picked for you before 
and you treated them all right, so they will get on. It is customary 
to have a Negro out there and he will holler at the top of his voice, 
"Good first-picking beans, 25 cents," and go on and orate to them what 
fine beans they are and how many they can pick during the day. I 
get my truck loaded up and she [indicating] gets her truck loaded up 
and maybe your truck is not full, about half full, and it is possible that 
you are picking one of these first-picking beans where the beans are 
scattering and they are worth more than her beans are because they 
are scattered and they can't pick as many. So you and your Negro 
decide "Maybe we better pay 30 cents for these beans today," so he 
hollers "30 cents" and the minute he does, all the Negroes get off her 
truck and get on yours. They get off of mine too, and get on his, 


because he is paying 30 cents. Then she gets mad and calls you all 
the things she can think of and says "I will make it 35 cents. Holler 
35 cents," so her Negro will holler "35 cents" and you call her all sorts 
of names and say "Well, we will pay 40" and you start hollering "40," 
and they pile off and get back on his. Those are actual facts. I have 
seen it time and time again. That's wherein the farmer is wrong. 
If the bean is worth 25 cents to pick, that's what he ought to pay. 
If it is worth 30 cents, that's what he ought to pay, and 25 cents and 
30 cents seem to be the proper prices for bean picking. When you 
take into consideration conditions and the price rise in food and the 
cost of everything else, that's a good price. 

Miss Pascal. At 25 and 30 cents for beans, does that give a picker 
as much money as he could make if he worked at day labor? 

Mr. Jones. It is twice — two or three times as much. A normal bean 
picker, picking from 11 o'clock to 4:30 or 5, will pick from 15 to 20 
hampers of beans. A Negro can, counting 12 tickets at 30 cents 
apiece, earn $3.60, but that's all the money he has a bit of use in the 
world for, unless he has a suit of clothes in the post office he' has to 
get out or wants to buy the old lady a new pair of shoes. When he 
gets that much money he is going to stop. He will sit down. He will 
piddle along in the row and won't work. That's all the money he 
wants. That's the thing that people that don't handle Negroes don't 
understand unless you get out there and worry with them. 

Miss Pascal. Then you mean that they could pick 15 or 20 hampers 
a day without any trouble, but often they just pick 10 or 12? 

Mr. Jones. That's all they want. They could pick 20 without any 


Now, in cutting cane, that is gotten around this way: We have the 
lead Negroes — that is, they lead the working crew. They are fast. 
We go out in the morning and decide we are going to cut 4 carloads 
of cane. We know how many wagons that takes and the Negroes 
know about how much cane will make that required number of wagons 
of cane. The lead Negroes cut along their rows until they estimate 
that enough cane is on the ground to fill those wagons. Then they 
walk out of the field and the slowest Negro in the field has to cut up 
even with them before he can leave. Last year my 2 lead Negroes 
never worked longer than noon and I had 2 old Negroes that worked 
and they never finished before dark, but everybody cut the same 
amount of cane, because the 2 old ones, they cut on their rows until 
they got up even with the lead Negroes. In the morning, after the 
crew starts, you will hear the Negroes start hollering whenever 
Popeye's in the lead: "Popeye's goin' in the hole." That means 
that he has 2 rows of cane and, as he leads the others, he digs a 
hole in the field. " Popeye's goin' in the hole. You niggers come on." 
That means for the Negroes to cut faster. For they know they have 
to cut as hard as Popeye cuts, for that's the task for the day. The 
same is true in bean picking. If the Negroes would work, any man 
normally could pick from 15 to 30 percent more beans the same day 
with the same crew. 



Miss Pascal. To get back to this wage up-bidding for a minute, 
have any methods been tried to get the growers together to keep the 
wage level down? 

Air. Jones. Yes, they are just as ornery about getting together as 
Negroes are about working when they get out there. Last year 
growers in Pahokee called a meeting and each grower signed an 
agreement to maintain a set price for bean picking. They held that 
price for 2 days and then, through the same misunderstanding and 
lack of cooperation, one man got mad with another one and raised the 
price so that in one morning the price went from 25 cents to 40 cents. 
Twenty-five cents was the amount they agreed upon and it went up 
after 2 days to 40 cents through the same up-bidding I described 
awhile ago. What actually happened was a contract picker from 
Pahokee brought a few truckloads of Negroes to a field between Belle 
Glade and Pahokee and paid those Negroes 30 cents, which was the 
prevailing price in Belle Glade at that time. The next morning he 
went back to get pickers and they broke his truck down piling on it 
and the farmers in Pahokee learned that someone in Belle Glade was 
paying 30 cents, so they went to 30 cents, and in less than 30 minutes 
someone went to 35 cents and the game was on. The Negroes gained 
15 cents a hamper that day for the beans they picked. Unless the 
farmers will get together and make some price and stick to it the 
Negroes cannot be blamed for the price of beans being up to 40 cents. 
As chairman of the local defense council, I have called three separate 
meetings in an attempt to get the farmers together. They are so 
improvident and un thoughtful that they will wait until the morning 
they get ready to pick beans before they take any measures to take 
care of themselves as far as that goes. That's an actual fact. 


Miss Pascal. Have any other ideas besides wage agreements been 
suggested in these meetings, any other ways in which competition can 
be cut down? 

Mr. Jones. A suggestion has been made from three sources which 
is all practically the same thing. One was from L. E. Dick, who is a 
large farmer. The second one was from Professor Williams, principal 
of the Negro schools here. The third one was from the United States 
Employment Service. None of the three had talked to the other. 
The propositions were all made within 6 hours of each other, because 
it brought it to a head by having this meeting and precipitated this 
discussion. The proposition in effect varied only a little in detail. 
It was that all labor should be registeied, either given a number with 
a record of the employer, and one recommendation was that they be 
given a card that would indicate on Saturday how many days that 
person had worked the current week, so that these Negroes who con- 
tinually lay off their work or do shoddy work or are undesirables could 
be asked to leave the community. That was the suggestion that came 
from those three sources, differing only in minor details. The idea 
was the same, the idea being to have them register, have a record of 
the amount of labor this man had done during the season so you could 
look at his record and tell what sort of a productive individual he was. 


The Negro school professor suggested that it be done with reports 
made to a central office as to any misconduct on the part of the laborer, 
so that, when he had fallen out with three farmers and it developed 
that he was a disturbing element, to use the exact words of the pro- 
fessor, he could be booted out of town. The farmei's suggestion was 
that they be given a button. The idea probably came from the fact 
that the Sugar Corporation gives each of its employees a number and 
a tag of some kind which he wears on his cap or his shirt. In case a 
Negro became unruly or undesirable, his button could be taken from 
him and turned in at the central office and whatever disciplinary 
action the organization decided would be taken. The entire idea was 
to have a registration of labor and a method of enforcing some 
governing rules. 

Mr. Tipton. Has any such system been set up or is it contem- 

Mr. Jones. The nearest thing to that is the registration by the 
Government for the Selective Service System. It seems to me that 
that registration could be utilized and some enforcement provided 
that would greatly relieve the labor shortage throughout the country. 

Mr. Tipton. Have you thought anything about trying to get 
something along that line started for next year? 

Mr. Jones. I started it before Christmas in attempting to get 
these farmers together. They will appoint committees and the com- 
mittees will forget about it. I decided to go on and try and take care 
of myself and not baby the whole community because I have found 
out that I was pretty busy trying«to do that. 

Miss Pascal. Have you used the Farm Placement Service at all for 
getting workers? 

Mr. Jones. No. 

Miss Pascal. Do you think that the Farm Placement Service could 
be of any real assistance in the community in working these problems 

Mr. Jones. If it has any power to do anything, outside the power of 


Mr. Tipton. How about the Farm Security Administration camps 
down here? Have you ever hired any of your help out of there? 
Mr. Jones. I have not. 
Mr. Tipton. Do you have any opinion about the camp? 


Mr. Jones. I do. I have a very decided opinion. The theory of 
that Negro camp is very good. If they had someone directing it with 
authority to do the things that are necessary, that understands the 
Negro and the Negro psychology, it would be an excellent thing. 
They don't understand why they can't fill that camp out there with 
Negroes. You take a Negro that lives in a one-room shack. He will 
pay $2 to $2.50 a week rent. He can go out to that camp and get a 
nice two- or three-room home with lights, water, and electricity fur- 
nished him, and a gymnasium for his kids, school, recreational facil- 
ities. They don't understand why the Negroes don't take advantage 
of it. The reason is they are not handling the Negroes properly. 


Some of the brass hats in the department in Washington — this is an 
example — were going through a little store they have out there, a 
cooperative store. The man who was conducting them through — 
now the Negro who was running this store was a man by the name of 
Joe and, thinking that Joe had done a very good job, he said to these 
two individuals from the Farm Security Administration in Washing- 
ton, "This is Joe. He is running this store and has done a very good 
job. He started with a little or nothing and built it up." These two 
individuals stopped and walked over to Joe and shook hands and told 
him he was Mr. So and So and when he came to Washington to come 
and see him — putting himself on equality with the Negro. Those 
things travel by underground system some way. They are all over 
somewhere and a Negro hasn't the respect for a white man that will 
do those things. If the white man understood how the Negro feels 
about it, he wouldn't do it. He is making a fool out of himself. 

There are certain reports of people as addressing the Negro out there 
as "Mr." and "Mrs." It isn't the custom in this country. I haven't 
any particular objections to referring to a Negro in the proper place 
as "Mrs." but the occasions are very few. If Fanny, the Negro that 
cooks at my house, if I addressed her as "Mrs." she would look at me 
and say "Mr. Jones, what's the matter with you? Is you got a drink?" 
or something like that. She would be just astounded and know some- 
thing was screwball about it, but yet, if Fanny gets in any trouble, 
day or night, she wouldn't object a bit in the world coming inside 
the house and getting me out of bed and saying "Get up and do some- 
thing," because she knows I am a friend and will take care of her, 
whatever happens. She knows her place and she keeps it and she 
never violates that at all. She has two kids, educating and sending 
them to college, working and really taking care of a family. She is a 
Negro that more money than the average wage would do good because 
she helps herself and is helping her family. But they can't handle 
these Negroes by the book, when a man sitting behind a desk in 
Washington writes the book. It just isn't being done and that's 
what's the matter with the Negro camp. It is not the fault, I 
believe, of any of the local people. I think the man in West Palm 
Beach, Vander Schouw, is a very excellent man, and I have had 
occasion to go into the inner workings of the outfit and listen to a lot 
of his instructions, and he is bound around with red tape and instruc- 
tions by some visionaries in the department in Washington. If they 
themselves would come down here and live out here and attempt to 
handle those Negroes, they wouldn't do as good a job as whoever 
they got out there because they just don't understand the Negro. 
He is just as peculiar and there is just as much difference between his 
methods of thinking and the white man's method of thinking as there 
is between a white man and a Negro in the middle of Africa. You can't 
educate them. You can't bring them up too fast. The idea is good 
and everybody is in favor of it but there is a practical way to apply 
those theories. 

Mr. Tipton. So it is simply a matter of administration which, in 
turn, you think goes back to the administrative policies from 

Mr. Jones. That's right. 

Mr. Tipton. Rather than any difficulty with the idea itself or the 
way it might fit into this region? 

60396— 42— pt. 33 18 



Mr. Jones. The idea is excellent. The white camp, I think, is 
doing a wonderful job because they are dealing with a mentality that 
is more in line with what the man who wrote the book figures. Sixty 
percent of the people in that white camp, I believe, are good, honest 
Americans that are down on their luck and they needed that kind of 
help. The other 40 percent are no good to themselves or anybody 
else, and you would find that percentage, I suppose, whether there 
was a camp here or not. The first requisite to getting into that camp 
out there is to prove to them that you have been an utter failure in 
whatever else you have attempted to do. Whether it is your fault 
or someone else's fault, that's the first requisite to get in that camp. 
All this money they are spending up north of here for these subsistence 
farms, you can't get in there unless you can prove that you are a failure 
in everything else. 

Mr. Tipton. You mean, because of the fact that you haven't 
anything, you're on the move; down and out? 

Mr. Jones. Yes; I say 60 percent of them with the proper health 
will come out and make useful citizens and raise families the commu- 
nity would be proud of and, in that way, I say that they are very 
excellent things. It is certainly interesting to go up there and see the 
kids, the little bits of fellows that normally, on the same economic 
conditions and where they came from, wouldn't have the least chance 
in the world, but there they are being given the better things of life, 
getting an education, kept healthy and getting a better outlook on 
life, and you can't help but feel that is doing an awful lot of good. I 
was particularly interested in that because I was one of the first ones 
here that started the original 24-hour day nursery for migrant kids. 
We had the first one in Belle Glade. I have been a director of it until 
it stopped functioning and through that all of this was brought to my 

Mr. Tipton. In which camp was that 24-hour nursery? 

Mr. Jones. The first one was in the Legion Hall. We started out 
to have a day nursery and we ended up by having a 24-hour nursery, 
7 days a week. Finally, when they built the camp, it was through our 
efforts the Farm Security Administration built a nursery building. 
They added that to their plans and we operated it the first year. 
Then they took it over along with the Work Projects Administration. 
We spent $4,000 or $5,000 a year on that nursery. 


Mr. Tipton. Do you know anything about the suggestion for the 
importation of Bahamian labor? 

Mr. Jones. That was discussed in December at one of the meetings 
we had and I believe a number of farmers around here have made some 
applications. It takes, I think, a special ruling of the Immigration 
Bureau. There are a number of farmers here who have a majority of 
their Negro farm labor who are Nassau or Bahamians and the idea was 
to send one of those workers back to recruit some others. But they 
ran into those regulations and decided that, unless there was a need 
for the entire community, they wouldn't have much chance of getting 
permission from the Immigration Bureau. 


Mr. Tipton. There was no organized effort? 

Mr. Jones. No; it was discussed but never carried any further than 


You see all those cantonments or Government constructions 
throughout the South, they have taken the farm laborer — a lot of them 
from the southeastern States — and are ruining him for their own use, 
as well as for the use of the farmer, by paying him 35 cents to 50 cents 
an hour and then not making him work. If they will take a Negro 
and pay him 50 cents an hour and make him do 50 cents an hour work, 
they will find that he will quit and go back to farming at 25 cents an 
hour, but if they take him over there and don't make him work, 
winch most of them do, he is not only no good to the construction de- 
partment but no good to the farmer. 

Miss Pascal. We have been talking to Mr. Haney about this new 
system of celery harvesting that he has started this year in an effort 
to increase the amount of work that the crew puts out. He says that 
he has been able to pay them more and get them to work regularly. 
He has found that, by putting Negroes on piece work, they will make a 
third to a half more money per day, and Haney says that he gets his 
celery harvested for a third less than it cost him last year. 

Mr. Tipton. His idea seems to be to try to use the same system in 
vegetables as used in sugarcane. 

Mr. Jones. Well, now, a Negro working in celery, as a rule, is a 
different type than an average bean picker. In celery work, if he gets 
one that holds the whole crew back — they have to work together, main- 
tain the same pace — he will run him off and get another to take his 
place, but when you get 500 Negroes in a bean field, and 150 of them 
start tins slowing up business, you are in bad shape if you start running 
off 150. Yes; that's the way they work. They may not leave the 
field but they drag along, half pick the beans, ruin your vines and don't 
pick proper quantities. 

Mr. Tipton. Have you any recommendations or additional thoughts 
that you care to give on any of the problems of the Everglades? 


Mr. Jones. About the labor, I would strongly recommend that 
some system be worked out to register that labor or use the registra- 
tion and questionnaire of the Selective Service system and some 
agency given authority to control labor, its migration and actual 
work. With this idea, under the present war conditions, the need for 
everyone producing to capacity, labor should be forced to give its 
all, so to speak. I am referring to agricultural labor. I am not 
taking in. too much territory, and I am referring particularly to the 
agricultural worker in the Glades. 

The Everglades experiment station has contributed in a major 
way to the success of the majority of the crops now grown in the 
Glades, as to farming practices, fertilization, pests and disease con- 
trol, and it seems to me a wise provision to encourage and enlarge the 
scope of the work and particularly to utilize the land and facilities 
that are now out there. The bean growers, potato, celery, and sugar 


cane growers, all owe a great part of their success in the Glades to 
experiments conducted at the Everglades Experiment Station or 
through its staff. I believe, if appropriations are increased to allow 
additional projects or experiments more in detail, it would promote 
the work and, particularly, there is a lack of money for common 
ordinary field labor to assist the scientists. 

Mr. Tipton. Thank you, Mr. Jones, for discussing these problems 
with us. 


Mr. Tipton. Will you please state your name and address for the 

Mr. Wells. Jerry Wells, South Bay, Fla. 

Mr. Tipton. Are you married, Mr. Wells? 

Mr. Wells. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. How many are in your family? 

Mr. Wells. Three of us. 

Mr. Tipton. Your wife, and one child? 

Mr. Wells. Yes; an adopted daughter. 

Mr. Tipton. How long have you been here in this camp? 

Mr. Wells. I first moved in when the camp was established. 

Mr. Tipton. When was that? 

Mr. Wells. About 2 years ago. They had an anniversary on the 

Mr. Tipton. How long have you been in south Florida? 

Mr. Wells. I visited down here in the wintertime and back up 
North in the summer. I've been going to one man for 10 years. 

Mr. Tipton. This man that you have been going to, is he someone 
you worked for before you came to south Florida the first time? 

Mr. Wells. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. How long had you worked for him? 

Mr. Wells. I came down here in '35 and then before then since 
10 years ago this strawberry season I been working for him, for this 
man in Virginia, W. S. D. Fletcher, and I take a crew up to work for 

Mr. Tipton. Where in Virginia? 

Mr. Wells. I calls it Oak Hall, Va., but his mailing place is Withams. 

Miss Pascal. Where are you from originally? 

Mr. Wells. Georgia. 

Miss Pascal. Were you born there? 

Mr. Wells. Born in Early County, Ga. 

Mr. Tipton. When did you leave there? 

Mr. Wells. I left there some thirty-odd years ago. 

Mr. Tipton. And where have you been in the meantime? 

Mr. Wells. New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Florida. 

Mr. Tipton. What were you doing those years that you were in 
New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware? 

Mr. Wells. In New Jersey I was a construction worker, which you 
might call a hod carrier— in Pennsylvania I never did have a per- 
manent job, unloading boats mostly. 


Mr. Tipton. How about in Delaware? 

Mr. Wells. Well, in Delaware I just helped them gather on the 
farm and worked at a basket mill. 

Mr. Tipton. When you were working in Delaware, what crops did 
you work in? 

Mrv Wells. Husking corn and watermelons, helping load water- 
melons. I gathered them and loaded them on the boat. I worked 
in the canning house, and cutting some kind of greens. 

Mr. Tipton. Then from Delaware, as I understand it, you went 
to Virginia. 

Mr. Wells. From Delaware I went to Virginia; I stayed in- 
Virginia until I came here. 

Mr. Tipton. Then, since you came here have you been going back 
every season? 

Mr. Wells. Yes; going to Virginia every season. 

Mr. Tipton. You work for this man, Mr. Fletcher, in the summer- 
time and come down here and work in the wintertime? 

Mr. Wells. Let me straighten you on that. I works for him until 
he gets his beans, strawberries, and tomatoes picked around the 11th 
or 10th of August, then I go to the canning house. For the last 4 
years I been going to the canning house at Clayton, Del., W. L. 
Wheatley & Sons, then from there back to Florid? . 

Mr. Tipton. You have been doing that since '35? 

Mr. Wells. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. Every year since '35? 

Mr. Wells. I went to Phillips some few years. I go straight to 
Virginia, from there to Wheatley's, then back to Florida. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you expect to go up to Virginia this year again? 


Mr. Wells. Well that provides, if I can find any way to get there' 
I don't know how it is going to be to get people there. You see I 
have been running a truck and people haven't got money to go this 
year, but I am expecting to go. I got letters from all my men, that 
is, letters from W. S. D. Fletcher and farmers I worked for. They 
wrote me and want me to come. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you suppose when we get through here that you 
could bring those letters over so that we could copy them into the 
record here? 

Mr. Wells. Very easily; I can go home and get them. 

Mr. Tipton. Fine. They will be included in the record at this 

(The letters referred to are as follows:) 

Clayton, Del., June 2G, 1941. 
Mr. Jerry Wells, 

Withams, Va. 
Dear Jerry: Received your letter this morning and was glad to hear from you. 
I am glad you are getting the help together as we are planning to have a big 
season on tomatoes this time. As you know, we have had plenty of work here 
in the past but this time we are going to pack tomatoes as we never have before. 
The farmers up here have more tomatoes out than ever before and the weather 
is favorable for a larger crop than ever before. Regarding wages, we are going 
to pay as much or more than any of the other canners, for as you know we always 
do. You go ahead, Jerry, and get us all the women peelers you can, also a few 


men, but do not get more men than you really have to. Keep in touch with me 
from time to time telling me just how you are coming along. 
Best regards from the writer and Mr. Harvey, I remain, 
Very truly yours, 

W. L. Wheatley. 

Clayton, Del., July 22, 1941. 
Mr. Jerry Wells, 

Withams, Va. 
Dear Jerry: Received your letter this morning and was glad to hear from you. 
I am glad that you are getting the help without any trouble and I trust you are 
getting good people that will work as we sure are going to have plenty of work 
this year. 

From the look of the tomato crop now it will be about the 10th or 15th of 
August when we will send after your people. I cannot tell exactly now but will 
let you know a little later. You can tell the help about the 10th or 15th and I 
will send our truck wherever you say to get you. I will want to know just how 
many people you will have also so I can figure just how many trucks to send. 
You can rest assured the camp will be in good shape with a drain for the pump 
and a floodlight for the camp. Your house will be clear already for you to move in. 
I am glad you want to make this a good canning season as I do also. We are 
going to do everything we can to make it pleasant for the help and all we ask in 
return is that the help work when we need them and keep orderly in the camp. 
Trusting this answers all your questions and assuring you we will let you know 
exactly the date and the time we will be after you when I receive your next letter 
telling me how many people you have and just where you want our truck to meet 
you, I remain, 

Very truly yours, 

W. L. Wheatley & Son, 
By W. L. Wheatley. 

Clayton, Del., August 5, 1941. 
Mr. Jerry Wells, 

Withams, Va. 
Dear Jerry: Received your letter and was glad to hear you have 45 or 50 good 
people ready to come up for tomatoes. 

Our truck will be in Withams about 6 a. m. Monday morning so have your 
people all ready so they can load up and get up here in good time to get settled 
before night. I am sending Parker Mears with the truck for he knows just about 
where to go. 

Now Jerry we are sending our large truck so you should have no trouble bringing 
all your people. Until I see you on Monday I remain, 
Very truly yours, 

W. L. Wheatley & Son. 
By H. G. Cole. 

P. S.- — Be sure your people are ready when our truck gets to Withams Monday 
morning August 11 at 6 a. m. 

Horsey, Va., March 24, 194%. 
Well Jerry, your letter received and was glad to hear from you to know you are 
living. With all the troubles is at hand you spoke of the camps was going to be 
close to me but I am not going to fool with it. I want to work just as we have 
done before. You try and bring some help when you come. I want about 15 
head if you can get that many for berries and we will have beans to pick and 
potatoes to pick too, so we will have a plenty to do, so you can tell them so as you 
know we do. You write to me and let me know what you can do, we are all well 
as ever and hope you all are the same. Write soon and let me know what you 
expect to do. 

I am vours truly, 

C. S. Smith & Sons. 


Withams, Va., March 26, 1942. 

Dear Jerry: Yours to hand. I wrote you at Chosen, but it was returned. 
Then I wrote you at Belle Glade; it has not come back, so I suppose you got that 
but you did not say. 

Well I will need about the usual crowd 15 head, the old patches are looking 
very good just beginning to spring out. I put henhouse manure on all last fall 
and have put a coat of fertilizer the first week in March, will put on a little more 
this afternoon or will use up what I have left. 

Now, I am going to plant 8 acres fiat beans and Valentines but not any factory 
beans, expect to plant them close and not like I planted last year wide, as I will 
put corn after the beans. Now, I want these hands for beans, too. There will 
be some planted by all around here. Now, about the camps you spoke of, if 
there is to be any around here I have not heard of them as yet, I am not bothering 
with camps I have my own camp here which is dug and aplenty of good water, 
which will be as good as any other you will find, and you know you stay as long 
as you want, work or no work. Also all around know you are here and know I 
have no objection to any of you helping them after my work is over, and the stay 
does not cost you 1 cent. 

Now, I shall expect you will write again and let you know how things are 
getting along. I forgot to say the young berry patch has a very good bed, but, 
of course, we cannot say what will happen before picking time. 

Hope you, Ida, and Sister are well. The neighbors are planting potatoes. 
How is Randome and folks suppose they will be with you. 

This is about all now. Let me hear from you. I know you and your crowd 
will get all the work from here you will want. You know you are established here 
and people come for you. 

W. S. D. Fletcher. 

Withams, Va., April 4, 1942. 

Dear Jerry: I have just been over the berry patches, the beds are plenty big 
for a crop of berries and they are showing up very nice. I put henhouse manure 
on all of them last fall and have top dressed all with fertilizer. Some of them 
have two applications they should make a crop but of course we don't know what 
will happen. I shall plant the beans April 15. Some around will plant sooner. 
Roy Taylor was all ready to fertilizer down but we had a big rain last Sunday 
and that has held things up. 

I have just learned of a camp that may be fixed about 7 miles from here — 
canvas tents, I understand — about 90 percent of the farmers don't want it, just 
a few if they can get it on their place. 

Now, I am not going to fool with the camp. I have just as good as they will 
have there and besides I could not go for them every day, if a tire gives out on the 
truck it takes 30 days or more to get one and three prices for that, I understand 
they are charging $35 for a tire for my car that I paid $8.50 for last fall. Now 
you know the people around here and they know you, in other words this camp is 
established and you know they have always come here for you and they will keep 
on coming. Will write you again and don't forget I want them for the beans, too 
which come off just ahead of the potatoes. 

John Smith says send him 10 head if you can, he asked me to tell you this. 

Now don't cut me short, because if there is more than we need here there will 
be room close by. 

Hope you all are well. 

W. L. S. Fletcher. 


Miss Pascal. How many people have you been taking up North? 

Mr. Wells. I have took as high as 35. 

Miss Pascal. You haven't your own truck? 

Mr. Wells. No; I get someone else's and we all go in a truck. 
Now, this year I ain't done prepared anything, as rubber is so scarce. 
So that I don't know what to say about it. That's the idea. Time I 


gets ready this gasoline will be out and I don't know what to say 
about it. 

Miss Pascal. How about going by train? 

Mr. Wells. I couldn't carry nobody. You see it takes $18.80, 
before the tax come in, from Palm Beach to Wilmington, Del., and 
the tax got to go on to that. 

Miss Pascal. Do you think that the men who are hiring these 
people up North would think it worthwhile to advance the money or 
help them out for rail transportation? 

Mr. Wells. I would like to know in what way. They haven't 
been pacing these people's fare up there. They have been paying 
their own fare. They want these people and just depend on me for 
those people. My boy left 2 weeks ago tomorrow and I got a letter 
from him since he been there. He is on C. S. Smith's place — potato 
cr0 p — an d when I get up there I stay in same house with him at 
W. S. D. Fletcher's. Me and my crew gathers there and then go on 
the Delaware. I never got any money from any of those men but 
1 year and I didn't get that on transportation. It froze here and 
I wanted the money to live on until the beans came on again here, and 
when I got up there with my crew I paid back the $10. 

Mr. Tipton. You said awhile ago you didn't have any truck of your 
own. What kind of arrangements have you been making to get your 
crew up there? 

Mr. Wells. I just see this man. "If you got a truck, would you 
take me up, me and my crew." You says, "Yes." I says, "What you 
charge .a head?" $5, $6.50 is as high as I ever paid. That is the 
amount it amounts to on a truck if you get a load. 

Mr. Tipton. How many in a load? 

Mr. Wells. I carries as high as 35 and 30. That's a pretty good 
load for a ton-and-a-half truck, time they carry their belongings. 

Mr. Tipton. How long does it take to get up there? 

Mr. Wells. I think the shortest I ever got up there was 55 hours. 
That was with an International and not quite new but a very new 

Mr. Tipton. You say you take your crew on this same route that 
you make? 

Mr. Wells. All the crew. I take them right on around with me 
and bring them back when I come. They don't come back on the 
same truck every time, but in a truck we see, or any way to get back 
we can find. One year I had a fellow come in from Jersey State and 
left me a truck there and came down in a car and I brought the crew 
down in his truck. That only happened one time. 

Mr. Tipton. How big is this crew that you have? 

Mr. Wells. I takes more than I carry from here. I picks up all 
the floaters around when I leave W. S. D. Fletcher's and take them 
to the canning house. He wants me to bring 100 or 125 if I can get 

Mr. Tipton. For example, do you remember how many you took 
last year from here to Virginia? 

Mr. Wells. Virginia. Let me pause on that. I have taken 35. 
Some got their own transportation. Just like my boy. I write him 
a letter and he give it to my man when he gets there and the man let 
him in the house. Generally when I leave there, I leaves anything 
in there I wants to and Mr. Fletcher will shut the house, and it will be 


there when I get there next year. And when I go to Mr. Wheatley's, 
I nails up every shack when I leave, and, when I go back next year, 
I have to open them up and lets them in. I am general foreman of 
the colored race that work up there. 

Mr. Tipton. Of this approximately 35 that went up with you from 
here last year, are you counting everybody or just 

Mr. Wells. Myself and all the families that wants to go with me. 
They are depending on me, and I don't know what I am going to do. 
I don't, on account of the rubber. 

Mr. Tipton. Does this 35 that you mention include the women 
and children or only the family heads? 

Mr. Wells. I take married men and all, but I don't count any as 
help but those large enough to work. 

Mr. Tipton. Then this 35 that you told us about a while ago that 
went up with you from here last year, these were just the workers? 

Mr. Wells. I don't count the babies and children. 

Mr. Tipton. But you count the women and older children? 

Mr. Wells. All of them big enough to pick strawberries I counts 
them as a hand. Now, when I go to the canning house he must be 
21. He can work at 16, but he must produce a birth certificate; and 
if he don't produce a birth certificate, he can't work only on a farm 
picking tomatoes or some help for white folks around the house or 
something like that. 

Mr. Tipton. Can you tell us approximately how many children, 
whom you wouldn't count as workers, went along with this 35 workers 
last year? 

Mr. Wells. Not but three. 

Mr. Tipton. But sometimes, I suppose, there might be less or more 
than that? 

Mr. Wells. Sometimes more, sometimes none. I don't want 
people that takes a lot of little small children. It takes up room in 
the truck. 

Mr. Tipton. I suppose, also, that cuts down on the people who would 
be available for work after they get up there if there are very small 
children to care for in the family? 

Mr. Wells. That's right. 


Miss Pascal. Just what is your relation to your crew? 

Mr. Wells. Just foreman like I say. 

Miss Pascal. Then you make arrangements with the grower? 

Mr. Wells. Yes, sir; or the cannery. They don't have anything 
to do but look to me and if they want to know anything concerning 
anything around the camp they come to me and, if I can't fix it, I go 
see the boss. He will send a clean-up man or anything of that kind. 

Miss Pascal. On the other hand, when your crew have anything 
that they may want to take up with the boss, they come to you instead 
of going to the boss, and you take it up with the boss? 

Mr. Wells. Not all the time. Sometimes they go to the boss and 
he will tell them, "See Jerry." 

Miss Pascal. Do you hire your crew out on a contract basis? 

Mr. Wells. Don't use no contract whatever. I just act as a 


Miss Pascal. To get them work? 

Mr. Wells. That's right. 

Miss Pascal. So, while you handle all arrangements with the 
farmer, each one of your crew is listed on his books and paid indi- 

Mr. Wells. Individually. He doesn't pay us. He pays me for 
any trouble I take but it doesn't come out of the crew's pocket. 
When I work, they get just as much for what they do as I do. If I 
pick a quart of strawberries, I get 3 cents or whatever they pay, and 
they get the same. If they go to the canning house, they work by 
the hour. I get the same thing they do, so far as I get my pay at 
the canning house. I am also what you call a camp foreman and the 
boss gives me so much to keep them straight, from fighting, getting 
drunk, you know, like that, to keep them quiet as I can. Then the 
end of the season he says, "Here Jerry; is so much for your trouble." 
There is no special charges on the crew. 


Mr. Tipton. What is the largest number that you ever made 
arrangements for between south Florida and Virginia, or between 
Delaware and south Florida again? 

Mr. Wells. Fifty- three from here to Virginia and 85 that I 
made arrangements for from Virginia to Delaware. They don't 
all go on my truck or the boss's truck sent down after us. He sends 
after us but if they don't go with me or in the boss's truck they see 
me and I give them a letter and they carry it to the boss to get a 

Mr. Tipton. When you are up North do you get letters from 
growers down here? 

Mr. Wells. Never had any letters down here from any one down 
here. They are looking for me to come. When they find I come, 
then they come to see me if they want me to work for them. In 
general, the man I work for down here is in Tennessee, on vacation, 
or somewhere, during the summer but work in the winter here. 


Mr. Tipton. How do you come back South in the fall? 

Mr. Wells. In the fall there are several trucks from here going 
all the way to New York, probably split up and gone different places, 
and they come by and call at the canning houses and pick up the 
people, the Florida people, and. bring them back home. There are 
never none left that can't get back. 

Mr. Tipton. And these trucks that you are talking about now are 
the trucks of Florida growers? 

Mr. Wells. Oh, no; individual trucks. Anybody that's got a 
truck that's able to carry me up, I get it. No; I say that the trucks 
come up to bring the Florida people back down but they are individual 
trucks already up there and carry a load just like I do and they bring 
it back. Some of them buy a whole lot of cars and they bring some 
people back. One man will buy a car and he brings back four or 
five, and that's the way they get back. 


Mr. Tipton. Do you know of any cases in which growers down 
here in Belle Glade or Pahokee or around the lake have sent trucks 
up there to bring them back? 

Mr. Wells. No, sir. When we come back to Florida, they will be 
pouring from every road, people that went up to the North coming 
down to the bean season and every day there is from 30 to 40 cars 
and trucks and truckloads coming in. Coming into the lake from 
every part up that way. 

Miss Pascal. Some of the Florida growers who send trucks up to 
Georgia to bring people down to work here in the winter tell us that 
they have been stopped by the police, that the local people up in 
Georgia don't want the laborers trucked out of the towns. Is that 

Mr. Wells. That's hearsay with me. I have never experienced it. 
A man out here working for a big grower, Mrs. Kuth Wedgworth, 
they sent a truck up once or twice and I heard some of the people say 
that they stopped the people at this little town. So later they got 
the people to walk from the one town to the next town and loaded 
them up. 


Mr. Tipton. How many months of the year do you spend here in 
Belle Glade? 

Mr. Wells. It's pretty near as half as you can get it — 6 and 6. 

Mr. Tipton. In general, what is your opinion as to where you fare 
the best? In other words, in your experience, do you and your crew 
make better earnings the 6 months you spend down here or better in 
the 6 months you spend up North? 

Mr. Wells. Make more up North, they pay more. 

Mr. Tipton. That is, they pay more per hour? 

Mr. Wells. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. How about piece rates up there, so much a bushel, so 
much a hamper. Are they higher, too? 

Mr. Wells. Hampers run pretty nearly even. 

Mr. Tipton. From last year, do you remember what the hourly 
wage rate was up there? 

Mr. Wells. Thirty cents. 

Mr. Tipton. Is work steadier up there? 

Mr. Wells. I make more money, but since the camp is here this is 
the best living quarters. 

Mr. Tipton. What kind of living quarters did you have down here 
before the camp was established? 

Mr. Wells. Well, living in condemned houses. They condemned 
the houses, then we had to move out, over here. 

Mr. Tipton. How long had you lived in those condemned houses? 

Mr. Wells. I just stayed those 6 months down here, and every 
time I would come I would stay in one of them. I would live in one 
of those houses at Chosen, Fla. What they call "Hector's Quarters." 
The board of health condemned them and then we moved. 

Mr. Tipton. At about that time the camp opened up here, so you 
moved over to the camp? 


Mr. Wells. I have been living in the camp every time I come back. 

Mr. Tipton. How do you find quarters up in Virginia and 

Mr. Wells. Where I stay at we have a pretty good house to stay 
in. It was a house built for a garage and a big door in the middle. 
It shuts to, like garage doors. I made a hall in the middle. I put 
so many beds on that side [indicating], so many on this side and I 
just cut it off bed length, and that man and his family over there, 
and that one down there, and that one down there. It was six bed 
lengths long on each side. Then the man had another farm dwelling 
house. When I carried the 53 we stayed in there; one part of it. 

Mr. Tipton. How about the Delaware place? 

Mr. Wells. Delaware is all right. They got a house like the other, 
24 rooms to it, concrete blocks, and its got the same hall in the middle 
with the rooms cut off, and then he has 14 rooms in a wooden lean-to 

Mr. Tipton. How did the quarters that you had up North compare 
with the quarters that you had down here before the camp was estab- 

Mr. Wells. Well, those up there were the best in one way but not 
better than mine down here because I was living with a man and 
working for him and I fixed mine like I wanted. Bought me paper, 
and I papered mine on the inside to keep out the air and everything out. 

Mr. Tipton. But, for the rest of your crew, houses were better up 
North than down here? 

Mr. Wells. Yes; I should say so. 

Mr. Tipton. How about the camp here? 

Mr. Wells. They couldn't hardly be better. For nothing, you 
might say. We only pay $1.60 a week here or pay $1 and 2 hours 
work, that is, each week now. We have a wash house here, and iron- 
ing boards, washtubs, shower baths, a small little cannery. All the 
food you gather up, you can can free of charge. They may take 
one can out of 14. 

harvests beans and potatoes 

Miss Pascal. What kind of work have you been doing here this 

Mr. Wells. I don't do anything but piece work. 

Miss Pascal. What crops? 

Mr. Wells. Gathering beans, picking beans, scratching white 
potatoes, something like that. 

Mr. Tipton. What do you mean by scratching? 

Mr. Wells. Scratching them up out of the ground. You see the 
ground is very soft. They are right on top of the ground like that. 
You just pull the ground open and put them in the box. A box 
holds a bushel. 

Mr. Tipton. Then the potatoes that you have to scratch out are 
not first loosened with a digger? 

Mr. Wells. Some places dig with a digger and you pick them up, 
but not the ones I have done. I scratch with my hands. Because 
those you pick up behind a digger is day work and I don't do any day 
work very much. 


Mr. Tipton. How much do they pay for scratching them up by 
the box? 

Mr. Wells. According to how good — so much a box. Some of 
them pay 10 cents, 5, 6, 7, so that in a particular field, if the crop was 
not very good, you would get more per box. 

Miss Pascal. Have they been paying more for scratching up pota- 
toes this year than last? 

Mr. Wells. There haven't been so many. I haven't been in it 
this season at all. I don't know just what they pay this year — 
$1.75 a day or something like that. 

Miss Pascal. How about prices for beans? 

Mr. Wells. The price for beans at this time? Twenty-five, thirty, 
and thirty-five cents. 

Miss Pascal. What's the highest price for picking beans you know 
of paid this year? 

Mr. Wells. That I know of? Thirty-five is the highest I know of. 
A truck was here this morning advertising 40 cents, but I didn't 
go on that truck. I am working for a man, walk the fields for him and 
check for him, gets a load here and carry it to him in the truck and 
that's the only one I can tell you about. 

Miss Pascal. When you are down here, do you act as a leader for 
your crew in getting them work in the same way that you do in 
making arrangements for work up North? 

Mr. Wells. I don't have any crew here. The man comes to our 
house to tell me that he is going to send a truck next day. He tells 
me how the beans are, what he is going to pay for them, what kind 
they are. And I take and load the truck out there and carry the 
truck to him and check with the same crew. 


Mr. Tipton. Are you planning to make the same trip this year 
that you made in previous years? 

Mr. Wells. I am afraid to take a chance on nobody's truck. If 
he should get out of a tire, he can't get another, and people will have 
already paid me for transportation and, if we run out of tires, have 
a blow-out and we haven't money to go on further or nothing, just 
sit by the side of the road — that's the idea. So I don't know. The 
fellow that is got a truck to take the people, and good tires, he will 
charge so much that they can't go. 

Mr. Tipton. So that in order to get up there to work in those 
crops you have to have tires, gasoline or some assurance that 

Mr. Wells. That's it, some assurance to insure Mr. Fletcher, Mr. 
Smith, to get the hands that they are writing me for this year. 

Mr. Tipton. Have you made any attempt, so far, to make definite 
arrangements for transportation to Virginia? 

Mr. Wells. I asked one fellow and he told me he would charge $6 
a head. Since that time I heard that the ferry had quit running and 
that would compel us to go around by Washington and Baltimore 
and come down in that neck. Now since that happened, I haven't 
talked with him. I don't know what he would charge. It would be 
over 400 miles out of the way. He would probably charge $12, so 
that's why I don't know what to say. People don't have no such 
money. The beans is all drowned out here, and the best they can 


do is make $1 ,or $1.50 a day. By the time they pay rent and eat, at 
the price of groceries, when the season is done they can't go nowhere. 
I am right along with them. I generally have $150 or $200 and, if 
anything happens, I always help them out but I am not in shape 
this year. 

Miss Pascal. How much do you think people could afford to pay 
for the trip up north tjiis year? 

Mr. Wells. This year? I don't know whether the crew could even 
feed itself. They would have to pay their own ferry fare, and that's 53 
cents each head across the ferry, and then they has to eat all the way 
along and it generally takes 2}i or 3 days and nights to go up there, 
with common trucks, you see. 

Mr. Tipton. Do any of the people in your crew have cars that they 
could drive up? 

Mr. Wells. My boy. I gave him a letter to the man. He had 
a car. I have generally sent five to six cars. I have a colored fellow 
I didn't mention. I carried him eight hands last year and there was 
two cars there. C. S. Smith, there was two cars there. W. S. D. 
Fletcher, one car and the people on the truck. I can't carry as many 
as I want on a truck because, by the time they put their luggage on, 
25 is a good load in there. 

Mr. Tipton. How are these cars for tires? 

Mr. Wells. All poor; very poor, very poor. My boy happened to 
have five tires and I was reading in the paper where gas is going to get 
up. They jumped up and left, ahead of the season. There was 
nothing to do here and they wanted to get north before there was no 

Mr. Tipton. How soon can you go to work after you get there by 

Mr. Wells. Generally go to work as soon as they can get rested 
up 3 or 4 days, unless I go there too early to keep other fellows from 
getting my crew. I sometimes go 5 or 6 days too early. 

Mr. Tipton. But you need at least a couple of days to rest up? 

Mr. Wells. Something like that. I have come up there and got 
there in the morning at 6 o'clock and went to picking tomorrow 
morning. But they are so sore from the ride. I make seats across. 
I got seats made on each side of the truck and they sit all the way 
this way [motioning] and one across the front and the luggage in the 
middle and then put up a rack on the body and all the suitcases on 
the rack. That's up over the head and so far in the front, not all 
the way back. 

Miss Pascal. And you don't think any kind of suitable railroad 
transportation could be arranged? 

Mr. Wells. I don't think so. The truck is the cheapest way they 
can get there. It is cheaper than a bus. You see, it is only $5, $6, 
or $7. If you go on the train you have to go from here to Washington. 
You have to go from there to Wilmington on the train, and then you 
have to come back down to 60 miles from Cape Charles. That's 
where I am located, 60 miles on the other side of Cape Charles. That's 
way over a thousand miles. There is a truck in Belle Glade, from the 
State of New York, to take hands up tonight to work in a nursery. 

Mr. Tipton. Have there been others? 

Mr. Wells. He wants to make one load tonight and come back 
next week to get another. He has been here 4 or 5 days. A boy 


told me in the field, he had 15 for him but he don't want nothing 
but men. There is nothing much a nursery would have that a woman 
can do. Floaters with no wives can go. I don't know what he is 
going to charge for transportation. He is going to feed them until 
he gets there. I don't know what he is going to charge them foi 

Mr. Tipton. Do you think there is any chance of men like Mr. 
Fletcher sending trucks down here for you? 

Mr. Wells. Mr. Fletcher ain't got no truck. I wrote him. There's 
a Government camp on that side of the bay; two of them. The 
Government has put two camps there, tents, so they was described 
here, and boarded up on the sides and tent tops, and I wrote him 
whether he is going to cooperate with the Government camp or wanted 
people on his place, and he said he wanted them on his place. Both 
Smith and him wouldn't fool with the camp because he might bust a 
tire going there after them and it would take him 30 days to get 
another. That's in my letter from Fletcher. 

Mr. Tipton. Can you give us an estimate, based on your experience, 
of the number of people from this region who go to northern States 
every year? 

Mr. Wells. Oh, I don't never be here in the summer but they tell 
me there is no one here. 

Mr. Tipton. And you run into a lot of people up there, that you 
know from down here? 

Mr. Wells. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. So that you know there are a lot of people who come 
down here in the wintertime and go up there in the summertime. 

Mr. Wells. Yes. In my neighborhood in Virginia I have three 
postoffices. They are Withams, Jenkins Bridge, and Oak Hall. Now 
I am right here [indicating]. I sit in the middle here and all the way 
round there is nothing but people from here every year. Over 150 
to 200 will be right in my neighborhood. I go as high as 9 miles 
from where I am to help another fellow gather beans. One day I 
am here. Next day there. Don't plant big crops like here but 
continual work. 

Mr. Tipton. I believe that's all we have. Thank you very much 
for this information. 

GLADE, FLA., APRIL 25, 1942 

Mr. Tipton. Will you give your name for the record? 
Mr. Carter. Edward Carter, Chosen, Fla. 
Mr. Tipton. Do you live at the camp? 
Mr. Carter. Yes; I work here in the camp. 
Miss Pascal. Do you do any work in the packing houses? 
Mr. Carter. No; not now. I did until I got this job. 
Mr. Tipton. How long have you worked in the camp? 
Mr. Carter. Let's see; I have been here only about 6 weeks. 
Mr. Tipton. And you worked in the packing houses until about 6 
weeks ago? 

Mr. Carter. That's right. 


Mr. Tipton. What did you do in the packing houses, Mr. Carter? 
Mr. Carter. I culled beans for awhile and trucked a little and 
then I spread celery. 


Mr. Tipton. Which do you prefer, working in the bean houses or 
in the celery house? 

Mr. Carter. I would rather work in the celery 
Mr. Tipton. Why? 

_ Mr. Carter. More regular. You have a time to go to work and a 

time to quit. Bean houses, you go to work sometime during the day 

and quit when you run out of beans; 5 or 6 o'clock the next morning 

maybe. & ' 

Miss Pascal. Is celery work harder than bean work? 

Mr. Carter. No, ma'am. 

Mr. Tipton. A celery house is wetter than a bean house; isn't it? 
Mr. Carter. Some parts of it; yes. You have to work in the 
water but they have good protection— rubber aprons, boots, and 

Miss Pascal. Does the celery house furnish everybody with boots 
aprons, and gloves? ' 

Mr. Carter. Yes. 

Miss Pascal. Can you make more money working in a bean house 
or a celery house? 

Mr. Carter. Well, when beans are good, that is, plenty of them, 
you can make a little more money in beans because you make more 
hours, but they are such uneven hours. They pay the same price 
per hour. 

Mr. Tipton. So that some days are better in beans but celery is 

Mr. Carter. Yes; that's right. On an average you make more 
money in celery than you do in beans. 

Mr. Tipton. How many are there in your family, Mr. Carter? 

Mr. Carter. Eight. 

Mr. Tipton. You, your wife and six children? 

Mr. Carter. Yes; that's right. 

Mr. Tipton. How many of you work in the packing plant? 

Mr. Carter. Not any, at the present time. 

Mr. Tipton. But have some other members of your family worked 
there in the past? 

Mr. Carter. My wife. 

Mr. Tipton. None of your children? 

Mr. Carter. No; my children are all small. 

Mr. Tipton. Where are you from originally? 

Mr. Carter. Harrisburg, Ark. 

Mr. Tipton. What did you do up there, Mr. Carter? 

Mr. Carter. Farmed. 

Mr. Tipton. What kind of farm? 

Mr. Carter. Cotton, corn mostly, a little hay. 

Miss Pascal. Did you own the farm or rent? 

Mr. Carter. On shares — thirds and fourths. 

Miss Pascal. When did you leave Arkansas? 

Mr. Carter. I left in December 1941. 


Mr. Tipton. So that you have only been down here a few months? 
Mr. Carter. Yes. 


Mr. Tipton. Why did you happen to leave Arkansas? 

Mr. Carter. Well, the place I was on was sold and I couldn't find 
more land without giving a third of the cotton and $8 an acre for the 
corn, and on an average about 20 bushels to the acre is what you 
make, and I figured that 50 cents a bushel was what the corn was 
selling at at that time, so that would be $10. That would give me 
$2 an acre for farming corn land. I couldn't see anything in that. 

Mr. Tipton. You say they wanted a third on cotton. Previously 
how much had you been giving? 

Mr. Carter. A fourth. 

Mr. Tipton. Is this increase from a fourth to a third very general 
in Arkansas? 

Mr. Carter. Yes; it is mostly all over. 

Mr. Tipton. When you left Arkansas, how did you happen to 
pick out Florida? 

Mr. Carter. My wife's folks are all here; and my brother. 

Mr. Tipton. Then you came down here originally to work in the 
packing plants? 

Mr. Carter. In vegetables. 

Mr. Tipton. And since you have been down here you have worked 
in the packing houses, then you went to work here? Have you ever 
done any field work of any kind here? 

Mr. Carter. No, sir. 

Miss Pascal. What do you think you are going to do this summer? 

Mr. Carter. Well, I have a job here, so far as I can reckon, until 
the first of July. Then I don't know just what. 

Mr. Tipton. Have you any idea of going into any other region? 

Mr. Carter. If I don't get work here I am going back to Arkansas. 

Mr. Tipton. What do you plan to do? 

Mr. Carter. Pick cotton this fall and then I'm going to farm 
again if I can get the land. 

Mr. Tipton. Then you will start farming cotton on thirds? 

Mr. Carter. Well, I guess I will have to. 

Miss Pascal. Do you think you can make out better in Arkansas 
than you could down here? 

Mr. Carter. Unless I can keep steady employment; yes, ma'am. 

Mr. Tipton. If you can't find a piece of land in Arkansas, in case 
you go up there, do you plan to come back down here? 

Mr. Carter. I will probably work by the day until another season 
down here and then come back. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you feel you have done pretty well since you have 
been down here? Are you glad you came down? 

Mr. Carter. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. And you would come back unless you could get a 
place of your own to farm in Arkansas? 

Mr. Carter. Unless I could get a good job with pretty fair wages 
on a farm. If I could I would stay with it. 

Mr. Tipton. What are farm wages in Arkansas? 

Mr. Carter. $1.50 a day. 

60396 — 42— pt. 33 19 


Mr. Tipton. Is that more than it was a couple of years ago? 

Mr. Carter. Yes, sir; 50 cents more. 

Mr. Tipton. It used to be $1? 

Mr. Carter. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you mean that if you could get a day labor job 
up there for $1.50 a day that you wouldn't want to come back down 

Mr. Carter. No ; at present prices I would have to have $2 a day 
to make a living. 

Mr. Tipton. But if you had $2 a day you would rather stay in 
Arkansas than come back down here? 

Mr. Carter. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. How much could you make when you were working 
over in the packing house here when you first came down? 

Mr. Carter. My earnings run from $8 to $15 a week. 

Mr. Tipton. Would you say that was about an average both for 
beans and celery? 

Mr. Carter. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. How much of the time that you worked in the packing 
plants here did you work in beans and how much in celery? 

Mr. Carter. I worked a little more in celery than beans. I don't 
know exactly how much. 

Mr. Tipton. You have your own car? 

Mr. Carter. Pick-up truck. 

Mr. Tipton. And you came down in this from Arkansas? 

Mr. Carter. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. And when you go back you expect to use it to get 

Mr. Carter. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. How are your tires? 

Mr. Carter. I got three the same as new and a ruined one. 

Mr. Tipton. You have enough rubber, do you think, to get back 
up to Arkansas. 

Mr. Carter. No, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. How about your spare? 

Mr. Carter. Haven't got a spare. Some one "borrowed" it. 

Mr. Tipton. How do you expect to get your truck back up there? 

Mr. Carter. I thought maybe I might find an extra somewhere. 
I might buy a second-hand one, a retread or something or other before 
I got ready to go. 


Mr. Tipton. What do you think about this country down here, 
Mr. Carter? 

Mr. Carter. I like it fine if I could get out on a farm somewhere 
but I haven't been able to do that. 

Mr. Tipton. You would like to farm for yourself? 

Mr. Carter. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. And you think you could make a go of this vegetable 

Mr. Carter. I do. 

Mr. Tipton. Your experience has always been with cotton and corn 
and your own family truck gardening? 


Mr. Carter. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. But you think you could learn how things are done 
down here well enough to make a success of it? 

Mr. Carter. That's right. I am always willing to take advice. 

Mr. Tipton. If you could go into farming how big a piece of land 
would you be looking for? 

Mr. Carter. That depends on equipment I could get to handle it 
with. If I only figured on handling it with a horse or push plow, about 
40 acres. 

Mr. Tipton. You think you could handle 40 acres with either a 
horse or push plow? 

Mr. Carter. By hiring a little extra labor at odd times. 

Miss Pascal. Is much land around here for rent in small lots like 

Mr. Carter. I don't know about small lots but I've heard about 
land being for rent down here, but I haven't been able to equip 
myself for handling it. 

Mr. Tipton. Have you ever inquired around about the possibilities 
of renting 40 acres or 20 acres or so? 

Mr. Carter. No, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you know of any other people down here who have 
been trying to rent or have rented small pieces of land? 

Mr. Carter. No, sir; I don't believe I have. 

Miss Pascal. Well, we thank you for telling us about yourself and 
your work. 


27, 1942 

Mr. Tipton. Will you give your name for the record? 

Mr. Graber. My name is William Graber, Box 743, Belle Glade. 
My address in Ohio is R. F. D. 2, Hartville, Ohio. The name of our 
outfit is Jacob Graber. 

Mr. Tipton. Jacob Graber, I suppose, is your father? 

Mr. Graber. Yes; that's right. 

Mr. Tipton. How long have you been farming here in Belle Glade? 

Mr. Graber. This is our second winter. 

Mr. Tipton. You farm in the North as well? 

Mr. Graber. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. That's at Hartville? 

Mr. Graber. That's right. 

Mr. Tipton. How much acreage do you farm here? 

Mr. Graber. Two hundred acres here. 

Mr. Tipton. That is, you rent 200 acres of land? 

Mr. Graber. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. What do you grow here? 

Mr. Graber. Our main crop is radishes, and then we grow endive 
and escarole. Chinese cabbage and beans and some lettuce. I guess 
that about covers it. 

Mr. Tipton. You say your main crop is radishes. How many of 
the 200 acres do you use for radishes? 

Mr. Graber. You see, Ave get about five crops a season off of an 
acre and about 100 acres is in radishes. 


Mr. Tipton. So that actually during the course of the season your 
200 acres produce about 500 acres of radishes? 

Mr. Graber. That's right. 

Mr. Tipton. How many crops of these other vegetables do you get? 

Mr. Graber. We only get one of the endive and escarole and 
Chinese cabbage. We only get one crop a season. 

Mr. Tipton. How about beans? Do you crop that acreage more 
than once? 

Mr. Graber. You can get a crop in the fall and spring. This year 
we had a spring crop. Next year we are figuring on a fall crop, too. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you plan to use about the same amount of acreage 
here next year? 

Mr. Graber. We may step it up about 40 acres. 

Mr. Tipton. So that it would be about 240 acres? 

Mr. Graber. Yes. 

Miss Pascal. Are you going to put the same amount in radishes 
next year? 

Mr. Graber. I couldn't say to that. You know, they classed 
radishes as a luxury and it may be difficult to get rubber bands and 
baskets for the radishes, so we may have to switch over to something 
else, which I will be glad to do if I have to, but we are still planning 
on radishes if everything goes the same. I don't think we will step 
the radishes up any. 

Miss Pascal. What acreage did you plant here last year? 

Mr. Graber. Two hundred for the 2 years. 


Miss Pascal. How much land do you farm in Ohio? 

Mr. Graber. About 400 acres. 

Miss Pascal. What are your principal crops there? 

Mr. Graber. Radishes, green onions and carrots, spinach and dry 
onions, potatoes, some beans, red beets, endive, escarole, Chinese cab- 
bage. I guess that covers it. 

Mr. Tipton. Are radishes your most important single crop up 
there as they are here? 

Mr. Graber. Yes; I would say that it is now. 

Mr. Tipton. Can you tell us about how many of the 400 acres you 
use for radishes? 

Mr. Graber. I would say we would use 150 for radishes. 

Mr. Tipton. Can you get as many crops of radishes on the same 
piece of land there? 

Mr. Graber. Yes; from four to five. 

Mr. Tipton. Is that muck land up there? 

Mr. Graber. Yes; the same as down here. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you own the land up there or do you rent? 

Mr. Graber. We own about 125 acres and rent about 275. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you own any land here? 

Mr. Graber. No; we rent it all. 

Mr. Tipton. How long have you been farming in Ohio? 

Mr. Graber. This is the second year that I have had any interest 
in it, but Dad has been farming for about 25 years. 

Mr. Tipton. The same kind of farming? 

Mr. Graber. Yes. 



Mr. Tipton. How did you come to begin farming down here? 

Mr. Graber. Well, it was more or less to hold our employees. We 
could work them in the North in the summer and come down here 
and farm in the winter. That keeps them more satisfied and you 
can hold your better men. This labor business is getting to be a 

Mr. Tipton. Any other reasons for it? 

Mr. Graber. That's the main reason. We have about nine good 
commission houses that we do like to keep supplied, as near as we 
can, the year round and that would be one point in coming down here.. 
By farming down here we can use our machinery the year round, too. 
The depreciation on it wouldn't be as great as if it was setting still 
in the winter. 

Miss Pascal. Do you find it costs you a great deal to haul your 
machinery down here? 

Mr. Graber. No. The cost isn't so great on that. The trucks 
have to come down anyhow and they might just as well bring a load 
with them. I have an idea the cost of hauling the equipment would 
be around $200 a load. 

Mr. Tipton. How much and what type of equipment do you 

Mr. Graber. We bring two caterpillar tractors. W T e bring four 
planters and cultivators. Those tractors are two-wheel jobs, the 
Planet Jr. tractors. Then, our washer to wash the radishes in a 
packing house and the handle machine for the baskets and there are 
a few odds and ends, tools that you throw on that would be too 
numerous to mention. 

Mr. Tipton. How many trucks do you bring down? 

Mr. Graber. Six. 

Mr. Tipton. What proportion of the year and what months are 
you down here and what months in Ohio? 

Mr. Graber. From the 1st of October to about the 15th of May 

Mr. Tipton. That's the time you are actually here. 

Mr. Graber. We plan to get down about the 1st of October and 
leave about the 15th of May. 

Mr. Tipton. The rest of the time you are operating up there? 

Mr. Graber. That's right. The operation in Ohio is going on 
right now, whether I am there or not. They start up there about the 
middle to the latter part of March. 


Miss Pascal. About how many workers do you bring down here 
with you? 

Mr. Graber. About 100. 

Mr. Tipton. Are those white or colored? 

Mr. Graber. Both. 

Miss Pascal. Can you give us an idea of the proportion? 

Mr. Graber. There are about 65 colored and about 35 of the 

Mr. Tipton. Are those regular employees? 


Mr. Graber. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you have much turn-over with either group or do 
you have pretty much the same people year after year? 

Mr. Graber. We have pretty much the same people year after year. 
There will be a few of them that will leave, but there are pretty much 
the same ones year in and year out. 

Miss Pascal. Growers down here tell us that they usually don't 
have a very permanent work force, and they say that they have had 
an exceptionally high turn-over this year. Have you noticed an 
increased turn-over among the people vou have been employing down 

Mr. Graber. More or less in the beans right now. I am having 
more trouble with labor than in any other phase of it. 

Miss Pascal. Of course, you hire additional people besides the 
100 you bring down here? 

Mr. Graber. Yes. 

Miss Pascal. Do you just hire them for some of the harvesting, 
for example, your bean crop? 

Mr. Graber. That's right. If I need 100 today and I only have 
50 of my own, I will go down in the quarters and try to pick up 
enough to fill that in. 

Miss Pascal. Have you noticed any more turn-over among your 
regular people that you bring down from Ohio this year than before? 

Mr. Graber. Maybe a little. You know, it is getting so it is harder 
to please them every year and now they can get jobs in defense 
industries — which sometimes I don't blame them for taking because 
they can make a lot more money there than what they can working 
on a farm. 

Miss Pascal. Did the people that left you mostly go into other 
farm jobs around here or into defense jobs? 

Mr. Graber. Most of them went into defense jobs and some of 
them went to the Army. 

Miss Pascal. Did you find any going into bean picking here? 

Mr. Graber. You see, this time of the year I don't work my crew 
steady and when they are not working for me they go and pick beans 
for someone else. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you have any difficulty in getting them back then? 

Mr. Graber. No ; all I have to do is to go down in the evening and 
tell one of my boys to have the crew rounded up for the next morning 
and they will all be there. 

Mr. Tipton. That's because they know you are going to have 
work for them the bulk of the year, either here or in Ohio, and conse- 
quently they will stick to you? 

Mr. Graber. Yes; that's right. 

Mr. Tipton. Have you had any difficulty this year in getting 
sufficient harvest labor, extra harvest labor, either for beans or any 
other crops? 

Mr. Graber. No; I haven't had any trouble yet. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you anticipate that you will have any trouble? 

Mr. Graber. I don't believe that there will be any difficulty this 
year. I believe we can get all that we need this year, but next year — 
that's still next year. 


Mr. Tipton. Have you ever used the Employment Service to get 

Mr. Graber. No; we have never had to do that yet. 

Mr. Tipton. When you are down here where do your regular 
workers live? 

Mr. Graber. They live in the colored quarters in Belle Glade. 

Mr. Tipton. How about the whites? 

Mr. Graber. They live in rooming houses— wherever they can get 

Mr. Tipton. Do you know whether any of them, either white or 
colored, live in the migratory camps? 

Mr. Graber. Some of them live in the migratory camps. I don't 
think any of our colored do, but I would say we have seven families 
of whites in the migratory camps. 

Mr. Tipton. And when you are using them, you send your truck 
into town to pick them up? 

Mr. Graber. That's right. 

Miss Pascal. Do your trucks go down to the camp or do the whites 
come up? 

Mr. Graber. I send the truck down to the camp there every night 
with the men. They drive a truck down there every night and that's 
what they come in, in the morning. 

Mr. Tipton. So that one of the fellows lives in the camp and brings 
the truck down at night and back in the morning? 

Mr. Graber. Yes; he has charge of it. 

Mr. Tipton. Then he picks up those people and goes to town and 
brings the rest? 

Mr. Graber. Yes; he picks up the rest of the whites and takes them 
to the field and then the other truck goes down to. the quarters and 
picks up the colored. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you have the same arrangements in Ohio? 

Mr. Graber. We have our own colored quarters in Ohio. 

Mr. Tipton. How about the whites? 

Mr. Graber. The biggest majority of our white employees live on 
the farm, too. We have 1 house that holds 4 families and we have 
another one that holds 3, another one that holds 4, and then we have 
3 that 1 family has. Then, the balance of them live in rooming 
houses — the single men. Then we have a boarding house, too, that 
we keep about 25 single men in. 

Mr. Tipton. Have you thought at all of the possibilities of estab- 
lishing quarters down here so that you would have your help housed 
on the farm? 

Mr. Graber. I have been thinking about that since I started pick- 
ing beans and, if we continue to come down here another year or two, 
I have an idea we will have our own colored quarters. 

Mr. Tipton. Then, so far as you can tell now, would you plan to 
continue renting the same piece of ground and build quarters there or 
would you get a piece of ground some place else and establish quarters, 
not necessarily on the farm? 


Mr. Graber. Well, if we keep coming down here and everything 
works out all right, I have an idea we will buy some land down here 
and then put up our own quarters. This war holds the fate to it all 
right now. It all depends on what happens. 


Mr. Tipton. You said you had about 65 colored and about 35 
whites. Do the whites work in the field right along with the colored, 
or do they do different types of work? 

Mr. Graber. Well, I try to keep them separated as much as I can, 
but a lot of times they work side by side. In the packing house, the 
white boys work right along with the colored boys. That is true both 
down here and in Ohio. 

Mr. Tipton. Were most of these whites that you bring down here, 
the ones who have worked for you in the North, originally hired in 

Mr. Graber. Yes; that's right. 

Mr. Tipton. How about the Negroes? 

Mr. Graber. No; I got all of the colored from down here. 

Mr. Tipton. In other words, you have made up your labor force 
from the whites whom you previously had employed in Ohio plus the 
Negroes whom you picked up down here, and you now transport 
Negroes back to Ohio and whites down to Florida? 

Mr. Graber. That's right. We used to work only whites, but they 
are too hard to get now. You can get quite a few of the whites yet, 
but the kind that is running loose now aren't much good. 

Mr. Tipton. So that, in a sense, the fact that you have established 
this kind of a permanent crew can be considered an additional advan- 
tage in coming down here to farm? You have built up a crew of 
people that you have picked up down here, that are now helpful to 
you in your Ohio, operation? 

Mr. Graber. And we almost have to come down here to hold them. 


Miss Pascal. Do you know of any other farmers who operate in 
the North in the summer and down here in the winter? 

Mr. Graber. Chapman and Smith. That's all around the Glades. 

Miss Pascal. What sort of farming do Chapman and Smith do? 

Mr. Graber. They do the same kind of farming I do. 

Mr. Tipton. Where are they from? 

Mr. Graber. Hartville, Ohio. 

Mr. Tipton. Can you tell us about how long they have been coming 
down here? 

Mr. Graber. I think this is Chapman's eighth year down here. 

Mr. Tipton. How about Smith? 

Mr. Graber. He has been farming down here 3 years now. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you know whether there are any more of the 
farmers up in Ohio who are considering the same sort of thing? 

Mr. Graber. I don't believe right now. 

Mr. Tipton. That is, no one in your section? 

Mr. Graber. No; not that I know of. 


Mr. Tipton. Can you tell us if Chapman and Smith have the same 
arrangements with their labor force that you have? 

Mr. Graber. Smith doesn't. I don't know what set-up Chapman 
has. I know that Smith doesn't carry his workers back and forth. 

Mr. Tipton. He takes his chances both in Ohio and down here? 

Mr. Graber. Yes; that's right. 

Mr. Tipton. But you think your arrangement is better? 

Mr. Graber. I know it is. 

Mr. Tipton. Can you give us a rough idea of the acreage that Chap- 
man and Smith farm down here and in Ohio? 

Mr. Graber. I couldn't tell you to the exact amount but, approxi- 
mately, I think Smith farmed about 60 acres down here and Chap- 
man, I think, had 160. 

Mr. Tipton. About how much acreage do they operate in Ohio? 

Mr. Graber. I couldn't tell you about Smith. I think Chapman 
has somewhere between 150 and 200 acres in Ohio. 

Miss Pascal. Down here did Chapman and Smith plant their entire 
acreages in radishes or how much did they have in other crops? 

Mr. Graber. I don't know that, but not all in radishes. 

Mr. Tipton. Are their operations, with regard to crops grown, about 
the same as yours? 

Mr. Graber. Smith didn't raise any radishes here. Chapman's 
main crop was radishes. 

Miss Pascal. What was Smith raising down here? 

Mr. Graber. Endive, lettuce, and Chinese cabbage. 

Mr. Tipton. Now, when you are down here you ship your produce 
through in carload lots to the same commission houses that you ship 
to when you are operating in the summertime in Ohio? 

Mr. Graber. That's right. 

Mr. Tipton. In what markets are these commission houses? 

Mr. Graber. New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington, Bal- 
timore, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, St. Louis, Youngstown. I guess that 
covers it. 


Mr. Tipton. Can you tell us something about the comparative cost 
of growing your various crops down here and in Ohio? 

Mr. Graber. Well, when you ask that I kind of wish Dad was 
here. He has been in this for about 27 years now. He can tell you 
that stuff pretty quick, but I know that it costs more to grow down 
here than it does in the North, and there is quite a little bit of differ- 
ence too. 

Mr. Tipton. What factors in growing costs would be responsible 
for that? 

Mr. Graber. Down here you have to spray and dust, and in the 
North you don't have to do anything like that. The only thing you 
have to do up there is cultivate. 

Miss Pascal. About how much does spraying and dusting add per 
acre to the cost of growing down here? 

Mr. Graber. It will run about $20 an acre more. 

Mr. Tipton. How about fertilizer costs? 

Mr. Graber. Fertilizer is higher here than in the North. 

Mr. Tipton. You have to use more of it? 

Mr. Graber. No; you don't have to use as much. 


Mr. Tipton. But it is different and costs you more per acre than it 
does in the North? 

Mr. Graber. Yes; that's right. We put a ton to the acre in the 
North and we put 800 pounds to the acre down here. 

Mr. Tipton. The nitrate content of fertilizer you use up there has 
to be considerably higher than down here, doesn't it? 

Mr. Graber. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you use nitrates down here? 

Mr. Graber. Not here; 2 percent up there. 

Mr. Tipton. How about the land cost? 

Mr. Graber. Rents here, I would say, would be about $35 an 
acre less than in the North. 

Mr. Tipton. Can you give us a figure for land rental here? 

Mr. Graber. We are paying $15 in 1942 but it will be $20 next 
year, 1943. 

Miss Pascal. How about the cost of shipping? 

Mr. Graber. Shipping is greater from here. 

Mr. Tipton. How about the labor costs? 

Mr. Graber. It is about the same. 

Mr. Tipton. Is most of your labor by the day or piece work? 

Mr. Graber. Most of our colored labor is piece work and white 
labor is by the hour. 

Mr. Tipton. Is the hourly wage rate for the whites the same in 
both areas? 

Mr. Graber. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. How about piece work when you are using them for 
the same crop in the two areas, is that the same? 

Mr. Graber. Yes; that's the same too. 

Miss Pascal. Do you get better prices for vegetables you grow 
down here in the winter than you do for the summer crops in Ohio? 

Mr. Graber. I wouldn't say so, not when you take everything into 

Mr. Tipton. You say you don't get better prices when you take 
everything into consideration. You are speaking of net returns, but 
the actual price you get for the product will be higher? 

Mr. Graber. Sure, it will be higher here, but the cost will be greater. 

Mr. Tipton. Would you say the profitability of the operation ran 
about the same on an acre basis? 


Mr. Graber. I think it would. I am afraid that, if the Govern- 
ment doesn't make some amendment to help the farmer out on the 
labor situation, though, it is going to be tough next year. At the 
rate they are taking them into the Army, I doubt we will have any 
white labor left. 

Miss Pascal. Do you know if in Ohio they are deferring either 
white or Negro farm labor? 

Mr. Graber. I know they are deferring white. We had one boy 
deferred. His time is just about up now and I don't know how we 
will make out. 

Miss Pascal. Have any of your people come up before the boards 
down here? 


Mr. Graber. Yes, we asked for deferment for about five of the 
colored boys here. I don't know whether they are going to grant it 
or not. They told us to go ahead and take them to Ohio and they 
would act on it here and let us know. I haven't heard from them yet. 

Miss Pascal. Thank you, Mr. Graber, for giving us this infor- 

GLADE, FLA., APRIL 25, 1942 

Miss Pascal. Will you give the reporter your name and address? 

Mr. Tanner. Thomas Tanner, Belle Glade, Fla., box 403. 

Miss Pascal. How long have you been living down here in the 

Mr. Tanner. I was down here the last 9 months, and back this 
time since about the 1st of October. 

Miss Pascal. What did you do in the summer? 

Mr. Tanner. I didn't do anything but help my dad farm a little. 

Miss Pascal. Where is this farm? 

Mr. Tanner. Georgia, in Laurens County, Dublin, Ga. 

Miss Pascal. And for the past seasons you have been coming 
down here to work in the winter when there is not much doing on 
the farm, I suppose? Where do you work down here? 

Mr. Tanner. I work here in the camp. 


Miss Pascal. Have you done any work in the packing houses? 

Mr. Tanner. I worked in the packing houses up until January and 
went to work for the camp. 

Miss Pascal. What kind of work were you doing in the packing 

Mr. Tanner. I was catching beans mostly, and I worked in celery. 

Miss Pascal. Did you do much work in celery? 

Mr. Tanner. I worked 2 weeks this season is all. 

Miss Pascal. Do you find that celery work is steadier than bean 

Mr. Tanner. Yes. I would rather work in celery than beans. 

Mr. Tipton. Why? 

Mr. Tanner. It don't seem to be so rushing. Bean work is 

Mr. Tipton. In bean work do you have to put in long hours? 

Mr. Tanner. Yes. Night work} too. Most of the time you start 
at 12 and 1 o'clock and work to 12 or 2 at night. 

Miss Pascal. How do they arrange the celery work? 

Mr. Tanner. They start working in celery — they can start cutting 
or it early in the morning and work on until — the Negroes always 
quit about 5 or 5:30— and then you have time to knock off about 
8 or 9 o'clock at night, In beans they have to wait until the dew 
dries off in the morning before they can pick beans, and so they have 
to work late in the night. Pick beans right up to dark, as long as 
they can see. 


Mr. Tipton. And the work in the packing house starts later in 
the day and goes on later in the evening? 
Mr. Tanner. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. How many are in your family? 
Mr. Tanner. I have three children ; wife and three children. 
Mr. Tipton. I suppose the younger children aren't working? 
Mr. Tanner. The oldest kid is going to school. 


Miss Pascal. What kind of farm does your father have up in 

Mr. Tanner. He mostly raises cotton, corn, peanuts. 

Miss Pascal. How big is it? 

Mr. Tanner. He has about 80 acres, I guess, in cultivation. 

Mr. Tipton. Does he own that? 

Mr. Tanner. No; he just rents that. 

Mr. Tipton. Are you thinking of starting farming up there or do 
you think you might settle down here? 

M±\ Tanner. No ; I guess I won't go back. I am not able. I had 
to quit farming. Bad luck struck me, and I got where I couldn't go. 

Mr. Tipton. Were you farming for yourself up there? 

Mr. Tanner. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you expect to go back up to Georgia this season? 

Mr. Tanner. No; I don't guess I will go. 

Mr. Tipton. You will stay right here in the camp? 

Mr. Tanner. Yes; I will work here in the camp as long as they will 
let mtr. 


Mr. Tipton. And next year do you expect to work in the camp? 

Mr. Tanner. Yes, sir. This camp job is a more steady job than 
the pack shed. Some weeks in the packing house they won't do much 
work, and this here is regular work. They pay me 40 cents an hour, 
40 hours a week, and I really fare better at this job than packing. 

Mr. Tipton. How were your earnings in the packing sheds before 
you went to work here in the camp? How much could you make? 

Mr. Tanner. Before Christmas I worked in the Pioneer Growers 
down here. I worked there about 4 months I guess, 3 or 4. I aver- 
aged about $12 a week, taking it on an average. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you remember what was the smallest check you 
ever had for a week? 

Mr. Tanner. About $3. 

Mr. Tipton. What was the biggest one? 

Mr. Tanner. I drew $18.90; that was the best. 

Mr. Tipton. And would that be about true of celery, too? 

Mr. Tanner. Yes; celery is pretty much on the same order. 

Mr. Tipton. Thank you very much. 



Mr. Tipton. Will you give your name and address for the record? 

Mrs. Walker. My name is Myrtle May Walker, Chosen, Fla. 

Mr. Tipton. And what is your name? 

Mr. W'alker. Lawson Walker, Chosen, Fla. 

Miss Pascal. How long have you lived in this camp? 

Mrs. Walker. I been here since October. 

Miss Pascal. Is this the first year you have lived in the camp? 

Mrs. Walker. Yes, ma'am. 

Miss Pascal. Have you come down here to work in south Florida 

Mrs. Walker. Yes; I was down here last year. 

Miss Pascal. Where is your home? 

Mrs. Walker. Alabama. 

Miss Pascal. Have you been following the crops for many years? 

Mrs. Walker. Yes, ma'am. 

Miss Pascal. How many years? 

Mrs. Walker. Practically all my life. 

Miss Pascal. Where have you been working most of the tune?: 

Mrs. Walker. In Alabama. 

Miss Pascal. In Alabama were you working in the same place? 

Mrs. Walker. Yes; most of the time. 

Miss Pascal. Then from Alabama vou started coming down to 5 

Mrs. Walker. Last year was my first year in Florida? 

Miss Pascal. And you just come down here during the winter to 
gather crops? 

Mrs. Walker. I did this time. 

Mr. Tipton. Where did you go last summer? 

Mrs. Walker. I went back home last summer. 

Mr. Tipton. And you are planning to go back to Alabama this 

Mr. Walker. Yes, sir; back to Alabama. 

worried about tires and gas 

Miss Pascal. How do you travel around the country? Do you: 
have your own car? 

Mrs. Walker. Yes, ma'am. 

Miss Pascal. How are the tires on the car? Do you think the car 
will get you back to Alabama? 

Mrs. Walker. I don't know whether it will or not. I have one 
pretty frail tire. We have been taking some other people that live 
here in the camp and they are terribly worried about this whole tire 
business and also about the gas rationing. Yes; that's going to be the 
trouble. I don't know how we are going to make it back home with- 
out gas. 

Miss Pascal. We have also heard that many people are leaving; 
this part of the country, even while there is good bean picking, because 
they want to get back North before they start rationing gas. 


Mrs. Walker. Yes; there are some left. It might be a wise idea 
if we would leave. 

Miss Pascal. Do you know some who have already left the camp? 

Mrs. Walker. I know several. That is I have seen them. I 
don't know them personally. 

Miss Pascal. How many in your family? 

Mrs. Walker. Three. 

Miss Pascal. Yourself and husband and — ■ — • 

Mrs. Walker. One girl. She isn't old enough to work. 

Miss Pascal. Just the two of you working? 

Mrs. Walker. Yes. 

cane hoeing and bean picking 

Miss Pascal. What sort of work are you doing down here? 

Mrs. Walker. If the bean season is good, I pick beans, but last 
2 months I have been hoeing cane. 

Miss Pascal. Working for the U. S. Sugar Corporation? 

Mrs. Walker. Yes. 

Miss Pascal. Where have you been working? 

Mr. Walker. I have been working to the Government hospital. 

Miss Pascal. Not doing farm work? 

Mr. Walker. Yes, ma'am, I have been working on the farm later. 

Miss Pascal. What sort of work? 

Mr. Walker. Picking beans. 

Mrs. Walker. He worked at the hospital and then, when they got 
that finished up, he started picking beans. 

Miss Pascal. Is the cane work continuing? 

Mrs. Walker. Yes; it is continuing. 

Miss Pascal. How long do they have work on cane? 

Mrs. Walker. They have from season to season. That's what the 
people tell me. I don't know but they have from season to season. 
Now this week end, for this week they haven't any work. They have 
one week's rest when the season ends, then start back Monday, 
beginning another season, is what they say. 

Miss Pascal. The cane hoeing work will go on all summer? 

Mrs. Walker. Yes. 

Miss Pascal. How does the money you make hoeing cane compare 
to the money you make picking beans? 

Mrs. Walker. Not anything besides what you get picking beans. 
You get $1.30 a day hoeing cane. 

Miss Pascal. But there just aren't any beans now? 

Mrs. Walker. No; not many. 

Miss Pascal. When you were working in beans, did you work for 
the same man most of the time? 

Mrs. Walker. Well, no, not all the time. I went first one place 
to another to pick beans. 

Miss Pascal. How did you get out to the places? Did they send 

Mrs. Walker. Yes; they sent trucks into the camp and we went on 

Miss Pascal. We thank both of you for telling us about your work. 



30, 1942 

Mr. Tipton. Will you please give your name and address for the 

Mr. De Bruyne. Daniel De Bruyne, care Florida Precooler Co., 
Belle Glade, Fla. 

Mr. Tipton. What is your occupation? 

Mr. De Bruyne. My occupation is manager or field man, and 
packing-house foreman at Belie Glade for J. C. Hutchinson Co. 

Mr. Tipton. Where is the headquarters of the J. C. Hutchinson 

Mr. De Bruyne. Sanford, Fla. 

Mr. Tipton. And what is their business? 

Mr. De Bruyne. Produce. Celery is our main thing. 

Air. Tipton. They have been operating for some time in Sanford, 
have they? 

Mr. De Bruyne. Yes. We have been operating for 10 or 12 

Mr. Tipton. How long have you been with them? 

Mr. De Bruyne. I have been with them 9 years. 

Mr. Tipton. How much of that time here in Belle Glade? 

Mr. De Bruyne. This is my second season. 

Mr. Tipton. How long has the Hutchinson Co. been operating in 
Belle Glade? 

Mr. De Bruyne. Two years. 

Mr. Tipton. Then you came down here when they first began 

Mr. De Bruyne. That's right. 

Mr. Tipton. On celery? 

Mr. De Bruyne. That's right, when they started growing celery 
here. We came in here from Sanford and made this our branch. Our 
sales are handled out of Sanford. 

Mr. Tipton. You said that you were field foreman and plant 

Mr. De Bruyne. That's right. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you mean that the Hutchinson Co. grows celery? 

Mr. De Bruyne. No; we have growers here and we advise when to 
paper the celery, when to cut and the planting of it and care taking 
of it, anv disease that develops we advise the grower what he should 

Mr. Tipton. And you say the Hutchinson Co. has moved into the 
region only in the last 2 years? How would you account for that? 

Mr. De Bruyne. We had been in Sanford a long time with celery 
growing on sand, sand land soil. This area here has been developing 
so fast it looks like Belle Glade or the Glades is going to take this 
celery deal away from Sanford and, in order to get on the ground 
floor of it, we didn't want to be the last ones in here and, therefore, we 
came down 2 years ago and have now 400 acres to handle. 

Mr. Tipton. Does that mean then that your company feels that 
celery can be grown for less money here than in Sanford? 

Mr. De Bruyne. That's right. 

Mr. Tipton. Can you give us any idea of the difference in growing 
costs here as compared to Sanford? 


Mr. De Bruyne. The growing cost here will be at least $175 to 
$200 per acre less. 

Mr. Tipton. Will that be somewhat offset by increased transporta- 
tion costs? 

Mr. De Bruyne. Yes; our transportation cost is higher here, about 
7 cents a package. 

Mr. Tipton. But that still leaves a considerable margin between 
costs here and costs there? 

Mr. De Bruyne. That's right it does. Another thing is, the trade 
is asking for muck land celery. We have a lot of trade, especially 
Canada, who will not buy anything but muck land celery. 

Mr. Tipton. Why is that? 

Mr. De Bruyne. I don't know. They have just got accustomed 
to it for the past 3 years. It has developed in the past 3 years and 
they have about shut down on sand-land celery. Every car you quote 
them they want muck-land celery and our business in Canada has all 
been out of here, furnishing them with muck-land celery. 

Mr. Tipton. Since the Hutchinson Co. is entering the area, ex- 
panding here, are they contracting their efforts in Sanford? 

Mr. De Bruyne. No. Operations there may be a little bit lighter 
than they were 2 years ago; but they are still going along about the 
same acreage, farming mostly on this Government loan, hoping that 
they will get a break and some of the growers there, they can't see it 
where Belle Glade is going to give them any trouble. My experience 
in the past 2 years here is that the day is coming when most of our 
celery will be growing here. 


Mr. Tipton. You say you have 400 acres of celery that you are 
handling here. Can you give us an idea of about how many growers? 

Mr. De Bruyne. There are two growers, so that they have an 
average of about 200 acres each. 

Mr. Tipton. In your operations at Sanford are the celery acreages 
in as large blocks as that? 

Mr. De Bruyne. No. Celery acreages in Sanford — a big grower 
is 60 acres. The average grower is about 25 to 30 acres. 

Mr. Tipton. What has been your experience this year with regard 
to the availability of field and packing house labor? 

Mr. De Bruyne. The season starts here the first week in December. 
It goes on through to June 1. The first part of the season, when bean 
shipments are lighter, labor has been available. During the past 2 
weeks bean harvesting has been heavy. Labor has been leaving here 
in great numbers which has caused a shortage in field and packing 
house. At this time we have only half enough labor to carry on our 
operations, both white and colored. It takes 80 white laborers to 
operate the wash house. We need 85 field hands— colored. At tins 
time we have 100 acres of celery to harvest which should be harvested 
within 2 weeks. On account of labor shortage it will cause us to lose 
one-third, extending it into 1 month's work. 

Mr. Tipton. In other words, you won't be able to cut a third of 
it at all? 

Mr. De Bruyne. No; we are behind with our cuttmg on account 
of this labor shortage right now. We worked until 12:30 last night 


with half a crew and today it is going to be about 2 o'clock in the 
morning before we get done, which we should be through with at about 
9 or 10 o'clock at night. 

Miss Pascal. Is the bottleneck in the harvesting in the fields or in 
the packing house? 

Mr. De Bruyne. It is both. This bean picking has taken the col- 
ored labor away, and the canning plant and grading of these beans 
has taken white help, and it has thrown a shortage on both bean belts 
and celery harvesting all the way round. 


Mr. Tipton. You said awhile ago that you advise farmers in your 
position as field foreman. You don't mean then you actually oper- 
ate the harvesting crew? 

Mr. De Bruyne. No, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. Is that the general practice in Sanford? 

Mr. De Bruyne. No, sir; it is not. In Sanford we harvest that 
crop. The field man does the harvesting with our crew that we 
employ. Harvesting, hauling, and packing is done by the shipper in 
Sanford. Here the grower harvests it and delivers it to the packing 

Mr. Tipton. How do you account for the difference between the 
two regions? 

Mr. De Bruyne. Most of these growers here have got their own 
colored camps. They have their own field labor. In Sanford all 
colored help lives in "colored town." No farmer has over two or 
three colored hands on his farm. Therefore, it has been left up to 
the shipper to see to it that the crop is harvested. 

Mr. Tipton. Here in this region each grower has a sufficiently 
large acreage to maintain his own crew? 

Mr. De Bruyne. Yes; that's right, because he has beans and celery, 
cabbage — large acreages of these commodities which enable him to 
employ his own crew. 


Mr. Tipton. What do you anticipate with regard to labor supply 
for next year and have you any remarks or recommendations that 
you care to make? 

Mr. De Bruyne. Eight now, what is the cause of this labor short- 
age and what will make this labor shortage worse between now and 
the 15th of May when the gasoline ration is going on — they are leav- 
ing here now for fear they are not going to get gas. This white labor 
comes from nearly every State, mostly from Georgia, Alabama, and 
Carolina, and they are leaving here now and are going to leave before 
the 15th. They don't want to get caught without any gasoline and 
they are really going, too. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you anticipate difficulties next^ear? 

Mr. De Bruyne. I do — with this rubber situation. Most of them 
come down in cars and live pretty cheap over at the migratory camps, 
and if they can't get rubber and gasoline, I don't think that we will 
have sufficient labor here. 

60396— 42— pt. 33- 



Miss Pascal. How do costs of growing celery in the Oveido area 
compare with the Sanford and Belle Glade areas? 

Mr. De Bruyne. Oveido cost is about the same as Sanford. I 
would say that it would take $375 per acre to grow celery at Sanford 
and Oveido sections to $175 to $200 here. Most growers here are 
growing this celery for around $200 per acre. 

Miss Pascal. How do the yields compare in the different areas? 

Mr. De Bruyne. I would say the yields compare about the same. 
When it is averaged up, the acreage here and at Sanford, the total 
sum would be about the same yield, in Sanford, Oveido, and Palm 
Beach County. 

Mr. Tipton. Thank you, Mr. De Bruyne. This information will 
be very helpful. 

FLA., APRIL 25, 1942 

Mr. Tipton. Will you give your name for the record? 

Mr. Swindle. C. M. Swindle. 

Mr. Tipton. You live here at the camp? 

Mr. Swindle. Yes; I live at Camp Osceola, Belle Glade, Fla. 

Mr. Tipton. How long have you been here in the camp, Mr. 

Mr. Swindle. I been here 2 years in the camp. 

Miss Pascal. You have lived here steadily for 2 years? 

Mr. Swindle. Yes; here in the camp. 

Miss Pascal. What sort of work have you been doing? 

Mr. Swindle. I have been working down at the packing house and 
in the camp here for 2 years. 

Miss Pascal. What kind of work do you do at the packing house? 

Mr. Swindle. Beans and doing most anything around the packing 

Miss Pascal. Where are you from originally? 

Mr. Swindle. I was born and raised in Pensacola. I been down 
here on the muck for 15 years. 

Miss Pascal. Did you start out farming down here? 

Mr. Swindle. I been farming all my life. I always farmed. 

Mr. Tipton. What kind of farming did you do before you came 
down here? 

Mr. Swindle. Corn, cotton, sweetpota.toes, cane, everything most. 

Miss Pascal. That was up near Pensacola? 

Mr. Swindle. That was there in Taylor County. 

Mr. Tipton. Did you farm for yourself up there in Taylor County? 

Mr. Swindle. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. On your own farm? 

Mr. Swindle. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. How did you happen to come down here? 

Mr. Swindle. I just kept selling and trading around. I moved 
down here on a truck farm. I thought I would make some money. 

Mr. Tipton. How long ago? 

Mr. Swindle. Fifteen years. 


Mr. Tipton. Let's see, that would be about 1927? 

Mr. Swindle. I was in Lakeland in 1925 and 1926. I came here in 

Miss Pascal. Where did you start farming down here? 

Mr. Swindle. Clewiston. 

Mr. Tipton. What did you grow over there? 

Mr. Swindle. Most everything — beans, tomatoes, corn, potatoes, 
all kinds of vegetables. 


Mr. Tipton. Did you come down here to buy land or rent it? 

Mr. Swindle. Just squatter's claim. 

Mr. Tipton. That was before any of the drainage districts were 
established around here? 

Mr. Swindle. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. How many acres did you farm? 

Mr. Swindle. From 5 to 20, 40. Some years I planted 40 or 50. 

Mr. Tipton. What was the largest number you planted? 

Mr. Swindle. I planted 60 here the first year I came down here. 

Mr. Tipton. And that was mostly in 

Mr. Swindle. Beans, cabbage, tomatoes, corn. 

Mr. Tipton. What was the last year that you rented land and 
farmed for yourself? 

Mr. Swindle. I don't know. I ain't rented no land in years. It 
has been 35 years since I rented land. I just used squatter's land. 

Mr. Tipton. I should have said, What was the last year that you 

Mr. Swindle. It has been 3 years ago. 

Mr. Tipton. Then you farmed up until the 1939 season? 

Mr. Swindle. 1938 to 1939. 

Miss Pascal. Can a person go out and farm rent free now? 

Mr. Swindle. I don't know. They got such big companies now 
they take it away from you. That's the way they did mine. 

Mr. Tipton. How was that, Mr. Swindle? Will you explain how 
they took it away? 

Mr. Swindle. The sugar companies, they just came in and surveyed 
and took it away from you and put you out. 

Miss Pascal. Are they growing anything on that land now? 

Mr. Swindle. Sometimes. Most of it they grow sugarcane. 

Mr. Tipton. How long had you farmed that particular piece of 

Mr. Swindle. Six or seven years. 

Mr. Tipton. Did you live on that piece of land? 

Mr. Swindle. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. Did you have a house? 

Mr. Swindle. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. How big a house? 

Mr. Swindle. It was 30 feet long and 14 feet wide, a porch on each 
side, front and back. 

Miss Pascal. Did you keep chickens? 

Mr. Swindle. Yes, ma'am. I. had a few chickens. 

Mr. Tipton. How did the chickens do over there? 

Mr. Swindle. They did fine. 


Miss Pascal. Did you have a cow? 

Mr. Swindle. No ; I didn't have a cow there. When I went over 
to LaBelle, I had one there. You see, I went over to LaBelle when 
they run me out. I went over to LaBelle then, about 30 miles farther. 
I bought me a place over there. 

Miss Pascal. You were farming over at LaBelle? How big was 
the place? 

Mr. Swindle. Five-acre tract. 

Miss Pascal. What did you grow over there? 

Mr. Swindle. Everything, sugarcane, potatoes, corn, all kinds of 

Miss Pascal. How long were you over there? 

Mr. Swindle. Four years. I come from LaBelle right here then to 
the camp and started living at the camp. 

Mr. Tipton. And since then you have been working at the camp and 
in the packing house? 

Mr. Swindle. Yes, sir. 


Mr. Tipton. Was it profitable farming on this piece of land you had 
at Clewiston? 

Mr. Swindle. Yes, sir. 

Miss Pascal. Can you give us an idea of how much you could make 
during the course of a season? 

Mr. Swindle. I can make 100 bushels of corn an acre on the land, 
regular field corn. 

Mr. Tipton. How about vegetables? 

Mr. Swindle. Well, I made 200 and 300 hampers of beans to the 
acre. . 

Mr. Tipton. And about how much money could you make in an 
average year? 

Mr. Swindle. Some years I made $6,000. I made $6,000 the 
first year I came here. 

Miss Pascal. That's the year you farmed 60 acres? 

Mr. Swindle. Yes. I cleared that the first year I came here. 
Then I farmed 4 or 5 years; I didn't make anything. I raised a lot of 
stuff but I couldn't get anything for it. 

Mr. TipTon. Prices were low? 

Mr. Swindle. Yes. I rented some of the land to other people, 
you know. The last year they ran me off, I cleared about $3,000. 
I left then and went to LaBelle. 

Mr. Tipton. Now, you say you rented some of this land. I sup- 
pose when you first came there that land was unimproved? It still 
had the natural vegetation growing on it and you had to break it up? 

Mr. Swindle. I pulled the elders up and broke it up. 

Mr. Tipton. Then, after you had improved it, you didn't want to 
use all of it, so you rented out part of what you had broken up? 

Mr. Swindle. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. How much did you rent out at any one time? 

Mr. Swindle. I rented a man here in town 20 acres once, and I 
rented 10 acres to another man once. 

Mr. Tipton. Did you rent for cash? 

Mr. Swindle. No; I rented for a fifth. 


Miss Pascal. What kind of farm land is over around LaBelle? 
Can you grow as good crops there as at Clewiston? 

Mr. Swindle. No; it is sandy; low, flat, sandy laud. 

Miss Pascal. Poor? 

Mr. Swindle. Yes. It's worse to overflow than this land here. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you think that this region is a good region for a 
small farmer? 

Mr. Swindle. Yes, sir. 


Mr. Tipton. Are there many small farmers around here now? < 

Mr. Swindle. No, sir; they can't get the land. They are just 
like me. They can't rent it. 

Miss Pascal. Why is that? 

Mr. Swindle. The big companies have it all and they farm it. 

Mr. Tipton. But if the small farmer could get the land, then 
could he make a good business of it? 

Mr. Swindle. Yes. He could make a good living. A man can 
take 5 acres of this land and make a living off of it. 

Mr. Tipton. But it is not possible now for a man to get the 5 

Mr. Swindle. No, sir. A body can't get it now, you see. If they 
could they could make a living off of it. You can make a living on 
5 acres. 

Mr. Tipton. With 5 acres would you do all the work by hand? 
You wouldn't try to farm 5 acres by machinery? 

Mr. Swindle. No, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. Would you use horse or mule? 

Mr. Swindle. WeU, you break it up with a tractor and then you 
hand garden most of it. 

Mr. Tipton. By that method the farmer could make a pretty good 
living on five acres? 

Mr. Swindle. Yes, sir; I did. Over at Clewiston I made a good 
living off of 5 acres when I could rent out my land. I just truck- 
farmed what I could with a garden plow. 


Mr. Tipton. How about the water control? Is it possible for the 
small farmer, the 5-, 10-, 15-acre farmer, to maintain the necessary 
equipment for controlling water, draining the land, and irrigating? 

Mr. Swindle. Well, I don't think he would need that because it 
wouldn't be necessary. I never had it. I have been living here 
and farming a great deal. Once in a while you strike a low place 
but you can turn around and plant back. 

Miss Pascal. When you were farming in Clewiston they didn't 
have the drainage district there? 

Mr. Swindle. No. 

Miss Pascal. And it was all right for farming there? 

Mr. Swindle. Yes. I never lost a crop over there. 

Mr. Tipton. Was this farm on the custard apple muck land? 

Mr. Swindle. Yes. 


Mr. Tipton. Can a small farmer handle the drainage and cultivat- 
ing problems in the sawgrass peat land? 

Mr. Swindle. Yes, I tended some out in that sawgrass. 

Mr. Tipton. How many acres? 

Mr. Swindle. Twenty, ten, sometimes thirty. That didn't used 
to happen that way. Since they cut the canals it is a whole lot worse, 
because, when we get the canals full of water, it comes out from the 
lake and has nowhere to go. It stays on the land a whole lot longer. 

Miss Pascal. How big is your family? 

Mr. Swindle. Six. , 

Miss Pascal. They all live with you now? That is, your wife 
and four children? 

Mr. Swindle. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. Do any of them work in the packing plant? 

Mr. Swindle. One girl does. Works in the packing house. 

Mr. Tipton. How do you find things now that you are living here 
in the camp and working in the camp? Are you able to make a good 
living that way? 

Mr. Swindle. Well, I reckon it's not such a good living, but we 
have it to do and we can't do better. Everything is so high and we 
don't get much wages. 

Miss Pascal. What are the wages? 

Mr. Swindle. I get $48 a month. 

Mr. Tipton. And when you work in the packing house? 

Mr. Swindle. From $3 on up according. Some weeks they make 
$3 and some weeks more. Last fall some weeks I just made 80 cents. 
It would bo about 3 hours. 

Mr. Tipton. What is the hourly rate? 

Mr. Swindle. About 30 cents an hour. Then it would get better. 
Some days 5 or 6 hours, some days 10, sometimes for 4 or 5 days you 
don't get nothing. That's the way it works in a packing house. 
That's'the reason I quit there. 

Mr. Tipton. Thank you very much, Mr. Swindle. 


Mr. Tipton. Will you please give your name, address, and official 
title for the record? 

Mr. French. Allison T. French, manager, United States Employ- 
ment Service, 439 Datura Street, West Palm Beach. 

Mr. Tipton. How long have you been manager of this office, 
Mr. French? 

Mr. French. 2 years and 1 month. 

Mr. Tipton. What counties does your area include? 

Mr. French. Palm Beach County and parts of Hendry and Glades. 

Mr. Tipton. Are the activities of the Farm Placement men in this 
area under your supervision 

Mr. French. So far they have been. 

Mr. Tipton. How much experience have you had yourself with 
farm labor in this county? 

Mr. French. It depends on what you mean. We have been doing 
a good deal of farm placement work of one kind or another for the 


last year and a half and a lot of that I have done myself. I have done 
most of the organizing and lining it up. 

Mr. Tipton. Then your experience with farm labor in Palm Beach 
County goes back further than the establishment of the new services 
of the Farm Placement Service? 

Mr. French. Oh, yes. It really covers two seasons, two farming 
years. Of course, you understand very little is going on here during 
the summer. 


Mr. Tipton. Will you describe briefly for us the new service that 
has been set up for handling the farm labor? 

Mr. French. This was set up to have a man in each of the migra- 
tory camps. We have four camps here in this county and another 
one is just about completed — five altogether. We have had three 
men working on this program, one at Camp Okeechobee, one at Camp 
Osceola and one at Camp Everglades. One of them reported here on 
December 15 and the rest on January 1. 

Mr. Tipton. What are their duties? 

Mr. French. What they have been doing, of course, is trying to 
send labor from one point where it isn't needed to another where it is. 
In this particular county there are two different agricultural areas, one 
of them by the lake, which we usually refer to as the Glades, and the 
other the coastal area. As a rule, they overlap — that is, I mean the 
harvesting season in these areas overlaps — but there is a good deal of 
labor going back and forth from one to the other. Recently, for ex- 
ample, I have had my man from Camp Everglades working down on 
the east coast, because the east coast was all drowned out by a very 
heavy rain in January. I have tried to have him send the labor back 
to the Glades where it is needed now. By having these Farm Place- 
ment men in the different sections of the Glades, they can frequently 
get a bunch of laborers from one side to where they need them on the 
other, and vice versa. Of course, then job is primarily keeping in 
contact with the growers and getting them labor when they want it. 
They have done quite a bit in getting the labor that lives at the 
migratory camps to work a little more steadily. That is our chief 
problem here, getting laborers to work. If they work 2 or 3 days a 
week, they figure that's enough. However, since we have been out 
there, I believe that the percent of time all the labor in the area worked 
has greatly increased, I mean the number of days per week. 

Mr. Tipton. You mentioned that one of the jobs was to distribute 
workers between areas. How about the distribution of workers 
between farmers in a given area? 

wage up-bidding 

Mr. French. Of course, that is an integral part of it. Here is one 
thing we have done. There are a number of problems there, in rela- 
tion to bean picking particularly. One is that they can't start picking 
beans as a rule, until 10 or 11 o'clock because of the dew on the vines. 
That is somewhat alleviated now because they have a canning plant 
and they can pick those beans earlier. That really adds about 40 per- 
cent to the labor, as far as bean picking is concerned, because they get 
and extra 3 or 4 hours' work that they can't do on beans picked to 


ship. Another problem is the fact that the grower wants to pick his 
beans when the market is just right. Therefore, they all want labor 
at the same time. If you could, for example, just take your acreage 
of beans that you have to pick, and the number of workers available, 
and could divide those up, picking one field, then another and another, 
of course, you could get along with a very small percent of what you 
actually need when they all want to pick the same day. In other 
words, everyone wants to pick the same day, when the market is good 
and beans are just right. Beans don't last long. They have to be 
picked when ready, and the result is a terrible shortage one day and 
the next day plenty of surplus labor. It isn't like the sugarcane crop, 
for example, where it will last, where it doesn't have to be done any 
particular day. That way you can divide up work and cut one day 
after the other, but perishable vegetables have to be picked when they 
are ready and the market is right. Another evil has grown up because, 
when a man goes into Negro quarters to get help, he is afraid there 
isn't going to be enough and he will grab all he can. He will take 
twice as many as he needs and will leave some other fellow without 
any. A problem that developed very strongly last fall was the grow- 
ers bidding against each other. They are afraid they are not going 
to get enough laborers, and many times a truck full of Negroes is un- 
loaded four or five times. They load up on a truck and start out, 
and another grower sees them and asks what they are getting. He is 
told "25 cents" and he says "I will pay you 30" and they will unload 
from one truck to another. The same process occurs three or four 
times before they get out of the quarters. This bidding against each 
other is, of course, worst at the peak seasons — or days — and was 
especially bad last fall. I understand there has been some of it re-* 
cently, but I haven't seen it personally, so I don't know. 

Recently farm-labor rates have stayed at a fairly constant level. 
The market has been fairly good. Everything was frozen out on 
March 1 in the Glades, practically everything, and it was necessary to 
replant, of course. The replanting has been continuing right on, 
in fact, as late as last week. I don't know how the last plantings are 
going to come out because we have certain weather problems later 
on in the summer. There was very little going on in the Glades for 
that period between March 1, when they replanted, and 6 weeks later, 
when they started picking. At that time, however, they needed them 
on the coast and we shunted labor from the Glades to the coast. 
Then, a couple of weeks ago — I don't remember the date — the 15th 
or 16th or around that time, everything practically was wiped out 
here in the coastal area just before beans were ready to pick. There 
was quite a lot of damage, so a lot of that labor got away. As a 
matter of fact, a lot of it has been hauled north. There have been a 
great many trucks in here from Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, 
and other places. 

Mr. Tipton. Taking that labor north? 

Mr. French. Yes. 

Miss Pascal. Has the labor been going north earlier this year than 
in previous years? 

Mr. French. I don't believe so. It seems earlier to the grower 
because our market is later this year, because of that big storm in 
January on the coast and they replanted. That makes the last crop 
come in considerably later than usual. Then they had this frost out 


in the Glades on March 1 and they replanted there and that made it 
later. The new canning plant has now entered the picture. Growers 
have just recently planted 600 acres for the canning plant much 
later than they do ordinarily. Therefore, I think the labor is going 
north about the usual time but the crop is lasting later here and the 
grower gets the impression that labor is going north earlier. April 
is always a bad month. That's our worst month for getting labor 
because they start moving north in March. 


Mr. Tipton. Has the Employment Service made any attemopt or 
conferred with growers in an attempt to make arrangements for 
distributing labor among farmers? 

Mr. French. Oh, yes; we have. We have made a good deal of 
headway there, as far as promises go, and to some extent in actuality 
also. Heretofore there has been too much of a tendency for a grower 
who has his own quarters and has his own Negroes to try to hold them. 
He was afraid if they went somewhere else he wouldn't get them back. 
He furnishes them houses, and so forth, and he considered them his 
own hands and didn't want to let them go anywhere else. But we 
have found a very good cooperative spirit recently since we have been 
working with them. We have had innumerable meetings with 
groups of growers and we have pointed out those points. They all 
agree to them and we have had men call us up and say, "I am not 
going to be using my hands tomorrow. You can have them for 
someone else if you want to." W r e have made very satisfactory pro- 
gress along those lines, in fact, a lot better than I thought we would. 
The difficulty is that a grower, when he is up against it, is willing to 
do anything, but it is too late. I have been preaching over a year 
now to get some kind of an agreement — if not an organization — and 
they finally got so far in one meeting as to have everybody sign an 
agreement that they would all pay the same rates and work the same 
hours, and so forth. It lasted only a day or so. 

Later, at another meeting, they even appointed a committee to 
form an organization. The thing I am trying to get them to do is to 
have an organization. I don't care whether it is a tight organization 
or just an agreement between them. We should know what labor 
will be needed so we could form a labor pool and assign workers to 
the growers. They have gone so far as to appoint a committee and 
we have met with them a number of times, but they have never got a 
plan actually working. However, they are in a much more receptive 
mood toward organization than they have ever been before. I think 
the growers are sold on us, so far as that goes. In fact, I have letters, 
one in particular from a big grower, and an influential one, who was 
very skeptical. In a meeting we had last December he was very 
skeptical. Later, he wrote this letter and said that he believed in fur- 
nishing flowers to the living instead of the dead, and went ahead and 
furnished a few flowers. He was originally skeptical on two things — 
the Employment Service and the migratory camps — and we gave 
him a little object lesson on the migratory camps and converted him. 
He made the statement at that time that the Government was doing 
too much for the laborers and they would just lay around there, they 
didn't have to work and wouldn't work. He also made that statement 


later to Mr. Jones, our Farm Placement man at Camp Okeechobee. 
Jones took him in the car with him and went all over the camp and 
they could not find one Negro loafing in the camp. This grower said 
"I will take back what I said". This sort of thing has happened time 
and time again. We have carried the torch for the migratory camps 
a great deal because they have been a wonderful help. I think the 
growers in the immediate vicinity recognize that, not all of them, but 
the big majority of them. In fact, a lot of them are keeping their own 
hands in there now and going in in the morning and getting them. 

Mr. Tipton. Then, on the whole, the Employment Service has had 
the cooperation of the Glades farmers this year? 

Mr. French. Oh, yes; this year, on the whole, they have been very 
cooperative. I believe they are very well sold on us. 


Mr. Tipton. Can you give us an estimate of the number of place- 
ments of agricultural laborers made by the Service this season? 

Mr. French. I can give you a figure' as to specific placements on 
specific orders that we have actually assigned. To date that would 
be 2,777 since January. That would not be anywhere near the total 
figure though. For example, when we sent two or three truckloads 
over from one of the camps to the coastal area awhile back, dozens 
and dozens of laborers went over there in their own j alopies. The same 
thing is always true. Lots of times, where we just haven't had person- 
nel to dig them up, we have told growers where they could get certain 
groups. " Of course, we have no records of these, we get no credit for 
these placements. There are hundreds of this kind, but the figure I 
gave you was for placements actually made on specific orders. Then, 
of course, we have our records on those brought in by clearance 
through the Employment Service, but not specifically by the Farm 
Placement Service. 

Mr. Tipton. Then, in all cases in which you made these place- 
ments, there would be additional people who went along, not through 
the Employment Service, but because of the Employment Service s 

Mr. French. Oh, yes; unquestionably. Probably an equal number, 
anyway, lots of times more. 

interstate clearances 

Mr. Tipton. You said that you could give us figures on numbers 
brought into the State through clearance? 

Air. French. Yes. I am referring now primarily to the sugar com- 
pany. We had a clearance order for 3,000. These other States have 
sent in, through our efforts and through the sugar company — that is, 
the company has sent then drivers after them and they have recruited 
some and cleared them through the Employment Service offices else- 
where. We have brought in, roughly speaking, 2,000, but the work 
was all done in the other States through our clearance orders. 

Mr. Tipton. Can you tell us what success you had in getting your 
orders filled on the other end, that is, in other States. 

Mr. French. We never got enough — about 1,000 short of what 
they wanted. The sugar company has been 1,000 short all year. As 


»,. matter of fact, enough were brought in, as far as that goes, but after 
the sugar company has brought them in, the bean growers get them. 

Mr. Tipton. Why? 

Mr. French. In the first place, sugarcane cutting is what the 
Negro calls "powerful regular work." In other words, they work all 
•day and they work every day. They don't have to work every day — 
there is nothing to make them. The crews work every day, but the 
individuals don't have to. Some of them work and some don't, but, 
as soon as they have been down here for a while, they meet some of 
these other Negroes who tell them how much easier it is to pick beans 
4 or 5 hours a day and only work 2 or 3 days a week and make all they 
want to. That's the nature of the migrant Negro laborer down here. 
He wants to make just so much and very few of them are interested 
in working continuously. 

Mr. Tipton. With bean prices as they have been this season, he 
can make as much as he wants with less work? 

Mr. French. At times they were paying very high wages. They 
got up as high as 50 cents a hamper when there was a big crop and a 
high market, and, at 50 cents a hamper, they would pick five or six 
hampers and figure they had enough for the day. 


Miss Pascal. What is the process of recruiting workers from other 
States for the Sugar Corporation? 

Mr. French. Our clearance order goes out to the other States. 
On this clearance order we list the different drivers in the different 
States and localities of the States and ask that our U. S. E. S. offices 
notify these drivers when* they have a sufficient number to transport 
down here. Then the driver may run across, and I expect always 
does run across, others that our offices have not contacted. He takes 
them in to the Employment Service also and they register, too. So 
we get his individual efforts plus the Employment Service's efforts. 
Also Mr. Von Mach, the company's personnel manager, contacts the 
Employment Office, and he goes with the Employment Office repre- 
sentative, or he goes alone. He has a great many sources of labor 
because he has been doing this a great many years — knows the indi- 
viduals in the States, so it's really a combination of effort. 

Mr. Tipton. Would it be too much trouble to give us those clear- 
ance orders which have been filed, broken down on a State basis? 

Mr. French. Here is the list of out-of-State clearance placements 
of cane cutters for this year: 

Number of 

placements on 



Alabama ' 203 

Arkansas 42 

Georgia 133 

Mississippi 388 

Missouri 112 

South Carolina 209 

Tennessee 450 

Total 1, 537 


Miss Pascal. Has the Employment Service made any other 
requisitions for workers from other States? 

Mr. French. You mean for agricultural labor? 

Mr. Tipton. In addition to cane cutters. 

Mr. French. No; nothing; except for cane workers of one kind or 


Miss Pascal. You said before that you felt the efforts of the 
Employment Service had been helpful in improving the distribution 
of agricultural labor in the different south Florida regions, and you 
also told us about some of the problems of distributing workers 
among the farmers within a region. What sort of problems do you 
find in distributing workers between the different agricultural areas 
in south Florida? 

Mr. French. We had a very disappointing problem there recently. 
We anticipated a terrible shortage over in the Glades beginning 
around the 21st of this month and which undoubtedly would have 
developed had it not been for this heavy rain, This rain destroyed 
in some sections as high as 80 percent of the bean crop, while in 
others it only hurt around 15 percent. In the aggregate, I expect it 
would run — well, I don't know, but my own idea is it probably ran 
40 or 50 percent. Therefore, when everything on the coastal area 
was ruined and we expected this stringent shortage out here, I ar- 
ranged for one of our Farm Placement men to work on the coastal 
area where there wasn't any work, to get that labor over to the Glades. 
We were held up 2 or 3 days trying to get a tire-retread approval 
which we were supposed to have, and, on account of that trouble, 
we lost a couple of days. When we finally got a man down there, we 
sent over 530 laborers on trucks over into the Glades area. Last 
Friday we had about 500 more for whom the growers were supposed 
to send trucks over, but for some reason the trucks didn't show up. 
We had about 500 of them ready to go. While our man was out 
telephoning and trying to find out what was wrong with the trucks, 
two trucks from Virginia and three of four from New Jersey came in 
there and picked up 200 or 300 of the laborers. They took them and 
we lost them. We probably lost between 500 or 800 laborers which 
we should have in the Glades right now because of the fact that on 4 
consecutive days the Glades growers failed to send their trucks. 

There are a number of reasons why they failed to come. Picking 
got especially heavy and some of the men who were going to send 
trucks were labor contractors who had hurry-up orders and had to 
use their trucks for transporting the local labor out there, but the 
result was that for 4 consecutive days they failed to send the trucks 
over. That meant just that much time wasted. Nobody's fault in 
particular, but that has been one problem. Now, another problem 
exists, and I am afraid it is going to be serious, because there is a great 
deal of unrest now, particularly in the white packing-house labor. 
They are scared to death of this gasoline ration and they are going to 
start for home, probably next week before the gasoline ration goes in, 
and I anticipate a big exodus. I anticipate really an alarming exodus 
of workers very shortly now because they are afraid of the gasoline 
ration. Unless something is done to assure farm workers that they 


can get somewhere else when the season ends, they are going to go 
while they can get the gasoline. 

Miss Pascal. Do you know whether any provisions are being 


Mr. French. I don't know. I suggested to the growers they get 
busy on it. It is their problem, I believe. It will be our problem, of 
course, but it is their problem right now. It will be our problem next 
week. If they do go out, the growers will lean strongly on us. We 
had a lot of plans lined up in anticipation of this shortage that we 
would have used if the storm had not come. When we went on war- 
time, the people out there postponed their school opening time and 
set it back an hour. They have been opening their schools at 9:30 
in order to have it "the same time as it was when it was 8:30." So 
we went to the school board and asked them if they couldn't advance 
the time 2 hours, start at 7:30 and close at 12, so that the older chil- 
dren could pick beans in the afternoon. Mr. Widell, the school board 
chairman, and Mr. Leonard, the superintendent, were very coopera- 
tive and arranged to advance school opening time an hour and a half. 
If they started at 7:30, however, they would have to start the school 
busses while it was still dark and they considered that dangerous to 
the kids. They advanced it one hour and a half, advanced it to 8 
o'clock to dismiss at 12:30, which would give practically all afternoon 
for bean picking. That was one emergency measure. Then I had 
everything lined up to get people who had never done that type of 
work to go out there and pick beans as a patriotic measure in order to 
get this food picked, particularly since the canning plant's entire 
output is already contracted for by the Army and Navy. We also 
made arrangements for parking trucks here in West Palm Beach 
overnight to growers could come in every morning and take the 
workers out, bring them back at night, leave their trucks here ready 
for the next morning's trip. Through the cooperation of the American 
Legion we have a place arranged to park their trucks overnight. 
Then I have a number of leads among colored leaders here so that, if 
it does get so bad they have to transport them back every day, we 
could probably pick up 300 or 400, women particularly, to pick beans 
on very short notice. We had everything lined up in case the short- 
age got critical, but on account of the storm, it didn't get as hot as I 
was afraid. I still think next week will be bad when the exodus 

Mr. Tipton. You haven't found it necessary to put these plans 
into effect yet? 

Mr. French. Net yet. 

Mr. Tipton. But they are available for next week or next year if 
the same situation arises? 

Mr. French. Yes. 


Mr. Tipton. Have you run into any difficulties or objections, on the 
part of the growers in one area, to your taking labor out of that area 
for use in other areas? 


Mr. French. Yes, we have. There is always that objection. It 
was apparent in the Glades this year — they knew they would not have 
any demand for from 3 to 4 weeks. I mean, the crops weren't ready. 
They didn't need them and they were badly needed on the coast. We 
started sending them over to the coastal area, and we met a lot of 
objections. Finally I got one of the influential men to call a meeting 
of the growers one morning, and I went out there to sell them on the 
idea. As the meeting developed, it was more my telling them what 
I was going to do for them when their shortage came, rather than 
selling them on giving up labor, became, at that time, work was 
beginning to pick up out there and they were already experiencing 
a little bit of stringency. In other words, it had gone so long then it 
wasn't advisable to send anj^one else over. But there was some kick- 
ing on it. However, here is an interesting reaction. Last week I 
heard from a number of angles emanating from the growers that they 
thought it had been a very good idea. The laborers had gone away 
and worked, and had now come back to the Glades and were spending 
their money there and were available for work there. Some of them 
mentioned the fact that they were resentful originally, but thought it 
was a good idea now. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you know whether the same situation existed so 
far as the Pompano growers were concerned when they had their big 
flood this winter? 

Mr. French. The laborers we sent over there were for the Pompano 
area for crops planted just after they had their flood there. At the 
time of the Pompano flood there was not the demand anywhere else. 
It was between crops in the Glades, and there was only a demand for 
cane cutters. We did try to get cane cutters but we had no luck. 
The bean pickers are not going to cut cane for reasons before men- 

Miss Pascal. We heard some comments down in south Dade 
County on the subject of the flood. Growers were complaining that 
the Broward County people were reluctant to have their labor go 
down to south Dade County at that time. 

Mr. French. I think that is always true. They are afraid they 
won't get them back. Broward wasn't in my territory, of course, 
but the same thing is true. It is going to take years, not just the one 
season, of hard work to sell them on the idea that they are going to 
have to cooperate. They are going to have to use the available labor 
that there is, not the labor available that there usually is. Those 
things are awfully hard to get into everybody's consciousness. It is a 
serious proposition to the grower. He has beans and knows they are 
going to have to be picked at a certain time and he is going to fight 
for what he thinks is best to insure having them picked when the time 
comes. He hasn't yet realized it is a question of keeping the workers 
busy wherever they are needed. There is little antagonism, it is more 

Mr. Tipton. Then, in short, that fear of letting labor get away is a 
problem to you, but gradually you are making some progress towards 
its solution? 

Mr. French. I think we have undoubtedly made some progress. 
You see, up until this year, I have had to do everything practically 
singlehanded. We didn't have any personnel to do it, and I have 
had lots of meetings with groups and individuals trying to sell them 


on the general idea. I have been harping on that for about a year 
now, and it is beginning to bear fruit. 


Mr. Tipton. I wonder if you could tell us something about the 
relationship of relief, welfare and W. P. A. activities to the labor 
supply problem? 

Mr. French. We have a working agreement with both the welfare 
agency and the W. P. A. The W. P. A. will, at any time, cut off their 
clients if we have jobs for them — provided that it doesn't mean going 
somewhere else. In other words, if we had trucks going out every 
morning and they could be here tomorrow morning to go to work, 
they would cut them off, but where it means going out there to stay, 
the rule is not so ironclad. It would depend on family conditions. 
The same thing is true with the State welfare board. They are in 
touch with me two or three times a week and keep up on things. 
Anyone who applies for relief, they send down to us and we try to get 
them a job. Most of them don't want to go out to the Glades per- 
manently. The growers will come in and haul them out to stay there, 
but most of the laborers don't want to do that. I don't think you 
can make them move to another locality yet. I don't know what the 
ruling on that would be if it got very bad. There are about 95 down 
at Delray and Boynton today who are applying for these grants from 
the Farm Security Administration. I am not very familiar with their 
set-up, but Mr. Boudet, who has charge of it, called me yesterday 
and said he had these people and they are making arrangements now 
to send trucks over and pick up as many as he might have this after- 
noon to take them to the Glades. 

Mr. Tipton. In working with farmers, have you heard any com- 
plaints about the way in which relief is administered? 

Mr. French. Not so much recently. That used to be the big talk 
all the time. They would say "The Government houses them in a 
migratory camp and feeds them with W. P. A. and relief. Of course, 
you can't get them to work." That was their talk, particularly a 
year ago. I made a pretty careful investigation of that situation some 
time ago, and I interviewed everybody that was in line for commodi- 
ties. In the whole bunch, there was not a single person who could 
cut cane. They were crippled, or old, or diseased, or had only one 
eye, or something wrong with them. This year there has been no 
relief in the Glades section, except for cripples and so forth. Inci- 
dentally, we have no colored people out there drawing unemployment 
compensation. We made that relief situation survey last year. 


Mr. Tipton. Will the establishment of the cannery in Belle Glade 
tend to stabilize employment opportunities in any way and will it 
have the tendency to lengthen the possible working day for bean 

Mr. French. It will do that when the open market is so low that 
the grower can sell to the canning plants. The canning plant has 
some beans under contract. They have just finished planting 600 


acres under contract, but the work still will be irregular. This is 
solely a bean canning plant. 

Mr. Tipton. Will the length of the working day be extended? 

Mr. French. When you are packing beans for shipment you can't 
pick them when there is a dew, but for the canning plant you can. 

Mr. Tipton. In other words, they can go to work earlier? 

Mr. French. They can go to work at 7, instead of 10 or 11. I fig- 
ure it increases the labor supply by 40 percent. That wouldn't be 
true except when the market was low enough so the growers would 
sell to the canning plant. 


Miss Pascal. Do you know whether it is a practice for the employers 
down here to make arrangements with employers of farm labor in 
Georgia and Alabama for a regular seasonal shuttling of labor back 
and forth? 

Mr. French. That is done to a great extent, but I have had little 
actual contact with it. I don't know anything definite on it. Here's 
a case in point right now. Here is a man. He has 20 families, and he 
is going to finish up with them this week. He would like to keep them 
down here this summer, but they do not want to go out in the Glades 
for just a short period. What I am trying to do is talk them into 
going out there a month if I definitely promise that I can get them to 
New Jersey the following month. 


Mr. Tipton. Do you handle many orders through the Employment 
Service offices for truckers who come in here from the North? 

Mr. French. We are getting several of them now. We only have 
one clearance order that has come through at the present time, although 
there are two men down here working for a farm group — I think it is in 
New Jersey. In other words, the growers' cooperative around Tren- 
ton, N. J., have formed some kind of a farm bureau and they have 
engaged a man down here to recruit labor. He has contacted us and 
wants us to clear him and help him. He has a number of them all 
ready. I told him I couldn't clear any of them unless we had a clear- 
ance order originating back in Jersey so, when he left here Friday, he 
was going to get a clearance order started up there. I know of a case 
of a man up in Pennsylvania who sent money and tires to a man 
down here to recruit for him. I have reports of trucks that have left 
here for Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, and Maryland, but they 
have not worked through us. 

Miss Pascal. Is this practice of sending trucks down new this year 
or has that been general in previous years? 

Mr. French. Always has been. 

Miss Pascal. Is it more pronounced this year? 

Mr. French. I don't believe there are any more of them this year. 
I don't know. We just knew it was happening heretofore. Hereto- 
fore labor was not needed so late, so we have no basis for comparison. 
That is, I haven't. 

Miss Pascal. Has there been any demand for facilitating the impor- 
tation of labor from the Bahamas? 


Mr. French. Several people have asked us about it, just mentioned 
it, nothing definite or no specific request, just a suggestion. "Why 
can't we get them from the Bahamas?" I know of no concerted 


Miss Pascal. Do you have any estimate of the number of laborers 
who come down to south Florida annually? 

Mr. French. I have an estimate, yes. Just how accurate it is, 
I don't know. For this area only, by that I mean the cane sections 
of Palm Beach County, Hendry County, and Glades County, and the 
agricultural sections of Palm Beach, Broward, and Dade Counties, 
I think that 25,000 migratory laborers is a conservative estimate. 

Mr. Tipton. At one time or another during the season? 

Mr. French. No, at the same time. In other words, they will work 
Miami, Homestead, Broward County, and they will work here. There 
will be 25,000 migrants working in these five counties at sometime 
during the season. Whether that includes everybody that comes 
down, I don't know. 

Mr. Tipton. Does this 25,000 include all the women who don't work 
and children too young to work or is this just the workers? 

Mr. French. I am talking about workers of one kind or another. 
The average bean grower would rather have women and children 
than men. 

Miss Pascal. What is the approximate ratio of white to Negro 
labor requirements in the Glades area? 

Mr. French. It is by far heavier on the colored. The colored labor 
is used for field labor, picking and all that. In other words, as far as 
labor goes normally, whites are only used in the packing houses, and 
canning plants. Practically all harvesting is done by colored. It 
would be just a rough guess. I would say 90 percent of them are 

Miss Pascal. Could you give an estimate of how many laborers 
would be in this area all the year round? 

Mr. French. Six thousand would be my guess for the permanent 
labor supply, that is, in this area. They don't live in one place, but 
move around in this whole south Florida area. It is my personal 
opinion that, if an agriculture labor pool for the Atlantic coast could 
be formed, with authority to direct this pool and financial and mechan- 
ical arrangements made to move it, a system of area clearance would 
go a long way toward solving the agricultural labor problems as they 
affect this area. We have, in effect, a similar area clearance, on a 
small scale, in our southern counties^ in Florida. It is not entirely 
satisfactory because of overlapping requirements, but it has proven to 
be the basis for an adequate supply of labor under ordinary conditions. 
Similar arrangements extending from the agricultural Eastern States 
down through the coastal States and into Florida would undoubtedly 
prove most beneficial. 

women workers 

Miss Pascal. What is the approximate ratio of labor requirements 
for white men and white women in the packing houses in this area? 
Mr. French. More women, approximately 2 to 1. 

60396— 42— pt. 33 21 


Miss Pascal. Do they require more women? 

Mr. French. I don't think that's a requirement as much as it is a 
question of availability. There are frequently two women to one man 
in a family and this is work a woman can do. In other words, a man 
may be working for the city or a light company or something like that, 
but the women folks work in the packing houses. In the canning 
plant they placed an order with us for two shifts — day and night — 
for 75 women and 35 men in each shift. They prefer women, except 
for the heavier work. 

Miss Pascal. Could you tell us how the packing house workers are 

Mr. French. They are paid by the hour here for practically every- 
thing except tomatoes, which are packed on piece-work basis, but we 
don't have a very heavy tomato crop this year in the Glades. There 
are more on the coast but they were badly damaged or ruined this year. 
Out in the Glades practically everything else is on the hourly basis. 
They are paid by the hour when the packing house has produce. 
When the belts are running then they are paid. They may go to work, 
but if the beans give out for some reason, they are not paid for that 
time. It would be a short day, rather than a split day, I think, as a 

Mr. Tipton. Would you say that that might be the reason why the 
workers seem to prefer celery to beans? 

Mr. French. No, I wouldn't make that statement because I don't 
know that they do. I would think it would be the other way. A 
celery packing house is an awfully wet place. 

Mr. Tipton. You have described for us the set-up in the Farm 
Placement Service this year. Do you have any additional plans or 
changes in plans for next year? 

Mr. French. I know what has been announced. The plans for 
this particular area call for a Farm Placement office in Belle Glade 
which will handle that whole area. It will be an independent office, 
not under this office as it has been this year. The plans are to add one 
man to this office to work the coastal area, and an entire office in the 
Belle Glade area. 

Mr. Tipton. How many people were they going to have in the office 
out there? 

Mr. French. It was contemplated to start with three, but I believe 
the plan is that the total will eventually be nine people. There is a 
big area there from Pahokee to Clewiston. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you know whether or not the Employment Service 
in Broward and Dade Counties will be expanded at the same time? 

Mr. French. I understand there are 16 new offices to be added in 
the State of Florida but I don't know just where. That's been an- 
nounced in the press. I don't know anything yet that isn't general 
public knowledge. 

Miss Pascal. And the Farm Placement people in Belle Glade would 
be working out of the migratory camps? 

Mr. French. No, the plan is to establish an office in town rather 
than in the migratory camps. The set-up there has been for the 
F. S. A. to have an Employment Service representative in each migra- 
tory camp, but I don't know if the office is to take the place of that. I 
presume there would still be some one of that nine assigned to the 


migratory camps. That is guesswork only, and is not official, but I 
think there should be. 

Miss Pascal. Thank you, Mr. French. 

APRIL 26, 1942 

Mr. Tipton. Would you give your name and address for the record? 

Mr. Singleton. Virgil Singleton, Belle Glade, Fla. 

Miss Pascal. You live here in Belle Glade? 

Mr. Singleton. Yes, ma'am. 

Miss Pascal. Do you live in Belle Glade all the year or just during 
the winter season? 

Mr. Singleton. I just come down for the winter season. 

Mr. Tipton. How many winters have you been down here? 

Mr. Singleton. I came down in 1932. 

Mr. Tipton. And you have been coming down here every winter 
since 1932? 

Mr. Singleton. Yes. 

Miss Pascal. Where did you come from originally? 

Mr. Singleton. Valdosta, Ga. 

Miss Pascal. What did you do up in Georgia? 

Mr. Singleton. I farmed . 

Miss Pascal. You had a farm? 

Mr. Singleton. No; I worked on my father's farm. 

Miss Pascal. A cotton farm? 

Mr. Singleton. Yes, ma'am ; cotton and corn. 

Mr. Tipton. Did your father own the farm? 

Mr. Singleton. No, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. Sharecropped it? 

Mr. Singleton. Yes;sharecrop. 

Mr. Tipton. What kind of work have you been doing down here? 

Mr. Singleton. Driving a tractor. 

Mr. Tipton. Have you been working for the same man most of the 

Mr. Singleton. No; I worked for three different parties here. 


Miss Pascal. What do you do during the summers? 

Mr. Singleton. I work in potatoes and canning-house work. 

Miss Pascal. Where? 

Mr. Singleton. I work in potatoes in South Carolina, and North 
Carolina, and Virginia. Then I go to Delaware to the canning house, 

Miss Pascal. What do they can there? 

Mr. Singleton. Where I go at they can tomatoes, corn, and peas, 
but they have other factories where they can other things. 

Mr. Tipton. What time of the year do you leave Belle Glade? 

Mr. Singleton. I leave Belle Glade the last of May. 

Miss Pascal. And then you go up to the Carolinas and Virginia? 

Mr. Singleton. Yes, ma'am. 

Miss Pascal. How long are you usually there? 

Mr. Singleton. I was in Carolina last year 4 weeks. 


Miss Pascal. Then you went up to Virginia? 

Mr. Singleton. I was up in Virginia 5 weeks. 

Miss Pascal. Then you are in Virginia until about the end of July? 

Mr. Singleton. Yes, ma'am. 

Miss Pascal. And you go up to Delaware from there? 

Mr. Singleton. Yes, ma'am ; and work for Phillips. 

Miss Pascal. In what town is that cannery? 

Mr. Singleton. Newark, Del. 

Miss Pascal. How long do you stay up at Phillips? 

Mr. Singleton. Seven weeks. 

Miss Pascal. And then where do you go? 

Mr. Singleton. I come back to Belle Glade. 

Miss Pascal. What time do you get back here? 

Mr. Singleton. About the 15th of October. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you usually work for the same people up there in 
North Carolina and Virginia? 

Mr. Singleton. Yes; I have been so far. 

Mr. Tipton. You came down here in 1932 and every year since 
1932 you have been going on this same trip in the summer, up to 
North Carolina, Virginia, then Delaware and back down to Florida? 

Mr. Singleton. Yes, sir. Every year since 1932. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you have a family? 

Mr. Singleton. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. How many in the family? 

Mr. Singleton. Four of us. 

Miss Pascal. Your wife and yourself and two children. 

Mr. Singleton. Yes. 

travels by truck 

Mr. Tipton. How do you travel up North during the summers? 

Mr. Singleton. I been going up on a truck. Last year I went 
with Norman Hall. I drove his truck up. 

Mr. Tipton. And I suppose you take a load of other people along? 

Mr. Singleton. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. How much does it cost you to go up there and then 
come back down again when you go in someone's else truck? 

Mr. Singleton. I don't know. I never figured that out. We 
just go from season to season. I never checked up on it. He takes 
us free and the only thing I have to pay is for eats. He doesn't 
charge us anything. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you live on the truck en route to South Carolina, 
sleep on it overnight? 

Mr. Singleton. We just go straight on through. We leave from 
here tonight and will be there tomorrow night. 

Mr. Tipton. When do you sleep? 

Mr. Singleton. We don't sleep, just go straight on through. 

Mr. Tipton. Do you stop to eat? 

Mr. Singleton. We stop at Jacksonville, Savannah. We don't 
stop any more then until we get to Charleston. 


Miss Pascal. Do you make arrangements with these people that 
you work for every year before you go up? 
Mr. Singleton. Yes, ma'am. 


Mr. Tipton. Is this Mr. Hall that you mention a labor contractor? 

Mr. Singleton. Well, he got this job last year from a fellow, 
Mr. M. C. Collins, and I don't know whether he is going this year 
or not for he don't speak of it. He is a laboring man himself. He 
works at the factory right along with me. 

Mr. Tipton. This Mr. Hall made all of the arrangements last 

Mr. Singleton. That's right. 

Mr. Tipton. When you leave Belle Glade for the Carolinas you 
have always gone with someone who acts as the agent in making 
arrangements with the farmers up there for your employment? 

Mr. Singleton. That's right. 

Mr. Tipton. Now, when you get up there and go to work for the 
farmer, does the farmer pay you your wages or does he pay the wages 
to this fellow that you go with? 

Mr. Singleton. He pays me the wages. 

Mr. Tipton. So that you are working independently for him, but 
this fellow that you go with makes all the arrangements? 

Mr. Singleton. That's right. 

Miss Pascal. Does he also make arrangements for you up in Vir- 

Mr. Singleton. Yes, ma'am. 

Mr. Tipton. The same man? 

Mr. Singleton. Yes; the same man. He did last year, the first 
year I went with him, but I have been going up the road ever since 
1932 with someone. 

Miss Pascal. And the person with whom you go up north during 
the summer also makes arrangements for vou to work with the 
Phillips Co.? 

Mr. Singleton. That's right. 

Miss Pascal. What are you planning to do this summer? 

Mr. Singleton. Going back to Phillips. 

Miss Pascal. Have you made arrangements with anyone? 

Mr. Singleton. I am going to drive my own car this time. 

Miss Pascal. You have your own car? 

Mr. Singleton. Yes, ma'am. 

Miss Pascal. And will you stop off to work in the Carolinas and 

Mr. Singleton. No, ma'am, going straight to Newark. 

Miss Pascal. And you have work there all summer? 

Mr. Singleton. Yes, ma'am; I have work there until the 15th of 

Miss Pascal. Have you made arrangements with the Phillips Co.? 
Do they say- that you will have a job there? 

Mr. Singleton. Yes, ma'am. 

Mr. Tipton. Have those arrangements been made directly with 
you, or with Mr. Hall or Mr. Collins? 

Mr. Singleton. I made arrangements with the Phillips Co. myself 
when I was up there last fall. 

Mr. Tipton. You made arrangements to come back to them this 
3 7 ear? 

Mr. Singleton. This year; yes, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. When do you expect to leave? 

Mr. Singleton. The last of May. 


Miss Pascal. How are the tires on your car? 

Mr. Singleton. Well, they are pretty good. 

Miss Pascal. You think you will be able to get up there all right? 

Mr. Singleton. Yes, ma'am. 

Mr. Tipton. Where do you live here in Belle Glade? 

Mr. Singleton. Right in Norman Hall's. Across the street. 

Mr. Tipton. Is that a rooming house? 

Mr. Singleton. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. How many families live there? 

Mr. Singleton. About 10 families. 

Mr. Tipton. You have a room there for your family? 

Mr. Singleton. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. How big is the room? 

Mr. Singleton. Ten by ten, something like that. 

Mr. Tipton. And is there water in the building? 

Mr. Singleton. Water right at the side of the building. 

Mr. Tipton. Are there any sanitary facilities in the building? 

Mr. Singleton. Right at the back door outside, not in the building. 

Mr. Tipton. How much rent do you pay? 

Mr. Singleton. $2 a week. 

Mr. Tipton. Is the room furnished? 

Mr. Singleton. He furnishes it. 

Mr. Tipton. What does he furnish? 

Mr. Singleton. He furnishes a bed, table, two chairs and that's 
all. My wife furnishes her own linen. He furnishes everything else. 

Mr. Tipton. How about a stove? 

Mr. Singleton. I have my own stove. 

Mr. Tipton. What kind of a stove? 

Mr. Singleton. Two-burner oil stove. 

Mr. Tipton. And that room is big enough for you and your family? 

Mr. Singleton. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. That's your wife and two children? 

Mr. Singleton. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tipton. How many windows do you have in your room? 

Mr. Singleton. Two. 

Mr. Tipton. Screens on the windows? 

Mr. Singleton. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. Do all the rooms in the building have two windows? 

Mr. Singleton. No; nothing but a corner room. 

Mr. Tipton. And you have a Corner room? 

Mr. Singleton. Yes. 

Mr. Tipton. Do all the rooms have screens? 

Mr. Singleton. Yes; all of them. 

Miss Pascal. Have you ever lived out at the F. S. A. camp? 

Mr. Singleton. No, ma'am; never have. 

Miss Pascal. Have you ever been out there? 

Mr. Singleton. Yes, ma'am; I have been out there. 

Miss Pascal. Did you ever think of living out there? 

Mr. Singleton. I don't know. It is a mighty nice place out there 
all right. , 

Miss Pascal. You just thought that perhaps you might live out 
there, but never did anything about it? 


Mr. Singleton. My work is right there and I am more convenient 
getting to my work, and that is why I stay where I am. 

Miss Pascal. It is easier to get to work? 

Mr. Singleton. The man I work for is more convenient to get to 
from town. 

Miss Pascal. Thank you very much. 


Mr. Tipton. Will you please state your name, occupation, and 

Mr. Walz. George F. Walz, secretary- treasurer, Miami Production 
Credit Association, 48 West Flagler Street, Miami, Fla. 

Mr. Tipton. Mr. Walz, we wish to thank you for the statement 
which you have submitted. 

(The statement referred to is as follows:) 


In accordance with your request we are submitting a statement along the topics 
suggested in your letter, discussing same item by item as listed therein. 

(1) Production credit associations are organized under the Farm Credit Act 
of 1933 and supervised by production credit corporations, one such corporation 
being set up in each of the 12 Federal land-bank districts. Such corporations 
are acting in a supervising capacity and have subscribed to the capital stock 
of each association. The Miami Production Credit Association has capital stock 
subscribed by the Production Credit Corporation of Columbia, S. C, in the amount 
of $175,950 in the form of class A nonvoting stock, the proceeds from the sale 
of this stock having been invested in Government securities which we have