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The committee met at 10.30 o'clock a. m., Hon. Andrew J. Volstead (chairman) presiding.

The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order. We will hear you now, Mr. Hersman.


Mr. HERSMAN. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, on July 24, of this. year, I introduced H. R. 7783. On the same day Mr. Barbour of California introduced a bill that has a wording almost similar to this bill. We had in view the same objects and were inspired by the same desires; that is, to clarify the situation of the farmers in regard to collective bargaining.

I understand from the chairman that there are a number of matters that probably the committee will take into consideration and


report out in one committee bill, and that is perfectly satisfactory to myself, and I am sure it will be satisfactory to those who are interested in the same bill. What we wish to do is to clarify the situation as to the status of the farmers of this country.

This bill was introduced after many conferences with the farm organizations of the East, and we got as nearly as possible the ideas of the cooperative organizations of the West, as the long distance would permit at the time I introduced the bill.

Mr. Sapiro, of California, who represents seven or eight of our cooperative associations in California, is here to-day, and in due time he will present to you the particular problems that affect our cooperative associations of the West, that may not be entirely covered by this bill. The chairman has asked him to present his ideas in concrete form upon this matter.

I have thought it would probably not be inappropriate for me to make certain observations along the general line of farm associations and then leave the further discussion of these problems to gentlemen who are very much more competent to deal with them in a technical way than I am; there are certain phases of the cooperative problem that particularly impress me-it is not necessary for me to call your attention to the importance of agriculture to the prosperity of this Nation or to any nation. You are all familiar with the history and the cause that brought about the fall of the great empires of the world; able historians attribute their downfall to the decay of their agricultural interest. I take it that a nation's greatness and even its life depends upon having a contented and prosperous rural population. The red flag never waves in a farmer's home. He is part of the nation; he owns his home; he is interested in preserving his possessions. Neither is he a disturbing factor in industry.

I can even go so far as to say-and I believe that the greatness of any nation is in that altar erected in every farmer's home to the glory of God and to the preservation of this nation.

The farm must produce a surplus of food supplies and it must produce a surplus of healthy men, that this Nation or any other nation may succeed and prosper and live. There are thirty-five to forty millions of our population that are directly interested in farm products and who live on the farm. In reporting out a bill that affects thirty-five or forty million of the people, you certainly have a most serious duty to perform not only to this generation but also to the future generations. I know that these facts are well known to you and that your committee is deeply interested in securing the kind of laws that will more nearly accomplish these general purposes the upbuilding and the preservation of our great agricultural interests.

I thought it would not be amiss in just a few words to call your attention to cooperative marketing associations and why they are


Mr. MORGAN. Would it interfere with your line of thought if I would ask you a question right there while it is on my mind? Mr. HERSMAN. No.

Mr. MORGAN. Would this bill permit persons who are not farmers to own stock in these selling corporations?

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