JULY 5, 1941
HYDE PARK, Friday—I have just read a report made by a committee of farmers who attended the annual AAA meeting in Washington in the early part of June. I am quoting a few sentences from the preamble because I think this document is of statesmanlike quality and deserves the praise of all citizens in the nation.
"In the interest of the national welfare, we pledge ourselves to marshalling the agricultural resources of this country so as best to meet the needs of defense. In fulfilling this pledge it is essential to avoid throwing agriculture any further out of balance than is required by the necessity to meet successfully the challenge to our democratic way of life. The defense effort must succeed. The interests of any economic group must be subservient to it and inspired by a willingness to give rather than to take. As representing the farmers of the nation in respect to the program of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, we assure the people and the Government of the United States of our full compliance with this policy."
They then proceed to make their recommendations. I cannot quote them all here, but I think a few are worthy of our consideration. They apply to any business or family group when translated into other purposes, though certain things apply specifically only to people who have land which they can use.
"The strength of the nation lies in the strength of the individual families that comprise it. The security of the individual family depends on the security of the nation. During the period of defense preparedness and increased industrial activity and higher prices, farm families should, as far as possible, reduce debts to a minimum and accumulate reserves of cash and commodities."
"To keep our agriculture in a healthy condition, it is necessary for prices of farm products and industrial prices to be kept in balance."
"Adequate production by farmers should not be at unnecessary expense of conservation of land and other resources."
"That greater emphasis should be given to proper nutrition. Official records reveal that about one-third of our people are below the safety line in health largely due to inadequate and improper diet. This appalling deficiency must be corrected."
The Secretary of Agriculture, Mr. Claude Wickard, makes a special plea asking that, where we can, we reduce the consumption of cheese. We have never considered cheese an essential part of our diet, but the British are accustomed to using it in greater quantities. I am sure we will make every effort to meet any requests such as this.