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we had the market so the wholesale producer could meet the wholesale buyer at this one spot, and then go on.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much. We appreciate your coming here.
Mr. OMERBERG. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
STATEMENT OF WINFIELD L. RICK, EASTERN MORTGAGE
SERVICE CO., PHILADELPHIA, PA. Mr. Rick. Mr. Chairman, my name is Winfield L. Rick; I am here representing Eastern Mortgage Service Co., of Philadelphia. Our business is the creation, placement, and servicing of loans secured by first mortgages.
We create and service these loans for financial institutions, such as banks, insurance companies, and others desirous of investing their funds in mortgages.
During the past several years Mr. Custis, of Philadelphia, has been discussing with us the possibilities of arranging construction loans and permanent mortgages for the construction of modern wholesale full terminal markets in cities throughout the Nation.
In this connection, he recently made available to us a copy of the bill known as H. R. 8320, which we have read with a great deal of interest.
Although arranging this type of financing is rather new, we feel that the possibilities made available through this bill are sound, and with the proper effort and cooperation on the part of everyone concerned should produce the desired results for the benefit of the entire country.
Our knowledge of this phase of financing is necessarily limited, since it is still in the state of a bill, and there is therefore no act or regulation by which we can be guided.
However, in this connection, may I say that we welcome the opportunity to cooperate in arranging the financing for these projects in order to bring this program to a successful conclusion.
We offer our full resources and many years of experience, and for your further information, may I at this point give you a brief résumé of the background of Eastern Mortgage Service Co.?
Our company was founded by Mr. Wolfsohn in 1926 and incorporated in 1938. We became an approved FHA mortgagee in May 1938.
We are now creating and servicing loans for approximately 25 insurance companies and 250 banks, among others. We create and service all types of loans, including residential and commercial, FHA, VA, and conventional. Last but not least, we are now servicing more than 22,000 loans with a total unpaid balance of $155,000,000. These totals include the afore-mentioned types of loans and also include more than $40,000,000 of rental housing projects insured under section 608 of the National Housing Act.
As a result of our discussing this program of financing new and modern markets, we appreciate the soundness of these proposed investments, and feel that investors will welcome the opportunity to participate.
We further recognize that the apparent savings effected by modern facilities will go a long way toward the meeting of operating costs of such markets. I do not know what more I may add at this time, except to say again that we are sincerely interested in helping to bring this program to a successful conclusion, and will welcome the opportunity to cooperate with you.
The CHAIRMAN. That is very fine and we thank you very much for that splendid statement and appreciate your coming here and showing interest in the bill. Mr. Rick. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there anyone else present who would like to be heard right now?
Mr. CAKE. Yes, sir.
STATEMENT OF E. W. CAKE, NORFOLK, VA.
The CHAIRMAN. Please state your name, for the record.
Mr. CAKE. Mr. Chairman, my name is E. W. Cake, representing the group in Norfolk starting a market there. I am executive secretary of the Potato and Vegetable Growers Association of Virginia. I am also treasurer of Tidewater Regional Market, which is attempting to start a new nonprofit market in the Norfolk area. We are incorporated as a farmers' cooperative association.
I would just like to add my testimony to the testimony of the number of men who have appeared here, telling you about local situations. I am from the firing line also, in trying to assist in the financing of a new market for the city of Norfolk. We have been trying to get a new Norfolk market for about 20 years now and have not been able to do it. We do have a market authority bill which will help us, if any financing arrangement is forthcoming, as Mr. Frost told you so eloquently a little while ago.
However, I would like to say this: We cannot blame it all on our decadent Southern States or municipalities. There are local situations which prevent help at times.
For example, the present administration in Norfolk, I feel is very progressive. They have been very helpful, but there are a lot of improvements needed in Norfolk. They are spending about $10,000,000 on water storage and other things, and the city manager is quite ready, he tells us, and interested, in seeing better market facilities for Norfolk. But these other things must have priority, and he does not see any time in the future when they can help the financing of a new market.
Norfolk wishes, and other cities wish that their city fathers felt the importance of new, modern market facilities, as much as the farmers did. I believe if they knew how much extra business it would bring to their cities, and make the farmers of their areas more prosperous, through better facilities, they would give it a higher priority, instead of a low priority.
I think city officials oftentimes overlook the importance of modern facilities that would make the farmers of their territory much more prosperous.
We continually compare our Norfolk area with, for example, the Atlanta area, which is an example where they have done a good job in the way of market facilities. We have more population in our wholesale trade market area than they do in the city of Atlanta. They have a market there whose produce business now is approximately $32,000,000 a year. Our produce business in the city of Norfolk, where we have no markets at all except a few trucks parked on the curb, is about $2,000,000 per year. We have more production area immediately surrounding Norfolk than they do around Atlanta, but in Atlanta the city and State both have chosen to do something about it.
I agree with Mr. Hill that there is a lot to the idea. The cities and States should take this responsibility on themselves, but I also say this, that if your Agriculture Committee is looking for something that will belp the farmers, especially in the marketing line, you have got to consider the farmers, and not always the city or State officials, who have not done their job. In other words, the Congress has invested a lot of money now in this marketing research bill, as you know, and I think Congress is to be congratulated in having the foresight to go into that kind of program. It is doing a world of good. But, after all, this research that has been conducted is still something that we can classify as just study, and we might say, a lot of talk and no action. True, you have to go through the talking, studying, and investigating stage before you can resolve a strong program to act on, but I agree with Chairman Cooley that this is the first piece of legislation in which Congress has attempted to do something more about marketing and not just have a bill to ask a lot of questions and do a lot of studies and not get down to actualities. This is getting down to actualities, that is, to put in effective operation what we have learned in these marketing research studies.
I believe that one of the very important parts of the research program in that Marketing Research Act is a study of these market facilities across the country. Certainly, that part of your marketing research money that you have appropriated will be wasted, unless those studies that have been made are carried a step further and put into actualities. If there is only one State in a group of 6 or 8 or 10 States, like Georgia, where in Atlanta the city officials and the State officials have enough foresight and gumption to put it into effect, then the studies you have made in the Southeast, the 10 or 15 other cities where the city officials are not interested—because they do not have the farm background, or for some other reason—ther a big part of your effort and your money has been wasted ir the study that you have made.
I do not blieve that you will be willing long to appropriate money for studies when you see that they are not being put into actualities. I plead with you to consider it from that broad angle.
Now, I agree that your committee, in further studying this, can probably find some places where this bill can be improved. I believe
I Mr. Hili had a good point when he said it should not be left entirely up to the Secretary of Agriculture.
I am of the opinion-having been connected with potato legislation recently, as Mr. Cooley knows—that we are trying to get some provisions in the potato bill whereby there will be a committee that will assist the Secretary in the administration of that. I think the same thing could apply here, that is, a small committee of three men or five men, appointed nationally, under the provisions set up in this bill, that could assist the Secretary of Agriculture greatly in the administration of this, and that would make it a better bill.
Perhaps there are some other changes that could be helpful that will be developed here and later studied, too. But I think that by and large it is a very, very good piece of legislation, and that it is what we need to effectuate some of the marketing research studies that we have made.
I do not want to take up any more of your time, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. In connection with your last observation about the administration of the bill, of course, we have to vest the authority in some person or some agency.
Mr. CAKE. That is right, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. By putting the authority in the Secretary of Agriculture, we realize, of course, he has there Mr. Crow's Division and the Research Marketing Administration, with all of its experts, and it seems to me that he will have the advice from well-advised people. Of course, he is not going to devise the plans themselves in the Department. They will have to reach an agreement with the local applicant for a loan, and work out the details of the market.
In other words, you might need a market in Norfolk that would be entirely unacceptable to Philadelphia or New York or some other even smaller place.
I think as far as the administration is concerned, that we will have to entrust it to somebody. All the Secretary will do bere, as I understand it, is to approve the plans.
In other words, he would not reccmmend the issuance or making of a loan to build a facility which obviously was going to be inadequate.
We appreciate very much your interest.
Mr. GRANGER. I would like to make this observation, with respect to what you have said—that we have done a lot of research.
We have developed a lot of machinery to produce crops and developed insecticides to kill the bugs and other chemicals for controlling weeds, and we have done a fine job in producing crops, with the hope that when they were produced there would be a market for them.
Now we have more or less run up against a dead end in the marketing end. I assume that is what you were driving at?
Mr. CAKE. Yes, sir.
Mr. GRANGER. Do you not think, too, while we could not establish markets in every community—and I do not think that is contemplated—perhaps if we had a market at such cities as Norfolk and other places, we would sell a lot of the produce right in the local communities that we did not know there was a market for? Do you not think that is true?
Mr. Cake. I agree with you, sir. I think you are acquainted, sir, with the tremendous increase in the number of home freezers. I was impressed with the statement made by the manager of the market in Atlanta when I visited there.
Somebody asked him if any consumers came there to buy. He said their tally indicated on the average day during the summer season in Atlanta at the market, when there was an ample supply of string beans and peaches to can, that there was an average of 2,000 housewives per day to buy in bushel quantities such things as peaches and string beans, to put up in home freezers. You would not think that there was that much demand by city people for canning and freezing commodities, but there is.
I was impressed by the figures of the Department of Agriculture in that there are approximately 1,027 cities with a population range of 25,000 to 50,000, and of that 1,027 cities, there were 821 of them that did not have any type of market where the farmer and the consumer could meet. They had neither wholesale nor retail market facilities, not even a simple shed with stalls where they could get together.
I believe the agriculture of this country would be on a much sounder basis, especially in times of depression, if there were market places in those smaller cities. We have found that cities can support a retail market where they can meet together.
We have found that the farmers who pay attention to their own marketing are usually more prosperous and are able to make a better go of it in bad times. In other words, if they have a place to sell their produce themselves, they make it better in hard times.
I agree with you that there is a great chance.
Mr. GRANGER. We had the same problem with the sale of livestock a very
few years ago. In other words, a person had to have a truckload of hogs and take them to Chicago or some other big place to sell them.
They have found now that by having these little local auctions, they sell livestock that they did not think had any value before. It has offered an outlet to the farmer.
I imagine that this might prove as successful with respect to the sale of perishables.
Mr. CAKE. I believe it would, too.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any other gentlemen here now that might be accommodated, if they are permitted to testify now?
If not, the committee will stand adjourned until 10 o'clock tomorrow morning.
(Whereupon, at 4:30 p. m., the committee was recessed, to reconvene at 10 a. m. Thursday, June 8, 1950.)