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later settlers had to pay for the land they bought of the speculators, and the emergence of tenancy were all in part attributed to the intrusion of the speculator between the settler and the Government.

It may be useful to review for a moment the extent to which land speculation flourished on the frontier in the 19th century. A recent study of the sale of public lands in central Iowa, for example, shows that three-fourths of the land which was not given to railroads or to the State was first entered for speculation and that some entries ran as high as 100,000 and 200,000 acres.

In the prairie section of central Illinois precisely the same extensive speculation in land led to the accumulation of holdings as high as 40,000 to 100,000 acres. In fact, throughout the entire 19th century this process of land accumulation went on, made possible by the ease with which the settlement laws could be abused. The greatest concentration occurred invariably in areas particularly well adapted to largescale farming on a grain-livestock basis.

I have shown elsewhere how out of these holdings there developed in the prairies of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and elsewhere, estates operated by tenants such as the huge Scully holdings in Illinois, Kansas, and Nebraska, the Brown family holdings in Nebraska, and the Fowler holding in Indiana.

Large-scale ownerships of lands in California have been created by the huge Mexican grants which the United States confirmed. These large holdings have been enlarged and new ones created by the unrestricted cash sales policies and the grant of choice valley land to the State under the pretext that it was swamp or overflowed. From such sources the firm of Miller & Lux built up its huge 750,000-acre holding.

I mention these 19th century developments because they have a bearing on our present problem. Many of these large holdings are still in existence and have passed to the third generation.

Congress has given great bonuses—at public expense—to these holders of land accumulated in large quantities for speculation. In 1902 Congress adopted what was intended as a second homestead law—the Newlands Reclamation Act to use the income from public lands for the building of dams, reservoirs, canals, and ditches to conduct the stored water to reclaim dry land for agriculture. Benefits of the act were to be confined to small 160-acre farmers, and close restrictions were written into the law to assure that further accumulation of potentially irrigable land would not be permitted.

If the framers of this act really believed that their measure would make possible the creation of many thousands of small farms on which persons could homestead, they were misled. The beneficiaries seem to have been to a large degree the foresighted speculators and other large owners of land who had anticipated the Government.

Other Government tactics that have contributed to land accumulation and the enlargement of farms has been the remedial legislation undertaken in the Great Depression of the thirties. Unmarketable surpluses of wheat, cotton, corn, and other staples induced the Government to adopt an intricate series of measures and policies to bolster commodity prices and reduce surpluses.

Among the devices was the allotment policy by which farms were assigned definite acreages to be planted in cotton, wheat, or tobacco.

The farmers' response to acreage reduction has been to select their best land for these crops, prepare the soil most carefully, use heavy applications of fertilizer, top dress with liquid nitrogen when the crops were well along, and apply chemical weed destroyers. The result has been that the output per acre has increased sharply. Further reduction of allotments threatened to reduce the acreage in these crops to a point where the big tractor drawn plows and other machines could not be profitably used. A solution that many farmers came to was to buy their neighbor's property with its allotment and thus bring their total allotment to the desired size.

By 1957, the huge payments to capitalist farmers whose holdings ran to many thousands of acres became a national scandal. The $1,900,00 commodity loan to the Delta & Pine Land Co., the $354,000 to the Leo Horrigan Farms to enable them to withhold their crops from market, the $209,000 paid to Jack Harris for not planting cotton on a portion of his 25,000 acre holding in Arizona, and the $278,000 paid the Garvey Farms for not sowing wheat on 22,779 acres created much resentment against the farm program. It seemed to many that the control program was rapidly accelerating the disappearance of the small farmer and contributing largely to the profits of the big individual and corporate holding.

Another Government development that has drastically changed land values and encouraged concentration of ownership has been the construction by Government of giant levees on the banks of middle western and southern rivers to keep out the flood waters of the spring runoff. The levees have made possible the transformation of low lying and perennially flooded areas of little value into the richest cotton, rice, and cane producing land in the South, and with little or no cost to the owners.

It is in the levee-protected region of the delta of Mississippi that one of the largest foreign ownerships of agricultural land-38,000 acres—is to be found. The four principal States benefiting from this levee construction had, in 1959, 2,581 farms of more than 2,000 acres and 109 of more than 10,000 acres.

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Such concentration of ownership was made possible by the lavish way the Federal Government gave away what seemed to be comparatively worthless swampland to the States which, in turn, conveyed it to land companies, speculators and influential politicians on the understanding that they would drain the land, which they failed to do.

Finally, the Government was persuaded to build the levees and to provide a great boon to the landowners whose holdings acquired high value. No attempt was made to assess abutting property owners for the bonus they received.

Meantime, other developments of 20th century America have contributed to concentrate the ownership of farmland, especially highly productive farmland, into an even smaller number of hands. These are the advantages which come from large-scale operations of commercial farms and the large amounts of capital to provide the livestock, machinery and other equipment, and the Government's crop control program.

What were farms in 1920 may only be fractions of farms in 1971 because the technological revolution on the farm and ranch requires greater quantities of capital and larger units of land to justify the use of the great tractor-drawn or self-propelled soil preparing, planting, and harvesting machines presently employed.

In the States where homesteading last existed, the average size of farms and ranches has increased in the past 50 years between 300 and 400 percent. Elsewhere the increase is less marked, but for the entire country the average size has more than doubled. Conversely, the number of farms has diminished during these 50 years by just one-half, though the acreage in farms has somewhat increased. While the population of the country increased from 122 million in 1920 to an estimated 196 million in 1964, the number of farms partly or fully owned by the operators dropped from 3,926,000 to 2,600,138. Thus, fewer and fewer were owning more and more.

The capital costs of entering farming today are enormous. I speak with some interest, for I know both the capital my grandfather had in his successful operation of an average sized farm in New Hampshire when he retired in 1920 and the capital costs that my son became involved in when he purchased 3 years ago a 250-acre New York State farm with 50 milk cows. The latest data from the census of 1959 shows that the average farm in New York has a value of $53,299; in Kansas a $91,131; in Iowa, $93,694; and in Illinois, $118,507.

Government subsidies to agriculture have been many and varied but the subsidies to irrigation projects in the western third of the country have paid the greatest dividends. They have made possible the irrigation of millions of acres of land, to a very considerable degree held in large ownerships, and have provided low cost water and power for urban growth and industry.

What would that area be today without the water and hydropower of Hoover, Grand Coulee and many other dams? Had the Federal Government and the States displayed the same concern about retaining people already on the land, as the Country Life Commission strongly urged, as they did in peopling the potentially irrigable areas in the West, it is possible that such rural folk and their children even on hill farms might have found life there as satisfactory and perhaps more rewarding than they found competitive life in the city.

I am reminded of the Dutch economist I once met who told me that his government was expending millions of guilders to extend the polders further into the North Sea-after the Second World War-by a series of dikes that, after construction and desalinization of the land, would provide farms for the surplus population of Holland. The economist thought there was no prospect that these farms would ever return any economic rent but they would enable the Nation to keep its people and to keep them on viable family farms.



Could not the States of the Northeast, from which rural population has now been flowing for a century-could they not have done as well in retaining their people on lands now growing up to sumac, briers, gray dogwood and scrub brush and trees of no commercial value if they had assisted them with guidance, the best of practical farm education, tax relief and other subsidies, and good roads kept open winter in those hill areas?

The Country Life Commission declared in 1911 that the underlying problem “is to develop and maintain on our farms a civilization in full harmony with the best of American ideals." The rural areas were depended upon to supply the city and metropolis with fresh blood, clean bodies and clear brains that can endure the strain of modern urban life; and to preserve a race of men in the country that, in the future, as in the past, will be the staying strength of the Nation * *

Persons sensitive to farm problems and the welfare of rural people, it is surprising to find, have until recently watched with complaisance the growing enlargement of farms, consolidation of farm units, and the disappearance of families who have gone to try life in urban centers. Even the people in the marketing centers where these now migrating families had once brought their cattle, hogs, grain, and milk and had purchased their supplies, patronized the local theaters, churches and other social institutions were only made aware of the movement by the contraction of their businesses.

The small town was becoming a major casualty as the farm population shrank and throughout the West was in the process of becoming a mere crossroad hamlet, then a ghost town.

Other factors of course contributed to this transformation, especially the ability of those farmers who were better capitalized to go farther afield on good roads and in fast cars and trucks to dispose of their goods and do their shopping. Rural sociologists regret this decline. In rural America, including the small towns and villages, they observed virtues not seen in urban America: an awareness of and concern for the welfare of others, ease of working together for common purposes, widespread response for calls for aid when tragedy struck, keen interest in the political affairs of the community and respect for its institutions.

In contrast to the complaisance of the West toward its diminishing population base, the emergence of the corporation farm has aroused strongly antagonistic feelings, that led to calls for restricting and indeed punitive legislation against them.

One can hardly pick up a farm journal or a publication of the Farmers Union and the National Farmers Organization without finding stories of some of the great corporations, originally organized for industries quite remote from farming, which are now planning to begin large-scale operations in farming. Corporation farming is not altogether new. It has existed in California for a generation or more and in a large way.

Giant among the corporate farm operators is the Kern County Land Co., now owned as a subsidiary by Tenneco. This company is the present-day result of the huge land purchases made by James B. Haggin and Lloyd Tevis of entire Mexican ranchos, plus the entries of thousands of acres of State swamplands, and the employment of scores of dummy entrymen to file on dry land under the Desert Land Act.

Haggin and Tevis were not mere speculators as were numerous of the large owners of prairie lands in Illinois and Iowa, for they began to drain wet lands and conduct water on their desert lands for farming, either by tenants or by hired labor. Ultimately, they placed their property in the hands of the Kern County Land Co. which from its farm operations and large oil royalties has paid fabulous dividends.

Other great California holdings are those of the huge Tejon Land Co., the Southern Pacific Railroad, and the Newhall holdings all dating from the early days of American occupation. The Southern Pacific Railroad retained its grant of 1864, in part, though with other land grant railroads it persuaded the Government to give up the land grant rates by which in return for the original donations the railroad agreed to carry Government traffic at reduced rates.

Senator Nelson's report from the Select Committee on Small Business on the "Impact of Corporation Farming on Small Business" admirably illustrates the questionable results corporation farming has produced for agriculture and for businesses that serve the farmer.

In conclusion, I would like to emphasize what I said in the beginning: We, and especially our young voters, have come to realize that what is fundamentally important for us is not our ability to produce by the economies of large-scale production—but the effects of those methods upon our resources, physical, environmental, and human.

This country, once had opportunities for landownership that attracted population from lands of great estates owned by an aristocracy and worked by landless peasants. Are we now coming full circle?

Is America to become a country in which an aristocracy of landlords and corporations shall be allowed to monopolize our best lands and work them with landless laborers and rootless migratory laborers, ill provided with the amenities of life!

Åre the lines Oliver Goldsmith wrote of 18th century England becoming applicable to America ?

Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,

When wealth accumulates and men decay. The quality of life in America is decaying as its farms and farm families decrease in number, its small towns decline, and the problems of its ghettos are intensified.

Senator STEVENSON. Thank you, Professor Gates.

I should say at the outset that we sought you out, because I thought it was important in these hearings to establish the historical setting as a means of helping us to understand the trends over the years, as a means of understanding more what is happening now, and what is likely to happen in the future, unless public policies are changed.

I think you have done that extremely well. It is very helpful to us to have this historical setting which you have provided in your statement.

Is it not true that public policies over the years have favored the exploitation of land for many purposes?

You mentioned the railroads. Could you expand a little on your statement by discussing other public policies which have tended to favor the exploitation by large corporate interests; for example, the timber and mineral resources ?

You mentioned land values. I know of some areas in my State, in Illinois, which were selling about 20 years ago for a total of $15 and

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