Public Papers and Letters of Oliver Max Gardner: Governor of North Carolina, 1929-1933

By Edwin Gill; David Leroy Corbitt | Go to book overview

announce tomorrow that it had arranged to withhold this cotton from the market until the price had reached eleven cents a pound, the effect would be immediately spontaneous and a revival of business would sweep through the entire country.

Such an announcement based on the cotton report today would in my judgment automatically advance the price of cotton to ten cents a pound.

This cotton controlled by the farm board belongs to the taxpayers of the Nation. It was purchased and paid for with their money. When every effort is being made by the government to pump currency into the arteries of commerce and business for economic recovery, it is nothing less than a national and social crime for the Farm Board, an agency of the government, to dump daily from 10,000 to 20,000 bales of cotton on the depressed market.

Within the past month the Farm Board has sold around 250,000 bales of cotton, the prices ranging from five cents to six cents per pound. This action has served as a damper on the market and tended to prevent cotton from participating in the advances which have occurred in other agricultural products.

The Farm Board acquired much of this cotton after it had passed from the hands of the farmers and now to sell it below cost of production in competition with the farmers as a new crop comes on the market is an outrageous performance.

The Farm Board purchased 1,300,000 bales of this cotton and paid for it around seventeen cents a pound with carrying charges. It controls 2,300,000 bales, which it financed for the cotton coöperation, costing around 10 cents a pound.

Think of the government, trying to effect economic recovery, dumping its cotton on a crushed and bankrupt market at six cents per pound and taking a terrific loss in the sale of each bale when everybody knows that

-525-

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