Now we can see that a battle in the AAA was virtually inevitable. In early 1933 Tugwell did not see this clearly. An April entry in his diary indicates that he favored Peek for the post of AA Administrator. He preferred a "hard-boiled Progressive," but Peek would bring the Baruch faction's support and the processors' co-operation. Thus progress would be slower, but surer. Peek's other assets were his grasp of the possibilities in the marketing-agreement section of the AA Act, his administrative ability, badly needed for an untried program, and, above all, his loyalty to the cause of agriculture.1
On the other hand, Tugwell had some misgivings about Peek, a conservative in philosophy who "may oppose production controls and urge too much on marketing agreements and dumping abroad." Older and wealthier than Wallace and Tugwell, Peek had powerful friends. There was the possibility that he "may run off with the show." Still, despite his doubts, Tugwell was somewhat naïve. Twenty years later he added to his diary the comment that he "should have been certain Peek's appointment would not work." In the struggle for power in Washington, "ruthless to a degree unbelievable to the outsider," Tugwell was "not yet tough enough." He believed the best in people, ignoring jealousies and intrigues. But, he noted, "I learned."2
There were two main differences between Peek's and Tugwell's ideas on a farm program. Peek wanted to concentrate on marketing agreements as the means to the recovery of agriculture; Tugwell stressed control of production--as an emergency measure (he remarked in his diary that crop restriction was negative and temporary compared to land utilization, necessarily the core of a long-range plan3 ). Each saw usefulness under certain circumstances in the other's preferred device. The dispute between them was over relative emphasis.
So long as the AAA used both devices, in whatever ratio, marketing agreements themselves were a second source of differences. In Peek's view, the purpose of marketing agreements was domestic disposal of farm products at higher prices for farmers. In Tugwell's view, higher prices would not necessarily be parity prices. Relying on acreage restriction to assure disposal, he contemplated a broader function for marketing agreements. He maintained that they should take into account retail prices as well as the prices farmers received.