AUGUST 25, 1931
In facing the situation we should remember that cotton is not merely a sectional crop confined to the South, but is a national and international commodity. It is grown in America and in at least twelve foreign countries.
Last year the United States produced 13,753,000 bales, and foreign countries produced 11,724,000 bales.
Shall the South grow no cotton in 1932, and the foreign countries reap a harvest? This is a most important question. We must remember that the United States government has already recognized and undertaken to meet the problem of cotton through the means of its own creation--the Farm Board, an agency of government set up by President Hoover to contend with the identical problem today confronting cotton.
If the cotton problem is international rather than sectional, it is my judgment that, before any governor calls a special session of the legislature, and as a condition precedent thereto, the President should call Congress into immediate session and lay before the states and foreign countries which grow cotton the absolute necessity for unified action and control.
Not only the South, but America faces a major calamity unless something is done to develop cotton consciousness in the world. The movements should be begun by the President and Congress, and should begin now, before it is too late, before cotton passes from the hands of the farmer. If we wait until December when Congress convenes in regular session, the tragedy will already have been enacted.
Nothing is more unsound than state legislation compelling abandonment of cotton growing in the South without some binding agreement with foreign growers.