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WASHINGTON, D.C.—A really sig
nificant step toward better, fuller development of our National Forests to meet water, timber, recreation and other needs. That's the meaning of the forest development program Agriculture Secretary Benson sent to Congress just before the Easter recess. Joint hearings on the proposals by the Senate Agriculture and Interior Committees will be coming up soon. The proposal did not include any im mediate plans for financing stepped-up activity in the National Forests. Benson said he would make recommendations for spending "as budgetary considera tions permit. But the fact that the program was submitted at all represents a real vic tory for those interested in fuller de velopment of forest resources. Many high administration officials frown on the idea of committing the government, even in principle, to expanding pro grams of this kind in an era when the administration emphasis is on curbing federal spending. The plans included in Secretary Ben son's message to Congress will, when and if they go into effect, gradually push the annual Federal investment in National Forest development to double the present $125 million level. The proposal is aimed, among other things, at stepping up water flow from forest watersheds, reseeding depleted ranges and construction of fences and other facilities for grazing. MORE ACTION LIKELY The tempo of activity on farm legislation should speed up now with our lawmakers back from their Easter recess. There has been nothing sent to the White House yet this year that could be called major farm legislation. But FOR RANCH OPERATION •• - v :• ■Æ THE FINEST ' '' <ir'' '* & V-J V1 Mi AIR C0MPRESS0 W: : -p iiii -I I y^i ■ . : -■■n EVER BUILT! % ■ . m - • -OV % m ■m Mm ■ -* s ; m ï&ÿfâ-U.. • Horse Power Clinton 4-Cycle Gasoline Motor. • Heavy Duty Air Pump. • Up To Pressure For Inflating Tires and Cleaning Radiator Grills In 30 Seconds. • Pressure Adjustable From 20 to 120 Pounds. • Continuous Pressure For Spraying Paints and Insecticides. • Removable Handle. COMPLETE WITH SPRAY GUN, BLOWER, TIRE CHUCK, 25 FT, RED RUBBER HOSE AND Snap-On Quick-Change Fittings ■ : *> Tire Pumps, Plug Adaptors Are Part of the Past The modem ranch rides on rubber and this rubber is stored on all parts of the ranch with much of it being used seasonally. Long periods of inaction will leave these tires in need of Inflation ... it Is only when the Hay Loader has been taken to the upper field or the Hay Wagon has been loaded with hay that it becomes apparent that the tires are in need of air. No other com pressor will fill the need as completely as the P300. It can be wheeled around the yard or It can be loaded in a Jeep, Truck or the trunk of your cor. Will ride over the roughest fields without worry of tipping. MAIL THIS COUPON TODAY FOR THE NAME OF YOUR NEAREST DEALER. Get the facts about the Spring Special. : QUIK AIR MFG. CO. I I Melrose, Montana Please send information and the name of my dealer to: | QUIK AIR MFC. CO I NAME .. . I I ADDRESS ..... MELROSE, MONTANA I I APRIL 15, 1959—1 1 Keeping in Touch With W ashington Forest levelopment ^ Program Submitted you can look for more action from here on. The House and Senate Agriculture Committees are going to see what can be done about wheat legislation before mid-May . . . hearings are coming up on an enabling act to authorize a self help program and marketing orders for turkeys ... we may see attempts to pass a bill cancelling Agriculture Secretary Benson's cuts in feed grain price supports, though this would be vetoed if passed . . . moves to write an extension of the law authorizing for eign-currency exports of surplus crops are about ready to start, and House hearings are scheduled on proposals for a big new long-term loan program to spur surplus exports. You can just about write off the prospect that we'll see final action this year on any big new direct-payment support plan. Strategy among the Dem ocrats who favor this approach now seems to be to bring their bills out for hearings and discussion . . . put the big push for action over to 1960. DIRECT PAYMENT PLAN Georgia Sen. Herman Talmadge (D) offers a new twist to his direct payment price support bin. Under Talmadge's original plan, farmers who grow basic crops would get domestic marketing quotas. Direct payment supports would be based on these quotas. Now, says Talmadge, to get rid of present surplus stocks he would offer farmers this deal: Instead of growing a crop on your domestic quota acreage, leave the land idle and draw an equiva lent amount of wheat, for example, from government stocks. The wheat could be sold on the open market with no support price or Federal payment. FARM LABOR A sharp backstage battle is under way in Washington over Labor Sec retary Mitchell's proposal to tighten up regulations on employment of domestic farm labor crews. Mitchell's critics, including many farm organization leaders and mem bers of Congress, insist the proposal would boost wage costs. The Farm Bureau Federation believes that as Mitchell's plans now stand they could be an opening wedge for forcing em ployment of unionized crews. We may not get a final decision on this before some time in June. But there won't be any lack of activity on the farm labor front in the meantime. The Senate Labor Committee was hop ing at presstiroe to schedule hearings this month on amendments to the mini mum wage law, including proposals to set Federal minimum wages for many workers on large farms. SHEARING LABOR ACT Sheepmen will want to keep an eye on a bill labeled the "Wool Shearing Labor Standards Act. The measure has been introduced in both the House and Senate, with spon sors including Rep. Lee Metcalf (D-Mont). It provides that wages paid for shearing woo! or mohair must equal the prevailing wage in the locality. Penalty for violation is loss of the pro ducer's right to incentive price support payments. The bill was introduced because of complaints that some migrant shearing crews have been working for sharply cut rates in the Midwest and West, undercutting the going wage. • SOLID CLAIMS? How solid are Agriculture Sec retary Benson's claims that cutting prices will cut overproduction? The Senate Agriculture Committee asked Benson to come up with some evidence on that point. He reported that economic studies show a direct relation between lower prices and lower production in vegetables and milk. But on wheat, the number one farm surplus problem at the moment, Ben son had to concede there is no agree ment among economists that reducing prices leads farmers to cut production. REVIEW WATER PROGRAM The Senate is preparing to launch a thorough review of the nation's water resource programs. Senate action was planned soon after the Easter recess on a bill by Senators James Murray and Mike Mansfield, Montana Democrats, providing for a study at water needs over the next 20 years. On another water front, the Farm Bureau Federation was pressing for Congressional consideration of a "tough" bill making water rights ac quired under state law supreme over Federal government claims. But Sen. Joseph O'Mahoney (D-Wyo), sponsor of a milder bill, points out that the ad ministration will balk at the Farm Bureau proposal. A half a loaf is better than none, he warns.