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The People's voice. [volume] (Helena, Mont.) 1939-1969, February 08, 1946, Image 1

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Vol. VII—No. 10
Price Five Cents
n p +• S*' 0 ' X*'
Une Car oi Wnc«. _
Union Members in the Power District and
Reports of Action Along Same Line Coining
From Other Points; Teton County Farmers
Said To Be Contributing Cream Checks.
>'y X
1 by Farmers
Sharply condemning the action of a group of farmers in
Nebraska and in Oklahoma who have proposed withholding
all their farm products from the market in protest to the in
dustrial strikes, more than 200 Montana Farmers Union leaders
meeting in Great Falls last week gave concrete evidence of
their disagreement with the proposals of the Nebraska and
Oklahoma farm groups,
starting donations of wheat to
the striking workers, and the
first carload was to be shipped
from the Power area this week.
Similar action is being taken in
other sections of the state ac
cording to reports. The first
car will go to the CIO United
Automobile Workers in Detroit
on strike against G. M.
Reports have been received from
Teton County Farmers Union member,
that a decision has been made by Te
ton County dairy farmers to each con
tribute cream checks for one week
support of the strikers.
Thé Great Palls meeting where the
action to donate wheat was initiated
was attended by leaders in local, coun
ty and the state organization of the
Farmers Union and board members
and manager of co-operatives in 14
counties. In attendance also, were
Montana members of the boards of
directors of regional co-operatives.
Expressions of those in attendance
indicated clearly that they were con
vinced of having a stake in the suc
cess of the striking workers for a liv
ing wage and that agriculture will
rise or fall with the purchasing pow
er possessed by American labor.
A round-table discussion participat
ed in by Farmers Union and chaired
by Wilferd Pedersen, secretary-treas
urer of the state organization ana
lyzed legislation now before congress
affecting labor. The conclusion ar
rived at was that because of techno
logical developments which has
markedly increased the output per
man, it appeared probable that labor
hours must be reduced and a guaran
teed annual wage provided workers,
if a decent standard of living is to be
maintained for them.
Another gathering of Farmers Un
ion leaders similar to the one held
in Great Falls last week was held in
Glasgow on Monday and Tuesday of
this week.
Time will tell whether John L. Lew
is' United Mine Workers has joined
the American Federation of Labor—
Or whether the American Federa
tion of Labor has joined the United
Mine Workers.
Formally, at any rate, Lewis and the
UMW have been admitted to the A.
F. of L., from which Lewis "seceded"
10 years ago.
What Lewis is up to is no secret.
It is generally understood that Lew
is' price of rejoining is a free hand
in using A. F. of L. influence to set
up industrial unions in competition
with the CIO.
Such competition has been proceed
ing, slowly, without AFL backing. Af
filiated with the UMW is Lewis' "Dis
trict 50," a catch-all union he has used
to muscle into labor fields outside
Since it was formed, about five
years ago, District 50 has organized
munitions, cosmetics and coke plant
workers. It moved into the field of
dairy farming, and won out over the
CIO in Philadelphia five weeks ago
in organizing the unlicensed tugboat
workers in this port. And only this
week, District 50 won the right to rep
resent 1,192 trainmen on the Long Is
land Railroad.
The going has been spectacular, but
Lewis now obviously hopes to use
the AFL to speed up his drive, and
also to help wreck the CIO and pick
up the pieces.
Lewis has been conspicuously hos
tile to the CIO in the steel and motors
strikes. He has appeared to side not
only with the employers' position, but
also against Truman.
Right now Lewis is playing the nice
behaved labor leader.
But his whole record shows that
this change means more, not less la
bor trouble.
As for the AFL itself? Well, we
are reminded of the limerick:
There was a lady of Niger
Who smiled as she rode on a
They came back from the ride
With the lady inside,
And the smile on the fate of the
tiger.—(Philadelphia Record.)
GREAT FALLS, Feb. 8.—In special
meeting here today officials and di
announced partial plans for conduct
of two MVA schools to be held in
Billings and Great Falls during last
half of March. Dates are not yet defi
nitely fixed but the first school will
be held in Billings covering a two
day period. Lecturers, instructors
and equipment will then be moved
to Great Falls for a two-day program.
Plans contemplate securing the serv
ice of some ranking official from TVA,
one or more representatives from
League for CVA and a national rep
resentative of REA, in addition to
several MVA regional officials. Lec
turers and instructors will consist of
experts on various features of MVA
development such as state rights, wa
ter rights, power development, recla
mation practice, unified engineering
for multi-purpose projects, proper
cost apportionment and other pri
mary features of authority type devel
opment. Time will be provided for
questions and answers and for round
table discussions. Representatives of
all farm, labor, civic and educational
organizations will be invited to at
tend and participate. Meetings will
he open to the general public.
In accordance with preliminary
steps taken at the annual meeting of
association in Lewistown on Jan, 13,
the directors perfected plans for ex
pansion of the organization by addi
tion of regional units, one'of which is
to be organized in each of the 14 ju
dicial districts of Montana. Plans for
securing necessary . finance were
mapped out in detail and set into mo
tion. The following resolution of the
expansion committee was adopted:
"Total Montana expenditures in be
half of S. 555 (the MVA bill) by the
association and by individuals who
have served as its officers and direc
tors now aggregates over $6,700 cash.
This came from farm and labor groups
and from
individuals in cash
and expense donations and includes
no allowance for time spent, fees or
salaries, none of which have been
With all bills paid the association
has $670 on hand.
$15,000 in additional funds will be
required for completion of the MVA
educational information campaign in
Montana for 1946. Plans tor securing
this sum have been perfected and will
be started into operation at once. As
heretofore all funds must come from
memberships and donations by farm
ers, workers and independent busi
ness and professional men.
As now ■ set up the official and ex
euctive portion of Montana MVA as
(Contlnucd on Page Four)
SPOKANE, Jan. 31.—Farmers and
ranchers in Idaho, Montana, Oregon
and Washington last year liquidated
more than $9,500,000 of their land
bank and land bank commissioner
loans, R. E. Brown, president of the
Federal Land Bank of Spokane, said
here today. In addition, they had ac
cumulated approximately $2,000,000 in
future payment accounts to meet fu
ture maturities on their loans.
During the year. Brown said, the
land bank decreased its bonded in
debtedness $'27,974,000, paid a six per
cent dividend of $206,000 to its stock
holders, and finished the year with
$53,000,000 of loans and contracts on
its books, $4,300,000 in cash; $5,225,
000 in government bonds, and delin
quencies of less than $300,000.
Seventy-seven national farm loan as
sociations and a few borrowers with
direct loans own the Federal Land
Bank of Spokane, which on Jan. 1,
1946, had capital stock outstanding of
$3,300,000, and surplus and reserves
totaling $9,766,000.
Brown has been re-elected presi
dent of the bank for 1946. Other of
ficers, all re-elected, are Henry Mat
thew, vice president; Karl K. Barn
ard, vice president and treasurer;
Joseph J. DaVey, secretary; Burtt R.
Smith, assistant treasurer and chief
accountant, and S. C. Fish, assistant
by Vomen
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The annual meeting of the stock
holders of the Educational Co-opera
tive Publishing company was held
the Park Hotel last Saturday with
large attendance present. Reports for
the last year's operation were made
by the president of the board of di
rectors, Walter S. Good of Great Palls,
and H. S. Bruce, secretary-treasurer
of the company.
Ira Siebrasse of Great Fails, and
Pat C. Sullivan of Butte, were elected
directors, replacing L. L. Price of
Great Falls and William Mason of
Expansion of the plant facilities was
discussed and action to that end de
cided upon.
W. S. Good, chairman of the board
of directors, was named again to that
office as were also Ernest Atkinson,
vice president and H. S. Bruce, secre
The present strike of 750,000 CIO
steel workers started exactly 26 years
after the 1919 Big Steel strike ended.
But what makes one link the two
strikes is not the date coincidence,
but the fact that both were set off
by a post-war anti-union drive by big
Wholesale violations of workers
rights marked the 1919 strike, which
involved 365,000 workers and lasted
four months. The workers sought
union recognition, abolition of the 12
hour day seven-day week and an in
crease in the 28c hourly minimum.
The National Committee for Organiz
ing Iron & Steel Workers (composed
of 24 A.F.L. craft unions), was fased
with an aggressive attack by the steel
trust. The anti-labor wave struck
hardest in the Pennsylvania mine dis
Labor meetings were banned
throughout the state. Union members
were arrested, released and rearrest
ed. The terror reached its height in
the summer of 1919 with the murder
of Fannie Sellins, union organizer, by
a deputy sheriff at West Natrona.
The steel workers decided then that
they had to strike or be annihilated.
So on September 22 they walked out.
A.F.L. officials, although not enthus
iastic over the steel organizing cam
paign, endorsed the strike. But the
steel trust had mobilized "as though
preparations were being made for a
war," the New York World said. Be
tween Pittsburgh and Clairton, a dis
tance of 20 miles, 25,000 deputies were
under arms. As soon as the strike
started, unrestrained violence broke
At Braddock members of the local
Slovak Catholic congregation were at
tacked because the priest was a strike
sympathizer. In Farrel three strikers
were killed and 11 wounded in one
day. Men foolhardy enough to at
tempt picketing were slugged and
jailed. Altogether there were 18 kill
After two weeks, the steel com
panies started a whirlwind back-to
work movement with newspaper ads
and Uncle Sam posters proclaiming
in eight languages: "The strike has
failed!" Mobs broke into strikers
homes and drov£ the men back to
work. Those who balked were Jailed
disorderly conduct charges.
The strike ended with the workers
going back on an open-shop basis. But
a number o fthe companies had been
forced to improve conditions and Unit
ed States Steel granted the eight
hour day.
Today w]th the steel workers so
strongly organized and with workers
in other industries out on the picket
line, big business stands a poor chance
<Continued on Page Four)
The first patronage refund of the
production credit system was made
by the Nevada Livestock Production
Credit association at its 1946 annual
meeting, according to an announce
ment by C. R. Arnold, production cred
it commissioner of the Farm Credit
A number of production credit as
sociations have paid dividends on cap
ital stock. Commissioner Arnold stat
ed, but the Nevada Livestock Produc
tion Credit association is the first to
have made a return of savings through
a patronage refund in addition to pay
ing a dividend on its capital stock.
The patronage refund was made to
members using credit during 1945, and
was made on a basis of interest
charged during the year. The total
refund amounted to $6,703 and had the
effect of reducing the interest cost to
borrowers from the rate of 4% per
cent to 3.7 per cent.
The Nevada Livestock Production
Credit association is now completely
member owned. All of its government
capital has been retired. Its member
owned capital and accumulated earn
ings and reserves give it a net worth
of $471,000.
Quite a number of other associations
are well on the way toward their goal
of complete member ownership, Com
missioner Arnold reports. At the close
of 1945, the 370,000 members of 511
associations owned approximately $33
million in capital stock. In addition,
the associations had accumulated re
$35 million.
As the locally owned capital and
earning power of the co-operative pro
duction credit associations have de
veloped the 12 supervising production
credit corporations have been able to
start a program of returning their
government capital to the revolving
Page P
% T
Liege is the heart of the heavy in
dustries of Belgium. Coal mines and
steel, glass, crystal, machinery are
the great products. The coal mines
are very ancient here, the openings
having been made in the Middle Ages,
and the slag piles are like mountains.
Mine workers are a dominant part of
the population, but today since the
war and occupation, there is a great
reluctance on the part of the young
men to go underground and a desire
to enter other trades and occupations.
Belgium's great need for coal for her
industries and her domestic heating
have prompted the use of German pris
oners of war as a part of the working
force in the mines. This is, of course,
a temporary arrangement. But the
work in the other industries is more
tempting to the younger men of Liege.
The brilliant and dynamic minister
of labor of Belgium, Leon Troclet,
is a native and resident of Liege. He
conducted a school for police officers
in the university as well as being a
professor of political science. The
deep patriotism of the police officers
of Belgium and their assistance to the
resistance movement and allied forces
had much to do with Belgium libera
tion. They are regarded everywhere
with respect.
The technical, scientific, and engi
neering department buildings of the
university were almost entirely de
stroyed either by the air bombing of
the allies driving out the Germans or
by the V-2 bombing from the Germans
during their last desperate offensive
in the Battle of the Bulge in the win
ter of 1945. The city is one of the
worst devastated in Europe today, but
the people are courageously and very
efficiently cleaning up and rebuilding
(Continued on Page Three)
Intensive Drive on for Co-op
Hospitals; Five Organized,
Forty More Being Formed
NEW YORK.—(CLNS)—The organ
ization of co-operative hospitals,
owned by the people they serve,
reaching its most intensive period
years, according to the Co-operative
League of the United States of Ameri
ca. At present five co-operative hos
pitals are in operation in the states
of Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas and Min
nesota and at least 40 more are in
various stages of organization.
Most intensive drive are underway
in Texas and the Northwestern states
of Idaho, Oregon and Washington.
Other hospitals are being organized
in South Dakota and Minnesota with
community groups in other states se
riously considering organization
The pioijeer co-operative hospital,
the Elk City Community Hospital in
Elk City, Oklahoma was established
in 1929 but it took the hospital coun
cil of the American Medical associ
ation just 1G years to give it official
recognition at its meeting in Chi
cago, December 2. 1945. In the mean
time the co-operative hospital has be
come one of the outstanding medical
institutions in Oklahoma. It erected a
new nurses home last year and has
plans underway to build a new clinic
building, add 10 new doctors and an
other dentist to the staff, and provide
"the finest medical, surgical, dental
and hospital care available anywhere."
The success of the co-operative hos
pital at Elk City led to the organiza
tion more than 10 years later of the
South Plains Co-operative Hospital at
Amherst, Texas; the Northwest Com
munity Hospital at Moreland, Okla
homa: the Aehenback Memorial Hos
pital at Hardtner, Kansas; and the
Community Hospital at Two Harbors,
Minnesota. All four of these co-oper
ative hospitals follow the same policy
as the Elk City pioneer in providing
for prepayment of medical care, con
sumer ownership of the hospital and
(Continued on Page Three)
Alfred Baker Lewis of Greenwich,
Conn., the president of the Union Cas
ualty company of New York and own
er of 500 shares of General Motors
corporation stock, has called in Presi
dent Truman to take over the General
Motors corporation and struck steel
plants and operate them to speed na
tional recovery, prevent delay in the
housing program, and prevent infla
Mr. Lewis declared that the presi
dent of General Motors and the presi
dent of United States Steel were act
ing as though they were bigger than
the president of the United States in
their arrogant refusal to accept a rea
sonable compromise of the wage dis
putes with their employees.
Mr. Lewis' letter to President Tru
man follows:
"As a stockholder of General Mo
tors I strongly urge you to exercise
your power to take over the General
Motors company plants and the struck
steel mills as well, and operate them
to speed national reconversion, to
prevent serious (Jelay in your housing
program, and to prevent inflation.
"It is true that General Motors Is
not losing much money by the strike
because the rebate provisions of the
tax laws practically guarantee it a
profit and make it possible for the
company to try to destroy organized
labor and to buy full page ads in the
newspapers at the taxpayers' expense.
But the short term financial advan
tage does not tell the whole story.
General Motors must operate with its
striking employees in the long run.
It will never get good production out
of men who are dissatisfied and seeth
ing from a rankling eense of injustice,
as thdy will be doing if the strike is
broken and the employees are driven
back to work by privation.
"Certainly the U.A.W. has been rea
sonable. It has not asked for an in
crease in total wages, but only for an
hourly wage increase sufficient to off
set the reduction in take-home pay
tlnued on Pn^e Four)
gan permanent school lunch bill (H.
R. 3370) will come before the house
near the middle of February, Chair
man John W. Flannagan Jr., (D.-Va.)
of the house agriculture committee
indicated this week.
An Indefinite rule has been granted
the bill by the bouse rules committee,
and present indications are that the
house bill will pass the measure by
a close vote. The senate has not
taken action as yet.
Farm organizations are giving the
bill their support. The National
Grange, the American Farm Bureau
Federation, the National Farmers Un
ion, the National Co-operative Milk
Producers Federation, and the Nation
al Council of Farmer Co-operatives
are pushing the bill strongly.
Also supporting the measure are ed
ucational groups, parent-teacher organ
izations, labor unions, and church
MVA and Irrigation
Elsewhere in this issue is a letter written by Volney Ander
son, president Montana REA association, also an irrigation
farmer under the bureau of reclamation, Lower Yellowstone
project. Mr. Anderson's letter brings up a number of points
relative to water for irrigation, power and other uses, under
an MVA, that should be clearly understood. Of course, no one
will attempt to commit the board of directors to precise action
to be taken in any specific case. These men will be paid for
and expected to use good judgment. From the statutory law
and the general philosophy embodied in the bill it is compara
tively easy to lay down the general rules under which they
should, and undoubtedly would, act.
1. Water is the first and most important resources with which an
MVA is concerned. Its quantity is limited and none must be per
mitted to run off unused,
2. Maximum multi-purpose use demands that all surplus water be
stored as high up in main or tributary streams and as near the
point of its origin as natural conditions will permit,
stretches of streams come under flood control, irrigation becomes
available to larger area of dry land and the early stream stabili
zation and repeated use below will afford
ductlon, at minimum cost.
3. From standpoint of quantity required, major uses of water will be
for Irrigation, power development, navigation and flood control.
Minor uses will include; domestic, stock, and industrial, sanitation,
preservation of fish and wild life, restoration of ground waters
and possibly other purposes,
for all
Thus longer
maximum power pro
In cases where a sufficient supply
purposes cannot be made available, use must be appor
tioned in such way as to bring maximum bènefit to the greatest
number of people.
4. There is a general legal principle that right to water can be
maintained only by beneficial
Right dates from the time of
filing, or from the time water was beneficially used,
many streams there is an insufficient supply to satisfy the de
On very
This results in two classes of vested water rights; those
with sufficient water at all times and those with sufficient water
only part of the time,
right fully. As first call on water available, those with enough now
will continue to get that supply. Those with only a part-time supply
will have second call for additional water to constitute a full-time
Section 10 of the MVA act protects these
Thereafter new lands may be reclaimed as far as the
available and allotted supply will go.
5. Under existing law and reclamation practice, cost of storage and
distributions of water, inclusive of many drainage systems put
in later, is all charged to reclaimed land,
financial burden that neither land nor its operators could carry.
Forty years of such practice has brought no improvement.
* MVA all works and structures for control of water will be
all development must be "unified."
Result has been a
operation costs must then he apportioned, each in proper amount,
to navigation, flood control, power production, irrigation, soil ero
sion, reforestation, fish and wild life propagation, parks and play
grounds, phosphate and other mineral development, sanitation and
every other useful purpose that unified development will
Thus irrigation, as well as every line of development, will be
relieved of excess cost and still carry its fair share of the burden.
An MVA system furnishes the only possible means of such ac
Construction and
Ml it
6. A declared
purpose of the MVA bill is to encourage family-type
farming. Federal, which Is government-owned land, to be bene
fitted by irrigation must be divided into family-type farms, no one
of which may have more than 160 acres of irrigated land,
may include enough adjoining, or separate, dry land to make up
a family-type size of farm,
water is available, each such farm must be sold, or leased, to some
applicant, under clearly defined legal proceedure, the whole pur
pose of which is to shut out speculation, inflation of values and
all types of chisseling.
7. Dry but irrigable land in private ownership must be handled some
Then the owner may keep his land as it was.
or any part, to persons who can qualify for water,
get water for 160 acres, of his own selection, by agreeing to sell
to MVA, within five years, and at an appraised price, all the
balance of his irrigable land within that particular irrigation block.
After construction is finished and
what differently,
sell all,
In irrigatiop, as in every other matter it covers, Senate Bill
555 seeks to bring the greatest good to the largest number of
people. 1 he quantity and size of crocodile tears now being
shed by robber barrons, absentee landlords, private power mo
nopolists, ruthless speculators and other exploiters, because
of this fact, is both amazing and amusing.
Sidney, Montana,
* Jan. 28, 1946.
Miss Violet Eastman, Sec'y.,
Montana MVA Association,
Helena, Montana.
Dear Miss Eastman:
X had hoped to be in Great Palls,
Feb. 3d for the directors meeting.
Due to the past meat packers' strikes,
we have been delayed in our shipping
program so will not be able to be
there. However, I have some opinions,
if they are timely, that I would like
to contribute for your consideration
in your discussions.
Back in the early 1900s. the bureau
of reclamation filed, at Glendive, Mon
tana, for a 1,000 second feet of water
from the Yellowstone river for our
project. They built a canal that would
carry 850 second feet of water. Up
until about 1926, when the farmers
took this project over, the bureau of
reclamation had never had the canal
filled even to this capacity. Soon
after the farmers took this project
over, the acreage of sugar beets and
other crops adaptable to irrigation,
increased to such an extent that this
amount was not sufficient. The ditch
was enlarged, at the farmers' expense,
so that now it can carry 1,300 second
feet of water. In the last 15 years
or more, in order to satisfy the needs
of the water users, it has been nec
essary to fill the ditch to near capa
city, for most of the irrigating sea
In the late 1930s, the board of con
trol filed for an additional 300 second
feet of water. This was done for the
protection of the valley's water users
who have built fine homes in this pro
ductive valley. Productive because
of irrigation. '
I have been told repeatedly by the
attorneys of the bureau of reclama
tion, that the bureau does not, recog
nize this filing. From ray point of
view, when the Sloan-Pick plan is
completed, myself and many hundreds
of others, will own semi-dry land
farms for which we have paid big
prices. If the bureau of reclamation
uses the same kind of judgment in
their Missouri river development, as
they have done here, I certainly feel
sorry for the thousands of people who
live within its borders.
After having studied Senate Bill No.
555, I believe water rights, such
we have, will be protected if this bill
can be made into law.
Back in the 1920s, before the farm
ers took this project over, it became
necessary to have a new contract
drawn. This contract provides for a
payment of five per cent of the gross
crop income, plus operation and main
tenance, which at first glance, seems
quite reasonable. After much study
by the joint boards of the two dis
tricts, this contract was turned down
by them.
However, the attorneys
for the bureau of reclamation, cram
med this contract down the individual
farmer's throat with a threat of hav
ing this project dismantled if they
did not sign this contract. This is
precisely what was done with the proj
ect at Williston, N. D. when they re
fused to sign this contract,
has shown that this contract is not
workable because many of the crops
adaptable to irrigation have a very
high gross income but the high cost
of production leaves very little re
maining for the building of homes
and other things necessary to make
farm life worth while. Many of the
younger generation are leaving the
farms just because of this.
The bureau of reclamation regional
office, who know conditions, have re
peatedly recommended changes agree
able to the water users, to the com
missioner of the bureau of reclama
tion at Washington, D. C.
ently, these have all been thrown into
the waste paper basket, because they
are never heard of again.
In my estimation, it is important
that the directors live in the regions
as the Senate Bill No. 555 provides,
so that they will be familiar with
conditions. I also believe that under
this bill, new contracts could be drawn
suitable to both parties.
I am sure you are familiar with
movement in the National Reclama
tion association, to have a bill passed
by congress, whereby, that a higher
charge be made on power sold to the
various users. The earnings produced,
(Continued on Page Four)

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