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W In the interest of a square deal for the farmers *s y'l I L* VJ .|A: IP" -Jb,rf $*•. & is '.."V'' is To further complicate the situa tion came the Federation of Farm Bureaus, first by states and then a federation of the state organizations. This body, as^ represented by its president, J. C. Howard, is in general harmony with the program of the average chamber of commerce. It is flatly opposed to union labor, to pub- Jlic ownership or operation of rail roads, and to any proposal of an alli ance for common economic and polit ical action by the town and farm workers. CONFERENCE HELD AT DES MOINES, IOWA Progressive farm leaders, witness ing the confusion which has been caused by this division of counsels, called a conference at Des Moines for February 16, and there formed a committee to take steps to bring about an amalgamation of the pro gressive farmer forces under the name "United Farmers of America." There were present C. H. Gustafson, president of the Nebraska State Farmers* union J. Weller Long, for mer secretary-treasurer of the Amer ican Society of Equity M. V. Perry, secretary of the Iowa branch of the Society of Equity C. B. Ballard, Wisconsin branch, Society of Equity J. C. Lamborn, president, and J. P. JXi$sk, iv.z-. Washington Bureau, Nonpartisan Leader. ONGRESSMEN and administrative offi 'cials who are honestly anxious to know what the organized farmers of the United States want, in the way of governmental policy, are immensely relieved at the word brought ttack here from Des Moines of the decision reached in a conference there to get a wholly new alignment of farmers. Progressive farmers are to be brought into one organization, and the farm organizations whose national officers follow the leadership of rail road lobbies, packej- lawyers or militarist and anti labor propagandists will be left to flock by them selves. For years past when a spokesman for the Farm ers' union or the Grange or the Society of Equity or the Dairymen's league came before a committee of the house or senate, no member of the commit tee could be sure, unless he were acquainted with the views of the individual, whether he would de fend or assail the federal trade commission, or how he would stand toward public operation of the rail roads or on other public questions. Gradually the legislators came to un derstand that if the man spoke for the National Grange he would be re actionary that if he spoke for the Washington state Grange or the Michigan state Grange, on the other hand, he would be liberal. So with the Farmers' union—if the national officers spoke there would be a very soft pedal on certain economic re forms, while if some of the state Farmers' union officials appeared, these economic issues would be sharply emphasized. UOSH |M CLAP PONT HVE FORTH DAKOTA .Th* Official Magazine of the National Nonpartisan League—Every Week VOL. 10, NO. 11. WHOLE ftUMBER 234 MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, MARCH 15,1920 $2.50 PER YEAR IN ADVANCE Farmers' Organizations in New Lineup Progressives Threaten to Break Away From Reactionary Leaders Who Misrepresent Them Doyle, secretary of the Farmers' union of Illinois George P. Hampton, managing director, and Ben jamin C. Marsh, secretary, of the Farmers' Na tional council H. O. Folkestad, secretary, Montana branch, Society of Equity F. A. Bennett, Montana branch, Society of Equity H. A. Fuller, Minnesota branch, Society of Equity Oscar H. McGill, secre tary All American Farmer-Labor Co-operative com mission O. F. Rettig, Wisconsin branch, Society of Equity J. O. Shroyer, director Nebraska Farmers' union William C. Bouck, master Washington state Grange J. F. Barber, C. D. Satterfield and J. R. Hammond, directors, and George D. Baker, presi dent of the Farmers' union of Iowa T. A. Haugas, vice president Farmers' union of Iowa 0. F. Dorn blazer, Texas Farmers' union E. L. Nickel, secre tary United Farm Organizations of Iowa. Messrs. Shroyer, Bouck, Lamborn, Folkstad and Fuller were chosen as the committee on constitu tion and bylaws. They reported resolutions which outlined the purpose of the new organization as being the removal of "autocratic control over the destinies of farmers by real organization of those who till the soil in the interest of the social, polit- IF YOU ARE A GOAT, BE A LIVE ONE •/£& ORTH UNO^ppI0 —Drawn expressly for the Leader by W. C. Morris. Morris writes: "Farmers' replies to the postoffice department's questionnaire show that they feel they are being ma^e the goats under present conditions." In North Dakota, however, they have the Nonpartisan league goat, which is not to be led about tamely at the end of a string. As the story on this page shows, farmers in other states are feeling much the same as in North Dakota. PAGE THREE A magazine that dares to print the truth ical and financial welfare of the farmer, believing that the time is at hand when the farmer should as sume control of his own affairs." Also that "We declare our object to be the upbuilding of the farm ers through co-operative effort." Mr. Gustafson was made chairman of the com mittee of seven charged with the duty of organ izing the new amalgamation. H. L. Bissonnette, president of the Iowa branch, Society of Equity, was made vice chairman, with J. Weller Long as secretary-treasurer. The other members of the committee are Messrs. Fuller, Hampton, Lamborn and McGill. Their duty will be to poll the mem bership of the various farmer organizations to se cure agreement upon a definite method of co-ordi nating their activities and securing a closer union between them. REFERENDUM VOTE BY STATES IS PROPOSED In the opinion of some of the parties to the Des Moines conference the membership of the Grange, the Equity and the Farmers' union in mapy of the states will decide to leave their parent bodies and join the United Farmers of America. Whether this will be done—if at all —by a referendum vote in each or ganization in each state, whereby the majority will take the minority along with them, or whether the minority will -be left in control of a pro rata share of the assets of the old organ ization is a point not yet worked out definitely. If a very large majority in a state organization votes for af filiation with the new body, ways and means will be found which will make the transfer possible. The North Carolina Farmers' union has withdrawn from the Na tional Farmers' union. For some time threats have been heard of similar withdrawal of other state Farmers' union organizations from their national affiliation due to dis agreement upon policy. The situa tion has been growing steadily more acute in the Grange, whose western membership has been strongly op posed to the return of the railroads to private operation, while the Na tional Grange officers, using the funds furnished in part by these western members, came to Washing ton and lobbied for the return of the roads to private hands. The decision to break away was reached when the National Grange, National Farm ers' union and Federation of Fo/in Bureaus' officials, with the heads of four other bodies claiming to repre sent farm interests, issued a procla mation ridiculing the proposal that farmers and town wage-workers join -political forces for common ends this year. This new alignment is an affirma tion that the real farmers are in hearty accord with the American labor movement and that farmer and town worker are going to join forces —political, economic, industrial—to rid the country of profiteering and to build an effective co-operation. rsi^'