Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: State Historical Society of North Dakota
Newspaper Page Text
A S THIS is written wheat is
I\ being manipulated to a higher price on the grain exchanges. With practically all the grain out of the hands of the farmers and in the hands of mills and middle rinnihlpr5 men, the gamblers as usual have raised raiise the price. Thus mid Prices dlemen who bought wheat atN prices ruinous to the farmers and stor ed it, will make handsome prof its. Thus mills, which did. like wise, will have an excuse to raise the price of flour to consumers and blame the farmers for it. It is the old game which is play ed almost every year. tended to protect farmer as well as labor organizations from sweep ing and unjust court injunctions. Farmers' co-operative ograniza tions, which pool crops and hold for better prices, are just as much "in restraint of trade" as labor unions that get workers together to hold out for better wages. If the injunction can be used to ham string labor, it can be used to hamstring farmers. The recent bill passed by congress, to legalize and encourage nation-wide co-operative crop pooling by farmers, has a provision declaring that such organizations of farmers shall not be proceeded against as "monopolies" and "in restraint of trade." But what good is this guarantee to farmers if courts hold it worthless, as they are now doing in the case of labor? Thejfarmer is or should be vitally interested in this question. The injunction has not been used yet to any extent against farmer organizations. But if farmers do not make their protest heard, capital will use this weapon against them after they have tamed the labor unions with it. If the principle of the right of the courts to interfere on the side of capital in disputes of capital and labor is thoroughly established in the courts, all the basis needed exists to use the same weapon against farmer organizations in their disputes with capital. Labor needs help in this fight, and its biggest support shouTd come from farmers, over whose heads the same sword is hang ing by a hair. But this time there was another motive in the move. The boost in price at the tail-end of the crop year consequently was greater than usual. As this is written the May future price has reached as high as $1.49, with July options $1.38 5-8. It was necessary this year, besides making the usual profits for middlemen and mills, to dis credit and head off, if possible, bills pending in congress to re vive the government grain cor poration and stabilize on a fair basis the price, of farm products. The farmers' demand for price stabilization is getting too strong for congress to resist. The gamblers do not want their operations stopped by price stabilization legislation. So they have brought about a phenomenal and sensational boost in grain futures to deceive the farmers. They hope the farmers will now "lay off" and not insist on price stabilization. That this is the motive back of the boost in prices is shown by the propaganda of the grain trade, and of the daily press which speaks for the trade and opposes price stabilization. There is no valid reason now, they say, for passing the stabilization bills pend ing in congress. For, they say, is not the grain price now high enough to assure farmers cost of production? It is hardly possible, however, that any large number of farm ers will be deceived, or that there will be any let-up in the practically unanimous demand of farmers for action by congress. The May price, which has been boosted to $1.49 as this is written, means nothing to farmers. Few of them have any wheat to sell, or will have any in May. The July price is of course more important, for the winter wheat crop will begin to be marketed then. But the July price has not gone to $1.49. At this writing it is only $1.38 5-8. This is the terminal price on the contract grade. It does not assure farmers anywhere near the cost of production, let alone a fair profit. Anyway, what assurance have winter wheat farmers that the present July future price, or a price anywhere near it, will be in_ effect in July? None whatever! And there is even less assurance that the fall prices, when the spring crop begins to come in, will be living prices. It is all a gamble, as the gamblers of the exchanges well know, with the cards stacked against the farmer. HOW ABOUT BETTER PRICES? THE MUSIC SOUNDS PRETTY WHILE IT LASTS-80T HOW ABOUT A REAL RCMCOV UKE A0 Federal, pool? -Drawn expressly for the Leader by J. M. Baer. Hoover Cuts Poor figure by Attacks PAGE FOUB If any farmer believes that there is any adequate assurance of the present May and July future quotations prevailing when those months come around, let him go to his banker and ask for a new loan on this basis. Tell your tanker that the May whekt price in dicates that the farmers will probably make both ends meet this year. Therefore the hanker has assurance you can pay him. Tell the same thing to your merchant, from whom you buy your supplies and from whom you would like to get a little more credit. If they give you more credit on the strength of the May wheat price, it will be some evidence that this latest trick of the gamblers means some thing. But our guess is they will not give you any more credit be cause of the rise in May futures. But suppose you went"to your banker and merchant and said: "See here—congress has revived the grain corporation and stabiliz ed prices at cost of production plus a fair profit for producers. This is a guarantee that I will make both ends meet on my-crop this year, and have something to pay you off. Please extend this loan forme." Would your banker and merchant do it? Certainly. They haven't any more faith in the gamblers' manipulation of May and July futures than you have. But stabilization of prices means the immediate revival of business and agriculture, for it means-more credit to farmers now—at once —and farmers can buy what they want. Moreover, it means you will get something besides more debts for your work this year, when you sell your wheat next summer or next fall. such money isn't sound, he asks them to explain why. The questions of course strike at the very foundations of the present financial system. Comingfrom a man like Edison, head of some of the largest industries of the country, they show how strong is the disposition today to question the present money system. But if Edison expects his answers from bankers to be any thing more than a glorification of the gold standard and a horror of even discussing any such fundamental change as suggested, he will be disappointed. For the present system, with the so-called gold standard, gives too great advantages to our financial over lords to permit them to see any need of reform. HE smallness of even some of our best-equipped statesmen is a thing to wonder at. Here is Mr. Hoover, a man of great executive ability and a high order of intelligence, using the power of his office to inspire and encourage a cheap, sensational at tack on those agencies in this country, friendly to the Soviet gov ernment, which are raising funds for the starving That is the difference be tween the false hope held out by gamblers, and the assurance of a fair deal through adequate price stabilization legislation. Keep up the fight for the revival of the grain corporation and the stabilization of farm prices! T! HOMAS A. EDISON has sent a list of questions to leading bankers of the country challenging the present money system and so-called gold standard. He asks them what woruld- be the value of gold if gold were de monetized— that is, if gold were not made he standard of value and the basis of our money. He asks them whether currency, secured by twice its value in necessities of' life stored in warehouses, would not be sound money. He asks them whether currency backed- by property instead of gold would not be sound money.- If Edison Challenges Bankers Russians. The Leader has little sympathy for the Soviet regime, but for the life of us we can not un derstand why an official curse should be put upon bread to feed hungry humanity, whether it is donated by Socialists, Communists or Republicans* Mr. Hoover's peevish jealousy of agencies for Russian relief which are independent of his own official agency has also resulted in a hue and cry against such independent agencies as the American Committee for Russian Famine Relief. That committee has no con nection whatever with agencies promoted by radicals and Commun ists, nor with the Soviet government. But it too has been made the victim of Hoover's stupidity* How can he excuse himself?