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can a new occupant whom you interview on April 1 report on a farm which he did not operate in 1929?
Mr. LOZIER. You have entirely eliminated the landlord from that equation. Is he not a prime factor, and will you not be able to get more information from him than from the tenant, frequently? I know the custom in Missouri. There is not a man who owns a piece of land that is occupied by tenants, but wbo, with a little notice, can state, “I own this 80 acres of land; it was farmed last year by John Jones; it produced 868 bushels of wheat, 1,250 bushels of corn, and 80 tons of hay." He can turn to his settlement sheets and ascertain those facts. Now, are you not predicating your argument upon a condition which eliminates the landlord exclusively from the problem?
Mr. OLSEN. In answering your question, in the first place, I would call your attention to the fact that I do not believe the census has in the past interviewed the landlords to get the record of the farms that they rent. We have been interested in getting certain data which only landlords can give. I think what you say is true, however, of a good many landlords, but with a good many other landlords it is not the case. For instance, you have got a good many share tenants, where a good bit of the crops are fed to the livestock and the landlord does not have a record of the crops that were grown.
Mr. LOZIER. Oh, yes; he does.
Mr. LOZIER. Oh, yes; every landlord who has sense enough to own a farm, when he settles with his tenant, if any part of that crop has been fed by the tenant to his work stock or to other livestock, that is taken into consideration in the adjustment of the rent, and the settlement is made on this basis. For instance, quantity of corn sold, 1,580 bushels, quantity of corn fed by the tenant, 280 bushels, total corn crop, 1,860 bushels. Does not that practice prevail extensively? You do not think for a moment that the landlord would permit the tenant to feed up a portion of the crop and not require the tenant to account to the landlord for it?
Mr. OLSEN. Now, what you say is true of certain types of tenantowner relationships, but there are other relationships; there are a good many rented farms where the landlord has a joint ownership in the cattle, hogs, and livestock generally, where they agree to handle them jointly.
Mr. LOZIER. But that is not 3 per cent in Missouri, I would say; it is not 3 per cent of the farming operations.
Mr. LOZIER. I think it will vary a good deal in various sections.
Mr. WHITE. I would like to interrupt Mr. Lozier to ask, are the Bilbys and Rankins in your district?
Mr. LOZIER. No; they are in the fourth district.
Mr. WHITE. They are the greatest cattle-breeders in the United States.
· Mr. LOZIER. Yes; in the world. But it seems to me that if you are going to get a farm census, the Census Bureau or the Department of Agriculture, in seeking this information, should not exclude the landlord, who, 9 times out of 10, has detailed and accurate information as to the production on each farm. I happen to own several little tracts of land; and I follow the custom which prevails throughout the Middle West. A settlement is made with each tenant, and computations are made as to the amount of corn that he has fed his work stock, and the quantity of corn that he has fed his other animals, and the tenant is charged with the corn or other grain he has consumed. I do not believe that you could go to any of my tenants and fail to get within a few bushels their production of corn, wheat, or other grain.
The CHAIRMAN. I am informed that in the South, where the renting of farms is probably more prevalent than in any other part of the country, the Census Bureau information was largely obtained from the landlord. In some cases a landlord will have as many as a hundred tenants, and the census got their information as suggested by Mr. Lozier, from the owner of the land.
Mr. OLSEN. That would be true, if I may answer that point, of the plantations on which you have croppers. I would like to raise the question whether or not that would be true of straight tenants.
The CHAIRMAN. Can some member of the Census Bureau answer that?
Doctor Hill. No; that would not. The instructions require them to see the tenants.
Mr. OLSEN. In the second chart that I showed you, I eliminated the croppers in one column in order to get a residual that would correspond more nearly with the situation in the North.
Now, there is another point that occurs to me. While a good many of the landlords might have the information that you desire, I think you will find landlords scattered all over the United States, and I am wondering if it would not be a very laborious, expensive, and difficult job to locate the landlords and get the information that you want from them.
Mr. LOZIER. Occasionally, a landlord is nonresident, but in cases of that kind the landlord has a local agent who has those facts. This is true throughout Missouri, and I believe throughout the Middle West; nearly all tenancies are on the crop-division plan. Now, there are very few instances where the tenant pays a cash rental. The landlord and the tenant are both interested in the crop, and both have a check upon production. Take, for instance, a corn crop. The custom throughout Missouri and many States of the Middle West is this: The lease provides that the entire crop shall be gathered and binned, then sold in bulk, and the proceeds divided; or after it is gathered and binned, the corn is measured and divided; but the general practice is, in my country, for the crop to be gathered and binned, then it is sold, and the proceeds are divided. It is just like handling the wheat crop; settlements with tenants are made after the wheat crop has been marketed, and the scale tickets and the check from the elevator are obtained, then the expense of harvesting and the other deductions are made, and the division is made. Ordinarily, the tenant gets a copy of these settlements, but if he does not his memory will not fail him as to the grain he produced in any given year.
Take a man who has raised 800 bushels of wheat, and ask him six months or a year afterward, “How much wheat did you raise last year?” and he will tell you within 10, 15, or 20 bushels of the amount, because his business is not so complicated and varied that he will allow a matter of that kind to slip from his mind.
Mr. OLSEN. There is a very large percentage-I can not give it to you offhand, but I can supply it—there is quite a large percentage of
cash tenants, who pay cash per acre to the landlord. Now, Iļdo not see how the landlord in that case could supply the basic data that is going to be required by the census schedules.
Mr. MOORMAN. If the landlord could not, what is to keep the tenant from giving it? No man with intelligence enough to own his farm, no matter whether he is a nonresident of the State, goes away and leaves that farm without leaving somebody on it intelligent enough to give the details of the crop that is raised on the farm that year.
Mr. Olsen. I think that would be an exceedingly remote possibility, that the new occupant who comes on that farm is going to be able to report what happened in the way of yields and acreage in 1929. I do not think you would get the data there.
Mr. MOORMAN. But somebody on the farm should know it, some tenant or somebody.
Mr. OLSEN. It is a very remote possibility. I think you would run into the greatest difficulties conceivable on that score. What you say might apply to landlords who keep good records of their farms, where there is a division of the grain and livestock; but in many cases I know there are what are called share-tenants, especially in the Middle West, where the landlord will take half of the wheat, corn or oats, but he may not have an interest in the livestock, and he can not report on the livestock; so you would only have a partial report from that type of landlord, you would get a very inadequate picture from him, taking it by and large, and you would run into exceedingly great difficulties.
Now, the next chart illustrates the point that was raised a moment ago, as to the distance that farmers move. This chart is divided into two parts. In the first half we have a table showing the distance that tenant farmers move. Here we have a number of headings indicating the distances that we estimate they move-between 5 and 9 miles, between 10 and 24 miles, between 25 and 100 miles, and over 100 miles. Now, for the United States as a whole, taking the tenant farmers, 42 per cent move under 5 miles, 23 per cent between 5 and 9 miles, 21 per cent between 10 and 24 miles, 9 per cent between 25 and 100 miles, and 5 per cent over 100 miles. Now suppose we group together these three and see what sort of figure we get. Assuming that those who move from 10 to 24 miles or over, quite likely move out of the county, we get these figures: 35 per cent for the United States as a whole, 28 per cent for the Northeastern, 35 per cent for the North Central, 33 per cent for the South, and 45 per cent for the West. TABLE 1.-Perrentage of moves made by farmers, by distance-Owners comparea
with tenants TENANT-FARMER MOVES
TABLE 7—Percentage of moves made by farmers, by distance-Owners compared
get tent, totes 13 pet ow,
Mr. MOORMAN. How do you arrive at those figures?
Mr. OLSEN. They were obtained from schedules that were sent to the tenants.
Mr. MOORMAN. You say you got those from the tenants. I will ask you, if you can not rely on the tenant to tell you what he raised the year before, how can you rely on him to get these figures that you present to this committee?
Mr. OLSEN. The tenant on the farm may be a very intelligent man, and there is a certain class of data that he can give, but there are other classes of data that it is difficult for him to give. I think that is only human nature.
Mr. MOORMAN. In other words, he would remember better how far he moved than what he raised the year before he moved?
Mr. OLSEN. Yes; I think he would. Mr. MOORMAN. All right. Mr. OLSEN. Now, if we combine these two groups, and consider that a move of 25 miles or over is a move out of the county, then we get these figures: For the United States as a whole it would be 14 per cent, for the Northeastern States, 9 per cent, for the North Central States 13 per cent, for the South 15 per cent, and for the West 26 per cent. Now, the lower half of this chart shows the same type of material for owner farmers. For the United States as a whole, 36 per cent move under 5 miles, 18 per cent between 5 and 9 miles, 20 per cent between 10 and 24 miles, 14 per cent between 25 and 100 miles, and 12 per cent over 100 miles. We take these three groups again and consider a move of over 10 miles as a move out of the county, and we get these figures: That 46 per cent move out of the county. That is on the assumption that those who move in this group also move out of the county, but some do not, of course.
Mr. MOORMAN. Does that purport to show that it is a fact that 46 per cent of the landowners· Mr. OLSEN. These are the owner farmers.
Mr. MOORMAN. That 46 per cent of the owner farmers of any community move in a year?
Mr. OLSEN. No, sir; I am laying down certain conditions. I say, if we assume that those who move in these three groups have moved out of the county, then we have this 46 per cent. Now, we find that in the South, where they have relatively small counties, the large majority of them in this group would move out of the county. i
Mr. WHITE. Your percentages are simply percentages of those who do move annually?
Mr. OLSEN. Yes; that is quite right.
Mr. OLSEN. We sent a schedule to a man and asked him how far the farm that he is on now is from the farm that he was on last year.
Mr. DE ROUEN. I notice that you have one column which is headed "number studied." I understand, then, that you have studied a certain number and you arrived at an average from the figures that you received?
Mr. OLSEN. Yes, sir.
Mr. DE ROUEN. What I have in mind is this—and I do not want to criticize you at all—but it does seem that you have studied a small number to arrive at those figures, in some places; for instance, in Georgia 391, Florida 20, Louisiana 74, etc.
The CHAIRMAN. Let me ask you this: You say you sent out these circulars or questionnaires. How many questionnaires did you send out? Mr. OLSEN. Mr. Becker, will you answer that?
The CHAIRMAN. Taking the number of tenant farmers moving; the number studied. · Mr. BECKER. There were 9,725 returns.
The CHAIRMAN. How many circulars or questionnaires did you send out?
Mr. BECKER. On an inquiry of this type, probably 20 per cent of those sent out brought replies; probably 50,000 were sent out.
The CHAIRMAN. It is somewhat in the nature of a straw vote?
The CHAIRMAN. If it is like some straw votes, it would not establish the integrity of these charts. Now, you sent out 50,000 circulars and received approximately 10,000 returns—the exact figure is 9,725. That is a small percentage of the circulars sent out. In other words, the farmers to whom they were sent took so little interest in them that only one out of five replied to them, and yet on that basis of one out of five you based your figures upon which you have constructed these charts and presented them to the committee. I am only interested in establishing the integrity of these plats, and it seems to me that there should have been a greater response, a greater percentage of replies, to prove or establish the reliability of those charts, than the very small percentage of replies which you received. Now, I do not want to question the integrity of the plats so far as you got replies, but you must remember that there are 6,000,000 farmers in the country, and you sent out 50,000 questionnaires and received approximately 10,000 replies. Of course, these particular figures only refer to tenant farmers.
Mr. OLSEN. Of course, you would have to compare these figures with the total number of tenant farmers.
The CHAIRMAN. How did you ascertain that they were tenant farmers? How many tenant farmers are there in the country, do you know? Mr. OLSEN. We got the basic data, to begin with, from the census.
The CHAIRMAN. How many were there that moved? You say you sent out 50,000 circulars and you got replies from less than 10,000, and you try to establish the integrity of the charts on such a small percentage as that?