Anderson, Clinton Presba, 1895-1975; Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972
Cabinet meetings; Food industry and trade; Food aid; Food relief
Cabinet Meeting Minutes, February 5, 1946. Matthew J. Connelly Papers - Notes on Cabinet Meetings I.
CABINET MEET1NG, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 1946
(Special Cabinet meeting was called)
1. Food shortages.
Read cable dated February 4th to the Prime Minister of England with respect
to the wheat and grain shortages as well as shortages in fats, rice and
other food items such meat, bacon and eggs throughout the British Empire.
SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE
Stated he was finding considerable difficulties in taking steps necessary
to bring about desirable results. Believed that if price changes could be
made it might be desirable but statements have been issued by the OPA that
this cannot be done. Secretary believed that we would have to make a
choice of allowing price changes or facing starvation in other parts of the
world. We must break our word either on prices or on commitments to
provide relief for other countries. He believed that a raise in the price
of corn would result in heavier hogs. Stated that the milling industry was
bitterly opposed to change in the extraction rate. The rate is now 72% and
that it should go to 80%. This would bring 25 million bushels additional
to millers. It would, of course, take away from food supplies. It will be
most unpopular, particularly among poultry people who refuse to cut down on
flocks. Present prices for corn and wheat are 42.30 per ton and 59.67 per
ton. There is a black market in corn which is now rampant. Black market
prices provides for a $100 to $200 cash payment above ceiling prices per
car. This corn is billed at the ceiling and the $100 or $200 is
transferred in cash without record. The Secretary also believed that beer
and alcohol should be cut to production rate of five days per month.
Stated that the brewers desire six days but will settle for five. Pointed
out that brewers use two times amount of grain that distillers use. Feels
very strongly that we should not subsidize cost of living in foreign
countries and this is now being done.
Directed the Agriculture, State and Commerce Departments to draw up release
to the public on the recommendations of the report. President agreed that
the report should be released from the White House.
Raised the question as to what the reaction of the Cabinet was on
increased corn prices.
Suggested that he should take the matter up directly with OPA.
We have hundreds of plugged corn elevators because of lack of cars. He
estimated that it would take 30,000 cars to move the corn and for each car
it would take 50 motor trucks.
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