"There is no doubt about the fact that the farmers of the United States are face to face with a very acute situation," declared Professor T. N. Carver recently in a special interview with a CRIMSON reporter concerning the plans adopted by the Governor's Council to ameliorate farming conditions. "This trouble might have been averted if the right measures had been taken at the right time, but it is poor consolation to tell a sick man what he should have done, after he has become ill.
"If deflation of price had been prompt and rigid a year ago, and if the people had been warned, and had accepted the warning, that there would be a general decline of prizes, the present condition would not exist. Last year, whether intentionally or not, the farmers of the country were led to expect that the prices which were in effect at that time would continue through the present year, and as a result, they paid prices for their labor and material which would allow them a profit only if these pirces did continue. Now, however, the nations of Europe cannot afford to buy our surplus, and as a result of this overproduction, food prices in the United States have been greatly reduced and the farmers find that they cannot sell their produce at a profit.
Although the situation is extremely unfortunate, the farmers will have to face it and plan their production so that they can make a profit next year.
Offer Remedial Plans
"Several plans have been tried to ameliorate these conditions, and some are still under reconsideration. Recently, a conference composed of Governors of several states went on record as favoring creation by the federal government of a foreign trade finance corporation designed to come to the rescue of American farmers who face ruin because there is no market for their surplus stock of foodstuffs, grain and other products. This corporation, although it would enable the peoples of other lands to obtain the commodities which they so greatly need, but for which they are not able to make immediate payment, involves a great deal of risk and delay in receiving payment for these loans. A corporation of this kind will necessarily have to use public funds, as the private investor wishes quicker and more certain returns for his money. At present, the people of Europe do not possess the means with which to buy our surplus, and, unless some corporation of this kind is formed, they will not be able to do so for a long time to come.
Federal Reserve Board Might Aid
"Another plan which has been suggested to relieve the situation is to have the federal reserve board extend a large amount of credit to the farmers and to adopt a very liberal policy toward renewals. This, however, may afford temporary relief, but conditions will have to eventually get back to normal, and in this period of readjustment, someone must suffer. As Senator Edge of New Jersey says, "The only durable and infallible barometer of business is the law of supply and demand, and to set up an artificial and false structure for the maintenance of prices, because certain industries are suffering, is only postponing the evil day when all business industry, including farmers, will have to face the music.'
"The farmers will have to reduce their production--to supply only our own needs if something is not done to finance the export of their surplus. This situation shows that all parts of the world are interdependent. During the war, Europe suffered more than we did, and for a long time we profited by it. Now, however, the poverty and bankruptcy in Europe has begun to affect us adversely, and we must make the best of conditions as they exist."