The Nixon White House Tapes
Milk Price Subsidies
March 23, 1971
This is the transcript of a meeting of President Richard Nixon, John Connally, John Ehrlichman, Clifford Hardin, John Whitaker, George Schultz, Phil Campbell and Donald Rice. It took place in the Oval Office from 5.05-5.38pm.
It contains a discussion of the Associated Milk Producers PAC (political action committee) and the electoral value of of milk subsidies for the 1972 election.
Nixon: Hi, Phil, how are you?
Nixon: Sorry to keep you waiting.
That's all right.
Nixon: I suggest that we sit over here
everybody. More room and, uh -- [coughing] Sit
Unidentified: Yeah, this --
Unidentified: Oh, that's all right.
Unidentified: I had
that Senator [unintelligible]
Unidentified: Came in and got me
nervous, uh, he --
Unidentified: If he'll go with you, well,
Unidentified: Very clever.
Nixon: They're counting on
Unidentified: Concentrate on Hubert.
is supposed to have told Meany that I, uh --
Schultz: I don't know
that you've met Don Rice, from the Office of Management and
Schultz: Don Rice.
Rice: How are you?
talked with Meany this afternoon about the SST.
Schultz: He said he was all out on it. If there was
anything we wanted him to do, he wanted to do it. He'd be ready to
do it. They --
Nixon: Well, could you ask him to, could you
ask him, could you phone him back after this meeting and ask him to
call Hubert Humphrey, with the understanding he, uh --
Nixon: Hubert Humphrey has told everybody that he was
going to be for it. And he understood -- only because Meany was for
Schultz: That's right.
Nixon: Because Labor was for it.
And, now that we understand he's wavering in it, he 's breaking. And
that Hubert Humphrey's vote may make the difference.
right. I'll call him. He said he -- he had been calling me and that
he had quite a few disappointments, he said. But, anyway, I think
we're working on it and we will continue to work on
Nixon: And he, however, is apparently not doing
Schultz: That's right.
Nixon: Uh, uh, uh, well, we
ought to review this, this situation with regard to milk. Now, uh,
John, would you express your views, uh, to us all -- you expressed
them to me this morning. [Coughs] I had a [unintelligible] you
fellows heard their story today.
Ehrlichman: It's dead. It's
Connally: Well, Mr. President, I don't -- I understand you did
meet with 'em -- But I don't want to try to go back over the
economics of it, uh, I'm not --
Nixon: How about the
politics? Can you --
Connally: Uh, I'm not trying to talk about
it or discuss at any great length the, the economics of it, but as
far as the politics are concerned -- looking to 1972, it, uh, it
appears very clear to me that you're going to have to move, uh,
strong in the Midwest. You're going to have to be strong in rural
America, uh, and particularly that part of the country. Now, there
are a lot of things that you can't do, uh, with respect to farmers.
They're almost, uh, beyond help at this point. Uh, they feel like
they are. They don't feel like anybody's trying to help them. Uh,
every time they turn around, they hear somebody talking about,
wanting to increase imports on beef from Australia to, to -- in
behalf of the consumer. Hog prices are down what, uh, fif--seventeen
Hardin: [Unintelligible] dollars from
Connally: They were, they were twenty-nine a year
Hardin: It's because they grew so many.
we had, there's, there's lots of problems and they're responsible
for a lot of them. Fortunately, beef prices have held up fairly well
but, uh, grain is an insoluble problem so far as I can tell. Uh, it,
it, it -- worrying with it for years, so I, I just don't know many
areas that you can do many things -- that's the net of what I'm
saying -- to help, uh, the farmers uh, and the dairy people now.
These dairymen are organized; they're adamant; they're militant.
This particular group, AMPI, which is the American Milk Producers
Institute or something, uh, represents about forty thousand people.
The one that parallels them on the East, uh, Mid-Con, or something
Connally: Mid-American group
represents about forty thousand. The Southeastern group, uh,
Dairymen Incorporated, whatever their name is, represents a lesser
number, but probably in the range of twenty thousand members. They,
uh, very frankly, they tap these fellows I believe it's one-third of
one percent of their total" sales or ninety-nine dollars a year
whichever is --
Nixon: Like a union.
Connally: Oh, it's a
check-off. No question about it. And they're meeting, and they're
having meetings. They have them a Sabreliner airplane, and they just
travel from one part of the country to another part of the country
to get these fellows in and they sign them up and it's a pure
check-off deal. And they, they're amassing an enormous amount of
money that they're going to put into political activities, very
frankly. And, uh, uh, I think, in the first place -- I think they've
got, uh, a legitimate cause. I wouldn't, I wouldn't recommend that
you do, you ta--, anything that didn't have any merit to it. They're
asking for, for an increase in the cost, uh, in the price of a
hundredweight up to four -- $4.92. They originally started out a
$5.05. And, uh, uh, I am sure that these fellows can-all argue more
convincingly than I can that on the basis of the merits, they ought
not to get it, or that milk production will go up or something else,
but the truth of the matter is, the price of milk is now pegged at
$4.92. You're not going to raise the price of milk. Uh, they're
supporting the price of milk themselves with their own money by
buying cheese. Right today. Now, if they, if you don't support the
price, if Cliff doesn't support it at $4.92, they're going to have
to drop it because their, their resources are not such that, that
they can continue to pay the difference between, what, $4.66 and
the, and the $4.92. So they'll drop the price.
they're, they're in trouble. They've already spent more money than
they have, and they're going to drop the price of milk about fifty
cents a hundred., on, uh, April one. [Unintelligible) lost to the
Treasury. This is why they're desperate --
not, they aren't simply involved with low resources.
They, they may well have. Now, there's some talk that, uh, that if
the management of it's in trouble and so forth -- I don't believe
it, I don't believe it.
Unidentified: I'll, I'll
They just raised and paid twenty thousand dollars for a meeting in
Brownsville not too long ago. And this means -they've got security.
And, uh, they're doing some things that I think are a little
strong-armed tactics, perhaps, in, uh, the organizing, uh. But, uh,
I don't criticize that unless we are prepared to take on business
and labor and all at the same time. There's no point in denying the
farmer what's the practice for labor. And, uh, so I'm not, I
wouldn't judge it on a moral basis. I judge it on the basis of,
Hardin: You've heard all the rest of it
addressing myself to the narrow aspects, to the political aspects of
it. I don't think there's a better organization in the United
States. If you can get it, uh, you can get more help from, that, uh,
will be, uh, be more loyal to you. And, uh, and I think they've got
a worthy case to begin with. And uh, that being true, I just think
you ought to stretch the point. I wouldn't wait till next year, so
that -- I know that there's been some advice given to you, to wait
till next year. Uh, that's -- I will differ with that, simply
because they're going to make their association and -their alliances
this year and they're going to spend a lot of money this year in
various Congressional and Senatorial races all over this United
States. And, you don't want to be in a position -- as you well know
better than I -- you got no questions when people think they forced
you into doing something for them. And they're not now in that
position. If, if you do something for them this year, they think
you've done it because they got a good case and because you're their
friend. If you wait till next year, I don't care what you do for
them. They're going to say, "Well, we put enough pressure on them
this election year, they had to do it." And you, you get no credit
for it. So it's still going to cost you an enormous amount of money
next year, and you get no political advantage out of it. And, I just
think that, uh, that unless you just, uh -- the economics of it are
just beyond reach, or beyond question that, uh, if you ought to
really seriously think about doing it this year.
That's the problem. I have two problems -- is that you have it in
the House and the Senate.
Connally: What you are going -to do on
Nixon: What I mean
is, that if you don't do it, they're going to do it
Connally: I think if you don't do it
Connally: they're going to pass it.
think they do.
Hardin: I think it's
Nixon: We have a damn
near insoluble problem.
Hardin: I think it's, as it stands today,
it's almost certain to pass.
Connally: Uh, I think -that's
Ehrlichman: Is that what Belcher told you?
yes, I think they got a hundred and fifty names on the
Unidentified: You sure?
Unidentified: What is it?
Hardin: and, uh, the Speaker's
all out for it.
Connally: Absolutely. Wilbur's all out for
Connally: Well, they're going to pass
it through the House. Beyond any question in the world.
And, uh, and, uh, they'll pull the liberals on this one, uh, because
they're, they'll say they're going to embarrass the
Nixon: That's right.
Hardin: Uh, the liberals
might attract the consumers in any other situation. But they won't
do it now.
Nixon: That'll raise the price, you see. I mean,
that's the way they'll cut the liberals off. They'll say: No,
they're going to -- we guarantee, we won't -- like they told us this
morning, we won't raise the price; we'll cut back on production --
we'll have a voluntary --
Hardin: Uh, I spoke, I spoke a little
bit with them, this morning, uh, but 1 just don't quite know
Connally: Now they've
already figured out and how -- They're circulating -- I've had it
for days they're circulating how they're going to cut you up this
year. And that's what they're going to do. They got it all figured
out. They're passing this out on the Hill, just exactly how many
electoral votes they're going to cost you if you veto the 85% bill
-- which they think they're going to pass. And I think they're going
to pass it. And they say that it'll cost you Missouri, Wisconsin,
South Dakota for sure. Veto will probably cost you Ohio, Kentucky
and Iowa. And, then they go on down and they take the states and
they figure what percentage of the states it's going to cost you and
they're going to [unintelligible]
Hardin: Well, if it does pass,
I don't think the President has any choice but to sign
Nixon: Well-, all right.
Connally: Well, then, what do
you do? If you do, you've cost yourself the money -- you've lost
your political advantage. You, you're, you're infinitely worse
Connally: That's where you
Hardin: I think so.
Nixon: What's the
Hardin: Oh, it's just a wild guess. They said thirty-five
million and I would suggest that it's, uh, nearer a
Nixon: You would?
Hardin: Now if they could get,
if they need to we had a little talk after you left
Hardin: uh, about whether they really
could influence production. And they could, if they went all out to
do it. And what they would do, a year from now, would be end up with
a hundred and twenty million -- billion pounds of milk produced. Uh,
they'd be a mature enough organization that they could, uh,
recognize that they had made a mistake and could go out and tell
their members they had to survive. Uh, well, they're -- maybe we
won't talk about that. Uh, it's a fact of life. Uh
it seems to me that the problem we have, Cliff, is this. That, uh,
and as you know we have decided on a different course of action in
the cheese business and all the other --
Hardin: Well that has to
be done. That has, has to be done anyhow.
Nixon: Oh, what I
mean isn't that what we decided that, and that was all we could
Schultz: The higher you raise the
price, the more certain it is that you have to be strict about the
imports, otherwise, all we're doing is paying the money to the
Schultz: You have to make a
judgment on the import business.
Nixon: Uh, I see your
Schultz: See that high price
here throughout the
Nixon: Uh, uh
Nixon: like high
Unidentified: That's right.
Nixon: Well, it's one of those things
where with all you experts sitting around where you have to make a
political judgment. My political judgment is that the Congress is
going to pass it. I could not veto it. Not because they're milk
producers, but because they're farmers. And it would be just turning
down the whole damn middle America. Uh, where, uh, we, uh, where we,
uh, need support. And under the circumstances, I think the best
thing to do is to just, uh, relax and enjoy it.
Connally: Mr. President, trade for both years, if you do
it. Trade for this year and next year, if you possibly
Nixon: With these people?
Connally: Yes, sir.
that be done? I, uh, that's what I, uh
Nixon: That would be great.
Ehrlichman: If you could make a deal for the two
Connally: Yes, sir. It can be done.
Hardin: They will do
Unidentified: You bet.
Connally: Won't they
Unidentified: Yeah, I
Unidentified: Well, I would say the price is
Nixon: Yes, that's correct.
Hardin: The other thing Mr. President, so they're not
Unidentified: And, uh
Hardin: that, uh, on grounds that
it would be just hard to answer. These fellows have a tendency to
say, "Well, now look, uh, look at the construction industry. Look at
Labor. Uh, and then why be so chintzy with us? Uh, all, all evidence
is our costs keep rising, and that we're under the freeze, and, uh,
you take it out on us not, not the people who are really causing the
problem." And, this is hard to answer, uh, when it's a challenge put
that way --
Campbell: Well I think we can settle for
Unidentified: We've got this other consid-
right, make the best deal you can.
Nixon: Do it for two years and, uh, we, uh, we, uh, we
know that, uh, and as I say, I appreciate the, the very fine
judgment to the contrary which, which you can't do as, uh
Now, we must do one other thing, uh
Nixon: Let's let them know what we're doing.
Ehrlichman: Let's get credit.
Unidentified: Oh, God,
if we're going to do this
Connally: Mr. President
Connally: Please, may I interject a
Nixon: Uh, uh
Nixon: Anything you
Connally: Well, let's don't, let's don't trade the, uh, uh,
through Agriculture, uh, on the merits
Connally: until, uh, some other conversations are
Nixon: Yeah. Yeah.
[Unintelligible] we've got a little work to do. We've got to let
Page, that, uh
Hardin: I mean Bob
Connally: All I'm saying is you
Ehrlichman: No. Later,
Connally: you're in this thing for everything,
you, you can get out of it. [Unintelligible]
Ehrlichman: Now you could
hold your position now till you get the green light, couldn't
Connally: Oh, sure.
as I say, then Agriculture doesn't need to do anything right
'Nixon: You, you're now thinking of
the political offer?
Ehrlichman: In a day or so.
[Several voices]: [Unintelligible]
Schultz: The sooner you do it, the
better off you're going to be, aren't you?
Hardin: Uh, yeah.
Possibly, uh -- Page,
Schultz: In a day or so.
Page knows Dole. I wish he hadn't done it quite this way, but one of
his little talks to the Speaker, and Wilbur -- He got them to agree
to hold the bill until he could talk to the White
Nixon: Well --
Connally: He, he could make, Mr.
President, I suggest to you that somebody could make a little
capital with the Speaker and with Wilbur. Now if you'll do this. Now
somebody can do it. Now, they'll, they'll say, well, you, you know,
they'll say, well, "You did it because
Connally: we've introduced a bill."
Connally: But I know somebody down here can make a little
time with them. How much, how much I don't know. But it's worth
trying, obviously, because they're both extremely interested in
Ehrlichman: Phil, move over there, would you. We'd like to
get the picture of some of the House groups that are interested in
the topic [intelligible]. All together now.
Hardin: Wilbur, uh
Unidentified: Shouldn't happen [unintelligible]
an aside on this: Wilbur passed the message to me via Bill Gifford
to thank you very much. Apparently his family was
Unidentified: Yeah, he got around to the White
Schultz: And, uh, he spoke with -- and the grand --and he
said the grandchildren loved it. Wilbur says it's the nicest thing
that's happened to him in years.
Schultz: And I
just wanted you to know [unintelligible] he apprecia--, he really
had a very pleasant evening.
Connally: Let me tell you how
important I think it is to Wilbur. Now I don't -- I can't vouch for
this. I haven't pursued it. I haven't followed it up. I don't want
to. But, I was told that you could almost name your price
with-Wilbur short of all-out support of revenue sharing if you did
Ehrlichman: You know him?
Connally: Yes, sir.
You that close to him?
Connally: That's correct.
he knows this bill intimately.
Campbell: And he can explain it to you better than the
Connally: That's correct.
Connally: He sure can.
Nixon: I noticed they had a
strong man from Arkansas in there, didn't they?
uh, let me ask this. Uh, who's the guy that told?
Nixon: What my point is: This is something where I
would not have it done by you, Cliff, in Agriculture. Let's have it
done in a way by somebody who has to get something out of it. Uh,
like George. You see my point?
Hardin: Uh hm. Sure.
Nixon: How would that be? Does
that sound all right to you, John? Or should you tell
Connally: No. I think somebody other than me,
Connally: I think George,
Connally: whoever --
Nixon: You see
Schultz: Yeah, maybe John and I.
John Ehrlichman and George.
Connally: And don't overlook the
Speaker, Mr. President.
Nixon: And do the same with the
Speaker. But, I mean the point is, when you do something for these
fellows, remember, don't just let them think that we're doing it
for, uh, turning our back on policy. Get a picture to
Unidentified: True. Right.
Nixon: You have that point,
Unidentified: Yes, sir.
could maybe suggest a better way. If you tie it in uh, keep in mind
that Wilbur called me twice about this.
Connally: And I think Jerry called him about
Hardin: Did he call you about it?
Connally: The Speaker
called me, which is very unusual, and he just normally doesn't do
Unidentified: Well, that's fine Dick, both talked to you
Nixon: All right. Fine. Well, all
Ehrlichman: There is --
Nixon: I think that, I
think that, I think what our ploy should be here is basically, uh,
uh, I think maybe it's, uh, George and John -- What do you think?
Ehrlichman: I think that would be
Nixon: They, they're going to have to deal with them
on revenue sharing and all these other programs. And, and you, uh,
pass the word to -- you of course handle all the -- Page and all
Unidentified: Heh, heh.
Unidentified: If you give them
cookies they, they'll love it.
Hardin: Now look there, there are
a few of those, fellows -- Let's take them home with
[Several voices] Oh, yeah.
Hardin: There are only a
few. And, uh, I think we got to give them a chance to holler
Ehrlichman: I'll agree.
Unidentified: Now -- I'll
Nixon: That's right. That's right.
Hardin: We may
need them again.
Nixon: Yes, sir. They've been
Hardin: We're going to let
you time the announcement and see what we can
Unidentified: We may need some
Nixon: What would
you like to do with the timing, Cliff? I mean -- What are you
Hardin: Well, I think it depends on George. Uh, you
know, uh, uh, we've got to accommodate -- I think we ought to go
Nixon: Good, I think the sooner the
Hardin: And, uh ---
Nixon: because, uh, let's
don't have, let's don't do it under pressure.
Hardin: And, uh,
uh, uh, I think that if you can get Wilbur and, uh, uh, the Speaker
Hardin: uh, then, uh, uh, you get
a hold of Page and these other fellows, uh, also, but, as soon as
they know what we are thinking about, uh, it will leak out pretty
Schultz: Well, I don't think that there's any problems about
the thing and, uh ---
Nixon: But be sure you get to Page
Nixon: He could
Unidentified: But you're going to have to
Schultz: If you wanted to, you could do it. At
the same time, of course, you get different people doing it so they
don't get crossed up.
Unidentified: All right.
it, it -- it's going to have to almost be done simultaneously
because just as soon as they've talked, it's so important, everybody
is going to know it. The first one that knows -is going to get on
the phone and call the dairymen,
Unidentified: You, uh
Campbell: and soon as one of the dairymen knows, all of them
Nixon: I'll say.
Schultz: Uh, but aren't you and
somebody going to want to talk to the dairymen about it so you can
set up a
Ehrlichman: Make a two year deal.
Unidentified: A two
Schultz: two year deal.
Nixon: I think first you
have got to -- Well, then and they ' re going to know - They're,
Campbell: But no, Mr. President, you could ask, you
could ask if we're able to do anything would you be satisfied to
leave this alone next year. They'll come back promptly and you'll
get a way out if you do. They'll never, never listen to the
Secretary. We've found that --
Unidentified: Um huh.
But I can tell you --
Unidentified: And I know --
Campbell: I suggest
just as quick I can get them on the telephone.
Connally: May I also suggest --
Nixon: Make sure
you got the deal to present to me. And, uh ---
Campbell: No. I'm not notifying them
Nixon: No, no, no, no, no.
Ehrlichman: His idea is that he'll say, "Look we
were able to do this. Will you pledge this." See?
Campbell: No, no problem.
Nixon: Yeah, yeah. Then that way the decision is
still open. And then, boom.
Connally: And you can pretty well
seal this, John and George, uh, when you talk to Wilbur and the
Speaker. The two year aspect.
Unidentified: You handle
Connally: You should hear that out and we'll talk about
WHITAKER: I just want to raise one point. The thing that got
that started is the concern of over-production. If you don't think
down the line with me it will be more trouble in the
Campbell: This -- if, if we do it'll be two years off and
not next year.
Unidentified: That's it.
Nixon: And John,
what other problems does that involve? Uh, uh
[Unintelligible] you may have over-production next year. And we may
blame it on this. But it will be for other reasons.
Ehrlichman: Actually it takes more -takes longer than
Nixon: There's one thing about this, it's one thing
about this industry that is, uh, quite interesting. It's that, uh,
it's, uh, it's a big business. From the standpoint -- you know, they
go into this business, you know, and people say -- It -- As a matter
of fact, I get the impression, Cliff, and I'm not too much of an
expert on the farmer, but I get the impression that -- For example,
with regard, uh, uh, regarding, regarding the price of hogs. People
who go into that business, from what I gather -- it's pretty easy,
Hardin: Changing the par--when compared
The dairy business, on the other hand, requires an enormous net
invest--, investment. You know, you can raise more pigs,
Hardin: Yes. And the, and the times get --
Fast. Fast. And that's why the pig, po--, the corn-hog ratio uh --
that business goes up and down almost like an escalator, doesn't
Connally: Mr. President, two litters
per year and the average now is running better than seven pigs per
litter, isn't it?
Campbell: Mr. President, there has been some
studies run on this and the cost is approximately, it approaches two
thousand dollars per cow. So you just multiply fifty cows, a hundred
cows, a hundred-fifty cows by two, two thousand dollars. You've got
a pretty good investment.
Nixon: Well, you have an enormous--
so somebody is going to go into that business.
Nixon: I mean, uh, there are added things; it's, it's a
big, uh --
Campbell: Big chunk of cash. Can't go less than fifty
Nixon: I know. Yeah.
Campbell: seventy or
Nixon: Yeah. Yeah.
Hardin: But, uh, we had, what,
a million dairy farmers, uh, ten years ago and down four hundred
thousand from what you were.
Schultz: We have a, uh, we have a
problem to, to, uh, think about here on the antitrust side of this
thing, uh, they're going to wind up in trouble.
Hardin: Yes, they
may have --
Schultz: If they try to control production,
Yeah, they, they
Schultz: they're over -- they're, very
Hardin: may have already
done it. But, uh, ut --
Connally: The significant thing is they
have legal counsel and they're following their advice.
Schultz: They do have a good legal
Ehrlichman: They have a good one.
got them all over the country.
Connally: Uh, there are many folks
(unintelligible] but I don't know Cliff what you're talking
Hardin: Uh, well, they're, they're sure, they're sure
awfully close to the line. They are not the first group in the
economy, that's done that.
Unidentified: Oh, I'll say.
Nixon: Well, we won't prosecute the
Hardin: Could I bring up just one other
Hardin: It's a somewhat related
subject, Mr. President.
Hardin: It doesn't
have anything to do with this matter; but, uh, --
Hardin: Uh? Meat, meat
imports. Uh --
Nixon: Oh, that. I thought we decided
Hardin: We did.
Nixon: We are going to import aren't
Hardin: Uh, a little, uh, as little as possible. But Mr.
Houthaker called me yester--He's convening a meeting now, and, uh,
he thinks we ought to force the price of beef down. And let in more
imports. And he's, he wants a inter-departmental meeting. I think
it's next Tue--Monday or Tuesday. And this is just going to, uh,
raise havoc with the cattlemen all over again. When we just got them
all quieted down. They've all written articles; they're just
bleeding about what the President did.
Nixon: What would I
do, if, if -- and didn't -- I imported not too much, and meanwhile
hold that middle, middle options?
Hardin: Yes. And, uh, they're,
and uh, so I called Ed and I said, "Now, I want to see you bleed in
your publications. I want you to post all the -- and support the
President. "He went all out with me on this. "Well," he said, "we
[unintelligible] just a little." And I said, "If I see one word
[unintelligible] not one damned one of you is ever going to get in
my office again. Do I make myself clear?" And they did say it in
their publications. They did go all out.
Hardin: Uh, so, uh, uh, to open this up again now, it just
would be terrible. There's no -- In fact it'll change a bit. It's
just a --George, can you, can you collar that guy? And,
Schultz: No, I, I---
Hardin: -- He's, he's the one that's
given the Nixon Administration the reputation for being for low farm
prices. He just -- Every once in a while he comes out with
Nixon: Sure never gets reflected in the CPI.
Except, uh --
Nixon: Not this last
Nixon: It was for six months
before that, though.
Nixon: So we've got
to get credit for that.
Schultz: The last few months the wholesale
price index has skyrocketed.
Nixon: Yeah. That's what I mean
Schultz: Well, and the Consumer Price Index would have
actually been, uh, left no change, if it hadn't been for the big
increase in food prices,
Schultz: and I'm
saying that that -- Food is going to follow wholesale prices.
Business. But, uh, the meat, the meat area is going to be a problem
for us. If we're going to get into that, uh --
Hardin: Well, from
the consumer's side, it'll be great; it'll be, uh --
You, you ---
Hardin: You've got to get them [unintelligible] But
the poor customer then [unintelligible]
Schultz: Uh, uh, the, I
think the --
Schultz: Well, I
understand we're heading into some real problems there, but I
Nixon: You mean
Schultz: not that I've studied it,
Connally: Yeah. Go on.
Nixon: I would too.
Yeah, of course, we're going to import less than we did last
Hardin: But, I think I'll probably
import within ten million pounds of this thing. Isn't that
Schultz: But all, all of these things. It's just that,
uh, it's the same, it's the same thing when we discuss steel imports
or, uh, bunch of these other things -- shoes or what have you, and
meat. And on the one hand, there is the, the groups that is pushing
it; on the other hand there's the consumer. It, uh -- as much as
Hardin: Everybody have one of these dairy departmental
committees studying something you can favor.
Schultz: Well that's,
well, Houthaker is particularly good at getting it, uh --
Schultz: [Laughter] These and, uh, I agree with making a
speech or something.
Hardin: I don't care if he studies it if he
can keep his trap shut. But, uh, if he posses us by,
Nixon: Let's have nothing said about it. Is that fair
enough? That is if we're going to have to do it.
Schultz: He has
to call up and put his hand on that.
Nixon: Will you tell him
all about the increase?
Schultz: Study it aid, uh, follow up on
Hardin: You can't; you can't convene an interdepartmental
committee in this government and not -- and then keep it out of the
Ehrlichman: Oh, sure you can.
Ehrlichman: Sure you can. Yeah. Threaten them a lot.
Nixon: The cattlemen have been pretty good
friends, for us, too.
Connally: Well, cattle prices are down. How
much are they down uh, in the past
Unidentified: Not too
Connally: few months?
Hardin: They're going back up
again, John, a little bit.
Unidentified: But, uh --
They're not so high, and so forth.
Connally: No, they're not
Schultz: Same statement.
Hardin: There is kind
Connally: Oh, if they're falling some, George, my
[unintelligible] two or three [unintelligible] do a study
Agriculture [unintelligible] study
Connally: Um hm, cattle prices. It'll shock you.
And just remember when you talk about food prices, now, and, and
bleed for the consumer, that today, food prices in the United States
are cheaper than they've ever been in the history of this nation. In
terms of what it takes for, well, uh, hours of work to feed a
family. Sixteen percent. That's the lowest in the history of the
world. And --
Schultz: So that --
Unidentified: He's my
favorite secretary [unintelligible]
[Several voices] [Unintelligible]
might study the [unintelligible] crises awhile. [Unintelligible] of
all the things that --
Unidentified: Where are
Nixon: Well, we'll
try to keep the cattlemen from getting on our necks for the
Rice: We've got a, one loose end left on the,
Rice: the rate,
Rice: and it seems to be one other thing we are going to
have to do is coordinate the timing of the announcement -- which we
have to make, uh, very closely with these contacts. And
Ehrlichman: Yeah. Well, right after this ---
Rice: So that
someone who is contacted doesn't---
Ehrlichman: We'll coordinate
that, Don. Uh, I think we'll have to get the group together. Uh,
we'll have to get Colson and Bob Dole in this, too. And, uh, so
Nixon: Well, because Colson dealing with the, uh -- Well,
in any event, I think you got a good game plan. You, you'd, uh, you
know that to commit your, your friends and our friends and so on,
For political reasons you do, uh, Mr. Mills and Mr., uh, [sigh]
Albert. And then, uh, I, uh, I understand Phil will get the dairy
people and make the -- and say, "All right, you don't bug us next
Unidentified: That's right.
Campbell: And you are going
to do the same thing, George, with the Speaker.
Nixon: All right.
Schultz: What we're going to, is
Unidentified: We're going to pressure this thing.
eighty-five percent of parity.
Unidentified: Is that right?
Schultz: We're not suddenly going for 505, and I
would guess 498.
Connally: No, we're going for 492.
492. That's 85% of parity that's right
Unidentified: All right.
Ehrlichman: Better go get a
glass of milk.
Ehrlichman: Drink it while it's
Unidentified: But you know --
Unidentified: [Unintelligible] might
Nixon: [Unintelligible] Yeah, I told them. I said, milk
is a sedative. Milk is a sedative.
Hardin: Say, I told the
President this morning that on that T.V. show last night --- Uh, uh,
that, that few times when he looked right into the lens
Hardin: Uh, that one ... just
Connally: May I have, may I have two minutes with you
on another matter?
Nixon: Sure, sure, sure. Sit down.