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70

[to which the money was to be sent] just as would the
names of John Mitchell or Maurice Stans. 240

Dairy industry leaders were jubilant about the March 25 reversal. Several
openly expressed the sentiment that without the massive influx of "milk money"
to the 1972 Presidential campaign, the White House would probably not have
boosted the support prices. 241 In a letter to a constituent, William Powell,
President of Mid Am, wrote on June 7, 1971:

The facts of life are that the economic welfare of dairymen
does depend a great deal on political action. If dairymen
are to receive their fair share of the governmental pie that
we all pay for, we must have friends in government. I have
become increasingly aware that the soft and sincere voice of
the dairy farmer is no match for the jingle of hard currencies
put in the campaign funds of the politicians by the
vegetable fat interests, labor, oil, steel, airlines and others.

We dairymen as a body can be a dominant group. On March
23, 1971, along with nine other dairy farmers, I sat in the
cabinet room of the White House, across the table from the
President of the United States, and heard him compliment
the dairymen on their marvelous work in consolidating
and unifying our industry and our involvement in politics,
He said, "You people are my friends, and I appreciate it."

Two days later an order came from the U.S. Department
of Agriculture increasing the support price of milk to 85%
of parity, which added from $500 million to 700 million
to dairy farmers milk checks. We dairymen cannot afford
to overlook this kind of benefit. Whether we like it or not,
this is the way the system works. 242
__________________

240 Interview with the Washington Post, reported August 25, 1972, A9.

241 Harold Nelson has testified that he believes that as a practical matter, the White
House, not Secretary Hardin, made the decision of March 25. Nelson deposition at 17.
George Shultz has also said so. New York Times, November 3, 1971, 1.

242 Letter to Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Spidle, Exh. H to Hanman deposition. See also Powell
deposition at 30-31.

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