Editorial Note

In meetings of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the United States took the opportunity to reaffirm its interest in the land reform issue. In an address on June 12 to the Twelfth Session of the Council of the Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, Under Secretary of Agriculture Clarence J. McCormick, the head of the United States Delegation to the Council, stated that the United States wholeheartedly supported the efforts of international organizations to assist rural populations and to extend land tenure reform.

“Land reform,” McCormick explained, “in its broadest interpretation deeply affects security in the world today, and is definitely among the problems we must face up to in looking ahead to the future.”

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McCormick also stated the following:

  • “We in the United States regard land reform in the broadest terms of improvement of all economic and social institutions surrounding farm life. We believe it must be concerned with improvement in opportunity of agricultural land ownership and security of tenure, with problems of land rents, with taxation of agricultural land or income from land, with agricultural credit and producer marketing. In our broad definition of land reform agricultural technology, physical problems of land utilization and development, conservation of resources, methods and levels of productivity, and problems of rural industries are also included insofar as they are relevant to the institutional problems I have enumerated.” (Department of State Wireless Bulletin, June 12, 1951, pages 10–12.)

There was considerable discussion of the question of land reform at the Sixth Session of the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization held in Rome, November 19–December 6, 1951. The Conference adopted a resolution, proposed by the United States, which urged FAO member governments to put into effect the land reform measures recommended in United Nations Economic and Social Council Resolution 370 (XIII), September 7 (see the editorial note, page 1681). The United States policy on land reform was set forth in an address to the Conference by Clifford R. Hope, Congressman from Kansas and member of the United States Delegation to the Conference session; for the text of that address, see Department of State Bulletin, December 17, 1951, pages 998–1000.

Documentation on United States participation in the work of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization is included in the Department of State’s central files in file 398.03–FAO.