September 26, 1963
Honorable Augustus Hawkins
It is a pleasure to address you as Congressman, having enjoyed working with you in the Legislature at Sacramento.
I have really wanted to have some reason for writing to you for some time, but I did not find it until today, and now I have one that is very important to California Agriculture. I refer to P. L. 78, which pertains to the Bracero Program.
My son and I have been farming about six hundred acres of land, divided between tomatoes and chili peppers. The harvesting of these two crops is entirely by manual labor. Without the Bracero Program we would just have to quit raising either of these crops, for local people will not hire out for this type of stoop labor. This also applies to the picking of California oranges.
It is my understanding that the bill that was presented and failed to pass would extend the Bracero Program one year. One year would be that much help, but still would not solve the problem. What the ultimate solution to this problem is I do not know, but I do know that an extension of one year would give an opportunity to the farmers to reappraise their practices and be able to cope with the loss of the Bracero Program, to a certain degree.
If you can see your way clear to vote to extend the Bracero Program for another year, it would certainly be appreciated by the farmers of California, and many other states as well.
John A. Murdy, Jr.