AGRICULTURE: Pipe Dreams

A speculating fraternity, vaguely tagged as "gamblers," has become the Administration's favorite whipping boy for high commodity prices (TIME, Oct. 27). But speculators could scarcely be blamed for the high price of tobacco, which almost doubled since prewar. In tobacco, as in most commodities, the villain was demand. Last week the villain was confounded.

To save dollars, Britain, the biggest foreign buyer of U.S. flue-cured tobacco (54% of all flue-cured exports last year), abruptly canceled $25 million of scheduled purchases. The price, which had already fallen after earlier cancellations, began to approach...

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