National Affairs: Rigid Minds, Rigid Props

In the Midwest the snigger of the week was about the new "Benson tractor"—built without a seat, to accommodate farmers who have lost their pants. In Washington Agriculture Secretary Ezra Taft Benson had little time for worrying about such Farm Belt jeers: he had on his hands an urgent, deadly serious piece of business with members of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

One noon Benson stepped from his official Cadillac outside the Senate Office Building, tugged grimly on his broad-brimmed hat, and hurried to keep a luncheon date with three Republican Farm Belt Senators: Minnesota's Edward Thye, South Dakota's Karl Mundt and North...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!