A member of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission yesterday asked the U.S. District Court to stop disclosure of remarks he made during commission meetings to a Senate sub-committee that is investigating the farm commodities market.
David G. Gartner said in court papers that material subpoenaed by the committee contains remarks he made about "legal issues, policy questions and personalities" that "had no expectation" would ever be disclosed.
Last month, Gartner said in the law-suit, the commission voted to comply with the subpoena, over Gartner's objections. Later, he said, the commission refused to delete his comments from transcripts and tapes of the commissioners' deliberations. Commission chairman James M. Stone invited sub-committee chairman Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) to come to the commission offices to listen to the tapes, the suit said.
If the material is disclosed, Gartner said in court papers, he will be inhibited from freely expressing his views during the commission's closed meetings. Gartner also challenged the Senate subcommittee's authority to investigate the commission and demand the production of the taped materials. Parties have informally agreed not to turnover the material until the matter is resolved in court.
It has been reported that the sub-committee investigation concerns instances in which a small group of speculators controlled more than 80 than 80 percent of the supply of certain commodities, such as wheat, corn and soybeans. p
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission supervises and regulates traders in commodity futures contracts.
The defendants named in the suit filed by Gartner yesterday are commission chairman Stone, members Read P. Dunn Jr. and Robert L. Martin, subcommittee chairman Baucus, members Sen. Howell Heflin (D-Ala) and Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and sub-committee staff director Frank Silbey.