RANGE AND CHARACTER OF REGULATIONS
The NRA brought under regulation an almost unbelievably wide range and variety of trade practices. In its legal enactments as to what is unfair it departed far from that limited range of activities which courts had theretofore held to be unfair and which law had declared to be contrary to the public good. Emanating from trade groups, the proposals for trade practice regulations which came before the Recovery Administration were usually the work of trade association officials or of dominant personalities within the industry. The views of what is desirable regulation were necessarily cast in industry terms. The association representatives were aided by lawyers, engineers, and accountants far more skilled in writing provisions to the interest of the group concerned and in discovering such possibilities under the new legislation than in evaluating the economic and social significance of their actions. This is said without any intention to censure the representatives of industry. Their action was natural and entirely to be expected. Indeed, under the terms of the law they were practically invited to find out what they could secure with the trust laws in abeyance. The responsibility of determining what should and should not be given to industry rested upon the government agency, the NRA.
A conservative estimate of the number and variety of trade actions which were brought under some kind of regulation by the NRA would place the number at a thousand. Obviously such a calculation depends upon