The ABC of the NRA

By Charles L. Dearing; Paul T. Homan et al. | Go to book overview

APPENDIX A
PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT'S SPECIAL MESSAGE, MAY 17, 1933

To the Congress:

Before the Special Session of the Congress adjourns, I recommend two further steps in our national campaign to put people to work.

My first request is that (I) the Congress provide for the machinery necessary for a great co-operative movement throughout all industry in order to obtain wide re-employment, to shorten the working week, to pay a recent wage for the shorter week and to prevent unfair competition and disastrous overproduction.

Employers cannot do this singly or even in organized groups, because such action increases costs and thus permits cut-throat underselling by selfish competitors unwilling to join in such a public-spirited endeavor.

One of the great restrictions upon such co-operative efforts up to this time has been our anti-trust laws. They were properly designed as the means to cure the great evils of monopolistic price fixing. They should certainly be retained as a permanent assurance that the old evils of unfair competition shall never return. But the public interest will be served if, with the authority and under the guidance of government, private industries are permitted to make agreements and codes insuring fair competition. However, it is necessary, if we thus limit the operation of anti-trust laws to their original purpose to provide a rigorous licensing power in order to meet rare cases of non-co-operation and abuse. Such a safeguard is indispensable.

The other proposal (II) gives the executive full power to start a large program of direct employment. A careful survey convinces me that approximately; $3,300,000,000 can be invested

-113-

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