Government in Business

Government in Business

Government in Business

Government in Business

Excerpt

Early in 1935, the Supreme Court handed down its decision on "hot oil." The Secretary of the Interior, it was declared, did not have legal authority to regulate the flow of petroleum from American wells. Were the big oil men delighted? They were not. They waste no love on Mr. Ickes, but the alternatives disturbed them deeply. They were faced either with more specific and probably more drastic government control, or with a bitter and demoralizing price war. It was even suggested that oil be declared a public utility in order to legalize the necessary regulation. A retreat to individualism appeared as alarming as an advance to collectivism. Thus the oil industry stands -- or shudders -- between the devil and the deep sea. This same shudder is traversing the whole economic system, both here and abroad.

The coal industry, following the voiding of its code by the NRA decision, promptly demanded special legislation to take its place, and President Roosevelt put the Guffey coal bill on his "must" list. Apparently both miners and operators are more afraid of free competition than of federal control.

Consider again the unhappy position of the Supreme Court in the famous gold clause case. Decided one . . .

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