The trade practice problem is primarily a problem in organization of economir life and of the problems of equity that arise therefrom. In dealing with it, the NRA attacked a problem which has been the subject of legal decision and statute law for many centuries and has occupied a large part of the Federal Trade Commission's attention since its creation.
The NIZA attacked this problem under the most serious handicaps. It carried an obligation for the performance of a series of other and for the most part unrelated duties, which it was required, by its own theories of what was of relative importance, to achieve immediately. Under the combination of duties imposed by the law, the necessity of creating voluntary codes on the basis of industry proposals, the nature of the problem itself, the lack of adequate information for dealing with it, and the philosophy of recovery which animated the Administration, sound economic action on trade practices was an impossibility. In terms of the objectives of the law it must be concluded that the trade practice regulations of the NRA have achieved very little that may be regarded as socially useful.
So far as making competition more fair is concerned, the results were negative rather than positive. Its efforts to facilitate competition are its most creditable additions to the economic structure. It has made it possible for industries, through code authorities, to aid industry members in knowing their costs; it has made it possible for industries so to draw plans for open prices that they