The National Industrial Recovery Act was passed at a time of widespread unemployment; of feeble, if not paralyzed, initiative; of doubt on the part of many of the more fundamental institutions of our economic system. In such a scene it seemed to groups with varied, even conflicting, views to offer an instrument for forwarding their aspirations and for generating economic advance. The administration of the law, carried forward with remarkable energy and vigor, has, through the President's Re-employment Agreement, provided for a large section of industry a national minimum wage and a national maximum work week. It has in addition set up some 300 codes of fair competition and has, the Administration asserts, many others close to adoption. The mechanism for enforcing the codes is still necessarily in tentative rather than definite form. The Administration is now addressing itself to the task of reviewing the work thus far accomplished--to a "great round-up" of comment and suggestion.
Experience will show the strengths and weaknesses of various administrative devices; issues of conflict will come into focus and be resolved; the court will determine the legality of as yet uncertain situations; and the movement of economic forces will reflect the influence wrought at innumerable points in the economic