Montreal, September 16 2007 • No 233

 

WORD FOR WORD

 

We publish an exerpt from Murray Rothbard's A New History of Leviathan - Essays on the Rise of the American Corporate State, E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc. (New York), 1972, p. 111-145.

 
 

HERBERT HOOVER AND
THE MYTH OF LAISSEZ-FAIRE (2)

 

< PART I

 

by Murray Rothbard (1926-1995)

 

          In September, 1930, Hoover took another step to relieve unemployment and, by the way, to prop up wage rates. By administrative decree, Hoover in effect barred almost all further immigration into the country. In keeping with this policy of curing unemployment by forcing people out of the labor force, he deliberately accelerated the deportation of "undesirable" aliens, the deportation level reaching 20,000 per year.

 

          The wage agreement held firm in the midst of a cataclysmic Depression and unprecedented and prolonged mass unemployment.(34) In fact, since prices were falling rapidly, this meant that the real wage rates of those lucky enough to remain employed were increasing sharply. The economist Leo Wolman noted at the time that it "is indeed impossible to recall any past depression of similar intensity and duration in which the wages of prosperity were maintained as long as they have been in the depression of 1930-31."(35) It was a record hailed by liberals from the AF of L to John Maynard Keynes. It was only by 1932, after several years of severe depression and catastrophic unemployment, that businesses could keep up wage rates no longer. When, in the fall of 1931, the United States Steel Corporation finally summoned up the courage to cut wage rates, it did so over the opposition of its own president and to the accusation of William Green that its 1929 pledge to the White House was being violated.(36) The large firms were particularly slow to break the agreement, and even then many of the cuts were made in executive salaries where the unemployment problem was at a minimum. Even with the cuts in wages, wage rates fell by only twenty-three percent from 1929 to 1933 – less than the decline of prices. Thus, real wage rates actually rose over the period, by over eight percent in the leading manufacturing industries. The drop in wage rates had been far more prompt and extensive in the far milder 1921 depression. In the face of this record of wage maintenance, the unemployment rate rose to twenty-five percent of the labor force by 1933, and to a phenomenal forty-six percent in the leading manufacturing industries. There were, unfortunately, only a few observers and economists who understood the causal connection between these events: that maintenance of wage rates was precisely the major factor in deepening and prolonging mass unemployment and the Depression.(37)

          Hoover did his best, furthermore, to engineer a massive inflation of money and credit. In the crucial figure of government securities owned by the Federal Reserve Banks, Federal Reserve holdings rose from $300 million in September, 1929, to $1,840 million in March, 1933 – a sixfold increase. Ordinarily this would have led to a sixfold expansion of bank reserves and an enormous inflation of the money supply. But the Hoover drive for inflation was thwarted by the forces of the economy. Federal Reserve rediscounts fell by half a billion due to sluggish business demand, despite a sharp drop in the Federal Reserve's discount rate; cash in circulation increased by one and a half billion due to the public's growing distrust of the shaky and inflated banking system; and the banks began to pile up excess reserves because of their fear of making investments amidst the sea of business failures. The Hoover Administration grew livid with the banks, and Hoover denounced the "lack of cooperation of the commercial banks . . . in the credit expansion drive." Atlee Pomerene, head of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, went so far as to declare that any bank that is liquid and doesn't extend its loans is a "parasite on the country."(38) Hoover told Secretary of the Treasury Ogden Mills to form a committee of leading industrialists and bankers to pressure the banks into extending their credit.(39) By the end of his term and the abject failure of his inflationist program, Hoover was proposing what are surely typical New Deal measures: bank holidays, and at least temporary federal "insurance" of bank deposits.

          In fact, Hoover seriously considered invoking a forgotten wartime law making the "hoarding" of gold (that is, redemption of dollars into gold) a criminal offense.(40) Although he did not go that far, he did try his best to hamper the workings of the gold standard by condemning and blackening the names of people who lawfully redeemed their dollars in gold or their bank deposits into cash. In February, 1932, Hoover established the Citizens' Reconstruction Organization under Colonel Frank Knox of Chicago, dedicated to condemning "hoarders" and unpatriotic "traitors." Leading industrialists and labor leaders joined the CRO. Hoover also secretly tried to stop the American press from printing the full truth about the banking crisis and about the rising public criticism of his Administration.(41)

          Neither was Hoover lax in increasing the expenditures of the federal government. Federal expenditures rose from $3.3 billion in fiscal 1929 to $4.6 billion in fiscal 1932 and 1933, a rise of forty percent. Meanwhile, federal budget receipts fell in half, from $4 billion to less than $2 billion, demonstrating that Hoover was so much of a proto-Keynesian that he was willing to incur a deficit of nearly sixty percent of the budget. This was, to that moment, the largest peacetime federal deficit in American history.

          Part of this massive rise of federal expenditures went, as one might expect, into public works. So promptly did Hoover act to expand public works (proposing a $600 million increase by December, 1929) that by the end of 1929 the economist J. M. Clark was already hailing Hoover's "great experiment in constructive industrial statesmanship."(42) In February, 1931, Hoover's Emergency Committee for Employment was instrumental in pushing through Congress Senator Wagner's (D., N.Y.) Employment Stabilization Act, which established an Employment Stabilization Board to expand public works in a depression, and a fund of $150 million to put the plan into effect. In happily signing the measure, Hoover gave a large amount of credit to the veteran public-works agitator, Otto Tod Mallery.(43) In his memoirs, Hoover recalled with pride that his Administration had constructed more public works than had the federal government over the previous thirty years, and that he personally had induced state and local governments to expand their public-works programs by $1.5 billion. He also launched the Boulder, Grand Coulee, and California Central Valley dams, and, after agitating for the project since 1921, Hoover signed a treaty with Canada to build a St. Lawrence Seaway, a treaty rejected by the Senate.(44) Furthermore, the Boulder project was the first example of large-scale, federal, multipurpose river basin planning.(45)

          It must be noted, however, that in the last year of his term, Hoover, the veteran pioneer of public-works stabilization, began to find the accelerating movement toward ever greater public works going beyond him. As writers, economists, politicians, businessmen, and the construction industry called loudly for many billions in public works, Hoover began to draw back. He began to see public works as costly, and as bringing relief to a selected group only. He came to favor a relatively greater emphasis on federal grants-in-aid and on public works that would be self-liquidating. As a result, federal public-works spending increased only slightly during 1932. As we shall see, Hoover's growing doubts on public works were symptomatic of a more general process of being left behind by the accelerating onrush toward collectivist thinking that developed during his final year as President.(46)

          Another massive dose of government intervention was President Hoover's Home Loan Bank System, established in the Federal Home Loan Act of July, 1932. Supported enthusiastically by the building and loan associations, the act paralleled the Federal Reserve Act in relation to these associations. Twelve district banks were established under a Federal Home Loan Bank Board, with a $25 million capital supplied by the Treasury, as a compulsory, central mortgage-discount bank for the building and loan industry. Hoover had originally proposed a grandiose national mortgage-discount system that would also include savings banks and insurance companies, but the latter refused to agree to the scheme. As it was, Hoover complained that Congress had placed excessively rigorous limits on the amount of discounting that could be made by the Board; but he did his best to spur use of the new system.

          One of Mr. Hoover's clearest harbingers of the New Deal was his creation in January, 1932, of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. The RFC was clearly inspired by and modelled after the old wartime War Finance Corporation, which had extended emergency loans to business. One of the leading originators of the RFC was Eugene Meyer, Jr., Governor of the Federal Reserve Board, and former Managing Director of the WFC; most of the old WFC staff were employed by the new organization.(47)

          The RFC began in the fall of 1931 as the National Credit Corporation, through which leading banks were persuaded, at a secret conference with Hoover and his aides, to extend credit to shaky banks, with Federal Reserve assistance. When the banks balked at this scheme, Hoover threatened legislation to compel their cooperation; in return for their agreement to the NCC, the Administration agreed that it would be strictly temporary, to be replaced soon by an RFC.

          The RFC bill was passed hurriedly by Congress in January, 1932. The Treasury furnished it with half a billion dollars, and it was empowered to issue debentures up to $1.5 billion. Meyer was chosen to be chairman of the new organization. In the first half of 1932, the RFC extended, in the deepest secrecy, $1 billion of loans, largely to banks and railroads.(48) The railroads received nearly $50 million simply to repay debts to the large banks, notably J. P. Morgan & Co. and Kuhn, Loeb and Co. One of the important enthusiasts for this policy was Eugene Meyer, Jr., on the grounds of "promoting recovery" and frankly, of "putting more money into the banks." Meyer's enthusiasm might well have been bolstered by the fact that his brother-in-law, George Blumenthal, was an officer of J. P. Morgan & Co., and that he himself had served as an officer of the Morgan bank.

          But Hoover wasn't satisfied with the massiveness of the RFC program. He insisted that RFC be able to lend more widely to industry and to agriculture, and that it be able to make capital loans. This amendment – the Emergency Relief and Construction Act – passed Congress in July, 1932; the Act nearly doubled total RFC capital from $2 billion to $3.8 billion, and greatly widened the scope of RFC lending.(49) During 1932, the RFC extended loans totalling $2.3 billion.

          Herbert Hoover's enthusiasm for government aid to industry and banking was not matched in the area of Depression relief to the poor; here his instincts were much more voluntarist. Hoover steadfastly maintained his voluntary relief position until mid-1932. As early as 1930/31, he had been pressured on behalf of federal relief by Colonel Arthur Woods, the Chairman of Hoover's Emergency Committee for Employment, who had previously been a member of Rockefeller's General Education Board. But in mid-1932 a group of leading Chicago industrialists was instrumental in persuading Hoover to change his mind and establish a federal relief program. In addition to widening the powers of the RFC loans to industry, Hoover's Emergency Relief and Construction Act was the nation's first federal relief legislation. The RFC was authorized to lend $300 million to the states for poor relief.(50)

          Throughout the Depression, Herbert Hoover gave vent to his long-standing dislike of speculation and the stock market. In the fall of 1930, Hoover threatened federal regulation of the New York Stock Exchange, hitherto thought to be constitutionally subject only to state regulation. Hoover forced the Exchange to agree "voluntarily" to withhold loans for purposes of short selling. Hoover returned to the attack during 1932, threatening federal action against short selling. He also induced the Senate to investigate "sinister . . . bear raids" on the Exchange. Hoover seemed to find it sinful and vaguely traitorous for the stock market to judge stock values on the basis of current (low) earnings. Hoover went on to propose what later came to pass as the New Deal's SEC, a regulation that Hoover openly applauded.

          Hoover's Federal Farm Board was ready to move when the Depression arrived and the FFB proceeded on its proto-New Deal farm policy of attempting to raise and support farm prices.

          The FFB's first big operation was in wheat. The Board advised the receptive wheat farmers to act like cartelists, in short to hold wheat off the market and wait for higher prices. Soon it began to lend $100 million to wheat co-ops to withhold wheat stocks, and thereby raise prices; and it established a central grain corporation to centralize and coordinate the wheat cooperatives. When the loans to coops failed to stem the tide of falling wheat prices, the grain corporation began to buy wheat on its own. The FFB loans and purchases managed to sustain wheat prices for a time; but by the spring of 1930 this had only aggravated the wheat surplus by inducing farmers to expand their production, and the only result was further declines in price.

          It became clear to the Hoover Administration that the cartelizing and price-raising policy could not work unless wheat production was reduced. A typical Hooverian round of attempted voluntary persuasion ensued, led by the Secretary of Agriculture and the FFB; a group of economists was sent from Washington to urge the marginal Northwestern wheat farmers – the original agitators for wheat price supports – to shift from wheat into some other crop. Secretary of Agriculture Arthur M. Hyde and the FFB's Alexander Legge toured the Middle West, urging farmers to lower their wheat acreage. But, as could have been foreseen, none of this moral exhortation was effective, and wheat surpluses continued to pile up and prices to fall. By November, the government's Grain Stabilization Corporation had purchased over 65 million bushels of wheat to hold off the market, but to no avail. Then, in November, 1930, Hoover authorized the GSC to purchase as much wheat as might be necessary to stop any further fall in wheat prices. But economic forces could not be defeated so easily, and wheat prices continued to fall. Finally, the FFB conceded defeat and dumped its accumulated wheat stocks, further intensifying the fall in wheat prices.
 

"Herbert Hoover's enthusiasm for government aid to industry and banking was not matched in the area of Depression relief to the poor; here his instincts were much more voluntarist."


          Similar price-support programs were tried in cotton, but with similar disastrous results. Chairman James C. Stone of the Federal Farm Board even tried to mobilize the state governors to plow under every third row of cotton, but still to no avail. Similar calamitous attempts at cartelization occurred in wool, butter, grapes, and tobacco.

          It was becoming clear that the cartelizing program could not work unless there were compulsory restrictions on production; there were simply too many farmers for voluntary exhortations to have any effect. President Hoover began to move down that road, recommending at least that productive land be withdrawn from cultivation, that crops be plowed under, and that immature farm animals be slaughtered – all to reduce the very surpluses that Hoover's price supports had accumulated.(51)

          Meanwhile, President Hoover pursued cartelization in other fields with more success. In May, 1931, he ordered the cessation of new leases in the federal forests for purposes of lumbering. He also withdrew over two million acres of forest land from production and into "national forests," and increased the area of national parks by forty percent.(52)

          Hoover put through the McNary-Watres Act of April, 1930, which deliberately used postal air-mail subsidies and regulation to bring commercial airlines under federal organization and control. Hoover's admiring biographers wrote that, as a result of this law: "The routes were consolidated into a carefully planned national system of commercial airways . . . The Nation was saved from a hodgepodge of airways similar to the tangle that had grown up in rail transportation. "(53)

          Hoover also urged upon Congress what would have been the first federal regulation of electric power companies. Hoover's original proposal was to give the Federal Power Commission the power to set interstate power rates in collaboration with state power commissions. But Congress refused to go that far, and the FPC, although expanded, continued to exercise power only over water power in rivers.

          In the coal industry, Hoover sympathized with the Appalachian Coal combine, which marketed three-quarters of Appalachian bituminous coal, in an attempt to raise coal prices and allocate production quotas to the various coal mines. Hoover also called for the reduction of "destructive competition" reigning in the coal industry.(54)

          Hoover was more specific in helping to cartelize the oil industry. Hoover and his Secretary of the Interior Ray Lyman Wilbur stimulated such states as Texas and Oklahoma to pass oil proration laws in the name of "conservation," to curtail crude oil production and thereby raise prices, and to establish an interstate compact to collaborate in the proration program. Hoover also aided these laws by suspending all further oil leases on public lands and by pressuring oil operators near the public domain to agree to restrict oil production.

          In sponsoring and encouraging proration laws particularly, Hoover was taking his stand with the large oil companies. Hoover's and Wilbur's suggestion of general Sunday shutdowns of oil production was approved by the large companies, but defeated by the opposition of the smaller producers. The smaller firms particularly urged a protective tariff on imported crude and petroleum products, which Hoover finally agreed to in 1932. The tariff served to make the domestic cartel and proration laws more generally effective. In its restriction of imports, the tariff demonstrated that the drive for proration laws had little to do with simply conserving domestic oil reserves, but was rather aimed at cutting the supply of oil available to the domestic market.

          Despite these services by Hoover, the oil industry was still restive; the industry wanted more, it wanted federal legislation in outright support of restricting production and raising prices. Here, too, President Hoover was beginning to lose the leadership of the accelerating cartelization movement in American industry.(55)

          In the cotton textile industry, the trade association, the Cotton Textile Institute, which had long been close to Hoover, cunningly decided to press for monopolistic curtailment of production under the guise of "humanitarianism." The device was to call for the abolition of night work for women and children; such a drive was neatly calculated to appeal both to Hoover's (and to the industry's) monopoloid convictions, as well as to his humanitarian rhetoric. CTI's campaign of 1930/31 to pressure the various mills to abolish night work for women and children was substantially aided by Hoover and his Department of Commerce, who actively "helped to whip the non-cooperators into line." Hoover publicized his firm support, and Secretary of Commerce Lamont sent personal letters to cotton textile operators, urging their adherence to the plan.(56) Intense Administration pressure continued throughout 1931 and 1932. Lamont called a special conference to which he brought several leading bankers and the endorsement of Hoover to pressure the holdouts into line.

          But this cartel scheme also failed, for cotton textile prices continued to fall. As a result, compliance with the curtailment of production began to crack. The cartel failed for reasons similar to the failure of the FFB: despite the intense Administration pressure, the production cuts remained only voluntary. So long as there was no outright governmental compulsion on the textile firms to obey the production quotas, prices could not be raised. By 1932, the cotton textile industry, too, was becoming impatient with its old friend Hoover; the industry was rapidly beginning to agitate for governmental coercion to make cartelization work.(57)

          This attitude of the cotton textile, petroleum, and agricultural industries spread rapidly throughout American industry during 1931 and 1932: an impatience with the pace of America's movement toward the corporate state. Under the impact of the Great Depression, American industry, along with the nation's intellectuals and labor leaders, began to clamor for the outright collectivism of a corporate state; for federal organization of trade associations into compulsory cartels for restricting production and raising prices. In short, a general clamor arose for an economy of fascism.

          The most important call for the compulsory cartelization of a corporate state was sounded by Gerard Swope, the veteran corporate liberal who headed General Electric. Swope delivered his famous "Swope Plan" before the National Electrical Manufacturers Association in the fall of 1931, and it was endorsed by the United States Chamber of Commerce in December.(58) Particularly enthusiastic was Henry I. Harriman, president of the Chamber, who declared that any dissenting businessmen would be "treated like any maverick . . . They'll be roped and branded, and made to run with the herd."(59) Charles F. Abbott of the American Institute of Steel Construction hailed the Swope Plan as "a measure of public safety" to crack down on "the blustering individual who claims the right to do as he pleases."(60) The AF of L endorsed a similar program, with a slightly greater share to go to the unions in overall control; particularly enthusiastic were John L. Lewis and Sidney Hillman, later to form the New Deal-oriented CIO.(61)

          Dr. Virgil Jordan, economist for the National Industrial Conference Board, summed up the state of business opinion when he concluded, approvingly, that businessmen were ready for an "economic Mussolini."(62)

          In the light of Herbert Hoover's lengthy corporatist career, the business leaders naturally expected him to agree wholeheartedly with the new drive toward business collectivism.(63) Hence they were greatly surprised and chagrined to find Hoover sharply drawing back from the abyss, from pursuing the very logic toward which his entire career had been leading.

          It is not unusual for revolutions to devour their fathers and pioneers. As a revolutionary process accelerates, the early leaders begin to draw back from the implicit logic of their own life work and to leap off the accelerating bandwagon that they themselves had helped to launch. So it was with Herbert Hoover. All his life he had been a dedicated corporatist; but all his life he had also liked to cloak his corporate-state coercion in cloudy voluntarist generalities. All his life he had sought and employed the mailed fist of coercion inside the velvet glove of traditional voluntarist rhetoric. But now his old friends and associates – men like his longtime aide and Chamber of Commerce leader Julius Barnes, railroad magnate Daniel Willard, and industrialist Gerard Swope – were in effect urging him to throw off the voluntarist cloak and to adopt the naked economy of fascism. This Herbert Hoover could not do; and as he saw the new trend he began to fight it, without at all abandoning any of his previous positions. Herbert Hoover was being polarized completely out of the accelerating drive toward statism; by merely advancing at a far slower pace, the former "progressive" corporatist was now becoming a timid moderate in relation to the swift rush of the ideological current. The former leader and molder of opinion was becoming passé.(64)

          Hoover began to fight back, and to insist that a certain proportion of individualism, a certain degree of the old "American system," must be preserved. The Swope and similar plans, he charged, would result in a complete monopolization of industry, would establish a vast governmental bureaucracy, and would regiment society. In short, as Hoover told Henry Harriman in exasperation, the Swope-Chamber of Commerce Plan was, simply, "fascism."(65) Herbert Hoover had finally seen the abyss of fascism and was having none of it.

          Franklin Roosevelt was to have no such scruples. Hoover's decision had vital political consequences: for Harriman told him bluntly at the start of the 1932 campaign that Franklin Roosevelt had accepted the Swope Plan – as he was to prove amply with the NRA and AAA. If Hoover persisted in being stubborn, Harriman warned, the business world, and especially big business, would back Roosevelt. Hoover's brusque dismissal led to big business carrying out its threat. It was Herbert Hoover's finest hour.(66) America's legion of corporate liberals, who found their Holy Grail with the advent of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, never forgave or forgot Herbert Hoover's hanging back from America's entry into the Promised Land. To the angry liberals, Hoover's caution looked very much like old-fashioned laissez-faire. Hence Herbert Hoover's pervasive entry into the public mind as a doughty champion of laissez-faire individualism.(67) It was an ironic ending to the career of one of the great pioneers of American state corporatism.

 

34. Particularly active in keeping industry in line was the President's Emergency Committee for Employment; see E. P. Hayes, Activities of the President's Emergency Committee for Employment, October 17, 1930 – August 19, 1931 (Printed by the author, 1936).
35. Leo Wolman, Wages in Relation to Economic Recovery (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1931).
36. See Fred R. Fairchild, "Government Saves Us from Depression," Yale Review (Summer, 1932), pp. 667 ff; and Dorfman, op. cit., Vol. V, p. 620.
37. See the unfortunately neglected study by Sol Shaviro, "Wages and Payroll in the Depression, 1929-1933" (Master's essay, Columbia University, 1947). Also see Rothbard, America's Great Depression, pp. 236-239, 290-294; C. A. Phillips, T. F. McManus, and R. W. Nelson, Banking and the Business Cycle (New York: Macmillan, 1937), pp. 231-232; National Industrial Conference Board, Salary and Wage Policy in the Depression (New York: Conference Board, 1933), pp. 31-38; and Dale Yoder and George R. Davies, Depression and Recovery (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1934), p. 89.
38. The New York Times, May 20, 1932.
39. Chairman of the committee was Owen D. Young of General Electric. Included in the committee were Walter S. Gifford of AT&T, Charles E. Mitchell of National City Bank, and Walter C. Teagle of Standard Oil of New Jersey. For more on Hoover's, threats against the banks, see Herbert Stein, "Pre-Revolutionary Fiscal Policy: The Regime of Herbert Hoover," Journal of Law and Economics (October, 1966), p. 197n.
40. Jesse H. Jones and Edward Angly, Fifty Billion Dollars (New York: Macmillan, 1951), p. 18. Also see H. Parker Willis and John M. Chapman, The Banking Situation (New York: Columbia University Press, 1934), pp. 9 ff. Furthermore, Hoover's Secretary and Undersecretary of the Treasury had decided, by the end of their terms, that the gold standard should be abolished. New York Herald Tribune, May 5, 1958, p. 18.
41. Kent Cooper, Kent Cooper and the Associated Press (New York: Random House, 1959), p. 157.
42. John Maurice Clark, "Public Works and Unemployment," American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings (May, 1930), pp. 15 ff.
43. See Irving Bernstein, The Lean Years (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, i960), p. 272; Dorfman, op. cit., Vol. V, p. jn.
44. It is instructive to note the attitude of private electrical companies toward the government-built Boulder Dam. They looked forward to purchasing cheap, subsidized governmental power, which they would then resell to their customers. The private-power companies also saw Boulder Dam as a risky, submarginal project, the costs of which they were happy to see shouldered by the taxpayers. See Harris Gaylord Warren, Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression (New York: Oxford University Press, 1959), p. 64.
45. See Swain, Federal Conservation Policy, pp. 25 ff, 161 ff.
46. See Vladimir D. Kazakevich, "Inflation and Public Works," in H. Parker Willis and John M. Chapman, eds., The Economics of Inflation (New York: Columbia University Press, 1935), pp. 344-349.
47 Leuchtenburg, "The New Deal and the Analogue of War," pp. 98-100. Also see Gerald D. Nash, "Herbert Hoover and the Origins of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation," Mississippi Valley Historical Review (December, 1959), pp. 455-468.
48. Many large loans were made by the RFC to banks that were in the ambit of RFC directors themselves, or of others high up in the Hoover Administration. Thus, shortly after General Charles Dawes resigned as President of the RFC, the bank that he headed, the Central Republic Bank and Trust Co., received a large RFC loan. See John T. Flynn, "Inside the RFC," Harpers' Magazine (1933), pp. 161-169.
49. See J. Franklin Ebersole, "One Year of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation," Quarterly Journal of Economics (May, 1933), PP. 464-487.
50. Bernstein, The Lean Years, p. 467.
51. It was left for the conservative Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg (R., Mich.) to propose the final link in the chain that was to form the New Deal's AAA: compelling farmers to cut production. Gilbert N. Fite, "Farmer Opinion and the Agricultural Adjustment Act, 1933," Mississippi Valley Historical Review (March, 1962), p. 663.
52. Warren, Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression, p. 65. Hoover also endorsed the privately financed Timber Conservation Board, formed to encourage cooperation in the lumber industry. Ellis W. Hawley, "Herbert Hoover and the Economic Planners, 1931-32" (Unpublished manuscript, 1968), p. 9. In a prefigurement of the New Deal's CCC, Hoover's Forestry Service put through a large-scale program of work relief for the unemployed in public-works construction in the national forests. Swain, Federal Conservation Policy, p. 25.
53. William Starr Myers and Walter H. Newton, The Hoover Administration (New York: Charles Scribners, 1936), p. 430.
54. Myers and Newton, The Hoover Administration, p. 50; Waldo E. Fisher and Charles M. James, Minimum Price Fixing in the Bituminous Coal Industry (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1955), PP. 21-27.
55. See George W. Stocking, "Stabilization of the Oil Industry: Its Economic and Legal Aspects," American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings (May, 1933), pp. 59-70.
56. Galambos, op. cit., pp. 153-157, 165-169.
57. Ibid., pp. 176-184.
58. The text of the Swope address can be found in Monthly Labor Review, Vol. 32 (1931), pp. 834 ff. Also see David Loth, Swope of GE (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1958), pp. 202 ff.
59. Quoted in Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., The Crisis of the Old Order, 1919-1933 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1957), pp. 182-183.
60. J. George Frederick, Readings in Economic Planning (New York: The Business Course, 1932), pp. 333-334-
61. See Rothbard, America's Great Depression, pp. 245-249; Rothbard, "The Hoover Myth: Review of Albert U. Romasco, The Poverty of Abundance," in James Weinstein and David W. Eakins, eds., For a New America (New York: Random House, 1970), pp. 162-179; and Hawley, "Herbert Hoover and the Economic Planners," pp. 4 ff.
62. Schlesinger, op. cit., p. 268.
63. Hawley, op. cit., pp. 4-11.
64. Hoover had done his best to further corporatism in more moderate and gradual ways. In addition to the measures described above, Hoover sponsored the highly protectionist Smoot-Hawley Tariff in 1929/30, and he signed the Norris-LaGuardia Act of 1932, which sponsored labor unionism by outlawing contractual agreements not to join unions and greatly curtailing the use of injunctions in labor disputes.
65. Hoover also resisted corporate-collectivist pressure from within his own Administration, notably from such men as Frederick Feiker, head of the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, and his old friend Secretary of the Interior Ray Lyman Wilbur. Hawley, op. cit., p. 2in.
66. Hoover, Memoirs, Vol. Ill, pp. 334-335. Also see Loth, op. cit., pp. 208-210; Eugene Lyons, Herbert Hoover (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Co., 1964), pp. 293-294; Myers and Newton, op. cit., pp. 245-256, 488-489.
67. For a penetrating exception to this common view, see William Appleman Williams, The Contours of American History (Cleveland: World Publishing Co., 1961), pp. 385, 415, 425-438.

 

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