The Spiral Trail

Like thrifty housewives on a shopping tour, a congressional subcommittee swept on from New England into New York last week. It fingered and compared price tags on hats, sweaters, kitchenware and many other items. In its hunt for the cause of the latest upsurge in prices, it listened to scores of witnesses. After two weeks of hearings, the committee came to one conclusion: the blame could not be placed on middlemen or retailers.

"Everywhere we have gone," said Vermont's Senator Ralph E. Flanders, machine-tool manufacturer, ex-president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and subcommittee chairman, "we have found that...

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