AVIATION: Dissonant Instrument

When American Airlines Chairman C. R. Smith began dickering to sell his overseas subsidiary to Pan American Airways Corp., he did not mention it to American's president, Ralph S. Damon. Smith knew what Damon would say. Damon had been the most outspoken critic of Pan Am President Juan Trippe's version of the "chosen instrument" (one "community" line made up of several U.S. airlines) in U.S. international aviation.

Damon had plugged for "regulated competition." Thus, selling American's subsidiary, American Overseas Airlines, would be a step away from Damon's ideas and towards a chosen instrument. So Damon was not told about the deal...

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