National Affairs: Hold the Line, Please

The U.S. continued to inch uneasily but steadily toward a controlled wartime economy. Handicapped by lack of a staff to enforce blanket controls, Economic Stabilizer Alan Valentine was trying to achieve the same effect by hints, pleas, threats, and by crackdowns in specific cases.

He won a shaky victory over General Motors Corp. (see BUSINESS), and followed it by slapping on the first wage ceiling since World War II—on automobile workers' wages, which he ordered held at present levels until March 1, 1951.

The order looked more dramatic as a headline than it did as a fact. Most of the nation's 1,000,000 auto...

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