GOVERNMENT: Mother Hubbard's End

In the heyday of New Deal trustbusting, eleven years ago, the Government slapped its biggest antitrust suit on the American Petroleum Institute. It charged the A.P.I, with acting as a nerve center in a "conspiracy" by oil companies to control U.S. oil production and sales, named 22 companies and 344 subsidiaries as defendants. The tentlike charge covered so many companies that it was promptly dubbed the "Mother Hubbard" case.

When World War II broke out, the Government announced a truce to prevent U.S. wartime petroleum production from becoming tied up in legal red...

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