Rare is the small stockholder who bothers to go to annual stockholders' meetings or even answer proxy requests. So complacent are the stockholders of General Mills Co. ("Gold Medal Flour," "Wheaties," etc.), who have been paid $6 preferred and $3 common dividends—all earned—every year since 1929, that last summer moose-tall, chipmunk-cheeked Chairman James F. Bell arrived speech in hand at his annual meeting, to find 6,716 common stockholders absent,three present.

Chairman Bell decided that if the stockholders would not come to their company, the company should go to its stockholders. After all,...

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