Business: Off Base

Everybody was caught napping. With a view to helping small businessmen get a fair share of defense orders, the House Small Business Committee's Chairman Walter C. Ploeser had slipped in an amendment to the draft bill. Neither the committee's colleagues in the House & Senate, nor the White House, noted the real meaning of the amendment. Only after President Truman signed the draft bill last week did the fact come fully clear: Congress had unwittingly provided for the broadest draft of U.S. industry in peacetime history.

Under the new law, the President can force...

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