GOVERNMENT: The Squeeze

The legal uproar over the steel seizure (see NATIONAL AFFAIRS) has practically obscured the basic question: Can steel afford to pay WSB's wage increase?

The plain fact is that, after all the long months of WSB hearings, the decision to recommend a wage boost of 26.1¢ an hour over the next 18 months (including fringe benefits) was made, not on solid earnings figures, but on estimates and guesses.

WSB's Case. WSB and Harry Truman flatly declared that the steel companies could easily pay because the steel industry is earning a record $19.50 per ton, or a total of $2.5 billion a year....

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