West Germany: Feather for Ludwig's Cap

West Germany's next chancellor, Economics Minister Ludwig Erhard, passed his first test for the big job last week. A week-long labor stoppage among 400,000 metalworkers in Baden-Württemberg was threatening to spread to the industrial Ruhr. Already $100 million had been lost in idle factories. It was up to "Uncle Ludwig" to act—and fast. He did. Summoning both sides to a wood-paneled conference room of the Economics Ministry. Erhard sat them down face to face, providing two antechambers for both groups to use for their own discussions. Then the doors were shut and plentiful supplies of cigars,...

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