INDUSTRY: Swope Plan

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Not without political significance was the Ritchie speech. Outstanding aspirant to date for the Democratic presidential nomination next year is Governor Franklin Delano Roosevelt of New York. The Roosevelt Power creed, inherited in part from Alfred Emanuel Smith, looks favorably upon State construction of power plants whose current would either be retailed by private individuals or, if necessary, by the State.

Swope Plan. When a man gets to be head of a $494,000,000 corporation which employs 78,380 people he is likely to cogitate deeply on the social and economic responsibilities of industry. From this eminence, President Gerard Swope of General Electric Co. has evidently done a great deal of this sort of thinking. Last week, at the annual dinner of the National Electric Manufacturers' Association in Manhattan, he outlined an ambitious industrial plan for the U. S. Far from fearing Government intervention in business, as did Governor Ritchie, President Swope courted it. His scheme proposed a national organization of modified cartels in which competition would be limited, overproduction governed, workers and investors vigorously protected. Overseer, referee and adviser of the program would be the Federal Trade Commission or "a bureau of the Department of Commerce or some Federal supervisory body specially constituted. . . . There is nothing new or original in what I am proposing," admitted President Swope. "I am merely bringing together well-considered propositions that have found support, including some that have been put into actual practice. . . . Legislation will be required to make such a plan possible, including the probable modification of some existing laws," notably the Sherman anti-trust law.

The Plan:

1) "All industrial and commercial companies (including subsidiaries) with 50 or more employes, and doing an interstate business, may form a trade association. . . . These trade associations may outline trade practices, business ethics, methods of standard accounting and cost practice, standard forms of balance sheet and earnings statement, etc., and may collect and distribute information ... on simplification and standardization of products, stabilization of prices. . . .

2) "All companies with participants or stockholders numbering 25 or more, and living in more "than one State, shall send to its participants or stockholders and to the supervisory body at least once each quarter a statement of their business and earnings in the prescribed form. . . .

3) "All of the companies . . . may immediately adopt the provisions of this plan, but shall be required to do so within three years unless the time is extended by the Federal supervisory body. Similar companies formed after the plan becomes effective may come in at once but shall be required to come in before the expiration of three years from the date of their organization unless the time is extended by the Federal supervisory body.

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