INDUSTRY: Swope Plan

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Author. Gerard Swope is 58 years old. He is an engineer and a salesman. He started working for General Electric during a vacation from M. I. T. because he wanted to see what they were doing with electric lights at the Chicago Columbian Exposition. In 1919, after getting a D. S. M. for War work, he returned to General Electric, surprised everyone when he was made president of the company in 1922. His daughter Henrietta is as studious as her father was. She works in the Harvard Astronomical Observatory. His brother Herbert Bayard never was particularly studious. Nine years younger than Gerard, Herbert went to Harvard, returned to his hometown, St. Louis, to work for the Post-Dispatch. The family, which still owns one of the biggest shoe stores in town, objected to his newspaper career, were finally reconciled when he became executive editor of the now defunct New York World.

Significance. There was also a political significance to the Swope speech last week. His good friend and superior is Owen D. Young, also a Democratic presidential possibility. Board Chairman Young was highly enthusiastic about the plan, immediately associated himself with it. Were the plan sufficiently publicized, Chairman Young might make himself popular with Labor. He knows that the possibility of his candidacy is overshadowed in the public mind with the awesome shades of colossally Big Business. But he did not sound like a very confirmed capitalist last week when he said: "We can retain in this country unorganized, individual planning and operation, but, if we do, its action will be at times necessarily chaotic, and we shall, as a result, pay the economic penalty of that disorder, such as we are paying now."

*Senator George William Norris of Nebraska, Governors Gifford Pinchot of Pennsylvania and Roosevelt of New York, to whom dripping Wet Governor Ritchie may have referred, are all stanch proponents of Government-owned or Government-regulated Power. The first two are Drys, the third a muted Wet.

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