Governmental Planning in War and Peace

December 3, 1931

Report Outline
National Economic Planning Before Congress
Senate Hearings on National Economic Planning
Present Planning Activities of Federal Government

National Economic Planning Before Congress

Under the impetus of a continuing depression, the idea of national economic planning, which has been a subject of widespread public discussion in recent months, will reach the stage of official consideration and action after Congress convenes on December 7, 1931. Two reports will bring planning to the official attention of Congress: that of the War Policies Commission, created by a joint resolution of the 71st Congress “to promote peace and to equalize the burdens and to minimize the profits of war”; and the report of the Seriate Committee on Manufactures, which was directed by the Senate at the close of the last session to hold hearings on the La Follette bill to establish a national economic council. Meanwhile, a referendum on the advisability of setting up such a council is being conducted by the United States Chamber of Commerce among its membership, and it is expected that the result of the poll will be made known before the end of the year. These forthcoming developments tend to focus attention on central planning as a means of avoiding or mitigating future depressions and of quickly mobilizing the country's economic resources in time of war.

Work of the War Policies Commission

In response to the demands of veterans' organizations that methods be found to “take the profits out of war,” the last Congress created a commission

to study and consider amending the Constitution of the United States to provide that private property may be taken by Congress for public use during war and methods of equalizing the burdens and to remove the profits of war, together with a study of policies to be pursued in event of war.

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