Price Controls Under N.R.A.

March 19, 1934

Report Outline
Impending Tevision of N. R. A. Price Controls
Constitutionality of Price Control Devices
Price Control Provisions of N. R. A. Codes
Criticism and Defense of Open Price System
Proposals for Modification of Price Controls

Impending Tevision of N. R. A. Price Controls

Amounting volume Of Complaint that unjustified increases in price have taken place in industries operating under codes of fair competition has led the National Recovery Administration to undertake a reexamination of the price control provisions of all its codes. Price control devices, or other devices which may be employed directly or indirectly to fix or to influence prices, appear in virtually all codes of fair competition approved to date for important industries.

The recent general hearings at Washington on administration and improvement of the codes brought out numerous complaints of the elimination of price competition, as well as evidence that the open price systems for which provision is made in many of the codes had been used to raise prices to unreasonable levels. To that evidence, Dexter Keezer, economist of the N. R., A. Consumers' Advisory Board, said the Board could add “a bushel of complaints” that open price systems were closely associated with uniform prices. The Consumers' Board recognized, however, that open price systems, if properly administered, could serve the public interest by stabilizing prices and eliminating destructive competition.

Deputy Administrator Whiteside said in opening one of the meetings of code authorities on March 5 that no final conclusions on the open price system or other trade practices having to do with prices had yet been reached by the N. R. A., but that such conclusions would be formulated soon after the hearings adjourned. It was possible, he believed, that proper administration had been lacking, and that practices that had arisen in connection with the price control provisions, and not the provisions themselves, were at fault.

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