Experiments in Price Control

June 8, 1937

Report Outline
Administration's Concern Over Rising Prices
Price Changes in Depression and Recovery
Experiments in Direct Control of Prices
Curbing of High Prices by Indirect Means
Special Focus

Administration's Concern Over Rising Prices

Administration fears that sound recovery was being threatened by rapidly rising prices were given forcible expression April 2, when President Roosevelt declared that prices of steel, copper, and other basic commodities had gone too high, and that the government would seek to check the movement by curtailing its purchases of durable goods. Similar warnings against inflationary price increases in general had been uttered a fortnight earlier by three other prominent administration members. Marriner S. Eccles, chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, in a statement March 15 urged “vigorous government intervention with all the powers at its command to deal directly with the causes that might endanger the progress of a stable and enduring recovery.” On March 17 Secretary of Agriculture Wallace conceded that “all of us are afraid of a repetition of the 1929 boom.” He implied that the administration might seek new powers to avert such a development. Secretary of Commerce Roper on the same day spoke of “danger signals,” including unjustified price increases, and cautioned against “unguarded business booms.”

On April 26 the President supplemented his price statement with a warning to government employees to refrain from speculation in stocks, bonds, or commodities. The next day, in a letter to Vice President Garner, he asked that Congress postpone action on the Tydings-Miller resale price-maintenance bill, saying:

The present hazard of undue advances in prices, with a resultant rise in the cost of living, makes it most untimely to legalize any competitive or marketing practice calculated to facilitate increases in the cost of numerous and important articles which American householders, and consumers generally, buy.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
New Deal, Great Depression, and Economic Recovery
Feb. 20, 2009  Public-Works Projects
Jul. 25, 1986  New Deal for the Family
Apr. 04, 1973  Future of Social Programs
Nov. 18, 1944  Postwar Public Works
Apr. 12, 1941  Public Works in the Post-Emergency Period
Mar. 08, 1940  Integration of Utility Systems
Feb. 26, 1938  The Permanent Problem of Relief
Jun. 08, 1937  Experiments in Price Control
Jan. 05, 1937  Credit Policy and Control of Recovery
Nov. 27, 1936  New Deal Aims and the Constitution
Oct. 16, 1936  Father Coughlin vs. the Federal Reserve System
Sep. 25, 1936  Roosevelt Policies in Practice
Feb. 11, 1936  Conditional Grants to the States
Dec. 11, 1935  Capital Goods Industries and Recovery
Sep. 25, 1935  Unemployment Relief Under Roosevelt
Jul. 17, 1935  The R.F.C. Under Hoover and Roosevelt
Jul. 03, 1935  Six Months of the Second New Deal Congress
Jun. 04, 1935  The Supreme Court and the New Deal
Mar. 05, 1935  Public Works and Work Relief
Feb. 16, 1935  Organized Labor and the New Deal
Dec. 04, 1934  Rural Electrification and Power Rates
Oct. 26, 1934  Federal Relief Programs and Policies
Jul. 25, 1934  Distribution of Federal Emergency Expenditures
Jul. 17, 1934  Debt, Credit, and Recovery
May 25, 1934  The New Deal in the Courts
Mar. 27, 1934  Construction and Economic Recovery
Mar. 19, 1934  Price Controls Under N.R.A.
Feb. 15, 1934  Federal Promotion of State Unemployment Insurance
Jan. 10, 1934  Government and Business After the Depression
Jan. 02, 1934  The Adjustment of Municipal Debts
Dec. 12, 1933  The Machine and the Recovery Program
Dec. 05, 1933  Winter Relief, 1933–1934
Nov. 11, 1933  Power Policies of the Roosevelt Administration
Oct. 28, 1933  Buying Power under the Recovery Program
Oct. 19, 1933  Land Settlement for the Unemployed
Sep. 20, 1933  The Capital Market and the Securities Act
Jul. 18, 1933  Public Works and National Recovery
Jul. 01, 1933  The Plan for National Industrial Control
May 03, 1933  Economic Readjustments Essential to Prosperity
Apr. 26, 1933  Government Subsidies to Private Industry
Mar. 25, 1933  Rehabilitation of the Unemployed
Feb. 17, 1933  Federal Cooperation in Unemployment Relief
Nov. 16, 1932  Systems of Unemployment Compensation
Nov. 09, 1932  Policies of the New Administration
Aug. 18, 1932  Emergency Relief Construction and Self-Liquidating Projects
Dec. 28, 1931  Relief of Unemployment
Aug. 01, 1931  National Economic Planning
Jul. 20, 1931  Dividends and Wages in Periods of Depression
Feb. 19, 1931  Insurance Against Unemployment
Jan. 19, 1931  Business Failures and Bankruptcy Administration
Jan. 01, 1931  Federal Subsidies to the States
Dec. 08, 1930  Federal Relief of Economic Distress
Sep. 25, 1930  The Extent of Unemployment
May 16, 1930  Politics and Depressions
Dec. 20, 1929  The Federal Public Works Program
Jun. 08, 1929  The Federal Reserve System and Stock Speculation
Apr. 14, 1928  The Federal Reserve System and Price Stabilization
Feb. 25, 1928  The Federal Reserve System and Brokers' Loans
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Economic Crises
Inflation