Enforcement of Price and Rent Controls

April 25, 1951

Report Outline
Natioanl Emergency Price-Rent Controls
Price-Rent Enforcement in World War Ii
Moves to Buttress Price-Rent Enforcement

Natioanl Emergency Price-Rent Controls

Present provisions of law authorizing federal control of prices, rents and wages expire on next June 30 and no action to renew them has yet been taken in Congress. “Revision and extension of the authority to stabilize prices” was asked by President Truman in his annual message, Jan. 8, and in his economic report, Jan. 12, he said: “Since rents are such a key element in the cost of living, I recommend that the Congress extend and strengthen the rent control law.” At that time, specific proposals to reinforce price controls and to revitalize federal rent controls were promised by mid-February; the White House now says the President's recommendations will be sent to the Capitol before the end of April.

Meanwhile, dissatisfaction with present machinery for the administration of price and wage controls has been expressed by organizations of producers, distributors, consumers and leaders of organized labor. Alan Valentine, who was ousted by the President Jan. 19 as Director of Economic Stabilization, said on Apr. 19 that the controls as presently administered are “a futile, expensive and even tragic venture.” The general price freeze of Jan. 26 had been a “sop to public demand”; the government had since been “undoing with its right hand whatever stabilization it attempted with the left.”

The powerful American Farm Bureau Federation is now seeking the support of business and other economic groups for a movement to abandon price controls altogether and let the Office of Price Stabilization pass out of existence sixty days hence. It is generally acknowledged that if price controls are weakened by Congress, and rent controls are not strengthened, it will be difficult and perhaps impossible to keep any semblance of control over wages.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Price Controls
Jul. 26, 2019  Prescription Drug Costs
Aug. 05, 1954  Discount Selling
Aug. 10, 1951  Price Cutting and the Law
Apr. 25, 1951  Enforcement of Price and Rent Controls
Nov. 10, 1948  Basing Points and Delivered Prices
Sep. 14, 1948  Prices and Politics
May 28, 1947  Retail Price Agreements
Aug. 12, 1935  New State Laws for Price Maintenance
Apr. 03, 1930  The Trend of Commodity Prices
Rental Housing