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The Illinois standard. [volume] (Chicago, Ill.) 1948-1949, January 01, 1949, Image 3

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82015060/1949-01-01/ed-1/seq-3/

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SNUBBED by CIO President Phillip Murray (R.), Rep. Clare Hoff
man (R., Mich.) holds session with himself. Labor leader defies
subpoena to appear before the congressman, who constituted
himself a one-man investigating committee to probe a steel
worker's strike at the Shakespeare Products Co. plant in Kala
mazoo, Mich.
Progressives to map
49 county program
A major campaign to repeal the Illinois sales tax is
expected to emerge from the Cook County convention of the
Progressive Party, Sunday, Jan. 9.
A weekend of planning, to include a meeting of down
state party leaders on Saturday, also will map drives for a
state FEPC, on rent and hous
ing, and for repeal of the Taft
Hartley law. These are antici
pated as the major activities to
be directed by the convention
when it adopts a legislative pro
gram on Sunday.
Sessions will take place in
Temple Hall, 330 S. Marshfield
In addition to a legislative
blueprint, the convention \yiH
draw up a plan for streamlin
ing the party’s county structure,
according to William H. Miller,
slate director. Miller expressed
the hope that party workers
who gained experience in ward
activity during the election cam
paign will be elevated to top
positions of leadership.
The convention will hear re
ports from labor, Young Pro
gressives and the nationalities
Miller said this week that a
key function of party work will
be to keep the public abreast
of delivery on campaign pledges
by elected candidates.
“It is our intention,” Miller
asserted, "to make Truman and
Stevenson deliver on their
promises. We will be exceed
ingly happy if they do. If they
don’t, we must see that the peo
ple know about it.”
Miller pointed a warning at
Mayor Kennelly in addition to
those elected last November, as
he declared:
“We have taken a very be
nevolent attitude toward Ken
nelly. We will make him a sub
ject of attack if he fails now
to produce on major issues.’’
Decatur shop
owner fined
DECATUR, 111. — Four Ne
groes, who were refused service
in an ice cream shop last Feb
ruary, have finally won their
civil rights suit against the own
ers in Circuit court. The plain
tiffs originally asked $2,500
damages, but each of the four
will receive $25, the minimum
provided by statute.
Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Block,
owners of the shop at 150 Mer
chant st., were accused of order
ing their waitress not to serve
Negroes. Those denied service
were Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Slaw,
James Smith and Marshal Brad
After the jury had remained
deadlocked for 22 hours, Circuit
J‘udge Martin E. Morthland act
ed on a motion asking for a
directed verdict in favor of the
plaintiffs. The amount of dam
ages had not been set and there
was no indication whether the
defendants would appeal the
The 1948 story: profits,
profits and more profits
The biggest hidden news story of 1948 was the con
tinued sensational rise of corporation profits. After payment
of taxes, 1948 profits stand at the all-time peak of $21.7
-Old hands at concealing the real news, the press as
tne year arew 10 a close
played up testimony before a
Senate investigating commit
tee by big business’ hired eco
nomists who tried to make a
mole hill out of mountainous
corporate profits. Favorite word
used by the slick economists to
describe profits as “illusory.”
If it was just a dream, it was
big; beautiful and large as life.
What big business cannot ex
plain away is that corporate
profits have shown a spectacu
lar increase since the war. with
millions of consumers footing
the bill.
Estimated profits for 1948 be
fore taxes are $35 billion, com
pared to $20.1 billion in 1945,
an increase of 74.1% The pic
ture after taxes is even more
striking. Estimated profits for
all of 1948 are $21.7 billion,
compared to $17.4 billion in
1947, and $8 5 billion in 1945,
the year the excess profits tax
was repealed.
The jump from 1945 to 1948
post-tax profits was l>o5.3%.
Despite industry’s tear-jerk
ing advertising campaign in
1348, peddling the line that it
makes penny profits per sales
i dollar, the truth is that out of
every dollar of goods sold by
the corporations, about 30c goes
into profits, bonuses and salaries
for the upper-crust company
officials. For every dollar the
corporations paid out ia wages
in 1945, they ma..e 33.7c in
profits. By i948 the take had
increased to 42.2c.
A breakdown of the over all
profit picture shows the nation's
key industries leading the big
parade. The November 1948
'newsletter issued by the Natl.
City Bank of New York re
ported the following profit in
creases for the first nine months
of 1948 compared to the similar
1947 period:
Sixteen petroleum companies,
a 74.9% profit increase; 12 auto
and truck firms, 49.6%; 30 iron
and steel companies. 19.8%; 14
electrical equipment and ma
chine companies, 18.8%; 27 tex
tile firms, 17.9%; and 38 chemi
cal and drug companies, 15.6%.
These profits were piled on
top of steady increases amassed
since the beginning of the war,
with each year setting up a new
U. S. turns clock back
In Japan
TOKYO — Japanese labor is
catching the brunt of the heavy
strikebreaking club being wield
ed by Gen. Douglas Mac Arthur's
occupation headquarters here.
Latest anti-union blow was the
Dec. 20 decree halting the three
strikes involving some 812,000
coal, textile, maritime and elec
trical workers.
Reason given was that the
work stoppages “interfered with
production.” But Japanese work
ers have long been aware of the
close link between the occupa
tion and big business.
The occupation, which banned
strikes of Japanese government
workers some months ago, has
now assumed the power to out
law strikes in private industry.
Such interference with union
rights is a direct violation of
both United Nations and State
department policies on Japan an
nounced directly after V-J Day.
In France
PARIS (ALN) — The French
government has returned the
great coal mines at Le Creuzot.
nationalized after V-E day, to
the Schneider trust which owned
them before the war. The,
Schneider interests were deeply
involved in collaboration with
the Nazis during the wartime oc
U. S. pressure has been in
strumental i n reversing the
French trend toward full nation
alization of basic industries,
which was at its peak in 1945.
Nationalization already decreed
was administered in a very half
hearted manner after Marshall
plan aid began.
In the mining industry, for in
stance, former owners remained
in top management posts and
wert paid a bonus on each ton of
coal extracted. The process of
returning them to their previous
power has now begun openly.
In Germany
FRANKFURT — Giant indus
tries that backed Hitler’s rise to
power with marks and muni
tions have been given the green
light by U. S. occupation autho
rities in their bid for cartel
agreements yto control world
The full story of the resur
gence of German trusts is being
unfolded before a special U. S.
Army commission here. Witness
es testified that the mammoth
Robert Bosch Combine, makers
of electrical machines, was given
an OK on one such agreement,
by Richardson Bronson, head of
the military government decar
telization group. American and
British legal opinion holds the
pact is illegal.
The commission is also prob
ing action of Gen. Lucius D.
Clay and some of his staff, who
decided not to break up the big
German VKF ball-bearing trust
ANTI-LABOR FUND ol $1 million
is admitted by General Electric
Co. President Charles E. Wilson,
who told joint profits subcom
mittee in Washington his firm
spends that amount yearly
fighting the United Electrical,
Radio & Machine Workers (CIO).
Profits of GE this year will top
$111 million, Wilson testified.
While industry was swimming
in gravy, more and more work
ers were getting tossed dry
crusts. Despite three rounds of
wage increases since V-J day,
price increases of 35% brought
an actual cut of 15% in the
real wages of workers. Again
the press sought to cover this
up by exaggerating the import
ance of slight drops in the gov
ernment's cost-of-living index,
which every housewife knows
has little resemblance to what
she pays out to the grocer and
45% more needed
According to the Heller
Committee, ... healthful and
decent standard of living for
a worker, his wife and two
children requires an income
of $78.50 a week.
But in this year of high
profits and high prices, the
average worker was earning
$54.06 a week—before taxes.
He'd need about a 45% wage
increase to meet the none
too-high standards of the Hel
ler budget.
In an attempt to head off ris
ing demands for restoration of
price control, business papers at
the year's end jubilantly re
ported that prices were leveling
off. They didn’t report that the
level was still way over the
heads of working families.
Sixty percent of American
families are earning under
$3,000 a year, in contrast to
the $4,100 the Heller Commit
tee says a family needs to get
along. By the end of 1948, great
sections of the American people
were facing real hardship.
Roughly 50% of the nation's
families had less than $200 in
savings and, as reports of lay
offs and production cutbacks
gained in prominence, the ab
sence of savings was bringing
many families close to a crisis
The bells ringing in th.' new
year of 1949 wTere also ringing
in demands for a fourth round
in • /age increases. One fact
could not be engulfed by the
torrent of excuses for exorbit
ant profits. Industry can afford
to pay a wage increase of 25%
to all wage and salaried em
ployes without raising prices
and still have $14.2 billion in
profits before taxes. After taxes,
its profit take would be $8.8
billion, or 120%more than the
prewar average.
Big business didn't have to
wait for handouts from Santa
Claus this year. It played
Santa Claus to itself all year
SEASON OF FIRES finds Chicago slum flats and hotels main
targets. Four major fires have occurred since Dec. 1, latest in an
apartment building at 4600 S. Paulina St., this week. After fires
at Hotels Hubbard and Lorraine, flames swept the Victoria last
week, where fireman, above, vainly applies oxygen mask to
victim of fifth-floor blaze.

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