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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, April 10, 1947, Image 15

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Lowell Mellett
'On the Other Hand’
Believes We May Be Entering
Period of Old-Time Haggling
We are witnessing now in these prosperous United 8tates one
of the weirdest economic problems that ever confronted a group
of people. The group in question is that which is generally lumped
together under the name of business, meaning those who have
something to sell. Business has the problem., It is how to escape
the consequences of its prosperity. Business is afraid that the;
UUOV WXUUi to r»iU W V > V* J
boom already Is lurking just around
the corner. This may not be the fact,
but buslnessmei i
begun to
that It is
are sitting up
nights trying to
figure out
to head it
The trouble is
prices.* They
have got out of
nana. wim no
OPA to restrain
them, business
men have found
it impossible to
resist the cus
tomers with cash
in hand and
prices have gone L,w*n
you know where. It is agreed they
must come down. The question is,
how fast and how far. If they come
down all at once, there’s the bust
and everybody may get hurt—even
the customers.
The businessmen have nobody to
turn to but themselves. They can't
ask the Government to restore
price control; not after the cam
paign they put on last summer and
fall to have all controls removed. In
any case, establishing price controls
in peacetime is a thing unheard of
Eo they cannot ask the Government
to save them from themselves and
are seeking—at least, the leaders
among them—to work out their ow n
One of New York’s biggest retail
stores took advertising space last
week to appeal to manufacturers,;
other retailers and the public for co-1
operation in the effort to reduce;
prices. The public's part would be to;
refrain from buying anything it
didn't really need or, in any case,
to shop around before buying.
Retailers Are Warned.
A DOW me same ume raemuns ui
the American Retail Federation, an
organization representing, directly
and indirectly, some 500,000 retail
stores, were receiving a stem warn
ing from their president, Walter
Morrow. The people, he said, "are
showing an unwillingness to buy the
output of goods at present price
levels'* Hardly an overstatement.
"What every one is looking for,”
said Mr. Morrow, "is a way to min
imize evil effects of a price shake
down or readjustment of the price
structure. A lot of people can be
hurt in the process of doing even
‘‘The immediate need Is to find a
way to shake out speculative fac
tors and inordinate profits in the
areas where they exist. What busi
ness leaders are trying to do is ac
complish it by individual volun
tary action.”
Meantime, this business situa
tion, like so many other things,
appears to be playing into President
Truman’s hand, politically. He did
put on a battle against removal of j
price controls. He did veto the first:
bill by which Congress sought to
abolish control. He did warn that,
what is happening would happen.;
And now he can dramatize his po
aition by having a full cabinet con-;
ference to consider what is to be i
Government Can’t Act.
But, as said, there is little if
anything the Government can do.
Businessmen and their customers j
apparently will have to work it out]
between themselves. We may be in
for a period of old-fashioned hag
gling over prices.
One day this week I stopped in a
liquor store to buy a bottle of
Scotch. It was a first-class, weU
stocked store.
"How much for Old Glug-Glug?”
I asked. “$658,” said one of the
partners. "Preposterous,” I said.
“Let him have it for $6,” said the
other partner.
"How much for Old Haggis?” I
asked. "$558.” "Too much. I’ll
give vou $5.” “Split the difference,
$5.50.” "Nope. Split it again. Make
it $5.25.”
“Okay,” said both partners.
Maybe we are headed back into
that kind of business, the sort we
thought we had given up a long
time ago.
Answers to
p4,a"3 ffl csjbHsr «ug
Stir Informitlon Bureau. 818 1 itreet
1*1, Wuhtniton 2. D. C. Plem m
clote 8 centi for return eoitne.
Q. WhaJ is the present population
of Alaska and Hawaii?—N. H.
A. The latest estimate of the Bu
reau of the Census of the population
of the Territories is as of July 1,
1945. On that date Alaska had 81,
441 people and Hawaii 451?,177, in
cluding residents serving in the
armed forces. The de facto popula
tion. that is, the census including all
members of the arjned forces sta
tioned in the two Territories, was
estimated at 133,671 for Alaska and
*>44,803 for Hawaii.
Q. Does poison remain in the fangs
of a rattlesnake after the death of
the snake?—M. L. O.
A. The Pish and Wildlife Service
says that the fangs of a rattlesnake
may hold poison Indefinitely after
the snake is killed# If the snake is
stepped on or otherwise mought into
contact with a person in such a way
as to cause pain, it should be con
sidered dangerous. However, after
the poison is dispatched on the
ground it is not hazardous and
plants growing in such ground will
not be affected.
Q. What is the derivation of the
name Cossack as applied to the Rus
sian horsemen of former times?—
J. 3. L.
A. The name Cossack was origi
nally applied to these people by the
Turks. In the Turkish language the
word from which it is derived literal
ly means a guerrilla, an adventurer,
or a predatory horseman.
Q. How long a time elapsed be
tween the departure from England
and the arrival in the New World of
the three small ships, the Sarah Con
stant, the Goodspeed and the Dis
covery?—J. P. A.
A. The three little vessels were five
months out from England when they
ailed into Hampton Roads, Va.
Q. What is the inscription on the
grave of John Keats, English poet
who died in Rome?—R. B.
A. His grave, in the Protestant
cemetery, bears the following in
scription: “This grave contains all
that was mortal of a young English
poet, who on his deathbed, in the
bitterness of his heart at the mali
eious power of his enemies, desired
these words to be engraved on his
tombstone: ‘Here lies one whose
name was writ in water.' February
23, 1821.”
Offers Some Advice
To Barefoot Girls
By Henry McLemore
NEW YORK—I’m for it. The
man has something. I mean the
Englishman who recently suggested
to the women of his country that
they solve the
shoe shortage by
going barefoot
this summer.
If the {dan is
adopted, I am
going to take off
immediately for
Engiano witnout
benefit of boat.
I’ll Just buy my
self a nice warm
bathing suit,
slip into the
North River
without the aid
of tugs, bon voy
age parties, or
steamer chairs, and start
dog paddle toward Plymoutn
Liverpool, or London even.
It rould be a strenuous trip
acros the Atlantic, but it would be
wortl it. Can you imagine any
sight aore awe-inspiring than that
of Dowager Queen Mary wearing
one of her celebrated eight-layer
hats and one of those hand-me
down dresses she inherited from
Queen Victoria, paddling around
Buckingham Palace in her bare
feet? It would make the Taj Mahal
by moonlight look like a filling sta
tion by flashlight.
sedate want Donmea.
She wouldn't have that sedate
walk, either. The feel of that cold
marble on her regal tootsies would
spry her up considerably and might
even go so far as to glve^her suffi
cient courage to talk 'with her
granddaughter, Princess Elizabeth,
who, according to all reports, could
use a little of the graciousness and
wisdom her grandmother has shown
throughout the years.
However, the sight of thousands
upon thousands of barefooted wom
en might drive a man to live under
water with his favorite fountain
pen. Few things are more soft and
cuddly and sweet than a baby girl’s
feet, but, oh, mercy, when those
little feet grow and grow dire and
dreadful things happen to them.
Little toes that once resembled dew
drops take on the appearance of
exhausted peanuts and the skin that
once was as smooth as a pheasant’s
neck acquires the texture of the
deck of the battleship Missouri. -
This unhappy change, so I have
been told by members of the weaker
sex, takes place becaiwe the aver
age woman is proud of large feet
and insists on wearing shoes many
sizes too large for her. As a result,
her feet slip and slide around In
her shoes and become toughened.
If the average woman wanted her
feet to appear small and dainty,
I am told, and encased them In
shoes too small for her, this would
not ham>en.
School Days Recalled.
Going barefoot can be pure de
light as every small-town youngster
will testify. How well I remember
pestering mamma each spring to
hurry the day when she would
decide that it was warm enough
for me to shed shoes and stock
ings and start a summer of going
barefoot. I can still feel the cool
springy touch of the dewy grass
on my feet when I’d light out for
school in the morning. And what a
Joy It was to scuffle along a dirt
road spurting the powdery dust
between your toes. And those stone
braises on the heel—those bruises
you couldn’t see but which made
you hop along on your toes.
Before the English women start
going barefoot, let me warn them
of the dangers of stepping on
rakes. I still have four scars on
my right foot from stepping on
one and a bump on the back of my
head from the handle flying up and
whacking me.
Yes. ladies, watch out.
(Distributed by MeNauiht Syndicate, Inc.)
Doris Fleeson
T aft’s Hand May Be Forced
Price Hearing Demand to Necessitate
Taking Stand on Truman Program
A move which will have the effect of forcing Senator Taft
either to inforce or to reject President Truman’s psychological
warfare against high prices is in prospect in the Senate.
Democratic members of the Joint Committee on tjhe Presi
dent’s Economic Report of which the powerful Ohioan is chair
man intend to Dress for public hearings on the price situation.
They will demand that heads of
United States Steel and other key
industries, together with the '***•'•
ful of business
have sought to
lead the way,
such as Fowler
McCormick of
Intern ational_
Harvester and W
Henry Ford n,f ' ;
uc aumuiuucu
testify. Mr. Mc
Cormick has al
ready notified
Senator O'Ma
honey of Wy
oming, ranking
Democrat, that
he is filling to
appear before
Congress to talk »«" rieewa.
aoout uuc price tiuuauuu,
Senator Taft has made no moves
on the economic front since he
succeeded to chairmanship of the
committee January 3. A chief
economist has onlv just been named.
Democrats Tuesday were pointing
out that in his economic report
handed Congress January 8 last,
the President had asked for imme
diate attention to the problem of
reducing prices. 8enator Taft, who
also would like to be President,
has done nothing, they add.
Only Reaction to Moves.
Plans for such hearings represent
the only concrete reaction on the
hill to the President’s new moves
which were on the whole well re
ceived. Nobody had heard of any
legislation to be proposed; it was
suggested that the only possible
legislation would be another OP A,
which was out of the question.
A typical comment was this from
a Midwest Republican Senator:
"What do I know about prices?
I know my mail is full of com
plaints about them but what can
I do? I’ll be tickled to death if
somebody does something.”
A Democrat close to the White
House suggested that the President
was trying to pull prices down to
a lower level which he could then
use as a dike against a new wave of
wage demands. Many industry
wide contracts in basic industries
are due to expire soon, he pointed
Production Already Achieved.
Democrats of the Economic Re
port Committee revealed that sev
eral weeks ago they had asked a
staff economist to assemble some
material on prices. Its trend is
that lowered prices can and must
come from industry’s margin of
profit. It states that the production
which was to have tumbled prices
has already been largely achieved
with many factories bursting at the
This Is an echo of material which
even conservative Senators, such as
George of Georgia, have been in
serting into the Congressional
Record. Senator George, ranking
member of the Finance Committee,
has warned industry that its profits
were at “dangerously high” levels.
Senator O’Mahoney, stanch anti
monopolist, reasyrted his belief
Tuesday that “the only thing that
can destroy the free enterprise sys
tem is its own greed. It must re
strain itself from charging all the
traffic will bear or It will bring the
whole house down.” He added:
"We may note that the first price
cutters were Fowler McCormick and
Henry Ford II of concerns where
the family who owns the business
also operates it. The laggards are
those run by employers afraid to
I Recent snows played hob with many
roofs. Before hi* rains come send
for us to make thins* sound snd
tight. Our thorough work save* htg
repair bill*. Better take heed!
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Styling, top quality
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( 2) 89.50 High-back English Wing Chairs, loos* cushions,
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( 2) 800.00 Dunbar Sutitan Mahogany Executive Desks, spe
cially shaped, leather top, separate personal file cabinet
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( 1) 249.00 Solid Mahogany Frame Duncan Phyfe Sofa, spring
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( 1) 350.00 Extra Size English Lounging Sofa, huge spring
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( 3) 195.00 Mahogany 72-inch Breakfront Cabinets, cup
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Lengths of from 3 to 20 yds. pieces. Formerly 5.00 to
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( 3) 89.50 California-mode Bleach Maple or Black Enamel 48
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( 1) 245.00 Pullman Sleeper, tuxedo style, rose cover-179.50
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