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[Dwight Macdonald]

“Government of Big Business,
by Big Business, for Big Business”

A Little Who’s Who of Washington – and Wall Street

(July 1940)

Sparks in the News, Labor Action, Vol. 4 No. 14, 15 July 1940, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The editors of Time have performed a real public service by giving, in the last two issues of that magazine, a partial listing to date of the business executives who have been put in charge of the national defense program fat a dollar a year each) by President Roosevelt. The partial list is as follows:

1. E.R. Stettinius, who chucked his $100,000 job as board chairman of U.S. Steel Corp. to take charge of the raw materials section of the National Defense Advisory Commission.

2. William Knudsen, on leave from presidency of General Motors, and now in charge of the manufacturing production end of the Commission.

3. James Vincent Forrestal, who resigned as president of the potent Wall Street investment house of Dillon, Read & Co. to become an administrative assistant (at $10,000 a year) to President Roosevelt.

4. Owen D. Young, former chairman of General Electric and eminent corporation lawyer, now devoting full time to “training” the youth of America through the CCC and the NYA.

5. Donald M. Nelson, vice-president of Sears, Roebuck & Co., who has become chief purchasing agent for the $10,000,000,000 new army and navy expansion program.

6. Ralph Budd, president of Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, and now Defense Advisory Commissioner in charge of transportation.

7, 8, 9, 10. Four newly appointed consultants to Commissioner Budd, namely Messrs. A.T. Wood, president Lake Carriers Association: Edward Vincent Rodgers, president of American Trucking Association; Frederick C. Horner, assistant to the chairman of General Motors; Arthur Middleton Hill, president of National Association of Motor Bus Operators and Atlantic Greyhound Corp.

E.R. Stettinius has so far brought to Washington the following staff:

11. Onetime Yale Crewman Charles Edward Adams, Chairman of Air Reduction Co., and of U.S. Industrial Alcohol Co. His job: Ed Stettinius’ senior assistant.

12. Philadelphia Republican William Loren Batt, president of S.K.F. Industries, Inc. (bearings), president of the International Committee of Scientific Management.

13. William Casement Bower, vice president of New York Central System. His job: procurement studies.

14. Gano Dunn, president of J.G. White Engineering Corp. and Cooper Union, recipient of many a scientific award in electrical engineering and holder of 30-odd patents.

15. Samuel Hood Dolbear, globe-trotting mining engineer. His job: chromium specialist.

16. Marion Bayard Folsam, treasurer of Eastman Kodak Co.

17. Amiable, hawk-nosed Clarence Francis, president of big General Foods Corp. (at $108,000 in 1938).

18. Polo-playing William Averell Harriman, board chairman of Union Pacific Railroad, partner in Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. (private bankers). His job: liaison between Stettinius and Burlington’s Ralph Budd, the commission’s transportation man.

19. Thomas Bayard McCabe, president of Scott Paper Co.

20. Dr. David Percy Morgan, chemical economist for Wall Street Investment Counselors Scudder, Stevens & Clark.

21. Allen Waller Morton, vice president of Koppers Co.

22. Robert Ten Broeck Stevens, president of J.P. Stevens & Co., Inc., Manhattan textile sales house.

23. Howard Calvin Sykes, depression president of the New York Curb Exchange, a specialist on mica.

24. Walter Sheldon Tower, successor of Ernest Tener Weir, as president of American Iron and Steel Institute. His job: consultant on the steel industry.

25. Dr. Edward Ray Weidlein, internationally famed director of the Mellon Institute, chemical engineer, and World War I member of the War Industries Board.

26. Dr. Robert Erastus Wilson, bald, science-wise president of Pan-American Petroleum & Transport Co., holder of 88 chemical and engineering patents.

Meanwhile, in the production side of the commission, hulking William S. Knudsen, has also reached into business. Among members of his staff:

27. John David Biggers, president of Libbey-Owens-Ford Glass Co.; Knudsen’s executive assistant.

28. E.F. Johnson, former parts and accessories expert for General Motors; in full charge of ordnance production.

29. Dr. George Jackson Mead, until recently vice president of United Aircraft Corp., and since boss of engine research for National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics.

30. Harold Sines Vance, broad-shouldered board chairman of Studebaker Corp.; in charge of machine-tool production.

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Last updated: 21 February 2020